NYE at Epcot - Questions and Transportation

Can someone help me visualize what Epcot might be like this New Year’s Eve? We will have a 9 and 7 year old with us who will want to do Test Track, Soarin, Spaceship Earth, Figment and Living with the Land. Hubby and I def want to eat and enjoy some drinks. Haven’t been successful yet booking an ADR for dinner. We have been many times and enjoy Food and Wine, but not familiar with the holiday booths (will start to research). Will we be waiting on line forever at these booths? How about getting drinks?

Then there is the question of transportation back to our rental. We will be offsite. Definitely don’t want to drive, but if that’s the best option, we will. I don’t want to rely on finding an Uber at the end of the night and would be happy to hire a car service. But where are we allowed to get picked up?


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Have you tried the Reservation Finder by Touring Plans? Also if I were you I’d drive if you will have a car. Having control of when you leave is nice when crowds are large. I’m no help on your other questions, but good luck!

Yep! I have two searches going! I’m sure we will want our own car. I even have a room booked at Dolphin on Marriott points until we make a final decision!


I guess that’s one solution, albeit an expensive one! :joy:

I’ve had friends go who have had both easy & difficult days at Epcot over the last few months. There have been busy times when you had to wait an hour just to get into a pavilion and 30 - 40 minutes to get a drink at a cart. Their theory is that the areas are understaffed. They have 2 - 3 people doing what 5 - 6 normally do.

They’ve had other times, usually midweek, when waits were more realistic. With this being NYE, I’d be prepared for a packed house.

But a packed house in covid times with attendance restrictions should at least be somewhat better than your typical NYE which is wall to wall and shoulder to shoulder


If you don’t want to drive then maybe see if the hire car service could pick you up at the Swan / Dolphin. Or YC. A slightly longer walk than the BW or BC but likely to be less busy. I agree, I wouldn’t want to rely on Uber.

On the other hand maybe a night at the Dolphin would be a nice way to end, call in and drop an overnight bag earlier, enter and exit Epcot via the IG.

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We were there last NYE and stayed at the Swan. I would not do it any other way during non-Covid times as the amount of people leaving Epcot after midnight is insane. You only want to be somewhere you can walk to in my opinion. But this year, with no late hours at the parks I would probably just drive. I don’t mind it taking an hour or 2 to leave a park if the park closes at 10 like it does (we are night owls). But taking several hours to leave at 12:30am is a different story. Staying within walking distance is well worth every penny though, that would always be my first choice for NYE.
We were only at Epcot from around 7pm-midnight last year, and I did not think it was nearly as crowded as I had planned (MK pictures were much, much worse). Of course we had FPP back then so were able to ride rides easier. We had dinner at Teppan Edo (fabulous) and then walked around World Showcase enjoying the atmosphere before riding the rides. I know we did Soaring, Test Track, and Spaceship Earth and the kids also rode Mission Space. It was a very festive evening, and a lot of fun for us. Enjoy!

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Thanks for some positive vibes! That’s what we are telling ourselves - we are picking NYE to feel festive, even despite no real festive activities. Our kids can “hang” late, they are good sports when mom and dad need to sit/chill/grab some drinks. We are Dolphin fans, and have stayed there many times on Marriott points. Our room right now is reserved on points, so it’s “free” although this would be on top of us already having paid our last night for our rental. What’s swaying me from this plan though, is that to start the day on NYE, we need to check OUT of our rental, get to Dolphin, check in, drop our stuff, then start our day. I wonder if that will feel more stressful than driving home at the end of the night.

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We also had checked out on the morning of NYE from Coronado Springs. We weren’t in a hurry though, and actually drove to HS late morning after sleeping in, and then moved the car around 4 pm over to the Swan to check in. Also paid with points so it was free. Great minds must think alike! If you are only moving for the 1 night, I would probably just stay put in your rental and drive to the park on NYE. We were staying a few nights at the Dolphin so moving made sense. For 1 night when the park closes at 10, I’d probably just drive. That actually sounds less painful than moving a family of 4 for just 1 night.

We were there last NYE (and 2 yrs before). Amazing to remember after this year of lockdown. Anyway - the little kitchens have always been put up for NYE when we have been there, so don’t count on those for meals. Epcot has always been crazy busy NYE, but they manage crowds well and direct traffic around the WS. I’d suggest to keep looking for dinner reservations, things generally open up as people change plans and I’d expect this year to be more turbulent than most. On normal NYEs, the bathroom lines are longer than the food/drink lines. Maybe consider a dinner reservation on the boardwalk? We’ve stayed there and appreciated taking the occasional break from the craziness. I have no idea what this year will bring. With reduced crowd levels, I’d expect it to be more manageable, but I’d still be sure to plan an ADR (and I almost never do ADRs).

If your kids are old enough to haul bags, switching hotels isn’t as bad as it sounds. My 3 boys and I have pretty much always done split stays. Epcot opens later, so you have some time. Maybe pack small bags that you can pull out for the one night stay?!? I don’t regret our NYEs there, it’s been fun. I’ve never regretted spending a little more on convenience and fun and a little less on other things. No idea how this year may play out though.