The “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks explode behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle in a nighttime spectacle blanketed by snowfall in several areas of Disneyland Park, including Main Street, USA (Photo by Joshua Sudock, Disneyland Resort)
Shortly after the Christmas presents are unwrapped and the holiday feast is consumed, the same question arises every year: What are we going to do for New Year’s?
Luckily, Southern California’s theme parks have you covered. Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland California have holidays planned for those looking to welcome 2024 with exciting rides, live music and midnight fireworks.
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Whether it’s swing dancing, live rock bands, DJ dance parties, stand-up comedy, magic shows, piano dueling, or champagne toasts, SoCal amusement parks have something for everyone in the family on New Year’s Eve.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer at local theme parks on the final night of 2023:
Disneyland will ring in the new year with Fantasy in the Sky fireworks at 9:00 p.m. and midnight. Main Street USA in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle is often crowded hours before the clock strikes midnight with visitors waiting for the nightly spectacle. Additional fireworks viewing locations can be found at the It’s a Small World plaza and the Rivers of America Fantasmic Viewing Area.
Disneyland’s New Year’s Eve festivities will include countdown parties with DJs throughout the park. Party location details will be posted on the Disneyland website and app in the days leading up to the celebration.
Disneyland will open at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day and stay open until 2 a.m
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Disney’s California Adventure
Disneyland’s sister park is usually much less crowded on New Year’s Eve.
The Disney Holiday Festival will feature live music and dance performances until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Disneyland’s fireworks show will be visible from DCA — but without the projection show that accompanies the nighttime spectacle. The World of Color — Season of Light water show will be performed in Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure at 7 and 8:15 p.m.
Disney California Adventure will open at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day and stay open until 1 a.m
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Knotts Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park will stay open late on New Year’s Eve with live music, comedy, dueling pianos, dance lessons and midnight fireworks.
Midnight Hiatus will be playing pop and rock music on the Calico Mine stage with DJ Howly spinning dance music between sets.
PianoMania’s dueling piano duo will wage a head-to-head musical battle on the Boardwalk BBQ stage.
Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, who played more than two decades at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Saloon as Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, will play the outdoor Wagon Camp Theater.
The Jitterbug Pop Swing Band will take over the Boardwalk Ballroom with Jitterbug Jumpers and dance instructors on hand to keep the dance floor bouncing.
Comedian Chipper Lowell will tell family jokes and perform magic in the Bird Cage Theatre.
Knott’s will open at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day and stay open until 1 a.m
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Universal Studios Hollywood
The annual Celebration in the Park at Universal Studios Hollywood will ring in the new year with DJs, dancing and midnight fireworks.
The New Year’s celebration takes place at multiple party centers in the park.
During the evening party, specialty foods, desserts and cocktails will be sold, as well as beer, wine and champagne.
Universal will open at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day and stay open until 2 a.m
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Midnight comes early at Legoland California with New Year’s Eve celebrations long before the kids go to bed.
The New Year’s Eve Countdown Party begins at 6:00 p.m. Kids Standard Time at the Carlsbad Theme Park features live music and fireworks.
Countdown dance parties will be held at Lego Movie World, Fun Town, Pirate Shores and the main entrance center with dancing, singing and pop music.
Legoland will open at 10am on New Year’s Day and stay open until 7pm
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SeaWorld San Diego
San Diego Marine Park will celebrate the last night of the year with a champagne toast and a special New Year’s Eve fireworks show at 9 p.m.
SeaWorld closes at 9:00 PM on New Year’s Day.