With so many frogciting additions coming to the Orlando theme parks next year, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT and Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando, we're hopping with excitement for 2022!
Now while you could count down to the new year at one of the awesome theme parks here, we know from experience that sometimes it can be a tad overwhelming.
While many parks do host spectacular celebrations leading up to midnight, for frogs prone to claustrophobia (or for those who think it's just not worth the hassle), it might be best to seek options elsewhere. That's why we've put together this list of places that are just as fun but slightly more laid-back — and fairly affordable — to ring in the new year!
Low-Key Options for Spending New Year's Eve in Orlando
See a Spectacular New Show
Cirque du Soleil — Drawn to Life recently debuted at Disney Springs. This show is a breathtaking marriage of Cirque theatrics, athletics and storytelling and Disney music, animation and magic. Get transported into the world of Disney's timeless stories in the way only Cirque du Soleil knows how this New Year's Eve by gathering your loved ones for an unfrogettable leap into this amazing new show. On Dec. 31, Drawn to Life will be performed once at 5:30 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. Tickets starting at $85 are available for both performances (but are going quickly so hop on it!) and we can promise you — there are no bad seats in the house!
Rock Your New Year's Eve
If you're seeing the 8:30 p.m. Cirque show (or even if you're not), House of Blues Orlando is keeping the party going right next to the theater with its very own New Year's Celebration for frogs of all ages. Head on over to the Courtyard at 10 p.m. where DJ Rincon will be spinning the best Top 40 hits all night long. The event is free but VIP packages are available, including reserved seating, champagne and more! There are still tables available for reservation inside the restaurant if you want to get some food in you. You can also arrive early and enjoy free live music by Layla Brisbois from 12 to 4 p.m. and The Syndicate from 5 to 9 p.m.
Party Like It's 1921 (For frogs 21 or Older)
Every year, The Edison at Disney Springs hosts a dazzling New Year's Eve gala filled with live entertainment, world-class dining and an open dance floor. While reserved seating is sold out, general admission is still available for purchase for just $25 per person. Entry starts at 10:30 p.m. and includes desserts, a champagne toast at midnight and access to the electrifying lineup of lavish entertainment. Tables are only available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend maybe leaving the high heels at home for this one.
Come Together at Hard Rock Live
Ring in the new year with Classic Albums Live as they recreate The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" note for note, cut for cut. The doors open as early at 9 p.m. and the show lasts from 10 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. Standing Room Only tickets are available for $33, but there are still plenty of seats available starting at $38. If you're planning on hopping around the theme parks all day, this is a perfect way to end the night (since both parks are closing at 10 p.m. on Dec. 31).
Dine in Polynesian Paradise
If you're trying to avoid the theme parks, there's still plenty of other celebrations hoppening around Universal Orlando Resort before the clock strikes 12. Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort is hosting a New Year's Eve Buffet from 6 to 10 p.m. The price is $90 per adult, $45 per child (ages 3 to 9) and complimentary for tadpoles under the age of 3. Frogs 21 and up can even indulge in all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Bloody Mary cocktails for just $19 more. Entertainment will include live music, hula dancers and a balloon artist. Reservations are still available so hop to it!
Save Some Green at Endless Summer
If you're looking for a special New Year's meal that isn't reflected in the price, hop on over to Universal's Endless Summer Resort. Beach Break Café at Surfside Inn and Suites and Pier 8 Market at Dockside Inn and Suites are both offering celebratory dinners, featuring herb encrusted New York striploin served with red wine au jus, oven-roasted fingerling potatoes, asparagus, biscuit and a holiday dessert selection in the bakery. The price for either meal is just $18 for adults and $9 for tadpoles 3 to 9 years old and is available from 5 p.m. to close.
Make It a Retro New Year (for Cabana Bay Beach Resort Guests Only)
If you're staying at Cabana Bay, you're in luck! The hotel is hosting a New Year's Eve Party Spectacular at Bayliner Diner from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The celebration is complimentary to attend but a carving dining special will be available starting at 5 p.m. that's $19.99 for adults and $10.99 for tadpoles ages 3 to 9. Entertainment will include a live DJ and balloon twisters! I don't know about you, but this sounds like a perfectly relaxing and stress-free way to end a day at Volcano Bay which is closing at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31.
LEGO of 2021 in Winter Haven
Just about an hour and a half southwest of Orlando is a New Year's celebration perfect for tadpoles with a bedtime! From Dec. 26 to 31, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will be hosting a DJ Dance Party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and presenting Kids' New Year's Eve Fireworks at 8 p.m. Grab a pair of special viewing glasses and watch as sparks fly over Pirate's Cove. This offering is part of LEGOLAND Florida's Holiday celebration so if you want to spend the day here, you'll also get to enjoy festive shows, special character experiences, holiday activities and delicious seasonal treats! Save some green by purchasing your park tickets through Undercover Tourist.
Celebrate the New Year in 360°
Escape the hustle and bustle of New Year’s Eve by watching the party from 400 feet in the air. Hop aboard The Wheel at ICON Park, an observation wheel that offers unfrogettable views of Central Florida. The Eye stays open until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve for those frogs who want to watch fireworks across the region from the comfort of its air-conditioned capsules. While you're at ICON Park, be sure to stop by Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Orlando for a fun-filled day that's sure to keep the tadpoles entertained.
Do you have any other recommendations for chill ways to ring in 2022 in Orlando? Let us know in the comments below. Have a hoppin' new year, everybody!