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Patience and maintaining a proper attitude are the real keys to enjoying New Year's Eve at a Disney theme park

Patience and maintaining a proper attitude are the real keys to enjoying New Year's Eve at a Disney theme park

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Thinking about spending New Year's Eve at a Disney theme park? Then stop thinking and start moving.

Trust me, folks. December 31st is not a day to dawdle, particularly if you plan on spending New Year's Eve inside of a Disney theme park. The key to having a fun time at this guaranteed-to-be-crowded event is arrive early. So get in the car NOW!

And whatever you do, don't plan on park-hopping today. Should you suddenly decide to change locations (Like -- say -- moving from EPCOT over to the Magic Kingdom), you may step off the monorail and then -- due to a capacity-related closure -- find yourself unable to gain entrance to that new theme park.

It's better to be safe than sorry. So decide in advance which fireworks extravaganza you want to see tonight. Then head straight for that park and stay put.

 Photo by Jeff Lange

But before you head out the door, be sure and toss a few bottles of water & some nibblies into a bag. Given the huge numbers of people that you'll encounter in the park today, you can plan on there being lines at virtually every food service location. So if you pack a few snacks ... Well, that's one less line that you have to stand in.

Okay. I know. So far, this article has only touched on the more negative aspects of spending New Year's Eve at a Disney theme park. The crowds, the lines, etc. But truth be told, this can be an incredibly fun event. Provided -- of course -- that you go into the park with the proper attitude.

First and foremost, you have to plan on being patient today. And please be aware that you're not going to be able to get on all that many rides.

But that said, you're never ever to forget what it was like to be an individual amid that huge sea of people. To be one of the 80,000-plus people who are expected to be standing around World Showcase Lagoon tonight as "Illuminations" brings 2008 in with a bang.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Speaking of EPCOT ... If you want to see a particularly spectacular fireworks display tonight, stake out a spot along the World Showcase Lagoon that gives you a clear view of Morocco. That way ... Well, you'll not only able to see the Holiday version of "Illuminations" but you'll also be able to see the fireworks display over at Disney-MGM.

Mind you, once the show is over, it's going to take quite a while for those 80,000 people to clear out of the park. So rather than rushing back to your car, why not grab a bench and do some people-watching? After all, no matter what you do, it's still mostly likely going to be 2 a.m. before you're finally on the road headed for home.

Which -- I know -- sounds negative. I really don't mean it to be. Please keep in mind that -- for most people -- attending a New Year's Eve celebration at a Disney theme park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So if you wind up getting home late late late tomorrow night and/or early early early tomorrow morning, big deal. You'll still have a great story to tell your friends & family about how you braved the crowds and rang in the New Year with Mickey.

One final tip: Resist the urge to dress up. Given all the walking that you're going to be doing tonight, the most important part of your wardrobe will be your shoes. So be sure and put on a sturdy, comfortable pair before you leave the house today.

 Photo by Jeff Lange

Speaking of which ... Time's a-wasting. So if you really want to do New Year's, Disney style, get in the car NOW and head out for the parks. You can thank me later.

Mind you, if one of your New Year's resolutions is to be wiser about the way you spend your money ... Well, you may want to check out Orlando Fun Ticket's latest offer. Which gets you a 4 Day "Magic Your Way" ticket with a 5th day for free.

Orlando Fun Tickets is located less than 2 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort, 2 lights west of I-4 at 8472 Palm Parkway. Their office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For further information, please call 866-225-4712 and/or check out the official Orlando Fun Tickets website.

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