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New Year’s Eve 2016 at Universal Orlando

Are you ready for some of the most exciting New Year’s Eve activities outside of the Big Apple?

On this page we’ll discuss everything that is happening across Universal Orlando for New Year’s Eve 2016, including CityWalk, Universal’s theme parks, and the on-site hotels. Let’s get started!

Eve 12.31.16 at Universal CityWalk

Starting in 2013, Universal has rebranded its big CityWalk bash as EVE – A Universal CityWalk Event. Gone is the headlining band from previous year’s, in is Orlando’s biggest dance floor.

Here are all the details that have been released for Eve 12.31.16:


The whole year’s been leading up to this: Universal CityWalk’s eye-popping, mind-blowing, jam-packed New Year’s celebration.

  • Unlimited gourmet cuisine featuring prime rib, tenderloin, jumbo shrimp, custom desserts, and more
  • LED Experience Presented by Coca-Cola
  • Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor
  • Admission to six Universal CityWalk venues
  • Midnight champagne toast and pyrotechnics display

Eve at CityWalk includes admission to all event venues, each with their own entertainment, customized party zones, and signature drinks. And to send it all into the stratosphere, you can celebrate all night on Orlando’s biggest dance floor, built just for Eve in front of the CityWalk Plaza Stage. You’ll kiss 2016 goodbye in style with a 360-degree DJ platform, dancers, and incredible special effects.


After sending out 2013, 2014, and 2015 in style, award-winning DJ M-Squared is back for a fourth New Year’s Eve.

DJ M-Squared at Universal CityWalk’s EVE 2013
DJ M-Squared at Universal CityWalk’s EVE 2013 – via Facebook.

Popular with A-List celebrities, top fashion designers, and prominent corporate brands, he’ll be sharing his genre-shattering, one-of-a-kind music mixing talent to make Eve the unforgettable night you’ve been waiting for all year long.

Additional entertainment details (please note these are from 2013 – Universal hasn’t published a schedule for 2016, but you can expect it to be very similar to this):

Additional event details:

  • This is a 21+ only event
  • $125.99  for Annual Passholders
  • $139.99 for general admission (previously $129.99 in 2014, $134.99 – 2015)
  • Purchase online

New last year: VIP tickets are now available. VIP tickets will cost you $214.99 ($184.99 – 2015). New for 2016, there is a annual passholder VIP ticket, which costs $193.49.

VIP tickets include:

  • Private VIP areas throughout CityWalk (Excludes Cabanas)
  • Exclusive Food Stations
  • Private Bars
  • Seating Areas

What you need to know about New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk

The biggest misconception about New Year’s Eve at CityWalk is that the entertainment will be complimentary. Many guest rightly have this misconception because, for the other 364 days of the year, any band or DJ performances at CityWalk is open to the public, like you see here:

But this is absolutely not the case on New Year’s Eve.

Basically, the entire side of CityWalk where the concert stage is, and the second level of nightclubs and restaurants, is closed to the general public. Here’s what you’ll be looking at:

Portions of CityWalk blocked off for New Year’s Eve.

The only full-service venues expected be open to the general public are The Cowfish, VIVO Italian Kitchen, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, and Hard Rock Cafe. So please do not make the mistake of thinking you can play around CityWalk on New Year’s without paying for the New Year’s Eve celebration (unless, of course, you’re perfectly happy to party one of the five restaurants we just listed).

Also, please note that food is included in the price of the EVE 12.31.16 as described above, but drinks are not – except for the champagne toast at midnight. (You can expect to pay between $4 and $9 for drinks.) And finally, remember that the CityWalk New Year’s Eve party is 21+ only.

Hard Rock Live & Blue Man Group

Just in case you’ll be at CityWalk on New Year’s Eve but aren’t interested in the big EVE 12.31.16 celebration, there may be two other options. First, Hard Rock Live does have an event scheduled: Rock ’til the Drop 2016 New Years Eve Party. Second, the Blue Man Group will be hosting three shows on December 31 – learn more.

Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure

The actual theme parks at Universal Orlando do not host their own New Year’s Eve parties per se. However, they are open late, so you can enjoy your favorite attractions into the wee hours of the night. This year Universal Studios Florida is scheduled to be open until 12:30am and Islands of Adventure is scheduled to be open until 11:00pm.

Looking for some fireworks in the parks for New Year’s Eve? Then you’ll have a bit of luck. Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular lagoon show, which usually plays in the evening at Universal Studios Florida and does feature some pyrotechnics, is scheduled to run at 11:59pm on New Year’s Eve with a special end-of-the-year theme.

Fireworks of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular illuminate Universal Studios Florida
Fireworks of Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular illuminate Universal Studios Florida

Universal’s on-site hotels

All of the on-site hotels at Universal Orlando – Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock HotelRoyal Pacific Resort, and Cabana Bay Beach Resort – each are having their own special New Year’s Eve celebrations for 2016.

Portofino Bay Hotel

New Year’s Eve Party on the Piazza
*recommended for couples
Enjoy a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party under the twinkling lights of the Harbor Piazza! The countdown to the new year features all-you-care-to-eat gourmet food samples from Mama Della’s Ristorante, Trattoria del Porto, Sal’s Market Deli, Splendido’s Bar & Grill and Gelateria. Plus, enjoy a selection of more than a dozen wines and sparkling wines. Entertainment includes live DJ, kids’ crafts & activities area, face painting, and party favors. Live opera will crescendo from the balconies, culminating in a toast and celebration to welcome in 2017!

Hard Rock Hotel

Rock-In 2017!
*recommended for families
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with attitude at Hard Rock Hotel. Enjoy family-friendly festivities including specially prepared desserts, face painters, balloonist, Universal characters, the Magic Men, a live DJ, a balloon drop, confetti cannons, movies in the ballroom, DJ rockin’ in the lobby. Then at midnight, watch the countdown in Times Square via satellite with hats, party favors, and a champagne toast.

  • Time: 8:00pm – 1:00am
  • Price: $60 for adults, $35 for children 3 – 9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • Purchase online

A separate holiday buffet will also be available in the evening at The Kitchen restaurant ($99 adults, $45 children); to learn about purchasing a buffet & party package, call 407-503-2200.

Kitchen New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet
Enjoy a breakfast buffet on the first day of 2017!

  • Time: 7am – 1pm
  • Price: $21 for adults, $16 for children 3-9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • Reserve now or call 407 503 DINE

Royal Pacific Resort

Orchid Court New Year’s Eve Reception
All evening long, enjoy the island vibe of Royal Pacific Resort’s Orchid Court Lounge with complimentary dessert selections, New Year’s Eve festivities, face painters, balloon twisters, DJ’d dance party, and a midnight champagne toast complete with party favors and a balloon drop.

  • Time: 7:00pm – 1:00am
  • Price: $40 for adults, $20 for children 3 – 9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • Dial 407-503-3200 for reservations

Island’s New Year’s Eve Holiday Buffet
Join Royal Pacific for an “Around the World Celebration” feast. The Orchid Court reception (seen above) is included!

  • Time: 5pm – 11pm
  • Price: $85 for adults, $35 for children 3-9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • See the menu
  • Reserve now or call 407 503 DINE
  • Note: This is the same menu as Sapphire Falls, but more expensive as it include the Orchid reception.

Wantilan Luau
Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring pit roasted suckling pig, wok-seared Korean beef, Pacific catch of the day, tropical fruits, dessert and more. Entertainment includes New Year’s party favors, live music, hula dancers, and fire dancers.

  • Time: 5pm registration, 6pm seating
  • Price: $85 for adults, $35 for children 3-9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • See the menu
  • Reserve now or call 407 503 DINE

Island’s New Year’s Day Character Breakfast Buffet
Kick off the first day of 2017 with breakfast at Royal Pacific! It’ll even include Universal Orlando characters.

  • Time: 8am – 1pm
  • Price: $26.99 for adults, $14.99 for children 3-9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • See the menu
  • Reserve now or call 407 503 DINE

Sapphire Falls Resort

Sapphire Falls New Year’s Eve Celebration
Ring in the New Year in the Amatista Cookhouse. Enjoy a special holiday buffet and family-friendly entertainment, including face painters and balloonists. Champagne toast included.

  • Time: 5pm – 12am
  • Price: $58 for adults, $24 for children 3-9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • See the menu
  • Reserve now or call 407 503 DINE
  • Note: This is the same menu as Royal Pacific, but less expensive as it does not include the Orchid reception.

Sapphire Falls New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet
Kick off the first day of 2017 with a special breakfast buffet in the Amatista Cookhouse.

  • Time: 8am – 12pm
  • Price: $21.99 for adults, $11.99 for children 3-9 (2 & under complimentary)
  • Reserve now or call 407 503 DINE

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

New Year’s Eve at the Bayliner Diner

Have a swell time at the Bayliner Diner Party! It includes a live DJ, balloon artist, face painters, a balloon drop to ring in the new year, and plenty of party favors to go around. Plus, there will be a carving station for only $16.99 (plus tax).

  • Time: 8pm – 12:30am

More New Year’s Eve information
Looking for something a little simpler? If you’d just like to plan on having dinner at one of Universal Orlando’s many restaurants, you can find details for making reservations at the in-park, full-service restaurants, the venues at CityWalk, and the options at the on-site hotels by visiting our Dining reservations page.