Ways to ring in the new year in Orlando

Look­ing to cel­e­brate? There are op­tions for all in and around city

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Con­nolly

With 2019 com­ing to a close, we wrap up an­other decade — one that saw the rise of the smart­phone, Net­flix, in­flu­encers, dat­ing apps, memes, Twit­ter, fidget spin­ners and more.

As peo­ple re­flect on the legacy the 2010s will leave be­hind, it’s time to look for­ward to a new chap­ter, one that starts with 2020.

Orlando has no short­age of op­tions for en­ter­tain­ment, both for adults and the whole fam­ily. From the city’s theme parks to Wall Street down­town, there are plenty of ways to ring in the new decade at a venue near you.

Lo­cal hap­pen­ings

■ Thorn­ton Park is host­ing its an­nual New Year’s Eve Street Party stretched over 2 1⁄2 blocks of East Wash­ing­ton Street. Party guests can en­joy seven venues, mul­ti­ple stages and drink tents on the street. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 700 East Wash­ing­ton St. in Orlando; $10 and up; thorn­ton­park­street­party.com

■ Wall Street is host­ing its own big New Year’s Eve block party with eight venues, danc­ing, a light show and DJ. 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Dec. 31 at 25 Wall St. in Orlando; $25-$100 (VIP); wall­st­plaza.net

■ Will’s Pub is host­ing The Leg­endary JC’s for an evening of mu­sic, mer­ri­ment, drink spe­cials and a cham­pagne toast. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at 1042 N. Mills Ave. in Orlando; $15-$20; eventbrite.com

■ One80 Sky­top Lounge (rooftop at Amway Cen­ter) is host­ing a “Roar­ing ’20s” in­spired New Year’s Eve party with show­girls, party fa­vors, two vis­i­ble fire-

works shows, DJs and plenty of drinks. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 400 W. Church St. in Orlando; $69-$1,800 (VIP party of 10); eventbrite.com

■ Grape & The Grain is host­ing a night of en­ter­tain­ment, a food truck, drinks and a live look at the Times Square ball drop. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31 at 1110 Vir­ginia Drive in Orlando; free gen­eral ad­mis­sion, $30 VIP; face­book.com ■ Stardust Video & Cof­fee is putting on a night of live mu­sic with The Spoon Dogs, Red Rodeo and Daisy Chain. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Dec. 31 at 1842 E. Win­ter Park Road in Orlando; do­na­tions col­lected; face­book.com ■ Grand Bo­hemian Ho­tel

Orlando is of­fer­ing a five­course, pre-fixe menu with New Year’s Eve party kits, cham­pagne, live mu­sic and a mid­night toast. Early din­ner 5-7 p.m. is $99 per per­son, and a 7 p.m.-late din­ner costs $109 per per­son. 325 S. Orange Ave. in Orlando; opentable.com

■ The Abbey is of­fer­ing an “in­ti­mate VIP ex­pe­ri­ence” with live en­ter­tain­ment, bot­tle ser­vice and food at pre­mium ta­bles. Cock­tail or cre­ative black tie at­tire re­quired. 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. at 100 S. Eola Dr. Suite 100 in Orlando; $20 (gen­eral ad­mis­sion)-$500 (VIP ta­ble for six); eventbrite.com

North

■ Noon Year’s Eve is com­ing to Semi­nole County Pub­lic Li­braries ear­lier than most cel­e­bra­tions. At noon, kids and their fam­i­lies can en­joy a bal­loon drop, danc­ing, crafts and other ac­tiv­i­ties geared to­ward young ones ages 3-7. Chil­dren are wel­come to don their pa­ja­mas. Events will be held at mul­ti­ple branches 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 31; free; semi­nole­coun­tyfl.gov ■ Holler­bach’s Wil­low

Tree Café, a San­ford sta­ple for Ger­man cui­sine, will be cel­e­brat­ing the new year early when mid­night strikes in Deutsch­land, just be­fore 6 p.m. Pa­trons can also en­joy tra­di­tional Ger­man mu­sic, Lentil soup and a show­ing of “Din­ner for One,” a New Year’s Eve tra­di­tion for many in Ger­many. 5-8 p.m. at 205 E. 1st St. in San­ford; holler­bachs.com

■ Lake Mary is host­ing a block party at Colo­nial Town Park with three venues and mul­ti­ple stages for live en­ter­tain­ment. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at 951 Mar­ket Prom­e­nade Ave. in Lake Mary; $10-$100; lake­mary­block­party.com

South

■ ICON Park, home to The Wheel and other I-Drive at­trac­tions, will bring in live en­ter­tain­ment, bar and restau­rant spe­cials, a light show on The Wheel and a fire­works dis­play. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 8375 In­ter­na­tional Drive in Orlando; free gen­eral ad­mis­sion or $195 VIP; icon­parko­r­lando.com

■ American So­cial, a new restau­rant and “el­e­vated” sports bar in the Dr. Phillips area, is invit­ing guests to ring in the “Roar­ing 20s” with a cel­e­bra­tion fea­tur­ing hors d’oeu­vres, food sta­tions and an open bar. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 7335 W. Sand Lake Road Suite 101 in Sand Lake; $100-$125; eventbrite.com

■ Top­golf is “swing­ing” in the new year with New Year’s cel­e­bra­tions and golf­ing. Gen­eral bay reser­va­tions cost $240 and in­clude un­lim­ited game­play for up to six guests from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. A VIP bay in­cludes food and wine. Dec. 31 at 9295 Uni­ver­sal Blvd. in Orlando; $240 (gen­eral bay reser­va­tion)-$420 (VIP); top­golf.com ■ At Mar­gar­i­taville Resort Orlando, en­joy laughs over food and drink with a com­edy show star­ring Rauce Pad­gett and Car­men Val­lone. As the evening goes on, par­ty­go­ers can en­joy dessert sta­tions, a bal­loon drop, mu­sic from DJ Kix and a cham­pagne toast. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31 at 8000 Fins Up Cir­cle in Kis­sim­mee; $30; bonkerz­com­e­dypro­duc­tions.com

■ The Wail­ers, the leg­endary band who backed Bob Mar­ley, are of­fer­ing a free con­cert to those at Sun­set Walk, the shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment cen­ter ad­ja­cent to Mar­gar­i­taville. In ad­di­tion, the first 2,000 guests can re­ceive free

party fa­vors and a cham­pagne toast, but ev­ery­one can en­joy food and bev­er­age op­tions, plus a “con­fetti storm” and fire­works count­down show. 7 a.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 3251 Mar­gar­i­taville Blvd. in Kis­sim­mee; eventbrite.com

■ Rock & Brews at Sun­set Walk (near Mar­gar­i­taville Resort Orlando) will be host­ing a “Mas­quer­ade Bash” with a buf­fet, plenty of drink op­tions, a dance floor, photo booth and live mu­sic from The Run­down. The buf­fet is in­cluded in price of ad­mis­sion and al­co­hol is in­cluded for high­er­priced tick­ets. 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31 at 3284 Mar­gar­i­taville Blvd. in Kis­sim­mee; $15 (chil­dren 5-13) and $30-$130 for adults; face­book.com ■ Ja­leo at Dis­ney Springs,

a Span­ish-style restau­rant from chef José An­drés, will be of­fer­ing a spe­cial New Year’s Eve tast­ing menu. For $120, re­ceive a mul­ti­course meal of chef-driven spe­cial­ties, or en­joy a la carte spe­cials. Later in the evening, guests can en­joy a DJ, a cava toast and 12 grapes at mid­night, a Span­ish tra­di­tion. 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31 at 1482 E. Buena Vista Drive in Orlando; prices vary; ja­leo.com ■ House of Blues at Dis­ney Springs is host­ing a New Year’s Eve Party and mid­night break­fast buf­fet com­plete with mu­sic from DJs and drink spe­cials. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 1049 E. Buena Vista Drive in Lake Be­una Vista; no cover charge, $15 buf­fet or $250 (two peo­ple)-$500 (four peo­ple) VIP; house­of­blues.com

■ Rosen Shin­gle Creek is of­fer­ing a prix-fixe menu (with un­lim­ited cham­pagne) at two of its restau­rants — A Land Re­mem­bered steak­house and Ital­ian eatery Cala Bella. The steak­house will fea­ture en­tree op­tions in­clud­ing a filet mignon or cold water lob­ster tail, while the Ital­ian eatery will serve up veal pic­cata or Si­cil­ian shrimp scampi. 5:30-10 p.m. Dec. 31 at 9939 Uni­ver­sal Blvd. in Orlando; $75 per per­son plus tax and gra­tu­ity; rosen­sh­in­gle­creek.com

■ Boxi Park’s count­down to the new year kicks off with food, drinks and live en­ter­tain­ment by Ho­ley Miss Mo­ley and DJ Oso. A VIP ticket in­cludes an open bar and two food to­kens. 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31 at 6877 Tavistock Lakes Blvd. in Orlando; $125 VIP ticket, free gen­eral ad­mis­sion; eventbrite.com

■ Ring in the new year at Crooked Can Brew­ing Com­pany with McSwag­ger’s New Year’s Eve Silent Disco. Three DJs will take over sep­a­rate mu­sic chan­nels to have guests mov­ing and groov­ing through the night on the Silo Lawn. The Crooked Can team will be there to pour up some fan­fa­vorite brews. The night will also mark the re­lease of their much an­tic­i­pated Bar­rel Aged Cham­pagne Lager. 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31 at 426 W Plant St. in Win­ter Gar­den; free ad­mis­sion; face­book.com.

Theme park cel­e­bra­tions

■ EVE, Uni­ver­sal’s Ci­ty­Walk cel­e­bra­tion of New Year’s Eve, is a tick­eted event with fine cui­sine, sig­na­ture drinks, live bands and DJs and ac­cess to five clubs. The price of ad­mis­sion in­cludes food, a drink ticket and a mid­night cham­pagne toast. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31 at 6000 Uni­ver­sal Blvd. in Orlando; $149.99-$234.99 (VIP), with select dis­counts for an­nual and sea­sonal passh­old­ers; uni­ver­sa­lor­lando.com

■ In­side Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, tick­eted guests and an­nual passh­old­ers (premier and pre­ferred) can en­joy party zones, live mu­sic, Uni­ver­sal char­ac­ters and a cel­e­bra­tion with py­rotech­nics, con­fetti and party fa­vors. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31 at 6000 Uni­ver­sal Blvd. in Orlando; $139 park ad­mis­sion (price may vary); face­book.com

■ Magic King­dom Park is bring­ing Dis­ney guests a “Fan­tasy in the Sky” fire­works show and dance par­ties Dec. 30 and 31. The park will re­main open un­til 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Events are in­cluded in park ad­mis­sion; dis­ney­world.dis­ney.go.com

■ Ep­cot will ring in the new year at each coun­try as the clock strikes mid­night in each time zone. Fire­works will ap­pear each time an­other mid­night is cel­e­brated and the evening will cul­mi­nate with a spe­cial New Year’s Eve dis­play. Ep­cot will close at 1 a.m. and events are in­cluded in park ad­mis­sion; dis­ney­world.dis­ney.go.com

■ Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood

Stu­dios will ring in 2020 with a mid­night count­down and fire­works spec­tac­u­lar, af­ter which the park will close. Events are in­cluded in park ad­mis­sion; dis­ney­world.dis­ney.go.com ■ Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom will fea­ture spe­cial food and bev­er­age of­fer­ings, DJs and a count­down to mid­night on the Tree of Life. The park closes at mid­night af­ter the New Year’s Eve count­down. Events are in­cluded in park ad­mis­sion; dis­ney­world.dis­ney.go.com

■ SeaWorld will cel­e­brate

the new year with a mu­si­cal cel­e­bra­tion and fire­works dis­play. Re­served show seat­ing costs $50-$75, but fire­works can be seen by all tick­eted park guests; seaworld.com

■ Le­goland Florida is of­fer­ing a Kids’ New Year’s Party 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 26-31 with a “New Be­gin­nings” fire­works cel­e­bra­tion at 8 p.m. Dec. 31. le­goland.com

■ Old Town Kis­sim­mee is cel­e­brat­ing the new year all day long on Dec. 31 with live mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment, a car show and other ac­tiv­i­ties. A fire­works dis­play will light up the night sky when the clock strikes mid­night. 3 p.m.-12 a.m. Dec. 31 at 5770 W. Irlo Bron­son Memo­rial High­way in Kis­sim­mee; $10 week­end and spe­cial event park­ing; my­old­townusa.com Did we miss any events? Send me a note. Find me on Twit­ter @PCon­nPie, In­sta­gram @PCon­nPie or send me an email: pcon­[email protected] or­lan­dosen­tinel.com.

PA­TRICK LED­BET­TER/ORLANDO SENTINEL

Rev­el­ers ring in the new year dur­ing a pre­vi­ous Wall Street Plaza block party. Orlando has plenty of op­tions for ring­ing in 2020.

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