Most people assume that New York City is the best spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve in, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. According to WalletHub, the best city in the country to share a kiss at midnight is actually Orlando. The top 100 list (where NYC places at no. 25) was created with 17 different factors in mind, including entertainment options, local restaurants, hotel prices and luxury shopping. Since Orlando came out on top, we thought it was only fitting to find the best party options for ringing in the New Year.
New Year's Eve 2016 Third Annual In Style Soirée at EVE Orlando Downtown
EVE Orlando will be ringing in 2016 by throwing their third-annual In Style Soirée. The party will have DJs playing this year’s top hits and dance mixes, as well as aerial Cirque performers, dancers, a balloon drop and an artsy light show. An ice sculpture station will keep the Champagne flowing for the midnight toast, while photographers and videographers will be around to capture the night. There will even be a photo booth for you to take those scandalous shots. General admission is $50 per person, but since it doesn’t come with free drinks and you’ll obviously be going with a group, we would go with one of the VIP packages. Ranging from $600 to $6,000, the VIP offerings are good for various sized groups and include perks like bottles of Perrier-Jouët Nuit Blanche Champagne, a personal photographer and videographer, a private suite and a stocked bar with unlimited drinks for the whole group.
No matter which ticket package you go with though, everyone gets party favors, complimentary Champagne for the midnight kiss, and an EVE card for free admission and discounts at a later date.
Photo Credit: Parliament House Orlando
New Year's Eve + RuPaul's Drag Race "Winner's Circle"
Put on by Parliament House Orlando, New Year's Eve + RuPaul's Drag Race "Winner's Circle" is bound to be one heck of a party. Not only will there be a countdown to midnight with fireworks let off at the big moment, but you’ll be celebrating the New Year with six past winners of RuPaul's Drag Race. There will be two shows, one at 10 p.m. and one at 12:15 a.m., starring Bebe Z. Benet, Tyra Sanchez, Raja Gemini, Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon and the seventh season winner, Violet Chachki. If you buy a VIP ticket for $75, you can take photos with the Winner’s Circle, but you better dress to the nines, because you know they will!
Photo Credit: Aurora
Aurora New Year’s Eve: Midnight Skies
If you love food and cocktails, you will love the Aurora New Year’s Eve: Midnight Skies party. The location hasn’t yet been announced, but that is so it remains as private as possible. The all-inclusive tickets don’t just include appetizers, they include an entire dinner featuring jerk pork, poached salmon with mango salad and a seafood paella station. Fresh-cut coconuts will be on hand in case you want some unique cocktails, while a huge fruit bar will be there for some much-needed freshness after the ball drops. DJs will be spinning everything from pop hits and hip hop to EDM and reggae music. Plus, unlike some parties that close up at 2 a.m., Aurora will be keeping the fun going until 4 a.m., or at least that is when the premium bar will stop serving liquor.
Single tickets cost $90 and groups of 10 can go with the Decuple offering for $730, which comes with your own personal concierge.
Photo Credit: The Alfond Inn
New Year's Eve at The Alfond Inn
For the third year in a row, The Alfond Inn will be hosting their New Year’s Eve Gala in the Park Avenue Ballroom. This bash definitely seems like the best bet for local music fans, since Orlando’s very own The Buzzcatz will be taking the stage. Priced at $165 per person, there will also be an open bar, chef-attended food stations, a live screening of the ball drop in Times Square and of course, the midnight Champagne toast.
Photo Credit: Shephard's Beach Resort
New Year’s Eve 2016 at Shephard's Beach Resort
Shephard’s Beach Resort’s annual NYE bash on Clearwater Beach is always a good place to ring in the New Year. Not only will there be a 20-foot LED jumbo screen and performances by No Filter, DJ Ray and Brandon James, attendees will have access to the resort’s eight bars and restaurant. Though single tickets are only $25, there isn’t much point in attending a cool NYE bash if you’re not going to go all out. The Tiki Beach Stage Couch for $653 is a much better choice, because it comes with eight VIP tickets and two bottles of whatever you want from the service menu.