Disney World in January- 8 Reasons Why it’s the Best Time to Visit and What You Should Know Before You Go

Cinderella's Castle
Cinderella's Castle

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World consists of so many factors and things to consider. One of the most important decisions you will make is when you will go. Time of year plays a huge role in planning your vacation. It can really make or break your vacation. January is a great time to visit, for various reasons. Here is why that is and what you should know before you go!

Why It’s the Best Time to Visit

8. Lower Crowds

January is a great time to go if you don’t want to deal with large crowds. Most schools are starting to go back after their Christmas break, so the crowds will be minimal. Unfortunately, this isn’t the ideal time to visit for families with children, but if school isn’t an issue for you, then this is really the time to go. Low crowds are usually on the top of everyone’s list when deciding on a date. Low crowds mean lower wait times, which means more rides. And what can get better than that?

7. Resort Rates are Low

One of the biggest pluses of visiting in January is the low resort rates. You will be surprised at how much of a difference the prices of rooms are during January versus the summer months. This is great if you are planning a vacation on a budget. Not to mention airfare will most likely be a little cheaper during January as well. Every vacation is better if you can save a few bucks!

6. Christmas Decorations Without the Crowd

Many people visit Disney World during the holiday season because of the beautiful decorations they have to offer. Unfortunately, this means crowds and not everyone loves crowds. Lucky for you, if you visit the theme parks before the end of the second week in January, you have a good chance of seeing the park in full Christmas decor, especially Magic Kingdom. Usually the decorations come down sometime after the first week in January, usually more towards the end of the second week. So this is a great time to view the Christmas decorations without having to experience extremely large crowds.

What You Should Know Before You Go

5. Visit Anytime After the First Week

The whole month of January is considered value season, except the first week. Holidays at Disney World are always crowded, and New Years Eve and New Years Day are no exception. The parks will be more crowded and the resort rates will be more expensive. So if you can, wait until at least the second week of January.

4. It Will Be Cold

Believe it or not, it does get fairly cold in Central Florida during winter months. January is actually the coolest month and it can drop down to the 40’s on some days, so be prepared! Make sure you pack for colder weather, so you aren’t forced to buy a whole new wardrobe. Sweatshirts, light jackets, and long pants are all a must when packing for January. Although it may not be that cold everyday, you’re still better off bringing some cold weather wear just in case.

3. It’s Marathon Time

Even though January means small crowds and low wait times, it also means marathons. The marathons usually don’t affect the crowds and wait times, but the overall traffic and surrounding area will be more congested. Make sure you check the website before booking your trip if this is something you would like to avoid. Dates and times are usually posted far ahead of time to make planning easy.

2. Park Hours

The park hours vary from season to season throughout each park. In January the parks usually close earlier. Sometimes Magic Kingdom will only be open until 8pm. This can be a bummer for some people, especially if you like to get the most out of your money. But on the flip side, you may be able to stay in the park all day without having to take a break and come back. It won’t be scorching hot like it can be during summer months, so walking the park all day won’t be as bad.

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1. Ride Closures and Refurbishments

January is the time when rides and attractions are most likely to be closed for refurbishment. This may also include one of the waterparks as well. I always like to check different websites for the ride closure schedule before I go. They are usually able to tell you what will be closed a few months ahead of time.

As you can see, January is really a fantastic time to visit Disney World, especially if you are looking for a time with lesser crowds. Hopefully these tips will jumpstart your planning process and can help you decide when to visit. So if January fits into your family’s schedule, I highly recommend visiting then!
When is your family’s favorite time to visit?

Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

About Meghann McFadden

Writing has always been my passion. I have had an interest in writing ever since I was young. Similarly, I have always loved Disney. There is not a day that goes by that I'm not reading or watching something about Disney. I am currently finishing up my bachelor’s degree and working as well. I live right outside of Chicago, but visit Walt Disney World Resort several times a year.

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