Here are the deets you need to know if you’re planning a January trip to Disney World!
What better way to start out the year than a vacation to Disney World?? There are some serious benefits to a January trip (including lower crowds AND temperatures!). But in order to realllly make the most of your time at Disney, there are some important things to know before you go!
Crowds at Disney World in January
For the most part, crowds are relatively low in January — by Disney World standards, at least! But, if avoiding crowds is a top priority when planning your trip, there are a few important dates to avoid. Attendance will be high during the first few days of January and the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, since a lot of guests typically visit on these holidays.
But it’s not just holidays you need to look out for! Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend usually falls in early or mid-January, and these events will draw tens of thousands of participants! So, be sure to check on the dates for Marathon Weekend before you book your trip if you’re aiming to avoid crowds as much as possible.
Park Hours at Disney World in January
The parks tend to stay open a little bit later through the first few days of January with the holiday crowds still around. Most parks will close between 9PM and 11PM, depending on the specific park and day. But, lower attendance throughout the rest of the month also brings shorter park hours! Throughout most of January, the parks will close at 8PM or 9PM.
So, if you’re a night owl looking to stay in the parks as late as possible, keep in mind that the parks will close a little earlier throughout most of January!
Looking for some late night fun in Disney World? Check out our ultimate guide to the Disney Villains After Hours events in Magic Kingdom!
Weather at Disney World in January
January is a great time to visit if you’re looking for milder temperatures! The average high temperature in January is 72 degrees and the average low is 51 degrees. So if the Florida heat and humidity is too much for you to bear, January could be your answer!
January is also less rainy than the spring and summer months in Disney World, with an average of 4 rainy days throughout the month. So overall, it’s a pretty great month for weather in Disney!
How to Pack for Disney World in January
You’ll definitely want to pack those layers for your January vacation! It can get especially chilly in the early mornings and evenings, so bring a sweatshirt/jacket, hat, gloves, and scarf that you can wear when you head out to the parks and stash in your bag when it starts to warm up!
And another tip for guests who usually wear sandals around the parks — make sure you bring at least one pair of closed-toe shoes and socks for your January vacay! Those chilly temps can be especially tough on the feet, so it’s good to have a backup plan!
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
The newest addition to the Epcot festival lineup is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Since making its debut in 2017, this festival has kicked off annually in mid-January. The festival itself is included in the cost of admission, but you’ll find food, merchandise, and add-on activities available for purchase! Celebrating Culinary, Visual, and Performing Arts, this fest is quickly becoming one of our favorite events!
Let’s start with a subject near-and-dear to our hearts — FOOD! The Festival of the Arts features Food Studios located throughout the World Showcase. There’s a huge focus on the presentation of the food served at the festival. In past years, we’ve seen gorgeous menu items including the Vanilla, Rose Water, and Pistachio Panna Cotta, a Sushi Donut, and Crème de Brie en Petit Pain!
As far as special events, this festival has plenty of awesome offerings! The Disney on Broadway Concert Series features performances of Disney songs by accomplished Broadway actors and actresses. Plus, there are Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages available which guarantee priority seating for the performance!
Other entertainment in past years has included chalk artists, living statues, choirs, marching bands, and more, located throughout the park!
Visual art is also represented throughout the park with displays and galleries! And there are both Complimentary Seminars and extra-ticketed Workshops available for guests interested in learning more about the arts.
Plus, another fun way to get in on the action — there’s an interactive wall mural where guests can paint a piece of the final product!
Guests can commemorate their time at the festival by picking up some exclusive merchandise! We’ve seen MagicBands, spirit jerseys, tumblers, and more! In the past few years, that mischievous dragon, Figment, has seemed to become the unofficial mascot of the fest and can typically be seen on lots of the merch!
If you’re planning a trip to Disney World in mid or late-January, we definitely suggest spending some time at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!
Annual Ride Refurbishments
Before you start planning a January vacation to Disney World, be sure to check if any scheduled ride refurbishments are planned! Attractions that are scheduled to be closed for refurbishment are listed on the calendar on the Disney World website. There are some rides that go down for refurbishment every year — both Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom and Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom are closed starting in early or mid-January for annual maintenance.
Also, keep in mind that at least one of the Disney water parks will be closed in January. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach usually receive maintenance in alternating months to allow one to remain open (weather permitting!). But if your family is big on the water parks, keep in mind that only one will be available if you visit in January.
If you have any attractions that are a must-do for your family, be sure to check the refurbishment schedule at the start of your trip planning process, since January is a common month for maintenance!
Debating between Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach? Click here to see which water park is the best fit for your family!
Between the typically lower crowds, comfortable weather, and super fun Festival of the Arts, January can be a great time to visit Disney World. Just be sure to keep these things in mind when planning your trip so you can set yourself up for a magical vacation!
Are you still undecided about when you want to vacation in Disney World? Check out our Month By Month Guide to Planning a Disney World Vacation.
Will your trip extend into February? Check out our February Disney World Trip Planning Guide!
Are you planning a trip to Disney World in January? Let us know in the comments!