Disney World in January 2020
January is a month of extremes at Disney World; you have crazy crowds until everyone heads home from Christmas vacation followed by some of the lowest crowds of the year with a short spike in the crowds for Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. Here's what you need to know before you go!
Average High: 71° f
Average Low: 47° f
Average Monthly Precipitation: 2.39"
Disney World Ride Closures & Refurbishments in January 2020
We will update this page as new information is available
Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World Railroad - the train will not be running and will be parked at the Main Street Station starting in 2018 due to the Tron construction. During this time, you will still be able to get an up-close look at the railroad and special photo opportunities will be available. The new Tron attraction will debut in 2021. Click here to read more about this new attraction.
Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World Railroad closed until further notice.
Epcot is going into a season of transformation and this locations will be affected from Fall 2019 into 2020; Fountain View featuring Starbucks will relocate to a temporary location in late Fall. Pin Central will operate temporarily and will reopen in The Camera Center. Heritage Manor will close and return early next year. Heritage Manor will be the temporary home for Art of Disney offerings. Mouse Gear will move to a temporary home this winter while the current location is being reimagined.
Epcot - Club Cool is closed during renovations with elements set to return in the future.
Epcot - Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot is closed until further notice.
Epcot - Palais du Cinema (Impressions de France) is closed from October 2, 2019 until January 2020.
Epcot - Electric Umbrella will close November 23, 2019 and new dining options will be available in the future.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed from September 8, 2019 until early 2020. Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is open, weather permitting, through January 5, 2020. A new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along will debut in Epcot’s France pavilion in January 2020; exact date to be announced. Click here for all the places to see and meet characters from Beauty and the Beast.
Epcot - “Canada Fare and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” film will debut in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion in January 2020; exact date to be announced.
Epcot - the film “Awesome Planet” will debut in Epcot’s Land Pavilion in January 2020; exact date to be announced. This film highlights the beauty, diversity, and dynamic story of Earth.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed from September 8, 2019 until early 2020. Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is open, weather permitting, through January 4, 2020 but will be closed for refurbishment from January 5, 2020 to mid-March 2020.
Disney’s Spirit of Aloha dinner show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will be closed January 19 - 27, 2020
Disney's Pop Century Resort - Hippy Dippy Pool will be closed from January 2020 - Early Spring 2020
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort - Tri-Circle-D Ranch barn renovations will affect activities until further notice and the Draft Horse Barn, Blacksmith Shop and Pony Farm are currently closed. Pony Rides have temporarily moved to the Trail Blaze Corral near the entrance and Reception Outpost
Best Western - Lake Buena Vista Resort is building a new tower so guests will see and hear construction through December 2020. Work will be limited to 8AM ot 6PM during the week and occasionally on weekends.
Don't Miss Out on Great Experiences at Disney World!
We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities. That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.
Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:
Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.
“Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.
Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.
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Special Events at Disney World in January:
Flurry of Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios from (Dates to Be Announced) including Sunset Seasons Greetings, a nighttime holiday experience with projections of beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories . Beautiful holiday lights and decorations on Sunset Blvd. and around Echo Lake.
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Sunset Seasons Greetings - November 8, 2019 to January 5, 2020. Colorful projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel and billboards. laser effects. "snow" and stories, songs and holiday cheer featuring Mickey, Minnie and Olaf.
"Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!", Holiday Nighttime Spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios nightly from November 8, 2019 to January 5, 2020. Head to the front of the Great Movie Ride to see this show come to life on, above and all around the Chinese Theater with music, special effects, projections, and fireworks. Click here for more information.
Parks Open Early to Everyone - The Disney World theme parks typically open to the general public at 9:00AM but there are days during the holiday season where one or more of the theme parks will open to everyone (not just guests of the Disney World hotels) at 8:00AM. The early bird gets the shortest lines so this is a great opportunity. Animal Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on (Dates to Be Announced) / 7:00AM Extra Magic Hours (Disney hotel guests only) are offered at Animal Kingdom on (Dates to Be Announced). Disney may expand their early openings as we get closer to Christmas break. Early openings typically correspond with high crowd expectations so arrive early to enjoy the lowest crowds of the day and use a good Disney theme park touring plan.
Disney-themed Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail - Presented (Dates to Be Announced) from 11am to 11PM daily; Begin this delight for the eyes at the play fountain outside Once Upon a Toy in the Marketplace. Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6pm nightly.
Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt - (Dates to Be Announced). Embark on a merry mission to locate all the items on Stitch’s lost list by picking up a pocket-sized booklet with a map, clues and stickers at any of the 18 participating Disney Springs locations and spotting the hidden stitch holding one of this presents and matching the correct sticker to the corresponding location. Once you’ve successfully completed the booklet, head to the redemption center to collect a festive surprise; one prize per completed booklet. Click here for more information.
WDW Marathon Weekend - January 8-12, 2020. While the marathon events don't really affect the theme parks, expect the hotels to be very full so book early. Traffic restrictions at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on January 11 and 12 from 5AM to 9AM and at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort on January 12 from 5:30am to 12:30PM.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts - January 17 - February 24, 2020. It will run seven days a week with extra entertainment offered on the weekends. This event celebrates Visual, Performing and Culinary arts.
Disney Springs - Lego Store Events - The Lego Store offers periodic activities like building events or Lego Club meetings, and special offers. Click here for the current month and next month's calendar.
Crowd Warnings for Disney World in January:
Christmas / Hanukkah Break - December 21, 2019 - January 6, 2020. Christmas is insanely busy at Disney World, giving you lots of opportunity to practice your "good will to men". The great thing is that the temperatures are cool, the parks are at their festive best, and Disney always extends the hours, but you absolutely, positively need a good touring plan to avoid lines that routinely are 1 - 3 hours long. Get one of our Disney-focused travel agents to help you manage all the special issues that affect this busy season. Important Tip: The lines will be shortest in the first hour or two that the park is open so plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before opening to have the most fun in the shortest time. It is better to arrive early and take a mid-day break than to arrive late and suffer through the long lines. Book dining reservations as soon as possible!
Parks Open Early to Everyone - The Disney World theme parks typically open to the general public at 9:00PM but there are days during the holiday season where one or more of the theme parks will open to everyone (not just guests of the Disney World hotels) at 8:00AM. The early bird gets the shortest lines so this is a great opportunity. The Magic Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on To Be Announced. The Animal Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on To Be Announced. Disney's Hollywood Studios will open at 8:00AM on To Be Announced. Epcot will open at 8:00AM on To Be Announced.
Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend - January 18 - 20, 2020. Expect moderate to moderately high crowds just before, during and right after Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Arrive at the parks early and use a good touring plan and you'll be fine.
Thoughts on Extra Magic Hours - Extra Magic Hour(s) is when one of the Disney theme parks opens an hour early or stays open two extra hours after closing for guests staying at one of the official Disney hotels. Because Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms, the Extra Magic Hour Park will always be the most crowded park of the day so please avoid the parks on these days during the crazy crowds of Christmas. Low crowds often mean shorter park hours in the later weeks of January so the Extra Magic Hours can give you the time you need to enjoy the parks when crowds aren't a factor. Important - Guests staying at a non-Disney hotel still need to know which park has Extra Magic Hours so you don't end up in line behind people who got in an hour before you. Check here to see the schedule for Extra Magic Hours during your Disney vacation.
Be smart about Character Breakfast reservations - The theme parks are at their least crowded and the lines are shortest when the parks first open for the day. Please don't sit in a restaurant when lines are short and then head out to the attractions just in time to get in a long line. Book a character lunch or dinner instead. Besides that, character lunches and dinners give you more bang for your buck when you're on a Disney Dining Plan. If you love character breakfasts, consider booking a late character breakfast seating and treat it like brunch; this will still let you enjoy the short lines just after park opening before sitting down to eat. Another good option is to save character breakfasts for a water park day, a relaxing-at-the-resort day, or departure day.
Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Fantasmic! will have at least one performance every night in January, except To Be Announced. Warning: This show is excellent but it does feature villains for a good 8-10 minutes and the lake catches fire, which can be frightening to some small children.
Save time and money by having snacks, bottled water and other food items delivered directly to your resort by Garden Grocer - Click HERE for more information.
Don't get overwhelmed by the details - let us help: High crowds/ low crowds. Long hours / short hours. It can be a lot to think through but vacation planning is always a lot easier when you have one of our Disney-focused travel agents to help. Imagine how much better your vacation will be when we give you a "Best Days" itinerary that puts you in the best theme park for each day of your trip, book dining reservation on your behalf (subject to availability) at times that don't interfere with parades and fireworks, and by give you excellent theme park touring plans that keep lines to an absolute minimum. We are Authorized Disney Vacation Planners and you get all of this expert service at no extra charge when you book your Disney vacation through Build A Better Mouse Trip.
Use the month buttons below for lists of Disney World ride closures, attraction refurbishments, special events and crowd warnings by month. We hope this information helps you have a wonderful and memorable vacation.