Disney World in January
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 2019
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 - Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party had its final performance on December 2, 2018. It will return on January 18, 2016 under the new name: Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party.
Magic Kingdom - Tomorrowland Speedway will be closed for Tron Construction and will reopen in mid-May 2019.
Magic Kingdom - Peter Pan’s Flight is closed January 7 - Early February, 2019.
Magic Kingdom - Liberty Square Riverboat is closed from January 7 until further notice.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Construction continues at the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge area of the park; scheduled to open late Fall 2019.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom - Kali River Rapids will be closed from early January to late March 2019.
Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is closed October 28, 2018 - January 5, 2019 for refurbishments. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will be open, weather permitting, until it closed for refurbishment from January 6 to March 16, 2019.
Disney Skyliner construction ongoing until further notice. Construction may be seen or heard at Disney’s Art of Animation, Boardwalk Inn and Villas, Caribbean Beach, and Pop Century Resorts but noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am
Disney's All-Star Movies Resort - Room refurbishments through early 2019. Pool, restaurants, and other amenities will remain open but guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk as Disney updates rooms.
Disney's Art of Animation Resort - Disney Skyliner installation - guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House - Room refurbishments through Fall 2019. Pool, restaurants, and other amenities will remain open but guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk as Disney updates rooms.
Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas - Disney Skyliner installation - guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk.
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort - Resort Construction Project and Disney Skyliner installation - Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters restaurant, Cabana Pool Bar & the Calypso Trading Post will be closed until further notice. Dining options will be available for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Centertown will serve breakfast & dinner. Spyglass Grill, located in Trinidad South, serves breakfast. lunch and dinner. Grab-and-Go meals like pastries, salads, fruit, and sandwiches will be sold in the Aruba, Jamaica and Aruba sections of the resort. In-room dining will still be available. Guests will experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk.
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Resort Construction Project and Disney Skyliner installation -is undergoing some refurbishment projects across the property until further notice and guests may notice work being done through noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00AM. The resort remains in full operation with pools, dining, merchandise and recreation areas all open. Pepper Market food court will undergo minor refurbishments through Summer 2019 but will remain open.
Disney's Old Key West Resort - Room refurbishments through Spring 2019. Pool, restaurants, and other amenities will remain open but guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk as Disney updates rooms.
Disney's Pop Century Resort - Disney Skyliner installation - guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk.
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort - Room refurbishments through early 2019. Pool, restaurants, and other amenities will remain open but guests may experience construction and refurbishment noise between 9:00am and dusk as Disney updates rooms.
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 November 8, 2018 to January 6, 2019 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, 2018 to January 6, 2019. 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 9, 2018 to January 6, 2019. 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 December 23 - January 5th / 7:00AM Extra Magic Hours (Disney hotel guests only) are offered at Animal Kingdom on December 24, 29, 2018 and January 2 and 5, 2019. Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are both showing normal 9AM openings in January at this time. 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 November 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019 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 - November 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019. Embark on a merry mission ot lacate 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 9-13, 2019. While the marathon events don't really affect the theme parks, expect the hotels to be very full so book early.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts - 2019 Dates to Be Announced. 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 18, 2017 - January 6, 2018. 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 13 - 15, 2017. 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.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - January 3 - 7, 2018. These events do not take place in the theme parks but you will notice runners and their families in your resort and, at times, visiting the parks.
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.