They Are Off
  • On Jul 15, 2023
    Liz from NC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    How crowded are is Walt Disney World the first week of January?

    Well hi there Liz, and welcome to planDisney - we're your online resource for personalized tips, tricks and advice ahead of your next visit!

    We recently brought together our family and friends to celebrate our Disney Fairy Tale Wedding and specifically chose January in order to take advantage of some cooler weather and dodge the wild popularity of the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort that often see the Theme Parks becoming packed full of revelers leading up to and including New Year's Eve. In our experience there was something that we didn't anticipate would result in a significantly busier time not only within the Theme Parks, but also getting around between them each day: the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

    It is definitely a good idea to have a look at the official event schedule as there are often road closures that could affect you heading in and out to the Theme Parks each morning, and we found that the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels had limited availability as they accommodated the thousands of eager runners who descend en masse to participate in these exciting events. As a result, we also observed that the afternoons at the Theme Parks were very busy with folks sporting their colorful race gear and outfits to celebrating with well-deserved meals and drinks across all of the Dining locations. Despite this, it was still reasonably comfortable and we did not experience any long standby queue wait times at the level we've come to expect during Spring Break or the winter holidays.

    Personally, I prefer the second week of January onwards as it not only avoids being caught amidst any marathon-related madness and often signals the start of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. (It does however tend to be very popular to visit around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so that may be something to keep in mind.) Based on my experiences from this January, the second half of the month was significantly more easygoing than the first half and the weather was gorgeous throughout!

    If there's anything that my research and in-park observations have shown me over the past year, it's that trends and crowd levels are always subject to change and can always be surprising! However, I think that looking at historical data and deducing the busier periods to prepare for will always help manage expectations for a better overall experience. Come on back to planDisney whenever you have another question for us Liz, I'm always happy to lend a bit of Disney knowledge!

    Here's hoping you live out loud and avoid the crowds on your next Walt Disney World Resort visit!

thumbnail image for Prince

Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

Related Video

  • thumbnail image for EPCOT International Festival of the Arts | planDisney Podcast – Season 2 Special Episode

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click the Ask a Question button to open the Ask a Question dialogue box. If you are not logged in a dialogue box will appear to signin in order to ask a question.

To submit your question, please log in now if you have not already done so.

Ask a QuestionOpens the Ask a Question dialog box.

Update Browser

For a better experience browsing this website, please download an updated version of Internet Explorer.

Or you can continue browsing without updating.