Runner giving Donald Duck a High Five
  • On Dec 6, 2023
    Stephanie from TX 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 are the crowds and wait times for rides during RunDisney in January? We are visiting Jan 2 -6 and are considering changing dates due to the many reports I've read about the over crowded parks and very long waits during this event.

    Hi there, Stephanie!

    Welcome to planDisney and thanks so much for running by with your excellent Walt Disney World Resort vacation planning question. I'm honored you chose to reach out to me with this specific question. My family loves to visit The Most Magical Place on Earth during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, as I'm an avid runDisney enthusiast! I'd be happy to share our recent experiences with you to help you prepare for a magical and memorable vacation.

    Stephanie, early January is one of my favorite times to visit the Walt Disney World Resort - the weather is usually mild and pleasant, and many holiday decorations are usually still up, making these trips just a little merrier! During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, thousands of runners flock to The Most Magical Place on Earth to partake in a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon (or even all four!). However, in my opinion, these crowds are much less noticeable than those during peak holiday periods and have never impacted my Guest experience. In general, January isn't an extremely popular time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort, and my family has been able to score some fantastic special offers for January trips over the years! If interested, there are many popular third-party crowd calendars available online that can give you an idea about what to expect.

    Based on your travel dates, I think the most noticeable change you'll experience will be the road closures on the morning of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon (January 6, 2024). During this exciting event, runners typically traverse 13.1 miles through Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, and the roadways connecting these theme parks. Stephanie, because the courses usually loop right through Guest areas in the theme parks, you may notice several operational changes in these parks during the morning of January 6, 2024, as Cast Members route runners through. For that reason, I might suggest visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, or Disney Springs that morning to minimize any interruptions to your day! By mid-afternoon, the event should conclude and park operations should return to normal. If you're truly concerned about interruptions to your trip, you might consider bumping your visit out one week. We like to plan our Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend visits to begin during race weekend and extend into the week after when it's generally pretty quiet on property!

    Stephanie, I hope you've found this information helpful as you continue to prepare for your upcoming vacation. If you have any additional planning questions, I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can! Feel free to reach back out to me directly or visit planDisney again anytime. Happy holidays!

    See ya real soon,

thumbnail image for Lauren

Meet the Panelist: Lauren, Michigan

Hello friends! I'm Lauren M. from the Mitten State. I'm a mom, scientist, runDisney enthusiast, Disney Vacation Club Member, and self-proclaimed connoisseur of Disney snacks! For my family, it's a mix of both new and nostalgic that keeps us returning to the Walt Disney World Resort year after year. Throughout my life, I've been fortunate enough to experience many milestones and unforgettable moments at Disney Destinations and I can't wait to help you make magical vacation memories of your own! Learn More About Lauren

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