Family running through Cinderella Castle
  • On Apr 5, 2022
    Robin from MI Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We would like to visit in January, 2023 as January has traditionally been a lower crowd time. Post pandemic, that may not hold true. Is there any way to see what bookings and/or reservations look like numbers wise?

    Hiya, Robin!

    Welcome back to planDisney, friend. Planning a trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth is never complete without considering just how busy the parks may be. So, this is a great question! And you are correct. Traditionally, January is not as crowded as Christmas or spring vacation and offers mild temperatures. That sounds pretty magical to me! 

    But as any planner knows all too well, things change! Lately, it seems that there is no slow season at Walt Disney World. I think we all missed our Happy Place so much over the past two years, and we just can't wait to get back to the magic! I too have been surprised at some recent wait times, but the crowds never bothered me anyway. A busy day at Walt Disney World Resort can still be an amazing day, with a little planning and a snack or two. It's hard to have a bad day with a DOLE Whip in hand! There is not an official way to check what crowds and resort reservations are going to be day by day. But I do have a few helpful suggestions. The first is to check resort availability. If you are looking at making a Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation and find limited availability, chances are the resort may have a higher volume of Guests. As for theme park crowds, the best resource for what crowds may look like is the Disney Park Pass reservation availability calendar. If there are no reservation passes available, it may be a busier day in the parks. 

    Speaking of Disney Park Pass reservations, I recommend making your reservations as soon as your know your travel dates and purchase your tickets. Some dates can fill up before you know it. I would hate for you to miss visiting your favorite park if reservations become unavailable. 

    So what to do if you arrive and you find you are heading off to the parks with more people than expected? My pro tip is to rope drop and close down the park, with a long break in between. Early morning crowds may initially seem high, but once you enter the park you will be surprised at how quickly everyone spreads out. Each Guest has their own list of must-do experiences and you can do so many in the first few hours of the day. Be sure to arrive 15-20 minutes before the park's opening, so that you can get through security and ticket lines before that rope drop. You will notice a distinct increase in crowd levels as the afternoon comes along, and that's when I suggest taking that break. You can head back to your resort for some pool time, or over to a neighboring Disney Resort hotel for a long lunch at one of the amazing restaurants nearby. You can head back to the parks in time for afternoon parades or wait until after dinner. You will still make the evening firework display! Be sure to hop in one last line before leaving. Many Guests head off to the various Disney transportation options right after the show. Instead of using this time to wait in line for a bus or monorail, wait for your favorite attraction. There will be fewer people waiting for a trip back to their resort when you exit.

    I hope that your upcoming adventure is memorable and magical!
    We'll see ya real soon!
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Meet the Panelist: Tammy, Illinois

Hey Everyone! I'm Tammy. My Ohana and I live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I am a preschool teacher and I also coordinate events for youth and families. I have been visiting Walt Disney World Resort since I was a teenager. I'm always looking for a new adventure to explore or an amazing snack to try. I love to share my tips and experiences because I want to help make all trips as memorable and magic as my travels have been.  Learn More About Tammy

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