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January at Disney World can best be characterized as mild temps, relatively light crowds and sometimes several refurbishments.

Except for the first days of the month, Marathon Weekend, and MLK weekend, January is mostly low crowds and low prices. However, going during a time when there's less people visiting comes with a negative side: Disney likes to take that opportunity to do several refurbishments so people traveling in January will often miss out on some attractions.

Most people visiting Disney World can pack summer clothes since it's usually hot, but it can be quite cool in January. I suggest paying close attention to the forecast before your trip and planning to wear layers. Start the day with a jacket and/or long sleeves and then remove layers as the temperatures warm up. Some people do swim in January, but not too many

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Explanation of park recommendations and abbreviations below
In general, I recommend avoiding parks with Extra Magic Hours because they tend to be the busiest parks that day. Animal Kingdom is an exception because it's usually not too bad, even on EMH days.

Magic Kingdom usually sees a surge on Saturdays, so other parks are usually a better choice.

MK = Magic Kingdom, EP = Epcot, HS = Hollywood Studios, AK = Animal Kingdom,
TL = Typhoon Lagoon, BB = Blizzard Beach, EMH = Extra Magic Hour
 

What the dates in each day of the calendar mean
(click the + sign beside each date to add it to your calendar):
When guests can start making Advanced Dining Reservations
When onsite guests can start making FastPass+ reservations
When offsite guests can start making FastPass+ reservations
Park colors:
Suggested park
Moderately suggested park
Park not suggested

Trip planning checklist

June or earlier: book your hotel, make your daily plans and choose dining options

July or early August: 180 days before your trip begins, make dining reservations (website is available at 6 a.m. eastern, phone lines are open at 7 a.m. Eastern). Use the dates on the calendar to show you when to do that.

September - November: book flights (tips on finding best flights)

November or early December: if you're staying onsite, you can start making FastPass+ reservations 60 days before your trip begins. Use dates on the calendar to see when you can start making FP+ reservations online beginning at 7 a.m. eastern time. You can also check in online for your resort room if you'd like.

December or earlier: set up Magical Express, purchase Memory Maker and order groceries

January: pack (packing list to help you) and go to Disney World!

February: finalize PhotoPass pics and order within 45 days after your trip

  Related articles

  Recent Updates

12/07/2016 - Pop Century - Hippy Dippy Pool refurb added

11/21/2016 - January park hours updated

10/25/2016 - Kali refurb added

10/04/2016 - Hall of Presidents, Liberty Square Riverboat and WDW Railroad refurbishments added

09/20/2016 - Old Key West Sandcastle Pool refurb added

09/18/2016 - Park hours updated

08/29/2016 - Yacht Club room refurbishment added

08/18/2016 - January park hours updated

06/17/2016 - January park hours released

  Refurbishment Details

April 1, 2015 - January 2, 2017 - Planet Holyywood refurb, (Dining)

April 1, 2015 - January 2, 2017 - Planet Hollywood refurb, (Dining)

October 26, 2015 - December 31, 2017 - Wilderness Lodge Construction, Hidden Springs leisure pool, resort beach, playground, fire pit, nature trail, boat and bike rentals, and spa treatments will be unavailable. The main feature pool will remain open. (Resort)

October 26, 2015 - December 31, 2017 - Wilderness Lodge Villa Construction, Hidden Springs leisure pool, resort beach, playground, fire pit, nature trail, boat and bike rentals, and spa treatments will be unavailable. The main feature pool will remain open. (Resort)

January 3, 2016 - December 31, 2017 - Cub\'s Den refurbishment, Re-opening date unknown at this time. Guests are invited to use Lilo’s Playhouse (Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort), the Sandcastle Club (Disney’s Beach Club Resort), or Simba’s Cubhouse (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) during the refurbishment. (Resort)

July 18, 2016 - April 30, 2017 - Polite Pig - Opening Spring 2017, (Dining)

July 18, 2016 - April 30, 2017 - Polite Pig - Opening Spring 2017, (Dining)

October 29, 2016 - June 23, 2017 - Yacht Club room refurbishments, (Resort)

November 1, 2016 - September 6, 2017 - Hocus Pocus castle show - Only available in the Fall during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (separate ticket required). Not available, (Attraction)

November 1, 2016 - September 6, 2017 - Boo-to-You Parade - Only available in the Fall during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (separate ticket required). Not available, (Attraction)

November 1, 2016 - September 6, 2017 - HalloWishes - Only available in the Fall during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (separate ticket required). Not available, (Attraction)

December 31, 2016 - December 31, 2017 - Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! (seasonal show), (Attraction)

January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Santa Claus and Goofy Santa (seasonal), (Attraction)

January 1, 2017 - February 28, 2017 - Old Key West - Sandcastle Pool refurbishment, (Resort)

January 3, 2017 - January 12, 2017 - Liberty Square Riverboat refurbishment, (Attraction)

January 3, 2017 - January 29, 2017 - Kali refurb, (Attraction)

January 3, 2017 - February 17, 2017 - Stitch closed (open seasonally), (Attraction)

January 9, 2017 - February 16, 2017 - WDW Railroad refurb, (Attraction)

January 9, 2017 - February 16, 2017 - WDW Railroad refurb, (Attraction)

January 9, 2017 - November 1, 2017 - Holiday Wishes fireworks - Only available during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party until the last party, then it is available daily. Not available, (Attraction)

January 9, 2017 - November 1, 2017 - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - Only available during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party until the last party, then it is available daily. Not available, (Attraction)

January 9, 2017 - November 2, 2017 - Frozen Holiday Wish - Only available during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party until the last party, then it is available daily. Not available, (Attraction)

January 9, 2017 - February 16, 2017 - WDW Railroad refurb, (Attraction)

January 13, 2017 - January 20, 2017 - Pop Century - Hippy Dippy Pool refurbishment, (Resort)

January 17, 2017 - June 29, 2017 - Hall of Presidents refurb, (Attraction)

  Available Discounts

January 1, 2017 - March 7, 2017 - Stay, Play, and Dine - Get details

See the chart of past discounts for previous promotion dates.

  Special Events

January 4, 2017 - January 8, 2017 - WDW Marathon Weekend

  Crowds

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