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January Disney World Crowds

So what are January Disney World Crowds like?


They are kind of like the New Years Day Fireworks…


Wow, what a show!


January Crowds at Walt Disney World go from the biggest of the year to some of the smallest and everything in between.


So, let’s dive in and look at what happens when the calendar turns over.

January Disney World Crowds Information

Here’s the scoop on the crowds at Walt Disney World in January from Dad’s pretty cool crowd calendar.

Dad’s Crowd Calendar Disclaimer

This calendar is based on historical facts, as I know them today. The Walt Disney World Resort is an ever-changing environment and you might find things significantly different from what Dad predicts.


(There, Mr. Dad’s lawyer, are you happy?)


January is typically a nice time to visit with no crazy crowds after that first week or so.

How to avoid January crowds

It’s pretty easy to avoid most of the January Disney World Crowds. Mainly because for most of the month they aren’t terrible.


If you avoid the first week of the month and Martin Luther King Weekend you’ll basically avoid all the big crowds for the month. It’s that simple.


But just in case you run in to some, or you have to go during the busier dates, don’t worry. Dad has some really good tips for how to deal with crowds at WDW.

Dad’s tips to avoid crowds page

New Years Day

New Years Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

The New Year starts off with a bang – Photo by Laurie Sapp

New Years day is one of the top 5 busiest day of the year at Walt Disney World. Lines will be long, parks will be full with all the left over revelers from New Years Eve.


Dad and Mrs. Mom and the kids took a Disney World vacation in January 2008. We arrived on January 1st and it was chaos, but after that the crowds just disappeared. It was fun to watch.

January Events

The Walt Disney World Marathon. It has a certain ring to it. Imagine, spending a nice, cool Sunday morning running through the parks at WDW. You’re right. How silly. Just kidding.


Every year, the first or second weekend in January, thousands of people go to Walt Disney World and run in the weekend long marathon festivities. It’s one of the biggest events runDisney puts on every year.


So how does that affect the January Disney World Crowds, Dad? Not as much as you’d think. runDisney chooses slow times of the year for their events. Yes, there are several thousand people that show up during Marathon time, but the crowds are so low that it really doesn’t matter all that much.


In fact, Dad was in EPCOT for the Marathon and it was totally empty. There were a few people lining the route and cheering the runners, but the park, the attractions and the restaurants were all pretty much empty.


Typically, Crowds on Marathon Weekend will be light to moderate all weekend.

Dad’s Disney World Marathon page

The other big thing happening in January is the return of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts – which made its debut in 2017. The festival highlights visual, performing and culinary art.


This month long celebration of art starts mid-January and runs through February. There is a lot to see, enjoy and eat.

The Best Time to Visit Disney World?

When is the best time to visit WDW? That depends on you. Dad’s standard answer is anytime you can, but it really depends on when you are available. Dad does have some suggestions.

Dad’s Best Time to visit Walt Disney World page

For some of you, January may be, the best time. January is certainly one of the least expensive times to visit. The weather can be a bit iffy, but crowds are pretty small for most of the month.

Dad’s Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars


Dad’s 2020 WDW Crowd Calendars


Dad's 2020 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

Dad’s Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars

Get some help

Everyone needs some help when it comes to planning a vacation to Walt Disney World. One of the resources I use for every trip is They are the experts in dealing with Disney World Crowds in January or any other month. Check them out today.

Dad’s page

Dad’s Bottom Line

Most of January is a sleepyish time to visit Disney World (sleepy is good), that is unless you’re a runner (they have to get up very early) and are running in the Marathon.


January Disney World Crowds are light after the first week and temperatures are comfortable (usually). It’s also a time when Disney does a lot of maintenance so some rides may be closed.


Dad's Disney World home page



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