Are you planning a trip to Disney World in January 2025? You’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide is filled with key information to make your vacation a success. From important dates and weather forecasts to crowd predictions and booking tips, we’ve got it all covered. We’ve even included personal anecdotes for extra insight. Using this information, you can plan your magical Disney World vacation this coming January with ease.

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The January Advantage: Disney World 2025

Before we dive into specifics like crowd sizes, costs, and weather, let’s highlight the primary benefit of visiting Disney World in January 2025.

One of January’s biggest advantages is that it’s budget-friendly. It ranks as one of the most economical times to visit Disney World. The absolute lowest hotel rates are usually found in January (and early February), which sets the stage for budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, park tickets are often cheaper in January. So, if budget is a concern, January stands as an ideal time to enjoy the enchantment of Disney World without financial strain.

Beyond the cost benefits, January holds other perks for your Disney World journey. The weather is typically cool and comfortable, providing a pleasant environment for park exploration. Furthermore, January witnesses unique events such as the Walt Disney World Marathon, offering an additional layer of excitement to your visit.

Key Dates for Disney World in January 2025

Tasty, artsy dishes are a hallmark of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

Tasty, artsy dishes are a hallmark of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

There are several important dates to keep in mind as you plan your Disney World visit in January 2025. The most noteworthy are:

  • December 27, 2024 – January 2, 2025: This period covers the New Year’s holiday and the weekend before, which is usually characterized by festive crowd levels that extend from Disney World’s Christmas season. Holiday celebrations usually wind down before the weekend.
  • January 8 – 12, 2025: During this period, the Walt Disney World Marathon takes place. As a non-runner, visiting during the marathon weekend has its advantages and disadvantages (as we explain below).
  • January 10 or 17, 2025 (Estimate): The Epcot International Festival of the Arts typically begins on a Friday around the middle of January and runs through late February (2024’s festival dates were January 12 – February 19, 2024). The event offers guests a chance to immerse themselves in the world of visual, culinary, and performing arts.
  • January 17 – 21, 2025: In 2025, Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Monday, January 20. Those who don’t like crowds should avoid this long weekend due to the high number of guests before and after the holiday.

These dates can help you plan your Disney World visit in January 2025. As a general rule, higher prices, long lines, and other fluctuations are expected during these periods.

Disney World Key Events in January 2025

Disney World greets January with the lively remnants of the holiday season and the reverberating energy of New Year’s celebrations. Once the New Year’s Day crowd dissipates, the park enters a new phase of excitement.

Scheduled from January 8 to January 12, 2025, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is a significant event that ushers in operational changes across the resort. It is interesting to note that despite its large scale, this event (and time of year) tends to reduce general crowd levels, making the park more relaxed.

runDisney Woody Runner

photo credit: chuckwaters83 under CC BY-SA 2.0

Decorations also add to the festive atmosphere during this month. Magic Kingdom typically keeps its Christmas décor until the Marathon weekend concludes. However, other parks might start dismantling their festive trimmings slightly earlier.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts begins in mid-January, bringing a splash of creativity to Epcot. This festival, a relatively new addition to Disney’s roster of events, provides a wide range of artistic activities that transform the park into an enchanting canvas of creativity.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, falling in the latter half of January, traditionally ushers in increased crowds from the preceding Friday through to Tuesday, primarily over the weekend. These crowds can be quite significant, making it advisable to avoid this weekend if possible.

Lastly, the ESPN Wide World of Sports usually hosts a few events over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. These activities tend to boost visitor numbers at Disney Value Resorts, particularly All-Star Sports.

Important Considerations for Disney World in January 2025

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when planning your Disney World trip in January 2025.

First and foremost, if your budget is tight, you’re in luck. Disney World hotels are often at their lowest prices during the month of January, with lower theme park ticket prices, too. Therefore, a trip to Disney World in January 2025 can also be a great financial move. Price drops usually last until early February before rising around President’s Day.

Secondly, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be operational by January 2025. This exciting new attraction replaces Magic Kingdom’s iconic Splash Mountain, opening in Summer 2024. Even allowing for any potential construction delays, it should be completely up and running by January 2025.

Plan your Disney World Visit in January

January is a popular month for Disney World visitors because of its vibrant and varied event calendar, good weather, and favorable pricing. Considering the potential fluctuations in crowds and costs, careful planning is paramount to ensure a magical experience.

If you’re planning a Disney World trip in January, partnering with a Disney travel agent can help make your trip seamless and stress-free. Our top recommendation is The Vacationeer, a highly regarded Diamond-Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Agency. Their team is renowned for its exceptional expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction, skillfully tailoring Disney vacations to meet your unique requirements.

From answering your inquiries to providing advice, putting together your itinerary, and booking park tickets, accommodations, and dining reservations, The Vacationeer team handles it all. They even arrange stroller rentals for those visiting Disney World with toddlers and coordinate transportation to and from the airport, streamlining your planning process. Their in-depth knowledge and expertise simplify your Disney World planning, allowing you to take full advantage of the parks during January.

What’s even better is that their professional services come at no extra cost to you. Partnering with The Vacationeer means you’re getting professional advice and assistance for free!

Reach out to The Vacationeer for an instant, no-obligation vacation quote today. Their dedicated team is ready to help you create an unforgettable Disney World adventure.

Disney World Weather in January: What to Expect

Disney World sees the chill of winter in January, with average highs around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) and average lows around 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius). Despite this being Florida’s cold season, it’s considerably mild compared to the winter weather in many other parts of the world.

Graph showing the average high and low temperature for each month of the year at the Kissimmee monitoring station near Walt Disney World (Source: National Weather Service)

Chilly Weather: Interestingly, the cold in Florida feels different, possibly due to the general warmth during the day, the humidity, or the amount of time spent stationary while waiting in lines or watching shows. Therefore, even if the forecast only indicates “cool” temperatures, it’s a good idea to pack some extra layers to guard against the chill.

Heat Considerations: Given that the intense Florida heat typically seen in the summer months is rarely a concern in January, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor attractions at Disney World. Be sure to pack clothing that will keep you comfortable in warmer, milder weather.

Rainfall: Rain isn’t much of a concern in January. This month typically sees about five or six days of rainfall, quite less when compared to the rest of the year outside the summer months. Furthermore, the hurricane season concludes before January, contributing to the generally drier Disney World weather.

Graph showing Disney World's average rainfall for each month according to the National Weather Service's Kissimmee monitoring station

In spite of the drier conditions in January, there is the possibility of short spurts of rain or a downpour from time to time. You should not plan your Disney World vacation around rain forecasts. Instead, include appropriate footwear and a poncho in case of rain on your Disney World packing list. Even in less rainy months, sudden showers can occur. Check out our Disney Attractions to Escape the Rain page for ideas on what you can do when it rains.

January’s weather at Disney World makes it a pleasant time to visit, as long as you’re prepared for a potential cold snap or unexpected rainfall. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Will Disney World be Crowded in January?

Historically, January was seen as a quieter month at Disney World, but recent trends show a change in this pattern. Now, January often attracts moderate to heavy crowds. While this shouldn’t dissuade visits, visitors should expect more crowds than in years past. A little more patience and strategic planning will ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit.

The residual excitement from the holiday season keeps the park bustling through the first weekend of January. Surprisingly, the Walt Disney World Marathon typically causes a dip in park attendance. This anomaly might be attributed to locals preferring to avoid the rerouted traffic connected to the marathon.

Visitor numbers begin to spike again near the end of January, coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Avoiding this holiday and other similar peak periods will ensure a more relaxing and enjoyable visit.

To sum it up, by strategically bypassing the New Year’s Day and MLK Jr. Day crowds, you can expect a crowd size that is slightly above average but still manageable. Additionally, the crowd size during the marathon weekend may be smaller, despite other challenges presented during this period.

However, these trends aren’t set in stone. They can fluctuate from year to year and even day to day. Maintaining flexible expectations is equally important as knowing the expected crowd size. For more detailed information, consult our Disney World crowd calendar and check out our guide, “How to avoid lines at Disney World” for practical tips.

Prices at Disney World in January

January, with its blend of annual inflation, Disney’s pricing strategy, and the lack of extended school holidays, often presents a more economical option than December and February. It stands, alongside late summer and early fall, as one of the cheapest times to visit Disney World.

Ticket Prices

January 2025 Disney World ticket prices are generally the second-lowest prices of the year, behind weekdays in August/September.

Graph showing ticket prices and seasonality for Walt Disney World in 2025

2025 Disney World Ticket Prices

During January, prices typically drop gradually following high-traffic events like New Year’s Eve, Marathon Weekend, and MLK Jr. Day.

Graph showing January 2025 Disney World Ticket Prices

January 2025 Disney World Ticket Prices

The cheapest dates for theme park tickets during January 2025 are January 6-8 and 13, all of which started at $139. The most expensive date in this month is January 1 ($164). Another ten days of the month are priced at $159, and about 2/3rds of the month is priced at $149 or higher. Keep in mind that these are starting prices for an adult (ages 10+); prices will increase based on which park you visit (Magic Kingdom is usually the most expensive) and whether you add on options such as park hopping.

Hotel Prices

Disney World resort hotels significantly influence vacation costs, with options from budget-friendly Disney Value Resorts to mid-range Disney Moderate Resorts and luxurious Disney Deluxe Resorts, all offering unique experiences at varying prices.

Whether you’re dreaming of an ultimate luxury Disney World vacation at a 5-star hotel or a budget-friendly stay at the cheapest hotel at Disney World, your choice will greatly impact your overall expenses.

Here’s an example of the starting price for hotel rates in January 2025 at Disney’s All Star Sports resort, a value resort.

2025 Hotel Rate Graph - January

2025 Starting Hotel Prices for January

Many weekdays start at $117 and most weekends start around $170-$178. January 1, being a holiday, is a significant outlier from the remainder of the month at $230. Despite this, January remains the cheapest month to stay at a Disney World Hotel in 2025.

Graph showing starting prices for hotel rooms at Disney World in 2025

2025 Hotel starting prices

Of course, this is only starting pricing at a Disney Value Resort. Prices will increase dramatically for higher-tiered hotels and rooms, and the rates themselves can increase based on demand.

For a comprehensive understanding of cost variations throughout the year, consider our Disney World Cost Calculator page. It provides an invaluable forecast whether you’re planning a modest trip or a lavish vacation.

Overall, the average cost for a family of four for a week-long Disney World stay in 2024 was approximately $6,559. This includes a stay at a Disney Value Resort, six-day standard theme park tickets, Genie+ service, and quick-service meals. January offers some bargains off of this year-round average price, especially with lower hotel prices in the mix. While January 2025 hotel prices are generally comparable to 2024, increases elsewhere (tickets, dining plan, etc.) meant that an overall slight cost increase for a 2025 vacation is a reasonable assumption.

Nevertheless, January remains an attractive choice for budget-conscious visitors seeking an affordable yet memorable Disney World experience due to its blend of cost-effectiveness, mild weather, and manageable crowd sizes.

Find the Exact Cost of Your Dream Disney World Vacation

Ride Maintenance and Refurbishments (Closures) and New Ride Openings

In January, Disney World commences its winter refurbishment season. There are usually several minor closures and refurbishments during this period. Here are some notable closures and refurbishments, along with new rides which may be available during your trip.

Theme Parks and Attractions

  • Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom): Typically closes for a few days in early January to remove the Jingle Cruise holiday overlay installed between late October and early November.
  • Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom): Usually closes for an extended maintenance period starting in early- or mid-January and reopens in March or April.
  • Test Track (EPCOT): Closed starting June 17, 2024 for a major refresh. Opening date not yet announced, but a similar refresh in 2012 took almost 8 months; if this refurbishment follows the same pattern, it would reopen around January/February 2025.
  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (Magic Kingdom): Should be open by Summer 2024, well in advance of January 2025 vacations.
  • The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure (Hollywood Studios): This new stage show, replacing Voyage of the Little Mermaid (which never reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic), is expected to debut in fall 2024 and should be available to view during your January 2025 vacation.

Resort Hotels and Amenities

  • Disney’s All Star Movies Resort – Fantasia Pool: Closed from January 2025 through April 2025.
  • Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool: Closed from January 2025 through June 2025.
  • Other Resort Hotel Pools: Extended refurbishments are possible during the colder months.

Transportation, Water Parks, Golf Courses, and More

  • Disney Skyliner (aerial gondola transportation system): Typically closes for a few days each January to allow for routine maintenance. Bus service is provided during the closure.
  • Disney Water Parks: Only one of the two parks (Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon) typically operates at a time, with the other being closed. See Water Parks section below for further info.

All schedules are subject to change. To ensure you have the most accurate and current information on refurbished attractions and new constructions, it’s recommended to reach out to The Vacationeer before making any bookings. They’ll provide all the necessary details to help you plan your visit without disruptions.

Disney World Water Parks in January 2025: What to Expect

The Disney World water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach can be unpredictable in January due to seasonal operations and weather conditions. Here’s what to anticipate for 2025 based on recent trends:

  • Water Park Schedules: For several years now, Disney World has operated one water park at a time. Typically, Typhoon Lagoon has operated during the warmer months, with Blizzard Beach operating in the colder months. The park not in operation undergoes a long-term off-season refurbishment while the other water park is open. Here’s a recent operating schedule history:
    • November 13, 2022: Blizzard Beach opens and Typhoon Lagoon closes.
    • March 19, 2023: Typhoon Lagoon opens and Blizzard Beach closes.
    • November 6, 2023: Blizzard Beach opens and Typhoon Lagoon closes.
    • March 17, 2024: Typhoon Lagoon opens and Blizzard Beach closes.
  • Seasonal Themes: Following the success of the holiday makeover of Blizzard Beach in 2022, we anticipate this festive theme will continue for the coming years.
  • Projected Operating Months: It seems probable that each water park will alternate opening in multi-month intervals moving forward. Typhoon Lagoon would likely operate from spring through fall, while Blizzard Beach would run from fall through spring.
  • January 2025 Forecast: Considering these patterns, our expectation is that Blizzard Beach will be the only operational water park in January 2025.

However, this is just speculation based on previous patterns. Regardless of your specific travel dates in January 2025, you should expect at least one water park to be open. Keep in mind, though, that cold weather often causes closures during this month. It’s wise to not count heavily on a water park visit for your January trip. Consider exploring other attractions at Disney World as a backup plan in case of closures.

How to Prepare for Walt Disney World Marathon 2025

The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend (January 8 – 12, 2025) features an expo and a series of races, from a 5K on Thursday to a full marathon on Sunday. This period is unlike any other for participants and spectators alike, filled with unique experiences and camaraderie.

Crowd levels typically dip during this time. Despite the substantial number of participants, many are locals or runners too exhausted to fully utilize the parks, making it less crowded than expected. Moreover, local non-participants often steer clear due to the rerouted traffic, contributing to the reduced crowd levels.

Motor traffic adjustments are implemented for runner safety, potentially causing some delays for non-participants. For instance, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, travelers may face delays. Therefore, it’s crucial to plan your commute accordingly during these times.

The races on Thursday and Friday barely impact park visits, usually ending before parks open. The half marathon on Saturday could affect Epcot guests. However, on Sunday, the marathon might have a more significant impact on Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom.

Though the marathon can cause some inconvenience, the trade-off for lower crowds could be worthwhile. So, whether you’re a participant or visitor during this period, embracing the event’s spirit can lead to a memorable Disney experience.

Comparing Disney World in January (2025) to Neighboring Months

Wondering about the best month to visit Disney World? While January offers some unique advantages, it may not be the perfect month for every visitor. It’s essential to compare it with its neighboring months, December and February, to determine if January truly aligns with your preferences.

  • December or January?: While the weather patterns are similar, December and January offer significantly different experiences. By January, holiday celebrations usually wind down, and while some decorations may linger, they are not as important as they are in December. Historically, crowd sizes decrease in January compared to December, particularly outside of Christmas week. But this trend is changing. If you can visit in early December, the holiday season experience can be magical.
  • January or February?: In terms of Disney World experiences, January and February aren’t significantly different. However, late February sees increased crowds and prices, so it’s best to stay away from it. It all comes down to your personal schedule and how well you can avoid major events such as New Year’s, the Marathon, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Presidents’ Day.

Visiting Disney World in January (2025) might be an appealing choice for some, especially if you can avoid the New Year and MLK Jr. Day crowds. Although it offers cooler temperatures, manageable crowds, and lower prices, January has a few downsides as well, such as water ride redevelopments, cold spells, and a busy schedule. Contact The Vacationeer to discuss your options.

Is January the Best Month to Visit Disney World?

Determining the best time to visit Disney World largely depends on personal preferences, as each month offers its own unique perks and challenges. Here are a few factors to consider for a January visit:

  • Crowds: Post-New Year’s week offers a more relaxed park experience with fewer crowds. However, certain dates, such as New Year’s Day and MLK Jr. Day, can still draw large crowds.
  • Cost: Disney vacations in January offer some of the lowest hotel and ticket prices of the year.
  • Weather: January typically provides cool weather, offering a break from Florida’s intense heat. However, cold spells can occur, requiring extra layers for comfort.
  • Attractions: On the downside, certain water rides and resort pools may undergo refurbishments in January. For that matter, the lower crowds make it an attractive month for Disney to schedule any attraction refurbishment during the lull between the winter holidays and spring break.

Considering these aspects is crucial in making your decision. For example, do you favor the hotter yet less crowded conditions of August or September, even though these months fall during hurricane season?

On the other hand, perhaps the cooler but slightly busier month of January seems more attractive to you.

If you have constraints such as summer holidays, festive seasons, or school break weeks, then the decision-making dynamics change completely. Each of these periods brings unique experiences, from the holiday season’s festive ambiance to summer vacation’s lively atmosphere.

Answering these questions can help clarify whether January is truly the perfect month for your Disney World trip.

Personal Experiences: Disney World in January

Jaimie, my wife, and I visited Disney World in January 2021. Despite operating within COVID restrictions, we found that the magic was still very much alive. With fewer crowds than usual and the pleasant weather of the season, we had an intimate and unforgettable Disney experience. We savored each attraction, taking in the unique ambiance of Disney World in January.

The highlight of our trip? Witnessing the magic of Cinderella’s castle illuminated against the cool January night sky. This moment stood out in our memory, a testament to the Disney magic that thrives even in challenging times.

One of our friends, Taylor, had a similar amazing experience at Disney World in January 2023. She said, “Visiting Disney World in January was an amazing experience. The weather was perfect, and while there were still plenty of people around, it felt less crowded than our previous trips. We had the opportunity to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for the first time, and we had a blast! The Disney magic was even stronger on this trip.”

These shared experiences emphasize the charm of Disney World in January, a time when the magic seems even more profound against the cool winter backdrop. Both Jaimie and I, along with Taylor, highly recommend the month of January for your Disney World trip!

Final Thoughts

January at Disney World is an excellent time to experience the magic of the park in a cooler climate, with manageable crowds and an abundance of entertainment. This month is particularly appealing for those who prefer to avoid Florida’s intense heat in other months. Plus, it’s often the cheapest month of the year to visit Disney World, making it a prime choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Even though some attractions might be undergoing maintenance, there’s no shortage of fun-filled experiences waiting for you throughout the park.

Crafting a plan for your Disney World trip in January 2025 can lead to unforgettable memories. Sure, you’ll need to navigate around a few refurbishments and keep an eye on the event calendar. But the inviting atmosphere, cost-saving opportunities, and moderate crowd levels together create a truly compelling experience.

Consider timing your visit to coincide with the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. This strategy could reward you with less crowded parks and the thrill of the marathon itself. Alternatively, align your visit with Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts in mid-January for a unique cultural immersion.

In a nutshell, January at Disney World offers a perfect blend of budget-friendly travel, a calm atmosphere, and dynamic events. With thoughtful planning, flexible itineraries, and the expertise of a Disney travel agent like The Vacationeer, your January 2025 Disney World trip could be a magical, affordable adventure brimming with lasting memories.

Planning Your January Disney World Trip with The Vacationeer

Planning a Disney World vacation for January 2025 may feel a bit complex, with so many details to consider. This is where The Vacationeer, a premier Disney Travel Agency, steps in. Their dedicated vacation planners make the planning process effortless by offering expert advice, meticulous planning, and efficient booking services, all while securing you the lowest prices and best Disney World discounts.

From answering your queries to booking your accommodations, dining reservations, and park tickets, they’ve got you covered. What sets them apart is that you’ll be assigned one dedicated vacation planner who will be with you from start to finish. This eliminates the hassle of speaking with different customer service representatives each time you call. Instead, you’ll have one person who understands your unique vacation goals and works consistently to make them a reality.

Best of all, their premium services are completely free! So, why wait? Reach out to The Vacationeer now for an instant, no-obligation quote, and get started on your January 2025 Disney World adventure.

Our month-by-month Disney World guides are useful resources for planning your vacation. They’re designed to provide you with detailed information on events, pricing trends, crowd sizes, weather, and new attractions for each month.

Discover the best month for your Disney vacation with our comprehensive guides to the other months of the year:

Whether you’re a Disney first-timer or a seasoned enthusiast, our guides will help you plan a Disney vacation that’s tailored to your specific needs and preferences.