January 2017 at Walt Disney World
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: JANUARY 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD
Early January 2017 will be dominated by holiday crowds and prices, but after the 6th, most days will see low crowds and low prices–with upticks around the Marathon (weekend of the 9th), the Martin Luther King Day three day holiday weekend, and possibly during the days before the Pro Bowl on January 29.
January is not recommended for first-time visitors who may never return, because of ride closures. For returning visitors–and first timers who know they can return–it’s usually a great time to visit, but the Pro Bowl does add some uncertainty to 2017.
JANUARY 2017 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Earlier January is one of the most crowded periods at Walt Disney World. Later January–beginning the 7th in 2017–is much less crowded, and the end of the month has among the lowest crowds of the year.
Crowds tick up the weekends of the 9th (Marathon) and 16th (Martin Luther King holiday.)
The Pro Bowl will be in Orlando for the first time in 2017–on January 29. Disney World will be hosting a number of events related to it, mostly at ESPN Wide World of Sports, but also at the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs. I’ve forecast an increase in crowds the during the week that ends with the Pro Bowl, but we won’t really know what kind of draw it is to the parks until it happens.
On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 12/31 has a ranking of 8/high- (higher earlier in the week, a little less crowded later); the week beginning 1/7, a ranking of 3/low; 1/14 4/low-plus; 1/21 4/low+; and 1/28 has a ranking of 2/lower.
JANUARY 2017 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
January hotel prices begin the month at high levels, but on January 2nd, prices at all resorts drop to their lowest levels of the year, with upticks around the marathon and MLK weekends.
See this for more on 2017 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.
JANUARY 2017 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Deals are available for January 2017. Find them here.
JANUARY 2017 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
January weather is cooler and variable. Cold, rainy days—not uncommon—are great for first time visitors, as they reduce the crowds in the parks and make the rides easier to see with low waits. Returning visitors looking for good days to lounge around the pool should not count on many.
Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.
DISNEY WORLD SPECIAL EVENTS IN JANUARY 2017
The Disney World Marathon and other running events will be the weekend of 1/7.
The Pro Bowl is 1/29, and fan events will happen at Disney World the days before then.
OTHER NOTES AND COMMENTS ON JANUARY 2017 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
January and, to a lesser extent, February are the most common periods for rides to be closed for refurbishment.
This makes these months less good for first time visitors who do not know if they will return—why go when the chances of missing something great are high?
JANUARY 2017 OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.
The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.
These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:
WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR JANUARY 2017 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE
The week rankings that follow below are from 2017 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.
Click the image for a calendar view of 2017 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)
1/21/2017 Prices lower. Low+ crowds–higher later in week, lower earlier in week. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=49. Ride closures likely. Pro Bowl at end of week. Use the FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary