By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

2016 Winter Ride Closures at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

Disney World rides can close for re-dos at any time, but the winter “ride closure season” from early January though mid-February is the most predictable time for Disney World rides to close for rehab and refurbishment.

Splash MountainSplash Mountain is the major attraction that most commonly closes in this period, with closures of a week, a month (most common) and several months.

So far–in great news–it looks like Splash Mountain will only close for a few days in 2016. A couple of other great rides are closed around the same time, however.

Here’s what we currently (think we) know about 2016 Disney World winter ride closures:

Magic Kingdom:

  • Splash Mountain closed January 6 – January 10
  • Liberty Belle Riverboat closed January 18 – 22
  • Space Mountain closed January 11 – 15
  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin closed January 15 – February 11

Animal Kingdom – no known closings

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – no known closings

Epcot  no known closings

I’ll add more winter ride closures as they are announced…

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1 Brian { 09.25.13 at 7:37 am }

Dave, im not surprised at all. We were there from 8/17 – 8/30 and Splash Mountain experienced numerous periodic closures each day! Big Thunder Mountain railroad also had its share of problems as well which is funny because it just went through a long refurbishment.

2 Jennifer M { 09.25.13 at 10:31 am }

Booo! I’m so sad that Splash Mountain will not be open when we go first week of March. Oh well, there is one similar at Islands of Adventure, and a water ride at Animal Kingdom. Too bad my kids won’t get to experience it like I did as a kid. I guess that means we will have to plan another trip. Haha!!

3 Tom { 09.25.13 at 11:25 am }

When we were there last February, Splash Mtn was well under rehab with technicians working on it

4 Chelsea { 09.25.13 at 6:24 pm }

Where does Disney announce their ride rehab closures? I asked a cast member about the Splash Mountain closure last night and he told me that it was only a rumor. TBH, I trust sites like this more than cast members, but I was just wondering where an official announcement will be made. I’m pretty disappointed about the whole thing… Seeing as it was just closed for the same time period this year we were hoping it wouldn’t be for our 2014 trip!

5 Dave { 09.26.13 at 11:08 am }

Hi Chelsea! Before Disney changed their website, I could tell you…but now, I don’t know, so instead of looking around, I rely on sources I respect like, which is where this stuff came from!

6 Mandy W { 09.28.13 at 10:12 am } says that It’s A Small World will be closed for our visit in Dec (2nd through 12th). I’m so bummed! This will be the only time we’re going when our kids are little. I guess we will drag them in there as teenagers. I don’t suppose Disney can be persuaded to change their schedule due to relentless emailing? 🙂

7 Dave { 09.28.13 at 10:42 am }

Mandy, e-mailing won;t help, as any other schedule will cause others to email! You could always go to Disneyland instead 🙂

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8 Roe { 10.08.13 at 9:38 pm }

Hi, We are planning our trip from FebRUary 26-March 5. Any info regarding these dates would be greatly appreciated. thanks

9 Dave { 10.09.13 at 12:53 pm }
10 Jennifer { 10.10.13 at 11:21 am }

Our family is visiting 1/6/14-1/10/14, this will be our first trip, (have 2 teenagers), we will be going to celebrate my birthday. (not particularly looking forward to this birthday its one of thoses with a big Zero at the end, who could be depressed in Disney on their Birthday). I know the Marathon will be going on, but do you know if we will still be able to enjoy our visit, due to the unpredictable weather, marathon, and ride closures?

11 Dave { 10.11.13 at 7:37 am }

Jennifer, it depends a bit on whether you’ll be able to return. Even with the issues you note, January after New Year’s week is the favorite time of many repeat visitors, because you avoid heat and (most days) crowds…

If this may be your only visit, there are much better choices–see

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12 janae jakins { 10.17.13 at 12:36 am }

I talked to a Disney agent and asked about closures. She told me only Peter Pan was scheduled for closure in January. How do I find what is accurate?

13 Dave { 10.17.13 at 10:23 am }

Janae, the “official”: answer is always behind the rumor mill, but it catches up eventually…

14 Pat M { 10.21.13 at 11:24 pm }

Hi We are coming jan 22 and leaving on 26 of January. I was hoping this was going to be a non crowded time to come. We will have one that has never been. Gonna be an adult only whoo hoo. I came one year with my son at the end of january and it was kinda creepy it was so empty BUT definetly fun. Do you think this will be a slow light time? Thank You so much for your input. We are gonna stay at the movies. Is the pop century better?

15 Dave { 10.22.13 at 8:05 am }

Pat I think that will be a wonderful time to visit from the point of view of crowds. See this: I like Pop Century a little better, but Movies is great too. Reviews of both are linked to from here:

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16 pat M { 10.26.13 at 1:45 pm }

quick question- If jan is suppose to be one of the lowest from jan22-26 why are the rates on resort on the high end when it says starting at 90 have stayed from years past as low as 100. Do they just need to update their price ranges. The going rate right now is 133 to 138 just wondering

17 Dave { 10.26.13 at 2:26 pm }

Pat–what resort are you looking at?

18 Shannoon { 11.20.13 at 7:03 pm }

We have been to the parks before. We have one day left on our passes and we’re going to be in Tampa 12/29-1/4. We thought about heading to the parks for 1/3. I know that’s a busy week…wondered since it’s the end of the holiday if the crowds will have died down a bit. Any thoughts?

19 Dave { 11.21.13 at 7:32 am }

Hey Shannon! Crowds will be better then than earlier, but still I fear pretty lousy…

20 Meagan N. { 11.22.13 at 12:15 pm }

Hi Dave, just wanted to confirm that there hasn’t been any other announcements for ride closures in Feb?

21 Dave { 11.24.13 at 9:20 am }

Meagan, there are more–I haven’t updated this in a bit. See this:

22 Kim { 11.26.13 at 10:26 am }

We are planning on visiting Magic Kingdom Feb 6& 7, 2014. Do you know of any ride closures during that time. How are the crowds?

23 Dave { 11.27.13 at 8:08 am }

Kim crowds should be great then. There are ride closures then–e.g. Splash Mountain and some others that I’ll update soon…

24 Kim Blackmon { 03.10.14 at 8:36 pm }

We r taking our 1st trip to disney in 2015 the dates im between end of january or febuary 14 through 26, which wld be better we have 3 girls under age 7 it doesnt seem like that age group rides are closed often but what is your opinion? I would love to go when its not so crowded of coarse. Also i dont see any family suites in any value reaort except animation is that acurate? Any opinion on the animation hotel?

25 Dave { 03.11.14 at 7:51 am }

Kim, your February dates will be horribly crowded, so pick the end of January. Yes your kids will likely miss one or two great rides. There are also Family Suites in All-Star Music. See this for links to reviews of both:

26 Jess { 04.14.14 at 2:12 pm }

Do they normally have a timeframe of when they announce these? We’re going in Jan 2015 with a 4yo and 7yo….

27 Dave { 04.15.14 at 8:48 am }

Anywhere from late fall to days before…

28 Ricki Mansell { 06.10.14 at 1:29 pm }

Hi Dave, am looking to book a 19 night stay away for 2 adults, 1 child (9) at around early May or early June 2015. Really conscious of crowd levels, heat and costs. Can you please advise which month would be best value, also what are the height restrictions for main rides, and is this the case for all the other parks? Kind Regards

29 Dave { 06.11.14 at 9:37 am }
30 Ricki { 06.11.14 at 3:14 pm }

Dave, Many thanks…. your site has been extremely helpful 🙂

31 JG { 08.01.14 at 9:36 am }

Great page! My family of 11 (9 adults, a 6 year old and 1 1/2 year old) are planning to go to Disney the week of January 11. Would you recommend staying in or out of the park for the most cost efficient option? Either way, any good recommendations? Also, how much time do you think is appropriate with the 6 and 1 1/2 year old? Thanks for your time! This site is very helpful! (o:

32 Dave { 08.02.14 at 7:35 am }

Hi JG, it’s almost always cheaper to stay off-site, especially with a larger group. It is much more fun to stay on-site, however. My recommendation on where to stay, how long to stay, what to do, etc. are all linked to from the home page:

33 Tim { 08.11.14 at 10:49 pm }


I’m sick to my stomach. Just read that the Haunted Mansion will be closed from 12/1 – 12/19. We’re following your 9 day itinerary on starting on 11/29. Obviously already done the ADR’s. I know it’s just one ride but it’s a classic and my kids won’t get to enjoy it. Suggestions?

34 Dave { 08.12.14 at 7:58 am }

Tim, there’s so much else to do at MK that while it’s a loss, you won’t even notice it…

35 sharyn { 02.19.15 at 2:06 am }

Hi me and my daughter and planning on going to Orlando in 2016 in Mid February. What is the weather like that time of the year. What are the crowds like in all the theme parks.

Bye from Sharyn

36 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:49 am }

Sharyn, see this: It’s about 2015, so you’ll need to adjust it based on different dates for President’s Day.

37 Smith { 08.27.15 at 2:21 pm }

None of this is legit. I have a friend who is a TA, the official list was updated today and NONE of this was on it. You may want to stop asking CMs and start talking to the travel agents you send clients to for this info as it seems they get weekly legit updates.

38 Katherine Schutte { 08.27.15 at 6:40 pm }

Dave’s information is very legit and it was completely 100% accurate when he posted it. As a travel agent myself, I am very familiar with the fact that Disney changes these schedules often and that is what happened in this case. Dave is indeed in contact with travel agents, myself included as well as many other insiders in the industry. In my professional opinion, he does a great job keeping a huge amount of information organized and current so it can be accessed by all who are planning a trip to Disney.

39 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:49 pm }

Katherine, you rock! Smith, you are right that the latest TA stuff excludes these January closures. But its TA refurb schedule included them just a few weeks ago–see attached, from the Disney TA site a few weeks ago, which I got from a TA friend.


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