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.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



January 2018 at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: JANUARY 2018 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews January 2018 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Early January 2018 will be dominated by holiday crowds and higher prices, but after the 6th, most days will see low crowds and low prices–with upticks around the Martin Luther King Day three day holiday weekend, and possibly during the days before the Pro Bowl on January 28.

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–after the first week it’s usually a great time to visit, with low crowds and low prices.

JANUARY 2018 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Earlier January is one of the most crowded periods at Walt Disney World. Later January–beginning the 6th in 2018–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 Martin Luther King holiday.

The Pro Bowl will be in Orlando for the second year in a row in 2018–on January 28. Earlier that week 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. 2017 saw little or no increase in crowds in the parks from the Pro Bowl, but I am forecasting a bit of an uptick as the word on how fun the fan events at ESPN are gets out a little more than it did in 2017.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 12/30 has a ranking of 8/high- (higher earlier in the week, a little less crowded later); the weeks beginning 1/6, 1/13 and 1/20, a ranking of 4/low+; and the week beginning 1/28 has a ranking of 2/lower.

See this for more on 2018 crowds at Disney World.

JANUARY 2018 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

January hotel prices begin the month at high levels, then shift to better but still rough Marathon pricing. On January 7th, prices at all resorts drop to their lowest levels of the year, with upticks around the MLK weekend.

See this for more on 2018 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.

JANUARY 2018 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Deals are available for January 2018. You can find them here.

JANUARY 2018 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

January Disney World 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.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.

DISNEY WORLD SPECIAL EVENTS IN JANUARY 2018

The Disney World Marathon and other running events will be the weekend of 1/6.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will return, probably beginning in mid-month. It will add to World Showcase crowds in Epcot on the weekends.

The Pro Bowl is 1/28, and fan events will happen at Disney World the days before then.

OTHER NOTES AND COMMENTS ON JANUARY 2018 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 2018 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 2018 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE

The week rankings that follow below are from 2018 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 2018 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

12/30/2017  Moderate to high prices.  High- crowds. Crowd ranking=8. Week ranking=39. Marathon at end of week. Use the Higher Crowd Itinerary but 1. swap First Sunday and Monday, and 2. keep your eye out for earlier openings and additional morning Extra Magic Hours

1/6/2018 Low prices. Low+ crowds–lower midweek. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=53. Ride closures likely. Marathon at beginning of week, MLK weekend at end of week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

1/13/2018 Prices low. Low-plus crowds, higher earlier in the week. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=52. Ride closures likely.  MLK weekend at beginning of week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

1/20/2018 Prices lowest of the year. Low+ crowds–higher later in week, lower earlier in week. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=51. Ride closures likely. Pro Bowl at end of week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

1/27/2018  Lowest prices. Lower crowds. Crowd ranking=2. Week ranking=50. Ride closures likely. Pro Bowl at beginning of week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

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6 comments

1 Dack { 07.25.17 at 6:10 pm }

Thanks Dave, as always your research is amazing. We are heading to WDW Jan 30- Feb 4. What is the typical crowd levels as we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday?

Thanks,

Dack

2 Dave { 07.26.17 at 8:02 am }

Hi Dack, the Super Bowl has little impact other than a reduction in the number of locals in the parks while it is on.

3 Lindsay Blain { 07.26.17 at 5:53 pm }

We heard that the ticketed event “After Hours” at Magic Kingdom was awesome so we were wondering if you have heard if they are bringing it back in 2018 or not?

4 Scott { 07.26.17 at 6:38 pm }

Any word on what rides will be closed Jan 10 to Jan 16?

5 Dave { 07.27.17 at 11:53 am }

Lindsay, I agree it’s awesome–see this for my visit to it earlier this year. I have not heard anything about its return…

6 Dave { 07.27.17 at 11:54 am }

Scott, it’s too early to say. Check this every now and then, especially in November and December: https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/closures (but ignore the re-open dates of Jan 1 2018–that’s a typo of some sort.

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