WHAT IS JANUARY LIKE AT DISNEY WORLD?
Early January 2020 at Disney World will be dominated by holiday crowds and higher prices, but after the 5th, most days will see lower crowds and lower prices–with upticks around the marathon and the Martin Luther King Day three day holiday weekend. Because of the Festival of the Arts, which will be returning in 2020, Epcot’s International Showcase can be busy most of the month, and especially on weekends and evenings.
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, January is usually a great time to visit, with low crowds and low prices. If you can, visit after Martin Luther King Day–January 20 in 2020.
JANUARY 2020 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Earlier January can be one of the most crowded periods at Walt Disney World–and is so in 2020. Later January–beginning the 5th in 2020–is much less crowded, and the end of the month in the past has had has among the lowest crowds of the year, but waits have ticked up the past few years.
Crowds are heavier up the weekends of the Martin Luther King holiday and of the Marathon.
On a crowd scale of 1-11, my forecast has the week beginning 12/28/2019 has a ranking of 10/higher (higher earlier in the week, a little less crowded later); the weeks beginning 1/4, 1/11 and 1/18, a ranking of 4/low+; and the week beginning 1/25 has a ranking of 3/low.
JANUARY 2020 RESORT HOTEL PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Hotel prices begin the month extremely high, but on January 2 shift to the lowest prices of the year. Except for upticks around the marathon and Martin Luther King day weekends, they remain low the rest of the month.
- The Marathon uptick begins 1/9 and results in prices ~20-30% higher at the values, ~15% higher at the moderates, and ~15-20% higher at the deluxes. Prices return to low levels on 1/12
- The MLK uptick begins 1/17 and results in prices ~20-30% higher at the values, ~10-15% higher at the moderates, and ~15-20% higher at the deluxes. Prices return to low levels on 1/20 and continue at this level into early February
JANUARY 2020 TICKET PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
January 2020 Disney World ticket prices are higher to average early in the month, especially for shorter tickets, and then quickly shift to a mix of low to quite low levels (compared to the rest of 2020) for the rest of the month.
For more, see my Disney World 2020 ticket price calendar.
JANUARY 2020 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Deals for the general public are available for January 2020. You can find them here.
JANUARY 2020 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.
Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more.
DISNEY WORLD SPECIAL EVENTS IN JANUARY 2020
The Disney World Marathon and other running events will be over the weekend of 1/11.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will return, beginning January 17. It will add to World Showcase crowds in Epcot, especially on the weekends.
JANUARY 2020 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. Opening hours may change to 8a.
The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available about six months in advance. Major hours updates–often with later closes–can happen a month before.
These calendars can be found by clicking this link.
WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR JANUARY 2020 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE
The week rankings that follow below are from my 2020 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.