After the first few days of January, expect to see relatively lighter crowds as holiday travelers make their way home from Disney World. Winter is a slower, more laid-back time of year at Disney World, so even if you sleep in, you could still experience many rides and attractions without much of a wait. It should also be easier than usual to secure the room you want at a price you could afford, and you might be able to snag a reservation at some of Disney's most coveted dining locations.
January is a good month to bring a baby to Disney for the first time. The weather is generally mild, and it would be easier to get around, thanks to the lighter crowds. Orlando's temperate winters mean the months of December, January, and February are also an ideal time to explore some of Disney World's outdoor offerings such as biking, horseback riding, and camping. Pack your running shoes and join the marathon fun at Disney World in January, with events for every member of the family.
To make the most of your January visit to Orlando, be prepared for closures and limited park hours during Walt Disney World Resort's off-season. Many rides and attractions undergo routine maintenance at this time of year. The water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, often close during the off-season for maintenance. Check Disney World’s official schedule before you go so that you won't be disappointed. And even though Disney World resort pools are heated, it may feel too cold for swimming.
Disney World Weather in January
The weather at Disney World in January will be mild and comfortable most of the time, but don't be surprised if the mornings and evenings feel chilly. (Occasional frost is even a possibility.)
- Average high temperature: 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius)
- Average low temperature: 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius)
Those averages put the mean temperature right around 60 degrees Fahrenheit—or the equivalent of a perfect fall day in northern climates. The mild weather makes winter an ideal time to enjoy most of the Disney World theme parks, although you may find it too chilly to enjoy water rides such as Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The Orlando area receives an average of 2.39 inches of rainfall in January, with only five days of expected rain. The area's humidity tapers off during the winter months as well. There are fewer daylight hours, though, ranging from 10 hours and 20 minutes to 10 hours and 48 minutes between sunrise and sunset.
What to Pack
Think layers. Pack both a lightweight sweater and a jacket, and mix and match as needed during your trip to accommodate potentially wide temperature fluctuations. Consider bringing a backpack to tote your layers. Though you likely won't experience long periods of rain, you might want to bring a raincoat or poncho and umbrella for the inevitable subtropical sprinkle. Bring both shorts or skirts and dresses for hotter days and long pants to stay comfortable when the temperature cools down.
January Events at Disney World
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts–As soon as the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays packs away its decorations, the park celebrates the arts with food booths, performances, and art displays. The festival runs from early January through February.
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend–Runners enjoy visiting Disney World this month to take part in the annual Disney World Marathon, which includes a full and half-marathon. But even those new to the sport can take part in the healthy fun by registering for a 5K or 10K run. Kids can get in on the action with races designed for them. Note that the popular event typically sells out, so you should reserve spots well in advance.
January Travel Tips
- If you travel during the first week in January, you may not avoid the crowds, but you can enjoy some of the Walt Disney World Resort's holiday decorations and special programming before it ends.
- Use FastPass+ to make advance reservations for more popular attractions such as Avatar Flight of Passage.
- Alternatively, staying at a Disney resort hotel offers the perk of visiting the theme parks on certain days before or after regular hours through Disney's Extra Magic Hours program.
- Note that, at least in 2020, FastPass+ is not accepted at the hugely popular Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Note also, that the highlight of Galaxy’s Edge, the phenomenal Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is not available during Extra Magic Hours. Learn how to get a “boarding pass” for the attraction.
- Even though park attendance is historically low during January, be sure to make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for table-service restaurants. These reservations can be made for many of Disney World's restaurants up to 180 days in advance of your visit.
- Consider spending the night camping at Fort Wilderness while the bugs and critters hide from the colder weather.
- Learn more about the pros and cons of visiting the resort during January compared to other months by checking our guide on the best time to visit Disney World.
- Check Disney World’s special offers for reduced hotel rates, package deals, and more. You’re likely to find good off-season promotions for January.