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Why January 2021 Might Just Be the Best Month to Visit Walt Disney World

Almost everyone is looking forward to 2021, and for good reason. Many Walt Disney World fans have canceled vacations, and other people are longing for a little bit of Disney magic. We don’t know what the future holds, but we have been promised that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. January 2021 might be the best month to visit Walt Disney World, and here are a few of the reasons why.

 

 

1. Weather

No matter where you live, there is a good chance that the weather in Florida in January will be better. The days are comfortable, and the nights are cool. The rainy season and hurricane season are distant memories. It is still usually warm enough to swim, and the pools at the Walt Disney World resorts are heated anyway. Many of the lines at the theme parks are outside right now, and since it isn’t as hot the waits aren’t unbearable. Always check the forecast before you leave home, because the January temperatures are unpredictable. There is no set pattern.

2. It Gets Dark Early

In many places the shorter days are not desirable, but that isn’t the case at Walt Disney World. The shorter days mean that you can see the parks after dark! This was something that didn’t usually happen when the parks reopened back in July, the only park that was open late enough to see it lit up was Epcot. The parks are closing earlier than they did before COVID-19 hit, but if you plan well you should still be able to see the beautiful nighttime transformation. The exception to this is Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it looks like it will close at 6:00 through January 9, and then start closing at 5:00 again. Remember, park hours can change, so you should check the Walt Disney World website or the My Disney Experience App fairly often so you will know how much time you have.

Photo Credit: Disney

3. The Christmas Rush Is Over

The holidays are an incredible time to visit Walt Disney World, but they also bring some extra pressure. You don’t want to miss a Christmas Cavalcade. If you’re in the wrong spot, you won’t see the quick burst of fireworks. There are so many delicious limited-time treats to try, how do you know which ones to buy? In January, you can enjoy a normal day at Walt Disney World. You won’t feel as if you’re missing out if you make the wrong choice or stand in the wrong place.

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4. Still Lower Capacity

While the crowds are quite a bit heavier than they were back when Walt Disney World reopened in July, capacity is still limited. Once things return to some semblance of normal and the capacity limit has been lifted, many are going to take those vacations that they had to cancel. The capacity in January could be the lowest that you will ever see, from that moment forward.

Credit: Disney

5. More Restaurants Have Opened

When Walt Disney World reopened in July, one of the main complaints was that there weren’t enough restaurants open. Slowly but surely Disney has added to the open list. You can now enjoy favorites such as Woody’s Lunch Box and The Crystal Palace. Many of the menus are modified, as are the dining experiences, but we full well expect for the list of open restaurants to keep growing.

6. No Marathon Weekend

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is always a very busy few days. Some people will arrive early to enjoy the parks, while others will stay a few days after it is over. January is usually a fairly quiet month; except around the Marathon Weekend. The races this year have gone virtual, which means that people will participate from home. That extra burst in the crowd level will not happen this year. It’s sad that the marathon can’t safely take place, but the general Disney fan will have an easier time making Disney Park Pass Reservations for those days.

Photo Credit: Disney

7. Park Hopper Returns

Park Hopper has not been part of the reopening plans. Guests have been able to visit only one park per day. That will change on January 1. Park Hopper will be a little bit different. You need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation, and you need to scan into that park. At 2:00, Disney will release the parks that have availability. You can then hop to an open park if you so choose and bought the option. The parks will still have capacity limits, and if that limit has been reached you will still be turned away. We expect to see a few bumps in the road when modified Park Hopper is first rolled out, but we’re sure that Disney will quickly work their magic.

8. Travel Deals

There are many great travel deals that you might want to take advantage of in the New Year! Disney recently announced that guests who meet certain requirements can receive two extra days on their theme park tickets. That is not the only deal to be found. The airlines are hurting, and many have slashed prices to tempt people to fly. Some of the airlines are offering deals that are just a fraction of what the same seat would have cost a year ago. If you’re staying off property, you will probably be able to find a low rate on your hotel. There are also deals for attractions located outside of Walt Disney World. If you’re looking to save money, January will be a great time to do just that. Don’t forget to check your state’s requirements regarding travel, because there are still many quarantine orders in effect.

9. Safety

If you’re concerned about safety during the pandemic, remember that Walt Disney World is as well. That is why there are so many safety precautions. All guests who are two years old or older are required to wear a mask. Social distancing is enforced, and Disney has made it easy to stay six feet away from other parties. The number of people allowed inside a store or restaurant is limited. There is extra hand sanitizer everywhere, including before and after each ride. There are hand washing stations throughout the parks. There are even Cast Members who are responsible for reminding people of the rules, as well as answering any questions about safety. These are just a few of the ways that Disney will continue to do their part to keep you safe. It’s up to us to do the rest.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.