If you or someone you love has planned a Disney vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort at the beginning of 2023, please don’t fall victim to this unfortunate scenario. Consider yourselves warned.
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January has long been a Guest-favorite time of the year during which to visit the four parks at Disney World, and it makes sense. It is the best time to visit (or among the best times) because it’s Central Florida, weather in January usually includes cooler temperatures, but certainly not the ice and snow seen by many of the 50 states during the first month of the year. Disney World in January also means that though the holidays are over, Magic Kingdom is still usually dressed in its Christmas best (Christmas decorations throughout each theme park) through the first few days of January, but after that time, crowds have generally subsided in the parks after the first week.
“January crowds” is a bit of a misnomer.
A January trip to Disney World can even be more gentle on your wallet, especially since most days that month are not considered peak days in the parks, meaning that if you and your loved ones are not passholders and instead purchase an individual park ticket for each member of your traveling party, you’re likely to save some cash, when compared to the cost of purchasing an individual park ticket for everyone during for other times of the year like June, July, and December.
But Guests aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of the smaller crowds and cooler temperatures at Disney World–Disney takes advantage of the season, too, by scheduling refurbishments and maintenance of rides and attractions during these times. And while refurbs are necessary evils at Disney Parks, such scheduling can mean that you might miss out on your favorite attraction while you’re visiting, and no one likes that.
Sometimes, however, missing an attraction isn’t the problem. Sometimes, it can be far worse.
Such is the case with January 2023, during which Disney’s Skyliner is scheduled for a major refurbishment. During the refurb, which is scheduled from January 22 through January 29, 2023, Guests will not have access to the Skyliner as a means of transportation, and that’s only one problem.
If your trip plans include staying at a Skyliner Resort–Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort–don’t make the mistake of thinking that things will just work themselves out. If you do, you’re almost guaranteed to face lots of long lines, lost time in the parks, and endless frustrations. Instead, begin thinking now about other transportation options. Since Disney World’s buses don’t transport Guests from the Skyliner Resorts to EPCOT and to Hollywood Studios as frequently as from other locations. Bus stops make experience longer-than-expected lines of Guests trying to do what you’re trying to do.
If you decide on using Disney’s bus transportation, be sure to allow yourself more time to get around the parks from your Skyliner Resort.
In fact, unless you’re just in love with one of the Skyliner Resorts for the resorts themselves, and not because of the Skyliner, don’t book at those four resorts if you can help it. After all, during that last week of January, the Skyliner Resorts will function as run-of-the-mill Disney Resorts (if there is such a thing) because Guests will have no access to the Skyliner during that time.
Disney’s Skyliner is scheduled to be up and running after the planned refurb, barring any delays or issues with the refurb itself. When it’s accessible to Guests, the gondola system can be an invaluable option as a means of transportation between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, as it also offers additional stops at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Remember, you have been warned.