Home Disney World Crowd Calendar January Disney World Crowd Calendar January 2021

Disney World Crowd Calendar January 2021

January 2021 Disney World Crowd Calendar

The Disney World Crowd Calendar for January 2021 shows that this month is typically a pretty calm one at Walt Disney World.  The weather is cold and the crowds are average, except for the first few days, Marathon weekend and MLK Weekend.  Epcot offers the Festival of the Arts.  There’s no special parties, so many rides go down for refurbishment.   Those refurbishments are typically listed a few months before hand.  Water rides are typically closed most or all of January.

Disney World Crowd Calendar January 2021

While the final week of Christmas vacation is insanely busy, you can manage them with good touring plans and Fastpass+ usage.   If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, rise early on your Magic Kingdom day and take advantage of the early opening of the Magic Kingdom.   When visiting the parks, I recommend that you avoid the Extra Magic Hour parks as they will draw in more guests.

With lower hours than normal early in the month, it may be best to spend a day in the parks and spend an evening the Fort Wilderness Campfire.    

Avoid the trap of visiting a park on its longest hours day.  More people will be there and the wait times can be 30% to 100% higher than other days.  The BEST day to visit the Magic Kingdom in terms of lines is a Christmas Party day.  Many attractions are walk-on.

What will the weather be like during your January trip?

  • Average high temperature:  71°F
  • Average low temperature:  47°F
  • Mean temperature:  59°F
  • Record high temperature:  89°F (2006)
  • Record low temperature:  18°F (1985)
  • Average Precipitation:  2.91 in.

January is the coldest month of the year in Orlando and oddly enough we still get a decent amount of rain too.  Be sure to dress for both warmer days and colder nights with a nice jacket and cap.

Should I use Extra Magic Hours privilege?

Avoid the trap of visiting a park on its longest hours day.  More people will be there and the wait times can be 30% to 100% higher than other days.

If you are planning to use Extra Magic Hours, use the morning ones, they are a great benefit, if you leave after lunch or parade time.  Avoid the parks that offer evening Extra Magic Hours because they have large crowds at night and many rides have long lines (Hollywood Studios and Epcot).  The exception would be the Magic Kingdom late at night because most guests won’t stay up from 1am to 3am in the morning.  If you choose a Late Extra Magic Hour park, you should plan to sleep in the next day.

Disney World Extra magic hours attractions

A note on Fastpass+ Booking

Fastpass+ can be booked 60 days in advance for ONSITE guests and 30 days in advance for OFFSITE guests and Annual Passholders.  You can begin booking them at 7am Eastern Time.  The booking dates are included on my Disney Crowd Calendar below.

What attractions will be CLOSED for refurbishment during your trip

Disney World and Disneyland Attraction Refurbishments

Special January Events at Walt Disney World

  • Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 9-12
  • Martin Luther King Weekend – January 17-20
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Begins Mid-January

To read the crowd level, follow the DATE at the top!  The best park each day is marked in GREEN.

Lowest Crowds
Low Crowds / Best Park
Moderate Crowds / Median Park
Busy Crowds
Insane Crowds / Worst Park

Weekly view includes all entertainment options, weather and Fastpass/Dining booking dates!

Be sure to print in landscape mode with background image turned on!

If you are viewing on a desktop/laptop, you will see a week at a time with all the full details.  It is printable.  If you are on mobile, it will show in mobile format that will stream down the page.  You must subscribe to Character Locator in order to see Friday/Saturday in Mobile View.

My Crowd Calendar includes park hours, Extra Magic Hours, special entertainment options, 180 Days Dining Window, 60 and 30 Day Fastpass+ Booking Windows!

January 2021

Historic Disney World Park Hours

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  1. Hi Kenny! We arrive early afternoon Sunday, Jan 17. Any suggestions on which park to visit for half a day? Thanks for your expert advice!!

  2. Hey Kenny! Sorry about bugging you again about Jan 2021, but January 24, 2021 doesn’t have any recommendations from you. Tomorrow is my day to make ADRs and I’m hoping Magic Kingdom is your choice for best park that day? Thanks for all of your help!!

  3. Hi Kenny! Any idea when you will post your recommendations for the week of 1/24/21? I’m making ADRs this Wednesday and would appreciate your insight on the parks. Thank for your awesome information!

  4. Hi Kenny! Just wondering when the crowd calendars for early 2021 will come out? Wondering if it will look a lot different than 2020 because of all the COVID changes.

  5. Hi, Kenny! A couple days we have planned in January happen to fall on the “worst” days in the park (MK and HS). Our plans put us in those parks during the morning hours and not during late magic hours. Are crowds typically heavy from park open to park close, or primarily during the extra late hours? I hope this question makes sense…

  6. On January 9, your calendar shows Animal Kingdom after hours starts at 8 but the Disney Calendar shows it begins at 9. However the regular hours end at 8. If that is right, why is there a one hour gap?

  7. The dates on your last week of January 2020 are incorrect. 1/26/2020 was skipped and it throws the remaining dates off by a day.

    • I’m shocked that it’s saying Jan 27 is going to be insane. Every other source I’ve checked conflicts with this info. It’s probably the only day we can do MK all day bc we only have 3 days to work with. So now I’m a bit paranoid. We chose the last week of January specifically based on a cast member’s recommendation.

      • I was seeing the red color coding and understanding that as the worst possible crowds . Either way, what’s the reasoning for MK being so bad that day? Is it worth changing ADRs and everything to switch days? We’re doing HS in AM and MK in PM on 01/28 and AK on 01/29.

  8. Any idea why AK closes at 6PM on January 12th? This is Marathon Day, not sure if that is related at all. Seems unlikely to be a CM appreciation day for that reason, and DAH doesn’t reduce the normal park hours like this.

  9. Hello,
    On the week of 1/27/19 You have the star wars fireworks at 8:30 pm but the park closing at 8:00 PM? I am looking for 2/2/19 it does says Disney after hours for that day but not the hours? Will I be able to see fireworks that night if i don’t have Disney after hours ticket?

  10. Hi Kenny! Staying at the All-Star Movies during the MLK weekend (college cheer). Should we expect large crowds of the students staying on site or do they generally stay off-site? Wondering if we should consider staying somewhere else to avoid those crowds. I hope this isn’t Pop Warner crowds.

  11. Kenny on january 2 you have magic kingdom with evening emh it is not on the Disney website. Is that something that you know will be added? And if there is none does that change your park thoughts for the day

  12. Hey Kenny, Can’t wait for you to update February 2019! Trying to plan out our days as we can book our ADRs next month, so excited!! Can’t plan until we’ve seen your calendar though – used it on our last trip and it was great! x

  13. Hi Kenny, does Disney usually close water rides; i.e., Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, in January just because it’s too cold? Or would those rides ONLY be closed for refurbishment purposes? So like, if there is no refurbishment for those rides going on, then they would be open in January, even though it’s cold…? I guess the same question goes for Universal’s Jurassic Park ride…do you know?

    • They use the time for refurb. It is cold weather, so the rides have little or no demand anyway. None are scheduled yet.

  14. Hi Kenny, thanks for the January 2019 info. I have a question. I understand that a green park is better than a red park on any given date. Do you have advice for how to compare/decide on parks, when a visit includes some “moderate crowd” dates and some “heavy crowd” dates? Which would have fewer crowds: a median park on a moderate crowd day, or a best park on a heavy crowd day, or would those be generally equal? To illustrate my question, Animal Kingdom is shown as the best park to visit on Sunday 1/20, which is a Heavy Crowd day. Animal Kingdom is the Median park to visit on Thursday 1/17, which is a Moderate Crowd day. Would you predict Animal Kingdom on Sunday 1/20 to be better or worse than Animal Kingdom on Thursday 1/17? (This is just one illustration; I’m wondering about the overall philosophy). I hope this question makes sense. Thank you!

    • Philosophy is to pick the green park at the lowest crowd level. Crowds affect MK far more than other parks.

  15. Will EMM not be offered in January 2019? I was wanting to book for Sunday Jan 27, but I see you have EMH listed instead.

  16. I have been waiting for an update too. This page has not been updated to 2019, but you can click on the link to the calendar above and change the year to 2019 and see all of the January 2019 calendar there.

  17. Hi Kenny, planning my trip for Xmas/New years 2018/19 and your site is extremely helpful! I just noticed though that the calendar for the beginning of January lists Sunday as December 31st, Monday as Jan 1st etc. In reality, Sunday is the 30th and Monday is the 31st so I’m not sure which dates are actually correct (the day of the week or the number date). Thanks again!

  18. Hi Kenny,
    I’m planning another trip to WDW in January 2019. First off, I think the dates for the marathon and MLK might still be for 2018.

    For my trip I think I made an error with my booking because I expected the marathon would be the first weekend of January but I just found out it is from the 9th to the 13th.
    We have a Disney cruise from the 4th to the 7th and then my original plan was 4 nights in Orlando (check in 7th), then 6 nights in Disney (check in 11th).

    If you were to look into your magic mirror do you think it would be worthwhile changing our bookings so that we check into Disney on the 7th which would have us leaving the Disney area on the marathon Sunday? Or will it not make much of a difference?

    Also, with the subscription are the touring plans only aimed at seeing every ride? This is our 3rd trip so there are rides that we won’t go on, and rides we will want to go on several times.

    • I create Jan 2019 calendar 6.5 months out as stated here on the page. My plans allow you to ride all the best rides, see the shows and visit characters

  19. Hi Kenny- We have been at Disney since January 29th-Feb. 2nd, 2018 and the crowds are way busier than any online calendar predicted. We used your daily park suggestions and were able to manage just fine, so thank you! But I am just so curious why it was so much busier than expected and if anybody knows that answer at this point? I know South Americans often vacation during Jauary but this was more than just large numbers of South Americans. For being predicted across so many travel sites as one of the least busy weeks of the year it was actually the most busy we have ever experienced Disney. Just curious. Thank you!

    • Depending upon your park choice, the waits weren’t far off. A couple of times it verged on Moderate crowds instead of Light, but certainly not Heavy or Insane. Yes South American travelers did have a major impact, as well as some European travelers. Disney, nor the local hoteliers expected the increase in January and my predictions verged from Light to Moderate during your stay. Hollywood Studios is a total mess with Toy Story running at partial capacity and only 3 other rides to choose. Pandora and E-tickets at Magic Kingdom are always popular. Pick the green park, use fastpass and have a good touring plan and you’ll always come out ahead.

  20. Ended the 7th. Can’t believe that many people stayed a second week. Wonder if Europe has winter holiday and they all came to Disney.

    • I based my plan on touring plans and even contacted them after I saw your calendar and they insist theirs is right. If not, I am in trouble since I am doing MK on a Tuesday and Friday. I could easily have switched AK and MK. This is our one and only trip with a 4 yr old. Hopefully the 1/26 one where we are not doing fantasyland will not be that bad.

      • I won’t comment on another website. I just know that my guests swear by my rankings. I’ll let the other company do whatever they do. I just know I offer much more detail and much better plans and the only one that includes characters. You’ll find http://www.characterlocator.com more than worth the subscription.

  21. Was at Wdw from January 8 to the 12th. Crowds were comparable to those in mid to late June. 3 hour wait for Pandora an hour and a half after the park opened. Many large groups from Brazil. I think half of France was there also. October and November crowds were much better. Weather was good but would never go back this week. Long lines for everything.

  22. We are planning our first trip on Jan 22-27 with and for our our 4 yr old. Wish I had seen your calendar before (planned it based on another which indicated a low for MK). AK and Epcot are easy to plan that week.
    We were planning to skip HS completely and do 3 days MK but since MK is insane on Monday 22nd and Friday 26th, would you suggest starting our trip with HS on Monday or brave MK (with whatever FPs we can get of course). This is all for the 4 yr old who doesn’t know anything Disney but loves adventure, shows and rides.
    Also would you recommend a second day at Epcot on sat, 27th or again brave MK? Thank you for your input.

    • If you follow the green park selections, you’ll have the best possible trip. MK on Monday is one of the busiest days of the week.

  23. Hi Kenny! We used your Character Locator app for touring plans and character schedules for our trip last September and it was fabulous. Is any park more important than another to schedule on a green day? We’re looking at MK and AK on 1/28 and 1/30. Both are green 1/28 and yellow 1/30 with low overall crowds.

  24. On the Disney app, it looks like EMM will be available on Jan 21, but that’s not listed on the crowd calendar here. Will that change your opinion of MK being a best park that day?

  25. Hi Kenny! Thank you so much for all your suggestions! I was wondering if you will include the After Hours info for 2018? I’m thinking about 1/30 and was wondering if you think that will affect the crowds?

  26. I’m curious why MK is the worst park on Monday Jan 29th. You have it as the worst park, while other sites have it marked as best or OK. I checked 5 different sites, 2 have it as best, 2 have it as worst, and 1 has it as OK. What’s going on that day to make it so disparate among the sites?

    • Other sites are incorrect. Monday terrible day to visit MK because people start their trip there. I can’t tell you what other sites do, I just know statistically, it is a poor choice.

  27. Hi Kenny! Thanks for your great site!

    Going to WDW first days of January 2018…noticed shows like Rivers of light are not showing on the calendar…probably because Disney didn’t publish them yet.

    From past years experience, when can we expect to have access to that type of info?

  28. Hey, Kenny! Just subscribed for the first time now that I’m planning our third trip! ;) Love the extra content I’m seeing! 2 questions-

    #1- Any particular reason January 27th jumps all the way to heavy crowds?

    #2- Looking at a 10-night stay either Jan. 24th-Feb. 3rd or Jan. 31-Feb. 10. Wondering which you’d pick for crowds?
    You have overall crowds looking just barely lower overall in the early February option BUT I’m seeing *zero* availability for any standard Value rooms for that stay. I’ve also read there’s a National Dance Competion the first weekend in February which may explain the lack of Value rooms for a stay that spans that weekend.


  29. Kenny,
    I’m trying to pick dates/parks for my trip. Which is better:

    A. Best Park on a Moderate Crowd Level Day

    B. Worst Park on a Light Crowd Level Day

  30. Hiya Kenny, Have been searching for WDW Park schedule for Jan 2018 everywhere, even contacted WDW themselves & they said today it was not available yet & just to keep checking back. Not very helpful as I am supposed to be booking ADR’s in 2 weeks time. So I am really delighted to see your schedule but just wanted to check with you whether you think it might chance much in the next few weeks? Many many thanks for your really brilliant website. S

  31. Hello Kenny! On your new 2018 calendar on January 21st you have Magic Kingdom listed as a “Best Park,” however it is highlighted red. Just double checking to see what it is. Thanks!

  32. We have a fast pass to meet her. I looked in your section of fun things to say to the characters when we meet them and she was not listed yet. Just wondering if you have any tips what to say.

  33. Do you have any suggestions of questions or comments for Princess Elena of Avalor? She tops my daughters list of princesses to meet!

  34. We leave in 2 days (yeay) and the Dallas Cowboys had to go off and FINALLY make the play offs so of course my husband and boys need to watch the game (mega huge fans). That would mean cutting my Magic Kingdom day on 1/15 short. I’m thinking of switching it now with HS and making that a short day and going to MK on the 14th instead. You’re showing it a median park that day and the best park for the next. If we have to leave a park around 3:30 for the game (going to ESPN at the Boardwalk), which of the two would you recommend cutting short based on the crowd predictions, and which would you recommend doing on Saturday 1/14??? This is all assuming I can still switch fast passes around and get decent replacements now too. We do have a 2nd MK day planned for later in the week but only 1 day planned for HS. Thanks for the advice!!!

  35. Hi Kenny, Do you know why there is no Wishes on Tues Jan 23? That is our last day and we are spending it at MK with dinner at CRT and wanted to end our trip with it :( Thanks

  36. I just noticed that on 1/23 you now have MK closing at 8:00 when it previously was closing at 6:00 for a private event. Did something change? Also, when are they going to release the scheduled events for the Pro Bowl that week? They’re killing me….would love to see the parade and stuff but at this point we have all our plans laid out and would have to rearrange based on the schedule.

  37. Hi Kenny- We are planning a trip either the first week of March or early- mid May. Historically which is better crowd and weather wise?

    • Facts :) Predicted hotel occupancy factors heavily, especially Offsite. Also have sources that provide info. You’ll find that they will change their predictions later too.

  38. Hi Kenny, I noticed this newly released schedule for Jan 2017 does not show the Star Wars fireworks show times in HS. Hopefully the show will still be continued into January………Will these times be released later?

  39. So, we will be visiting the parks January 26, 27, & 28; I am hoping the park hours will be extended, especially for Magic Kingdom on Friday night, which currently closes at 8:00 p.m., but I notice these updated hours are the same as before. Can you give any insight into possible extensions for these days? I know these will be lower crowds, but does Disney usually extend the hours some? This will be our first January trip; we usually go the end of May/beginning of June.

  40. hey kenny looked but couldnt find if you answered it before. will the probowl parade take place of the 3pm parade or be a separate parade?


  41. Kenny- We are headed to WDW Jan 28-Feb 4 2017. The Disney schedule is showing NO Wishes Fireworks or Electrical parade in January (OH NO!!). Should I be concerned or will this be updated.

  42. Hi Kenny!! This site helped make my last January trip pretty amazing in the planning department.. Question. Am I completely missing the crowd levels for January 20/21? We are planning our 2017 trip and I am trying to get my days in order..
    Thank you so much!!!

  43. Hi there, your site is so helpful! Question: we will be there 1/29-2/4 and the last 3 days of January say no wishes fireworks! Is this bc times are not decided or really no fireworks? Thanks!

  44. Our 1st park day will be Wed 1/18 and I want to start at MK. But the prediction says that is the worst day. Is there really a bad day to go in Jan with lower crowds in general? Would it be worth moving my vacation a day to 1/18-1/25 instead? Also, is there really no wishes or electrical parade 1/17-1/24?

  45. Heading to Disney in Jan (week before MLK) and looking forward to seeing AK for first time at night. Hearing all about “Rivers of Light” and night attractions, but all the days show AK closing at 5pm. Is that right???

  46. Kenny, do you anticipate the Pro Bowl changing your crowd calendar at all? We are currently booked for the week prior and I am worried that our low crowds week will change to INSANE crowds. Am I worrying for naught?

  47. Hi Kenny, do you have any guess as to Animal Kingdom hours in January? Do you think it will have evening entertainment every night? Or only select nights? Trying to lay out park days to start to plan dining. Thanks.

  48. Hi Kenny! I used your calendar for our Oct 2015 trip and you were dead on! We’re planning our next Disney Trip for Jan 2017. Our thought is to head there Presidents Day weekend and stay for the full week after so the kids get a free day off school…. You show MK as the best park on Sun 1/15. Is that pretty accurate? I would have guessed it would be packed all weekend. Is it because most people begin or end at MK so the middle of a holiday weekend isn’t too bad? Also, do you do Universal calendars as well? We would like to throw in a Harry Potter day this time since our son is reading the series now!

    • Yes. I like Sunday for that park. Main thing is arrive early, use fp, and have good plan. Don’t have crowds for United created yet.

  49. Hey Kenny! Please help! “Moderate to light” crowds during the first week of January, 2017? Really? Even coming off of Christmas/New Years and Marathon week?? Trying to plan. Would sincerely appreciate feedback. Thanks Kenny!

  50. Have come lots of times and always stayed on property. First time in January and using a free stay at Bonnet Creek. Two day park hoppers for Sunday and Monday (MLK). Have planned on hitting Epcot when it opens Sunday and then head to MK. According to you calendar this is yellow, green. Planning DHS for Monday and maybe World Showcase in late afternoon. We have fast passes at MK starting at 11:00 and for DHS Monday around 9:30. What kind of crowds can we expect and does this seem like a plan that will maximize ride time?

    • It’s going to be really busy, so make sure your fp is for the park you are hopping to and arrive 45 mins before park open to do first park headliners

  51. Hi Kenny! We are planning to leave in a few days! On 1/8 we were hoping to spend a few hours in Epcot once we arrived in Orlando (which I see is green, yay!) but since it closes at 9 we considered maybe hopping over to Hollywood Studios since it has EMH until 11pm (we are on property and have park hopper). Would this be a waste of time since it’s ‘red’ and only a small amount of time after leaving Epcot? Looking for the best advice…but we’re hoping to get as much out of the parks as we can for our short 1/8-1/13 visit.

      • Kenny, thank you so much for your response! I didn’t even think about the small offering of rides…you’re right- it probably would get a little boring to ride ToT over and over again. I think extra sleep sounds nice! Thank you! :)

  52. We are coming to Disney January 4-8, 2016. Curious as to the difference between your calendar and undercover tourist. Yours shows green vs.yellow overall for 1/5-1/6 and Animal Kingdom green vs. red. We plan on spending 2 days “at the parks” and 5 days at “resort” so we have some flexibility in days we visit. Trying to figure out the best days to maximize our short visit. Thanks.

  53. Hi Kenny, we are planning a Make A Wish trip to DW around 1/6-1/10 and I was wondering if you knew anything about trying to get a reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table. Since I only have about 6 weeks to plan, it is completely booked. Any ideas or advice on how I might be able to snag a reservation for our family?? The Make A Wish folks said we will get FP and special treatment for many rides and character meets, but they can’t help much with reservations for these type of events. Thx for any ideas – she is 8 and loves everything princess of course!

    • Not really any great tips for that close, but many people cancel, especially in last 2 days, so keep checking and try different table sizes

    • Denise, I have a couple of tips but I try not to spread the word too much ;-) and I’m also not sure if it’s ok to share info from other sites here. I would love to share advice in hopes that you can find a CRT reservation!

      KtP – you’re free to share tips, but please don’t request emails or private messages.

  54. This year we booked the 10th-18th. Am I going to regret going over MLK weekend due to crowds or should it not be too bad if I stick with recommended parks?

    Is MLK weekend much worse than Marathon weekend? Contemplating changing dates.


  55. Which rides generally go down for refurbishments in January? We are looking at Jan 3-7 2016 and we are a little worried about some of the top attractions being down.

  56. As a DVC member we go during this week because of the low point cost/requirements and low crowds. I think this is popular for DVC members for these two reasons.

  57. Hey Kenny, we are planning on going to Hollywood Studios on Sunday 1/25. I see that they is extra magic hours available at night. The last time we went to HS and had extra magic hours at night, they had that Disney Junior dance party for the kids. When can we find out of this will be taking place on Sunday when we go?

  58. I’m looking at Saturday, Jan 31. What is the reasoning behind Epcot being a worst park that day? I understand MK and HS, but it looks like Epcot is always a green park on Saturdays except for this day.

  59. Our 21st trip, but only time ever in January! Going Jan 7-11. How are crowds affected by the Marathon, Cheerleaders, or Brazilian Tour Groups at that time of Jan? Thanks!

  60. Appreciate the calendar Kenny. Wondering why MK is red/park to avoid on Fri, 1/30? I realize it’s first MSEP since Sun, but there are MK AM EMH Thu and other similar Fri MK days are green. Thx.

      • That’s what I feared. How would that Fri (1/30) compare to Sun (1/25) at MK for daytime crowds? We need to pick one. Won’t many people go to Epcot on Fri for PM EMH?

      • Any EMH park will attract more guests and the lines for Test Track and Soarin’ don’t die down very much until the last 30 minutes of operation. Sun would be better than Fri for MK

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