Disneyland in January 2023: Tips for Maximizing Time
Disneyland in January is typically considered one of the ‘off-season’ months at the parks with lower crowd levels making it a favorite time for many groups to visit!
Everyone has personal preferences to consider when planning the date of their Disneyland trip- each season will have its pros and cons and guests’ choices will vary based on those. Make sure to read our Disneyland crowd calendar to get an idea of what to expect when picking a date to visit Disneyland.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about visiting Disneyland in January including current events, what weather to expect, crowd level predictions, and what to pack!
Disneyland Events in January
Here are all the current events to know about impacting Disneyland in January!
Festive Holidays & Christmas Celebration
The holiday season runs from November 11th and runs until January 8th. If you are visiting that first week of January you will catch the tail end of the holiday season which includes seasonal overlays for beloved rides, a Christmas themed parade and firework show, holiday World of Color show, and plenty of amazing holiday decor.
The Disney100 kicks off on January 27th to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney company. In honor of the celebration the much anticipated new attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will also open that same day. The celebration will also debut a brand new World of Color and fireworks show in honor of the anniversary plus the return of the Magic Happens parade.
Lunar New Year
Starting January 20th will be the Lunar New Year celebration at Disneyland. Located in Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure guests will find music, shows, activities, and delicious Asian-themed delicacies.
Disneyland After Dark
Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite takes place on January 31st.
Starting January 8th, Disneyland will end all the holiday celebrations and begin taking down the decor. During this time the Haunted Mansion and it’s a small world will be closed as Disneyland transforms them back to their original designs. Two other rides that commonly go under refurbishment in January are Grizzly River Run and Splash Mountain.
Since January is considered a slower time of year at Disneyland this is a time that the resort likes to undergo any seasonal refurbishments on rides so it’s common to see some rides go down during this time. You can check Disneyland’s calendar before your visit to prepare yourself for which rides may not be open.
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Disneyland January Crowd Calendar
January has one of the lowest crowd levels all year as long as you visit after the holiday decorations start coming down! You may want to avoid Martin Luther King Jr. Day and that weekend which is notorious for bringing large crowds.
However, this January we will see a bit of a shakeup to our tradition crowd expectations as the Disney100 celebration begins on January 27th along with the opening of the brand new attraction Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I would expect to see a significant crowd increase towards the end of the month, especially during that week!
If you want to visit in January with the absolute lowest crowd levels than your best bet is to visit after the holidays end on January 8th and before the Disney100 celebration starts on January 27th.
The Disneyland locals always have an impact of crowds so it’s always helpful to take a look at the blockout date calendar on Disney’s website. But January is the time of year that Disney typically allows all their Magic Key holders in the park with limited block out dates for lower tier passes such as weekends. You can expect Martin Luther King Jr. Day to be packed since many locals come to the parks on this day. But aside from those popular weekends, you can really enjoy lower crowd levels at Disneyland in January.
Disneyland Weather in January
Visiting Disneyland in January comes with typical California weather which often means rain! January is one of the months in Southern California that sees the most rain so it’s best to be prepared for that reality. Disneyland won’t close because of rain but rides with outdoor tracks often will close during rain. One good thing about experiencing rain at Disneyland is it tends to empty out the parks as many guests dash back to their hotels. This is a great time to throw on a rain poncho and experience low wait ride times.
The average temperature for Anaheim in January is a high of 66 degrees and a low of 28 degrees. The weather can be unpredictable this time of year. There might be some days that feel so warm in the sun that it feels like spring or days with rainfall so hard that it’s a downpour.
Disneyland’s operating hours will also be shorter this time of year with the parks averaging an opening schedule of 10 hours a day on weekdays with limited entertainment and weekends with longer hours ranging up to 16 hours a day and more entertainment options.
Tips for Visiting Disneyland in January
When it comes to visiting Disneyland in January, we have some tried and true hacks for having a magical time on your vacation.
What to Wear
One of the most frequently asked guest questions is: what should I wear to Disneyland? Always check the weather leading up to your trip. I always recommend guests wear layers when visiting during the winter in Southern California. You just never know what the weather might do- it could feel so sunny one day you’d want to be in shorts or be so chilly another day you want a winter coat! The good news is that you can rent lockers at Disneyland to store any light jackets or extra layers in. If rain is projected during your trip then dress for rain with warm layers and a rain jacket. The nights will feel really chilly and it’s not uncommon to see folks wearing light winter jackets.
What to Pack
Pack clothes for warm and cold weather so you’re prepared for any weather change. Hands down the most important item you cannot forget for at trip to Disneyland in January is a rain poncho. You don’t want to clear out when it starts raining because that’s when the ride times are the lowest! Carry a poncho with you so you can throw it on easily. Wear comfortable shoes that will work well in rainy weather and bring plenty of extra socks.
You can read our giant packing list here to make sure you show up prepared for literally anything you need while you’re visiting Disneyland.
What to Expect
There are a few things you should expect when choosing January as your month to visit Disneyland:
- Plan for Rain- like we’ve said a few times already, you will likely encounter rain on your visit so be prepared! Set your expectations to not be disappointed if it does rain- this just means that you’ll get to ride more rides with lower wait times. Be prepared with the clothes you wear, bring a rain poncho, and know that the outdoor track rides may close for inclement weather.
- Genie+ Strategies- Genie+ is the system that allows to you to skip the line for popular attractions at the park. This paid access allows you to virtually reserve your spot in line for many popular attractions and skip the longer standby line.
But most of all, remember to enjoy your time at the happiest place on earth!
Plan Your Disneyland Vacation!
Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for a Disney Parks vacation! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:
- Discount Disneyland Ticket Guide
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Guide
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Guide to Parades at Disneyland
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