What to Wear to Disney World in January: The Essentials

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Are you planning to take a Disney World vacation in January?

The post-Christmas and New Year period is an awesome time to head to Walt Disney World. As long as you avoid the Martin Luther King Day weekend, the great news is that January is one of the cheapest times to take a Disney World trip

You might be wondering what to wear to Disney World in January, as this is the coldest month. We spent 10 days at Disney World last January. So, I created this post to answer all your questions about what visiting Disney World at the beginning of the year is really like. Now, let’s create your perfect Disney World packing list!

Key takeaways 

  • Check out the forecast for the Walt Disney World weather in January before you go. This is the coldest month, and sometimes you can expect freezing temperatures
  • Take at least two pairs of shoes so you can be comfortable throughout your trip. You really will do a lot of walking!
  • Think about any Disney-themed outfit ideas you might like to wear. You can often save money – and also have more choice – by buying items in advance. 
  • Be prepared for below-average temperatures – meaning, you may need gloves, scarves and layers to keep warm for early mornings or late nights.

Quick reference what to wear to Disney World in January

Disney World in January weather

  • Average low: 52°F (11°C)
  • Average high: 72°F (22°C)
  • Average days of rain: 5 days

What to wear at Disney World in January at-a-glance

The weather at Walt Disney World in January

Girl dresses in a sweater plus a hoodie at the Magic Kingdomi when  wondering what to wear to  Disney World in January.
Cooler at night wearing both a sweater and hoodie!

When you take a look at the climate charts, the average temperature at Disney World in January isn’t that low. So the answer to is it too cold to go to Disney World in January, for most people and most of the time, is no. 

This is the coldest month, though the temperature at Disney World in January is only a couple (Celcius) to a few degrees (Fahrenheit) different to what you can expect in December and February. 

The average Disney World temperature in January means lows of about 52°F (11°C). Highs are around 72°F (22°C). Remember, though, that this is only the average temperature in Disney World in January. It can get a lot colder sometimes.

If there is freezing weather, then you will really need gloves, scarves and hats to stay warm. So it’s worth adding these to your list of things to pack for Disney World in January. Especially as they don’t take up a lot of space! Checking the weather before you go is one of our top tips too. 

When you’re wondering what the weather is like in Disney World in January, the answer is that it can vary a lot. We were there during January just past, and the weather was in the low 70s (Fahrenheit, or low 20s in Celsius) during the day.  During the early morning and evening, we needed to wear a sweatshirt or jacket.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the Florida winter weather, we recommend packing plenty of layers. That way you can adjust your clothing according to whether it’s sunny, wet or even freezing cold. Taking along base layers is a good idea too, in case it does get very chilly. 

What to wear to Disney World in January

Girl with a short sleeve shirt sitting at a table using her iPhone
Sunny and pleasant during the day!

If you’re wondering what to wear to Walt Disney World in January, here’s a breakdown of how to dress. This is divided into individual garments, so you can put together Disney World outfits for January in your own way. 


When dressing for Disney World in January, keep in mind that the weather will usually be cool to warm. Short or long sleeved T-shirts are fine for daytime, but you will need an extra layer during the mornings and evenings. It’s not really warm enough for tank tops in January. 

Be warned – there are so many awesome Disney-themed t-shirts available – for adults and kids alike – that you might have trouble choosing!


What do you wear to Disney World in the winter on your bottom half? Pants, jeans and leggings are ideal – this isn’t shorts weather. While jeans are comfortable and hard-wearing and can often be worn repeatedly before washing, do bear in mind that they can stay wet for a lot longer if you do hit a rainy period.

Hiking pants tend to be quick-drying, so they can be a practical and comfortable choice. Leggings are also a great option for the same reasons. As long as the forecast doesn’t show stormy or wet weather for your stay, jeans are also very versatile. They’re also a little warmer for evenings.


Often, kids want to dress up like all the Disney princesses. It’s fine for children aged 13 or under to wear Disney Princess dresses – or other types of costumes. 

I find Toad and Co dresses ideal for travel. During the daytime, you could wear them over leggings to stay warmer, or in the evening add some hose. 

Extra layers

When packing for Disney World in January you’ll need to include some additional layers – not least for mornings and evenings. They can also be useful if the weather in Orlando is colder than average. 

So many Disney zipped and overhead hoodies are available, as well as regular sweatshirts. When you’re going to Disney World in January, you’ll need to take a few of these!

Something else worth packing in case you hit a cold spell is some base layers. They take up much less space than a thick jacket or a sweater and are ideal for layering underneath if the weather does get chilly. 


While it’s generally relatively dry in Florida during January, it still rains on average every sixth day. So if you hit a stormy spell weather-wise, it could be wet every day. 

A packable rain jacket or poncho is the best choice due to the changeable nature of the weather. These come in different colors, styles and lengths to suit every member of the family. 

Truthfully, I’ve learned my lesson and never go to Orlando without my rain ponchos. I’ve spent too much money paying for them in the parks.


When considering what to wear in January to Disney World, do remember that this is Florida’s coldest month! So it’s worth packing some gloves, scarves and a warm hat, just in case you do need them. They don’t take up much room in your suitcase or backpack.

It’s easy to get Disney gloves for kids or opt for stretchy magic gloves that will fit everyone. Personally, the stretchy gloves are my favorite because they fit anyone and easily stash in coat pockets. I think we have 10 pairs!


Sneakers or tennis shoes are perfect for all the walking you’ll do when visiting Disney World in January. Save the fancy footwear for evenings only, as you will cover some serious miles during the day!

Do pack at least two pairs of shoes each. Not least in case one does get wet, and then takes a while to dry out. 

Sun protection

Though you may not really think you need it in January, it might still get very sunny at this time of the year. A sunscreen stick is ideal to take along when you’re not sure what the weather might do, as it’s small enough even to fit into a fanny pack. This is one of those things you forget to pack for Disney that you end up paying $15 for at the resort!

What to pack for Disney World in January – FAQs

What should I pack for Disney World in January?

If you’re wondering what to bring to Disney World in January, then there are three key things to know.

  • This is Florida’s coldest month.
  • Expect around five wet days, on average, per month.
  • The weather can be very changeable, so you could experience consecutive days of rain – or strong sunshine. You could also hit really cold weather during your trip.

Pack lots of layers so you can adjust your clothing. Team t-shirts with leggings, hiking pants or jeans, and take sweaters for chilly mornings and evenings. A packable poncho or rain jacket are also a good idea, plus base layers and a scarf, gloves and hat in case of freezing weather. Don’t forget Disney-themed outfits if you want to wear those, too!

What should I wear to Disney World in January?

When working out what to wear to Disney World in January, think about the unpredictable Florida weather. Though averages for the month range between 52°F (11°C) and 72°F (22°C), in reality, it can be a lot colder – or warmer – than this.

Layering is the best idea, plus accessories like scarves, hats and gloves in case it gets very cold. You might also want to wear a themed Disney World outfit – that reflects the location, whatever time of year you visit a theme park or two. Disney shirts and hoodies are ideal, for example. 

What to wear and what not to wear at Disney?

Disney has some strict rules about what you can and cannot wear at the theme parks, so be prepared! Different regulations apply to guests aged up to and including 13, and teens or adults aged 14 plus. 

Under 14s are free to wear costumes and also masks, as long as the latter doesn’t interfere with peripheral vision. The rules are a lot stricter for those aged 14 and over.

Teens from age 14 and adults can dress as a Disney character, but must not give autographs or pose for other guests’ photos. No weapon-like props are permitted if there’s any chance they could be mistaken for an actual weapon. Nor are any sharp or otherwise dangerous accessories allowed: this includes items that could hit another visitor. 

When dresses are worn, they should not reach the ground, so be careful with those Disney Princess dresses! Capes may also be waist-length, and those wearing layered outfits may have to undergo additional security screening. 

Anyone can wear themed Disney shirts, sweatshirts and hats, but over 14s cannot wear masks at all. Accessories that are allowed include toy swords, tutus, light sabers, clear wings and headwear that doesn’t cover the face. 

Is January a good time to go to Disney World?

How busy is Disney World in January? Is this a good time to travel? If you want peace and quiet at the parks during your Disney trip, then anytime after New Year and other than the Martin Luther King holiday weekend are good. 

The lack of Disney World crowds in January makes this a good time to go. Other than just after New Year and the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, Disney World is less busy in January than in spring, summer, fall and early winter. Do note that the Walt Disney World Marathon is also held in the first week of January. 

When’s the best time to go to Disney World in January?

What is Disney World like in January, and is it the same throughout the month? Once the New Year visitors have left, January is a relatively quiet time to go. It can get very busy at Disney World in mid-January around the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, however. 

Disney World wait times in January are generally shorter than at peak periods, though of course, the parks are perennially popular. If you go after New Year and avoid the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, you should experience the parks at their most peaceful. 

Are there any Disney World discounts in January?

Once the New Year’s crowds have gone home, the end of January is one of the cheapest times to go to Disney World. However, the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend before the third Monday in January is always busy.

If you avoid that date, then Disney World tickets in January can be a lot cheaper than at other times. So yes, there are some Disney World deals in January to be had, and this includes on and off-park accommodation. Depending on where you’re coming from, flights may also be more affordable at this time of the year. 

Is Disney World open in January?

Disney World is open all year round. The Walt Disney World park hours in January vary according to which theme park you go to, and whether or not you have early entry tickets. These allow you to get in before the park is open to the general public. 

Are there any Walt Disney World events in January? 

Once the New Year celebrations are over, things to do in Disney World in January include the Walt Disney World Marathon, which is normally held during the first weekend of January. There’s also the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, which lasts from mid-January to mid-February.

Disney World in January or February – which is best?

In terms of weather and how busy the parks are, January and February are comparable months for visiting the Disney World resort. Both are winter months, with January only slightly colder. 

Other than the first week of January – when New Year visitors linger and the Walt Disney World Marathon takes place – Magic Kingdom and the other parks are quiet. Avoid the Martin Luther King weekend in January if you want peace, however. 

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts also runs between mid-January and mid-February. This is my favorite Epcot festival! I love browsing all the artwork and last year, I even purchased 2 small portraits/

Disney World in January – Tips

Set out early

Whether it’s Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom or Aerosmith’s Rock-n-Roll Rollercoaster that’s top of your list for the day, it’s always a good idea to start off early when visiting the Disney parks!

If you can, get there in time for rope drop so you won’t have to wait in line for so long. 

Tick off your must-dos first

If there are things you want to do while at Disney, then make sure you prioritize those. Things might take longer than you think, and no one wants to miss out due to running out of time. 

Take your time

Cramming too much into your schedule won’t make for the most magical stay. Allow time to relax – and to use the facilities at your resort, too. If you go for a week, for instance, don’t head to the parks every day, but take some time to unwind and do other things. 

Find out about Genie +

Before you go, it’s worth making an informed decision about whether Genie Plus might be worth your while. It’s charged daily, and in short, it cuts down how long you’ll spend waiting in line. This can help you make the most of your stay, especially when time is tight. 

Genie Plus is charged per park, per day and per person. You can buy it after midnight on the day of your visit. It’s ideal when you want to use the most popular rides, such as Aerosmith’s Rock-n-Roll Rollercoaster, the Star Wars rides or the Tower of Terror. Find out more in this guide to Disney Genie Plus.

Pack a picnic

Clothing isn’t the only thing you can pack for Disney. You can take along your water and food – and save so much money by doing so! Though of course, we cannot guarantee it, the weather is likely to be mild and dry most days, so you can enjoy a picnic while you’re in the park. 

Disney World in January – Special events

New Year

People do flock to the parks to celebrate Christmas and New Year – so do expect them to be crowded until the first weekend in January. 

Walt Disney World Marathon

The Walt Disney World Marathon is held during the first weekend of January. So the park will also get busy then, just as the New Year crowds are leaving! After those two events, though, the parks became a lot more peaceful. 

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts commences in mid-January and runs until mid-February. It’s not a particularly busy time, but gives any fan of the performing, visual or even culinary arts something else to do during a visit. 

What to wear to Disney World in January summary

If you time it right by avoiding the first week of the new year and the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January can be an awesome time to go to Disney. For most of the month, this is one of the quietest times of the year. You should also be able to benefit from cheaper prices. 

Make sure you pack lots of layers, plus some cold weather base layers and winter accessories – and also some sunscreen – and you’ll be ready for whatever the Florida weather has in store during your visit!

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