Best Trip Tips

Best Trip Tips: January Vacationers

Heading to Disney this new year? What a way to start 2018. Christmas festivities will have wrapped up when you arrive or maybe while you’re there, but don’t worry there is plenty to see and do. Are you on the fence about booking a last minute trip. There are some amazing deals going on right now that make a Disney vacation more affordable then you think. There are  a couple of events to be aware of to make your days run as smooth as possible. Take a look at what’s going on and give yourself the flexibility of changing around your days if necessary. Can’t wait to see and experience Walt Disney World this January!

January 1st-10th

runDisney Marathon Weekend

January 3rd-7th Walt Disney World will host it’s largest race weekend of the year. There are 4 races, along with 2 challenges, and it’s only marathon. You can expect delays on the mornings of the races: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Specifically on Sunday, the day of the marathon. This race runs through every park, and although it starts very early, 5:30am, runners and walkers will be on the course for hours. The finish line is outside of Epcot and the final miles are through World Showcase. If you were planning on heading to Epcot on Sunday January 7th then I would alter your plans. All races, with the exception of the kids races, are sold out. You can still check out the expo taking place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports  on Wednesday January 3rd through Saturday January 6th. If you want to spectate the race your best place to do so is at the Beach Club and Yacht Club. The 10k and marathon route go in front of these two resorts. For the 10k you’ll need to be out there by 6am, for the marathon any time after 7:30am you’ll be seeing runners racing by.

Closures

Typhoon Lagoon is open until January 6th and then closes for the season on the 7th.

Blizzard Beach reopens on January 7th.

Attractions. Stitch’s Great Escape closes January 7th, the Riverboat closes January 7th and Splash Mountain closes for yet another refurbishment on January 8th. Kali River Rapids closes on January 2nd.

January 10th-20th

Moonlight Magic Magic Kingdom

January 11th you’ll find DVC members pilling into the Magic Kingdom for a Moonlight Magic event. The Magic Kingdom will be open until 8pm that evening. DVC members registered for the event will be able to stay once the park is closed to other guests for a special evening of characters, attractions and food. Special party goers will be wearing bracelets. They will be able to enter the park before 8pm. If you have planned at Magic Kingdom day for this date, this event will not affect your days enjoyment.

Disney After Hours

This special ticketed event is offered on January 19th. For  $119 an adult and $119 a child you can enjoy three hours of Magic Kingdom magic with a reduce amount of guests. With plenty of snacks and drinks to enjoy, reduced lines for attractions and special appearance by characters, your three hours will fly by. The regular park hours that day are 9am until 8pm. Only guests with these passes will be admitted into the park past 8pm. Annual Passholders and DVC members will be charged $89 per pass.

Festival of the Arts

This festival had its first line up last year. It was successful enough, they are bring it back this year. Epcot will be amassed in all things art. From paintings to sculptures, performances and delectable food. This festival will make Epcot a must visit for your vacation. It will also encourage season pass holders to come out during the festivals run. The festival begins January 12th and runs until February 19th.

The Culinary Arts

As a part of the Festival of the Arts, the culinary arts is being offered daily from 11am-9pm. There will be a variety of locations where you can enjoy dishes that are not just made to delight your taste buds but are also made resemble pieces of art. Perfect for you instagramers out there, who love to snap and enjoy. Similar to the Food and Wine Festival there will be stations found throughout World Showcase offering special foods. You can pick up a booklet that will allow you to check off the items as you enjoy them.

The Visual Arts

Another element of the Festival of the Arts. Explore the art of Disney in Epcot with 8 exhibits open throughout the park. Learn from Disney artists and illustrators at seminars and professional workshops. Take pictures at special photo locations. What sounds the most fun to me are the participation events. With Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt, taking you around World Showcase looking for Figment in pictures found in the different pavilions. The Hands-On Wall Mural, where you’ll watch a giant mural come to life and you can add to it too.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series

The performance part of the Festival of the Arts happens only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings. Head to the America Gardens Theatre in the American Pavilion to watch Broadway stars share songs from the beloved Disney Broadway musicals. Three shows at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm. They have yet to release the names participating this year so stay tuned.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package

Get reserved seating for Disney on Broadway Concert Series by enjoying this dining package. Eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the participating restaurants and you won’t have to worry about grabbing a seat for the show. You’ll either enjoy a buffet or 3 course meal, with an appetizer, entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. The restaurants you can choose from are:

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Biergarten Restaurant

Coral Reef Restaurant

The Garden Grill Restaurant

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room

They all range in price and experience. Dining plans are not accepted.

Diamond 9 Sun Classic Winter Showcase

Girls softball will take the ESPN Wide World of Sports baseball fields. The top teams in the USA will be competing as college scouts will be on hand. A great place to spend an afternoon with a baseball loving princess in your travel party.

National College Cheerleading & Dance Championship

The most prestigious competition in the USA takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports January 12th-14th. With teams from across the country you can watch routines, jumps and flips as these teams compete for top honours.

Disney 3v3 Soccer Championship

January 13th-15th the soccer fields of ESPN Wide World of Sports will be covered with soccer players ranging from 5 to 19 years of age. Competitive to love of the game. Check out some of the more intense games or some sweet youngsters playing their hearts out.

Disney Field Hockey Showcase

This field hockey showcase happens from January 19th-21st. Both men and women team are competing. Age categories range from 12 and under to 19 and under.

Sand Dollar / Whitlow Invitationals

This competitive gymnastics competition is the highest level. This invitation only has boys and girls competing in a variety of disciplines. This annual event is sure to bring out some impressive gymnasts. Ideal for a rainy non-park day.

Closures

Typhoon Lagoon is closed.

Attractions: Stitch’s Great Escape. Rivervboat. Splash Mountain. Kali River Rapids.

January 20th-31st

Moonlight Magic Magic Kingdom

January 28th you’ll find DVC members pilling into the Magic Kingdom for a Moonlight Magic event. The Magic Kingdom will be open until 8p that evening. DVC members registered for the event will be able to stay once to the park is closed to other guests for a special evening of characters, attractions and food. Special party goers will be wearing bracelets. They will be able to enter the park before 8pm. If you have planned at Magic Kingdom day for this date, this event will not affect your days enjoyment.

Disney After Hours

This special ticketed event is offered on January 26th and 30th. For $119 an adult and $119 a child you can enjoy three hours of Magic Kingdom magic with a reduce amount of guests. With plenty of snacks and drinks to enjoy, reduced lines for attractions and special appearance by characters, your three hours will fly by. The regular park hours that day are 9am until 8pm. Only guests with these passes will be admitted into the park past 8pm. Annual Passholders and DVC members will be charged $89 per pass.

Festival of the Arts

This festival continues throughout the month of January. With special entertainment, workshops, seminars, and food selections. This festival is available to all park pass holders, you do not need to purchase a separate ticket or pass. It’s simply a bonus on top of your existing park day at Epcot.

The Culinary Arts

A part of the Festival of the Arts at Epcot, enjoy delectable items to eat and drink. Similar to the Food and Wine Festival you can purchase food throughout World Showcase at kiosks. You can acquire booklets to check off all the dishes you enjoy. Kiosks open at 11am and stay open until park close.

The Visual Arts

Explore the art of Disney in Epcot with 8 exhibits open throughout the park. Learn from Disney artists and illustrators at seminars and professional workshops. Take pictures at special photo locations. What sounds the most fun to me are the participation events. With Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt, taking you around World Showcase looking for Figment in pictures found in the different pavilions. The Hands-On Wall Mural, where you’ll watch a giant mural come to life and you can add to it too.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Happening only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings. Head to the America Gardens Theatre in the American Pavilion to watch Broadway stars share songs from the beloved Disney Broadway musicals. Three shows at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm. They have yet to release the names participating this year so stay tuned.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package

Get reserved seating for Disney on Broadway Concert Series by enjoying this dining package. Eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the participating restaurants and you won’t have to worry about grabbing a seat for the show. You’ll either enjoy a buffet or 3 course meal, with an appetizer, entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. The restaurants you can choose from are:

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Biergarten Restaurant

Coral Reef Restaurant

The Garden Grill Restaurant

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room

They all range in price and experience. Dining plans are not accepted.

NFL Pro Bowl Week

Lucky for all you football fans, January 24th-27th is all about the NFL at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. There are games to watch and even some free activities for the whole family to enjoy, including practices. Head to the stands to watch some of your favourite players in action. Talk about a bonus for your Disney vacation.

Closures

Typhoon Lagoon is closed.

Attractions. Stitch’s Great Escape. Riverboat. Splash Mountain. Kali River Rapids.

Best of luck if you’re heading to be a part of the Marathon weekend. We are making our way down for the middle of January and I am so excited for this long awaited vacation. I can’t wait to discover the Festival of the Arts and to watch performers from Broadway in the American Pavilion. Happy Planning Friends.

 

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