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How Your January Trip to Walt Disney World Will Be Different

As we start a new month and a new year in Walt Disney World, there are a few things that might have changed. If you have a vacation planned during January, we have a few ways that your trip will be different that you should be aware of.

We hope that this will help you have a magical trip and have the best experience possible while in Walt Disney World in January.

No More Disney’s Magical Express

We have talked a lot about the end of Disney’s Magical Express service, and the time has come when it is no longer available.

On January 1st, 2022, Disney ended the free transportation service from Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Guests have been using this free service for years, and it is sad to see it no longer offered.

Guests traveling to Walt Disney World starting in January now need to determine how they want to get to their Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

A few companies such as Mears Connect and The Sunshine Flyer have stepped in to offer an option; however, neither of these services are free to Guests.

Other transportation options that Guests can look into are rideshares, rental cars, taxis, private cars, and shuttles.

As you choose the option that is best for your family, take into consideration surge pricing when it comes to rideshares and taxis. We have seen some extremely high prices lately for these services.

We are sad to see Disney’s Magical Express leave as it was a great perk to staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

It will be interesting if Walt Disney World will ever offer a transportation system in the future.

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest Is Closed

If you are headed to Walt Disney World from now through the middle of April, you will miss out on a favorite ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Expedition Everest is closed for refurbishment from January 4th through mid-April. This three-month closure is longer than many refurbishments.

The closure of Expedition Everest could impact your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This is a major ride at the Park, and it will most likely affect wait times in Pandora as well as for DINOSAUR.

Unfortunately, with ride closures and some shows not back yet, Disney’s Animal Kingdom might struggle to be a full day Park for some Guests once again in January.

Credit: Disney

Splash Mountain Closed

Over in Magic Kingdom, it has been announced that Splash Mountain will close on January 10th for refurbishment.

This closure is only scheduled to last until February 10th, making it a lot shorter than Expedition Everest and more of a typical refurbishment for rides.

We are still waiting for more information regarding the transition of Splash Mountain’s theme to ‘Princess and the Frog’, but Disney has said that this short refurbishment isn’t it.

Disney Skyliner Refurb

Also closing a few days in January is the Disney Skyliner. It has been announced that the Disney Skyliner will be closed for refurbishment from January 23rd to January 28th.

The closure will impact those staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort as they plan to travel to EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Guests will have other transportation options, but if you are staying at one of these Resorts during these days or hoped to use the Skyliner to travel between Parks, you will need to have a backup plan in place.

Let’s now take a look at all the experiences Guests traveling to Walt Disney World in January will be able to take advantage of during their visit.

Credit: Disney

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Is Open

For the first time in forever, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon has opened to Guests once again. The Water Park is open from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily.

Guests can enjoy the lazy river, wave pool, or race down one of six different water slides.

Many traveling from the north might think that a Water Park day in January seems crazy, but Florida can be warm during this time of year, making it a great time to visit Typhoon Lagoon. There are also cool days where the Park doesn’t open, so double check before heading out if the temperature is below average.

Credit: Disney

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

If you are heading down to Walt Disney World in January, you’ll want to visit EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts. This outstanding festival will run from January 14th through February 21st.

A celebration of culinary, visual, and performing arts, the Festival of the Arts allows Guests to enjoy amazing food, outstanding musical performances by Broadway stars, and beautiful pieces of art by Disney artists.

We can’t wait to experience this festival in EPCOT during January.

Carriage Rides

If you are looking for a unique experience while visiting Walt Disney World, consider a horse-drawn carriage ride at Fort Wilderness.

Guests can enjoy a 25-minute carriage ride throughout the Resort for $55.

Carriage rides are a fun, unique way to see a beautiful Resort and enjoy some quiet time in the middle of a Walt Disney World vacation.

Reservations are recommended, so book in advance.

Club Level Rooms

If you are staying at Disney’s Beach Club or Yacht Club, you will have the opportunity to book a Club Level room starting on January 27th.

These are a great option if you want something a little extra during your vacation. Guests who book a Club Level room have access to wine, beer, desserts, and more throughout the day.

Club Level rooms are already available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

These are just a few of the outstanding experiences that will make your January trip to Walt Disney World a little different.

We hope that this helps you prepare for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.