January and MLK weekend


We’re tentatively looking at MLK weekend as a possibility for our next trip. DD has something like 5 days in a row off from school with the long weekend.
I’ve read that Jan is usually a good time to go, but have also read to stay away from any holiday weekend. If you’ve been to WDW before during Jan and/or MLK weekend, how does this weekend rank on a scale from 1 to 10. (with 10 being the most crowded and also knowing that there’s no such thing as a “1”, “2” and maybe even “3” scale for WDW). :glare:

Thanks. :cool:


We went in 2007 and we are going again in 2009. The guides said most rides were 7-10. It was more crowded than the times when we had been in October. It was still very pleasant (not like the crowds at other holidays or summer). We did not wait more than 20-30 min for Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The extra magic hours are great to have this time of year too. Also I read on one of the other posts that Jan 20 has the possibility of being a PPP:pirate:.


It will be crowded on any holiday weekend. Trust me. It was packed on Columbus Day. However, it will be much better than going during Christmas, New Years or Easter. And in January the weather is just about perfect.


I have gone a few times in January around MLK day, I don’t remember it being that crowded, plus the weather was not too bad either.


We have the same fear. Our trip in January is scheduled to arrive the afternoon of the 20th. We’re hoping the holiday weekend traffic will be pulling out as we are arriving.

Also, the Super Bowl is in Tampa in January, so we want to be leaving WDW before that crowd starts to arrive. So we’re going 20th to 27th.

Touringplans.com’s website is still predicting light crowds after the 20th.


I found this at MouseSavers dot com.

Some less-known events that may affect crowds, park hours and/or traffic at Walt Disney World:

Cheerleeding/Twirl/Dance Competitions - Various dates each year, especially January-March. These usually don’t have a lot of impact on the in-park crowds. The issue is that the Value resorts (All-Stars and Pop Century) play host to hordes of girls who can be extremely loud – so you may want to avoid those resorts during competitions. Some events take place at Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so that attraction might be closed. Some of the competitions and events include UCA/UDA Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 25-28, 2008), College Cheerleading & Dance Team National Championships (January 16-18, 2009), National Dance Team Championship (January 30-February 1, 2009), National High School Cheerleading Championship (February 7-8, 2009), Twirlmania (February 13-16, 2009), Contest of Champions Nationals (February 28-March 1 and March 6-8, 2009), National All Star Cheerleading Championship (March 14-15, 2009), All Star Cheerleading and Dance Worlds (last one was April 24-26, 2009).

I’d hate not being able to sleep due to loud teens. :mad: I doubt WDW would do much about it, would they?
This could really be a “deal breaker” for me. :frown:


I have gone twice at this time and found it relatively uncrowded and flights were cheap! I flew once for $49 each way from Philly. The only thing my kids didn’t like was that it was too cool to swim when we went and they really enjoy pool time.


It sounds like some people’s reports are much different than others. It may depend on which park you’re at, right? I guess I’m not so much worried about the park attendance during this time as I am with the unsupervised teens at the value resorts up during all hours of the night running around and yelling. :mad:


MLK is not going to have the same crowds as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or any of the bigger holidays. In fact, I bet January is a very pleasant low-crowd time to be there (except you might be wearing jackets). You will be just fine!

And if you ever do get to a park and feel the crowds are bigger than you’d like, just do the usual stuff – stay late, use FPs, etc.


We went last year the week after and it was soooooo nice! Great weather and little crowds!! Doing it again this year!!


MLK weekend is a fairly busy time. The day after, it lightens up tremendously. One of the best times to go. Most of the cheerleading pains start in February.


According to what I found earlier, there will be some sort of cheerleading event from Jan 16-18, 2009 and that’s MLK weekend as the holiday is on the 19th.
I guess we just may have to take our chances. :glare:


I’m reviving this thread again. After much discussion, this time frame in Jan seems like the best for all in my family. Plus, I needed to initiate the WDW countdown. :mickey:

We haven’t made reservations yet, but the dates would more than likely be Jan 17th - 21st to stay at Pop Century. I’m still watching the airline prices to see if they’ll come down a bit more than what they’re offering right now. We’ll drive if we absolutley have to, but I really would prefer to fly…I’m spoiled. :rolleyes:

I really, really hope that this long, extended weekend in Jan will be pleasant (crowds and weather). fingers crossed :genie:


It’ll be great TK924! We went two years ago in mid-January, and the crowds were pleasant and light, and the weather was SO nice! I’m in NJ, so winters are chilly! Going down to Florida in the middle of January was great. We were in t-shirts and jeans the whole time, and never had a wait over 15 minutes. I know you’ll be there during the holiday weekend, but it won’t come close to the insane summer crowd levels. Enjoy!!


[QUOTE=emperisse;879124]I know you’ll be there during the holiday weekend, but it won’t come close to the insane summer crowd levels. Enjoy!![/QUOTE]I hope that this is the case.

We’ve been during Spring Break madness before and I vowed never to go back there during that time of year again.
Our trips in Sept and early Dec were the best so far, but it’s getting more difficult to take our child out of school as she gets older.


Well, we’re getting geared up for our extended MLK weekend trip. The room at PC is booked and it looks like we’ll be driving this time as SWA prices have spiked way too high for us. I kinda got spoiled with their low rates.

I’m hoping that the crowds will be light and the weather pleasant. :goofy:

Thanks for everyone’s input on their previous trips during this time of year.

btw, does anyone have suggestions as to which parks to visit on which day?
This is what I was thinking since Sun and Mon are the first two days we are there and Mon is the holiday.

[li]Sat - Arrive/DTD
[/li][li]Sun - AK/EP
[/li][li]Mon - DS
[/li][li]Tues - MK
[/li][li]Wed - Depart


Have a great time…I am sure we will be in the parks at the same time one of the days. Make sure to check the Disney website to see when the extra magic hours are for the parks.


We typically avoid parks with EMH as I’ve read that those parks could be more crowded.
Also reading on other sites about MLK weekend are hit or miss with the crowd levels. I’m a little nervous that things will be busier than expected. I was hoping with the economy, the inauguration and possibly the cooler weather may keep crowds low. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see as there is no turning back now.


Please don’t take this as an effort to dampen your excitement for the pending Disney vacation… We just got back from 7 days with the Mouse and it was packed! Not close-the-park packed, but rides like Soarin, Space Mountain, Tower or Terror etc all had waits that exceeded the 60 minute mark and often hit 90 minutes. Trying to navigate the stroller down Main Street reminded me of a July day with throngs of people everywhere. I was pretty shocked and a bit disappointed as we had hoped the crowds would resemble more of a September/October day.

We spoke with a server at one of the restaurants and he said that the January crowds fluctuate year-to-year with the winter weather so far in the North. When the rest of the US has a mild November/December, the crowds are usually really light. When the weather gets cold/snowy early, people flock to Orlando in January for a break. And apparently this Nov/Dec was really cold because they were all there getting in lines ahead of me!


dang that was bad! but I think its going to be ok you never know hope for the best but think of the worst. lol! but I went last year from the 19th to the 21st for my g/f’s b-day and it wasnt that crowded I think it was like a normal day at disney.