You’re planning a trip to the happiest place in January. With low crowds and mild temperatures, you’re visiting Disney World during a great time of year. But, you’ve heard that January can be a cooler month to visit the Disney Parks and Resorts.
Can you go swimming? What kinds of clothes should bring? Of course, it’s hard to pack everything that you might need “just in case” when you’re on vacation. But, with a few of our tips and simple strategies for packing the essentials, you’ll be prepared for any kind of weather or park scenario you might face during the month of January.
So, let’s break it all down with tips you can use to create your perfect Disney World packing list when you visit the parks and resorts during this month.
The Weather in January
Central Florida is typically mild and cool during January. And, because of this you can expect that the Walt Disney World weather will be fairly cool. Average temperatures are usually in the low to mid-70s degrees Fahrenheit during the day but can dip into the 40’s at night and in the morning. Because of this, January is usually the coldest month of the year.
Thankfully, the cool weather means that you won’t have to worry about high humidity or really hot temperatures. But, it does mean that you may experience colder than normal temperatures for Central Florida and some rain. Rain is a fairly common occurrence in January, so you’ll want to consider rain gear when you pack too.
But, Central Florida weather can change quickly. So, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast for your trip before you start to pack, just in case the weather is a bit warmer than you expected or if there are other weather considerations to think about.
Probably your first concern when it comes to packing are what clothes you should bring when you visit Disney World in January. Because the weather is a bit cooler, you’ll want to dress in layers that work well in cooler and warmer weather. This means packing t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, jeans, and slacks.
You can, of course, bring some shorts, capris, or other even a few tank tops for the trip. But, plan to wear them in layers throughout the day. Our favorite January must-pack clothing items? It has to be a few hooded sweaters, cardigans, and sweaters than can be easily worn and removed as the temperatures cool down and heat up throughout the day.
Though it doesn’t cover weather and other considerations, Disney World does provide theme park dress & costume guidelines that you can also check out for information about bringing costumes or other park attire for your family on your vacation.
When it comes to packing shoes, your overall theme should be comfort. Wearing tennis shoes, sneakers, or other shoes built for walking and staying on your feet for long periods of time will help you tour the parks comfortably. Do make sure you bring shoes that you’ve worn before or broken in before your trip, so you don’t end up with any nasty blisters or have other foot discomfort.
Because January is cooler, sneakers and tennis shoes are your best bets for footwear. Sandals can be a bit too cool for January park touring. But, if you think the weather might be warmer or you want to have them just in case, pack a pair or two.
Overall, bring shoes that work well for cooler weather, hold up with a lot of walking, and can keep your feet dry during any potential rain showers.
When it comes to swimwear, you won’t want to go overboard packing too much. Chances are not that high that you’ll be doing a lot of swimming with cool weather and potential rainy days. But, Disney does heat all of their pools.
So, if you and the kiddos want to get a few hours in at the pool, you can without freezing too much. With this in mind, pack one to two bathing suits per person if you plan on swimming at all during your trip in January. If you aren’t sure you’ll be swimming, pack at least one swimsuit just in case. If you don’t pack swim gear, you may be able to find swimsuits at local stores. But, since January is winter in Florida, you may not have a great selection.
Outerwear and Accessories
With cool temperatures, you’ll want to make sure that you pack some “winter” gear. And, if you’re coming from a wintery climate already, chances are pretty high that you’ll already be bringing a winter coat along for the trip. But, packing doesn’t mean just clothing. Here are some other things you’ll want to think about bringing with you during the winter months at Disney.
Jackets and Coats: Depending on the weather, you’ll want to have a winter coat or a light jacket with you. These can help you stay warm during the cooler mornings and evenings in the parks. If you’re worried about carrying a coat with you all day, invest in a locker rental at the theme parks. This is a great way to bring your coat and store it while park touring throughout the day.
Hats and Mittens: It can get downright cold at night at Disney. If you’re staying at a park late to catch the fireworks, nighttime parades, or enjoy extra magic hours, chances are your hands and head may get a bit cold. Bringing light gloves and hats can help keep you toasty warm while enjoying all the nighttime entertainment Disney has to offer. If you have kiddos, this is a must bring item for your trip.
Ponchos and Umbrellas: If you have space, consider bringing ponchos or a small umbrella with you if the weather is predicting a lot of rain on your trip. Of course, even if you don’t have space for these, you can easily pick up ponchos in the parks themselves, at your resort, or a local store too.
Blankets: This is one of our favorite must pack items for winter weather. A small blanket stored in your backpack or stroller can be perfect for bundling up at night while waiting for a parade or firework.
Sunscreen: Of course, you can’t forget sunscreen — even in January. Just because it’s a cloudy day doesn’t mean you won’t get sunburned. Having sunscreen on hand for your trip is a must-do.
Considerations for Kids
When it comes to packing for your children and young adults, you’ll want to think about a few other additional considerations bringing the essentials. Here are some things you’ll want to think about packing for kiddos and teenagers that include a few particular considerations for January park touring.
Packing for Your Children
ID Tags or Card: While we don’t ever want to think about something scary like losing our children in a theme park, it can happen. Having an ID tag or card on hand is a way that you can help identify your children to Disney cast members and provide contact information on how to best reach you while you’re at the Disney theme parks.
Disney themed clothes: Kids love wearing their favorite Disney themed clothes when they’re at Disney. Let them pick out some of their favorites, so they have something fun to wear every single day you’re on vacation. Because January is a cooler month, do pack long sleeves or layers for any t-shirts you might have. For younger children, Disney theme tights or leggings can be a great way to wear Disney clothes while staying warm too.
Costumes: Many children want to dress like their favorite princesses, prince, or pirate. With this in mind, you can pack a costume or two for the trip. But, since January is cold, you may want to bring a sweater or jacket for any dress or costume that won’t keep your child as warm during the winter months in the parks. This way, when the weather warms up during the day, they can easily remove the jacket.
Dress up clothes: If you are planning on going to any signature dining locations, you may want to consider bringing a few fancier clothes for your kiddos. They don’t have to be too fancy either. Just something that will look nice for the meal. Since it’s January, pack slacks, tights, or other easy to pack warm clothes.
Favorite toys: There’s no doubt that children get used to their favorite toys. So, don’t forget to pack their favorite doll, stuffed animal, or toys for the trip.
Wet Naps: Park touring can get messy. Whether they get dirty playing or make a mess with a Mickey Bar, having some wet naps on hand is a good idea for all ages, but especially for kiddos.
Want even more tips and strategies for planning (and packing!) for Disney World with children? Check out Disney’s Planning Guide for Pre-School Kids and Little Ones for even more helpful information.
Packing List for Young Adults
ID Cards: Do make sure your teenagers have their IDs on them at all times. This is especially important if they are park touring without adults.
Deodorant, Face Wash, and Personal Care Items: You’ll want to make sure that your young adults bring the personal care items that they need. This includes deodorant, face wash (especially for those suffering from acne), and even feminine hygiene products. This way they’ll feel comfortable having all the things they need without having to run to a store during the trip.
Phones, Headphones, Phone Chargers: Most young adults like having their technology handy. So, do make sure that they’ve packed headphones, phone chargers, and any other technology they need for the trip.
Bags: Chances are your teenagers may go on an attraction or park tour on their own. If this is the case, make sure they bring a back to pack all their essentials in when they arrive at the theme parks.
Young adults will likely have a lot of the same packing needs adults do, but these additional items are definitely some things that you’ll want to make sure they pack for the trip.
When it comes to visiting Disney World in January, packing for cooler weather and potentially rainy days is a must. These tips and strategies shared in this article will help you stay warm and enjoy the Disney Parks and Resorts at one of the least crowded times of the year.
Of course, if you forget something and need to grab something at an affordable price, visit area shops, like Walmart, Target, or visit UNIQLO at Disney Springs where prices are super affordable and you can score some great deals on Disney clothing.
So, you won’t have to worry if you forgot to pack winter gear when you travel to Disney in January. There are lots of ways you can stay warm and have a magical vacation.
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