Advice on which week Jan 2020

vharris2828

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
I would love some insight on which week to choose in January, I am looking at either January 12-18th or January 27th-Feb1. I have a hotel booked already for both weeks I just need to cancel one and I just cannot make up my mind with week to go because both seem to have some events going on. NAMM starts Jan 16th, and then the ROTR ride opens Jan 17th and that leads into MLK weekend. I have heard that NAMM really doesn't make a huge difference in crowds inside the park generally but more around the parks. The last week in January I was pretty set on but looking at the convention schedule there are like 3 scheduled for that week and instead of just the weekend they run the whole week. So now I am thinking I would rather try for the earlier January dates. Any suggestions? I know we will have fun either way but we were spoiled with light crowds in feb a few years ago and im just trying to shoot for the better of the two options :) So I guess which week would you pick, how much does NAMM affect the crowds and how bad is the week before MLK day? Looking at past crowds it hasnt been that terrible, but I always hear its terrible?? We are trying to go in January since our youngest is free until Feb 2 :) Thank you in advance!
 

Becca1007

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
I have been before during NAMM and it is fine in the parks. However, parking and ride share is really tough. There are just sooo many people coming out of the convention center that all disperse at once that it gets bad quick. Also if you want to dine at any of the DTD restaurants you definitely need reservations as they will be busy.
That being said, you might enjoy getting to see the new ROTR ride by choosing the other week. And crowd levels could be insane or they could be low again with people thinking there will be crowds and staying away. It is really a toss up.
 

Plip

Oh, bother
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
"Is It Packed?" has your later dates predicted to be a fair bit better. Three of those days are "Ghost Town," while none of your earlier dates are. That's only a prediction, of course, but if I was choosing, I would go for the week January 27 (but then, I have a definite preference for smaller crowds).
 
  • Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    "Is It Packed?" has your later dates predicted to be a fair bit better. Three of those days are "Ghost Town," while none of your earlier dates are. That's only a prediction, of course, but if I was choosing, I would go for the week January 27 (but then, I have a definite preference for smaller crowds).
    That is based upon historical data though and we know that that could be up in the air with the new ride opening as I'm not sure there has ever been a new ride opening in the historically slow period of January
     

    vharris2828

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    I have been before during NAMM and it is fine in the parks. However, parking and ride share is really tough. There are just sooo many people coming out of the convention center that all disperse at once that it gets bad quick. Also if you want to dine at any of the DTD restaurants you definitely need reservations as they will be busy.
    That being said, you might enjoy getting to see the new ROTR ride by choosing the other week. And crowd levels could be insane or they could be low again with people thinking there will be crowds and staying away. It is really a toss up.
    Ahh I know this is my dilemma haha. Part of me is just like we will do another trip for that ride. But the other part is kinda like ahh but we are there we should try to get on. I too have a preference for the lower crowds although three conventions at once that last week are scarring me away a tiny bit. Plus the ride opening, who knows. According to touringplans I think they are pretty similar in terms of crowd levels. But again. Who knows. How is the week leading into MLK day? Historically it doesn’t look like it’s been that bad?? Even that weekend last year says it wasn’t that busy.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Does HM matter to you? It may be down for the removal of the holiday overlay during your first set of dates. IASW should be up during your first set of dates, but may be down during your second set of dates, but HM should be back up. Have. you looked at the AP Blockout Calendar on the DLR website? That will have a bigger effect on crowds in the parks than the conventions since the local APs hitting the parks can affect crowd patterns significantly.
     

    vharris2828

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    Does HM matter to you? It may be down for the removal of the holiday overlay during your first set of dates. IASW should be up during your first set of dates, but may be down during your second set of dates, but HM should be back up. Have. you looked at the AP Blockout Calendar on the DLR website? That will have a bigger effect on crowds in the parks than the conventions since the local APs hitting the parks can affect crowd patterns significantly.
    I like hm but I am not totally torn to miss it, I actually would be more sad to miss splash mt again since I have missed it due to closures or being pregnant the last three times we’ve gone 🤦🏽‍♀️ I know they close it usually around that time for refurb which makes me kinda lean to the first week to hopefully get to it before it closes! There are no blackouts for any passes either of those weeks, aside from the weekends which we are avoiding anyways.
     
  • theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    ... There are no blackouts for any passes either of those weeks, aside from the weekends which we are avoiding anyways.
    Are you saying that there are AP blockouts on the weekends? If so, that means that the crowds should be lower on those days, but you are planning to avoid the parks then? AP Blockouts = Good!
     

    vharris2828

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    Are you saying that there are AP blockouts on the weekends? If so, that means that the crowds should be lower on those days, but you are planning to avoid the parks then? AP Blockouts = Good!
    Yes! Both weekends are blocked off but we were going to go Monday through Friday and leave on Saturday so we hadn’t planned to stay for a weekend. I’m kinda feeling we might be ok that first week. Especially since I just looked at the calendar and all Southern California schools head back to school that Monday we get there.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Just keep an eye on the entertainment calendar, in case you want to see nighttime shows, e.g. F! and fireworks. Those may only run on weekends at that time. WOC should run nightly, if it isn't down for a refurb.
     

    vharris2828

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    Just keep an eye on the entertainment calendar, in case you want to see nighttime shows, e.g. F! and fireworks. Those may only run on weekends at that time. WOC should run nightly, if it isn't down for a refurb.
    I hadn’t even thought of that!! There may be the reason to go one weekend day haha. Thank you!
     
  • vharris2828

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    NAMM doesn't have much effect on crowds in the parks but it has a huge effect on hotel prices $$$ in the area.
    This is good to hear there isn’t a huge effect on crowds. I’m leaning towards that week I think. Unfortunately hotels are a bit inflated both weeks I’m looking at due to conferences during both weeks :( which is why I’ve been so torn which week to do.
     

    tarheelalum

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2013
    This is good to hear there isn’t a huge effect on crowds. I’m leaning towards that week I think. Unfortunately hotels are a bit inflated both weeks I’m looking at due to conferences during both weeks :( which is why I’ve been so torn which week to do.
    Also note you will have lots of attractions down during that time of year due to refurbishments. Also reduced operating hours, entertainment offerings and likely staff reductions as well. Especially during the week days. I don't say this to discourage you but to fully inform. I've been during this time and enjoyed it but some are upset by the hours/attractions during this time. The Sunday and Monday on MLK weekend tend to be quite crowded just because its a holiday weekend, but not really due to NAMM.
     

    vharris2828

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    Also note you will have lots of attractions down during that time of year due to refurbishments. Also reduced operating hours, entertainment offerings and likely staff reductions as well. Especially during the week days. I don't say this to discourage you but to fully inform. I've been during this time and enjoyed it but some are upset by the hours/attractions during this time. The Sunday and Monday on MLK weekend tend to be quite crowded just because its a holiday weekend, but not really due to NAMM.
    Thank you! And no you’re not discouraging :) we are planning on some things being down, we have decided we almost prefer that for the lower crowds. I may cry if splash mountain is closed again haha. So hoping maybe the earlier date allows us to catch that one open. We went around a similar time a couple years ago and much preferred it with cooler weather and crowds then during summer or fall. Our kids are still quite young so entertainment is a bit hit and miss for them. It seemed the occasional parade we got last time was perfect for them. and then we did make fantasmic and world of color. We liked a little earlier end to the days. That makes me feel a lot better about namm. We are not going during the mlk weekend at all, so we will miss that. And we mostly either cooked in our hotel last time or ate inside the park so I think we hopefully would avoid the big restaurant crowds namm will bring in.
     

    Buson808

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2017
    I been going on the last week of Jan for the past 5 years. I dont care about the refurbishments. Love the cool rainy weather and low crowds. Still magical to my entire family.
     

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