The holiday crowds have come and gone. The decorations are starting to come down and Disney’s off-season (yes, there actually is one) is officially here. What does this mean for the parks? The crowds will be substantially lower. Disney Travel Company typically offers some pretty great room-only discounts in order to entice guests to visit the parks this time of the year. Sounds great, right? So what is the downside? Refurbishment season.
Refurbishment Season in Walt Disney World
This is the time of the year when Disney works on the resorts, restaurants, water parks, attractions, shows, golf courses and more. This is when Disney starts preparing for Spring Break and Summer guests (peak-season) which is just a few short weeks away. Don’t get me wrong, Disney World refurbishments occur all throughout the year. However, this is the time of the year when the majority of the resort refurbishments occur.
Many people, myself included, can visit Disney during these months and never once be affected by the refurbishments. This being said, as a travel agent, I feel full disclosure is quite important. Let’s be real for a second, Disney vacations aren’t cheap. When spending that kind of money I feel you should at least know what to expect when you arrive. This is where having a good travel agent is very important. He/she can help you select a resort that isn’t going to be affected by refurbishments during your visit. You don’t want to pay for a travel agent when Disney costs so much? Did you know that most of us don’t charge? That’s right!
What Kind of Refurbishments will Occur?
The number one refurbishment we see this time of year is to the resort area pools. While the average temperature in Orlando during January and February is in the mid 60’s, this is the best time for the pools to be closed for annual repairs. On occasion temperatures drop pretty low this time of year. Just yesterday morning guests woke up to a windy 42 degrees. Definitely NOT swimming weather.
DIStracted Tip – If you are planning to escape the brutal winter for a tropical poolside vacation, double check to see if your resort’s pool will be open!
Each year Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks close for annual refurbishments. Typically Blizzard Beach closes in the Fall with Typhoon Lagoon closing around Christmas through early March.
Guests can also expect to see attraction closures throughout the four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) as well as Disney Springs and the golf courses.
How To Check for Disney World Refurbishments?
Disney releases their Refurbishment Schedule on a fairly regular basis. You can obtain this from their website, from your travel agent, or from our site on a weekly basis. The most recent Refurbishment Schedule released by Walt Disney World can be found below.
|Location||Attraction||Start Date||End Date|
|Weather Condition - No charcoal grills or campfires||Due to dry conditions, there are currently fire restrictions throughout Central Florida. As a result, campfires at our Resort hotels will not take place as scheduled. Other recreation activities will continue to be held. Additionally, charcoal grills, where available, may not be utilized at this time. Propane grills will be permitted for use.||Now||Until further notice!|
|Resort Monorail||Resort Monorail*||3/10/15||04/26/17|
|Magic Kingdom||Hall of Presidents||01/17/17||06/29/17|
|Prince Charming Regal Carrousel||04/24/17||05/18/17|
|Advanced Training Lab||06/05/17||07/28/17|
|Animal Kingdom Park||It's Tough to be a Bug||04/24/17||04/29/17|
|Disney Springs||Portobello Country Italian Trattoria||04/23/17||Fall 2017|
|Disney Quest||07/03/17||Permanent closure|
|BoardWalk Inn & Villas||Exterior Maintenance & Painting ||02/13/17||through May 2017|
|Caribbean Beach Resort||Old Port Royale Food Court||05/01/17||06/30/18|
|Shutters at Old Port Royale||05/01/17||06/30/18|
|Cabana Pool Bar||05/01/17||06/30/18|
|Calypso Trading Post||05/01/17||06/30/18|
|Coronado Springs Resort||Hard Goods||Fall 2016||through 2017|
|Old Key West Resort||Exterior Maintenance and Painting||01/03/17||07/27/17|
|Pop Century Resort||Room Refurbishments||02/04/17||05/07/17|
|Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge Villas||General Resort Refurbishments||10/02/15||07/17/17|
|Cub's Den (Children's Activity Center||10/02/15||through 2017|
|Roaring Fork Snacks||10/02/15||through 2017|
|Trout Pass Pool Bar||10/02/15||through 2017|
|Yacht Club Resort||Room Refurbishments||January 2017||TBD|
|Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center||Expansion Work||8/04/16||2/01/18|
|*List Last updated 04/17/17|
Is it Worth Visiting During this Time of the Year?
In my opinion, absolutely! *Note – I say this as an Annual Passholder who visits Walt Disney World very often. January and February in Disney World are pretty amazing. The temperatures are mild and the crowds are usually low. Basically the complete opposite of Summer. Planning a last minute trip and looking to score character dining reservations? This is one of the only times of the year when you can typically find availability.
So long as you keep an open mind and go knowing there really is no way to predict which attraction/resort will be on the chopping block as far as refurbishments go, you should have a great time.
DIStracted Tip – While this is considered “Off-Season”, three fairly large events occur during these months that you may want to try and avoid if you are scheduling a visit:
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (January)
- Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February)
- Mardi Gras (usually occurs in February or March. It will be the Friday-Tuesday BEFORE Ash Wednesday each year).
Do you visit Disney during the months of January and February? Do you think the refurbishments get in the way of your visit? We would love to hear your thoughts.