This Month at Disneyland Resort: January 2013

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Happy New Year! 2012 saw some of the most substantial expansions in the history of the Disneyland Resort; with nothing on the scale of DCA’s reimagination on the horizon, 2013 can be seen as somewhat of a transitional year for the resort. Even so, there are a parade of updates, temporary additions, and notable refurbishments on their way in the coming months. As the signs of the holiday season swiftly disappear over the next week (shortly followed by the heavy crowds), look for some “limited time magic” to light up a historic Frontierland venue.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Weekdays after mid-month should see some of the slowest crowds of the year. Thursday 1/17 is predicted to be a 1 out of 10 at the resort, with 1.2 at Disneyland, and 2.8 at DCA.

Busiest Day: The Tinkerbell Half-Marathon over Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend will bring the biggest crowds since New Year. Sunday 1/20 should be a 10 out of 10 at the resort, with a 9.8 at Disneyland, and 8.1 at DCA.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

Special Events

  • Disneyland’s Holiday season concludes on 1/6/2013, with the Holiday Fantasy daytime parade performing daily until then. Guided VIP tours of Disneyland’s holiday offerings are still available through 1/6.
  • A Cars Land themed float was a highlight of the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years Day.
  • The Tinker Bell Half Marathon and associated running events will be held at Disneyland Resort on 1/18-1/20. Registration for the races is already sold out. Expect extreme crowds around the resort that weekend.
  • New 2013 themed souvenirs are now on sale throughout the Disneyland resort.
  • Disneyland will celebrate the Hispanic holiday Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes Magos) with special food and entertainment at Big Thunder Ranch on 1/4-6.
  • As part of the 2013 Limited Time Magic promotion, a tribute to the classic Golden Horseshoe Revue will be performed Thursdays through Mondays from January 10 to February 4. No word yet on how admission to the sure-to-be-popular revival will be distributed.
  • Also as part of Limited Time Magic, the Year of the Ear will introduce new ear hats for sale each month, begining with Disney Couture designs in January.
  • Beginning 1/5, Disneyland Annual Passholders receive one hour early entry into both parks on Saturdays and Sundays through April 14, 2013 (except 1/19, 1/20, & 2/3). Advanced registration is not necessary, and may be used more than once.
  • Now through 1/6, the Believe…In Holiday Magic fireworks show at Disneyland Park interacts with Glow With The Show light-up mouse ear hats. Temporary exclusive viewing areas for Glow With The Show hat holders have been established for Believe, Fantasmic!, and World of Color for the next couple weeks.
  • A modest “holiday village” of merchandise and snack vendors continues operating near the ice skating rink in Downtown Disney through 1/6.
  • Disneyland Resort is still checking photo IDs for all guests holding multi-day tickets. This results in slow entry procedures; be prepared to arrive extra early (at least 45 minutes pre-opening) to be one of the first people into the park.

Openings, Closings, and Refurbishments

  • Construction continues through 2013 on the new Princess Fantasy Faire and Fantasyland Theatre.
  • MuppetVision 4D has been temporarily replaced with the Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice 3-D short film for the holiday season. The Muppets should return after 1/6.
  • A Prep & Landing sequence has also been temporarily added to World of Color performances through 1/6.
  • Big Thunder Mountain is closed 1/7 through 10/30 for a major refurbishment of the track and scenery.
  • Big Thunder Ranch is closed 1/7 through 1/17 for holiday decor removal.
  • Haunted Mansion is closed 1/7 though 1/17 for holiday decor removal.
  • Fantasmic! will not be performed 1/7 through 2/14.
  • The Mark Twain Riverboat is closed 1/7 through 3/28 for refurbishment.
  • Grizzly River Run is closed 1/7 through 2/28 for refurbishment.
  • Silly Symphony Swings are closed 1/7 through 2/17 for refurbishment.
  • World of Color will not be performed 1/28 through 1/31.

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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

3 thoughts on “This Month at Disneyland Resort: January 2013

  • January 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I will be there January 17th, and I noticed you said it will be low crowds that day. But with the marathon crowds arriving for the weekend, do you think those numbers will really hold up? (I hope so)

    • January 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Crowds on the 17th should be light, but will be heavy to extremely heavy the 18th through 21st. Make sure you have a touring plan, especially for Sunday!

  • January 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    We are planning to be there unfortunately on Sunday 1/20 (only time we could go) with 3 kids ages 7mos., 3.5yrs, and 11 yrs old. What touring plan do you recommend and any tips to avoid the crowds and appease my 3 year old girl and 11 year old boy?


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