Disney released the January 2014 operating schedule today at the usual link: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/DTA-Domestic/pdf/ParkHours/WDW_Operating_Calendar_jan.pdf.
Like last year, January 1st – 4th will continue seeing crowds closer to Christmas Week than the rest of January, but the drop off should be more substantial than last year, when the first full week was almost as busy as Christmas. Many schools return on January 2nd rather than January 6th.
Marathon Weekend from January 10th – 12th brings a lot of people to the Lake Buena Vista area, but the impact on the theme parks is not as substantial. We’ll see a modest bump in the overall crowd level.
Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, from January 18th – 20th will see a more substantial crowd bump, with crowds in the “8” range until Tuesday the 21st when crowds decrease to the 2-3 range.
The last week in January into the first week in February is my favorite two week period of the year at Walt Disney World with Value season pricing, (relatively) low crowds, and warm temperatures.
South American tour groups make an impact on overall crowds in January. With lower overall crowds and cooler temperatures than the busy summer, they don’t tend to be as annoying.