Why January is the best time to visit Disney World

Anna Hecht, CNN Underscored
Updated Thu December 6, 2018

Taking the whole family on a Disney World vacation is almost always a pricey experience — especially if you decide to go during peak season. To travel smarter (and avoid the long lines, scorching temperatures and steep prices), SkySkanner recommends booking your Disney getaway during January. That's because "average savings price for flight tickets to Orlando in January is 27% off compared to average ticket prices for the rest of the year." Keeping that in mind, you're going to want to begin planning your trip now (including where to stay and what to do) because — believe it or not — the new year is just around the corner.

What to do:

Now that you've figured out when to book your flights, it's time to begin planning how you'll spend your days at Disney World. If it's been a while since you've gone, we're here to tell you that it's definitely still worth the trip — for both adults and kids. Whether you want to relive the classics (remember the Tower of Terror?) or check out the new attractions, the options are endless.

From Animal Kingdon's Pandora: The World of the Avatar, which opened in 2017, to Space Mountain (where thrill seekers flock), there's something for everyone. For instance, Blizzard Beach Water Park is great for the whole family and features one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling water slides. And, another popular park to hit up while at Disney World is Magic Kingdom, where visitors can ride Space Mountain, attend the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor comedy show and check out the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, where the whole family can sit together.

Of course, these are just a few of the many attractions available to kids and adults during their Disney adventure.

Where to stay:

Next, it's time to plan where you'll stay. Since not all families want to be in the thick of Disney when retreating to their hotel, we've scouted out a few options. First, we have our big kahuna, the luxurious the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, which isn't a Disney-themed accommodation, but has amazing amenities for both kids and parents. Then, we've picked out another option, The Walt Disney World Swan, which is at the heart of Disney's themed attraction parks. And, finally, to round things out, there's another nearby-Disney hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando, that's affordable — but still has its own unique set of offerings.

That way, no matter what you're looking for, you can count on these highly praised spots for a great stay. Keep reading to find out which hotel will feel like your home away from home.

The luxury hotel: Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

When we think of a hotel that has it all, we think of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. This hotel, with over 1,150 "excellent" reviews on tripadvisor.com, sits on the 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando estate. There, guests have access to a 40,000-square-foot spa, as well as three pools, including the winding lazy river at the neighboring JW Marriott. Not to mention, if you and your kids are into outdoor activities, the Grande Lakes Sports center offers biking, kayaking, eco-tours on Shingle Creek, fishing and more. Additionally, should you want to hit the spa or visit one of the on-site restaurants, such as Highball & Harvest inside the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, you can drop off your kids at the Ritz Kids Center, where they can participate in interactive learning activities, and even observe live animals that are native to Florida. (Yes, there are even baby alligators safely housed in a tank). As an added bonus, the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes (in partnership with the neighboring JW Marriott) just launched its outdoor aquatic water course, where kids and grownups can play and test their agility.

(The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks.)

The affordable hotel: The Fairfield Inn & Suites

If you're looking for a budget hotel, look no further than the Fairfield Inn & Suites. This Universal Partner Hotel is just a complimentary shuttle from Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. Guests have access to high-speed Wi-Fi, a pool, a fitness center, plush bedding and room service. Each morning, breakfast is served at the complimentary buffet and each room has a mini-refrigerator that's stocked with snacks. Finally, if you're staying more than four nights, don't forget to ask about the special vacation package that includes early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Disney-themed hotel: The Walt Disney World Swan

Disney fanatics will love the Walt Disney World Swan for its great location. In minutes, guests can be at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and other theme parks and attractions. Located at the heart of Disney World's best Resorts, the Walt Disney World Swan opened in 1990 and offers guests everything from complimentary transportation to a full-service spa, a space for picnics and grilling and on-site "Disney character dining."