Last updated on 11/22/2023
Our Guide to Disney World in September gives you everything you need to know to plan a fabulous trip, including a free crowd calendar, September-specific weather conditions, crowd expectations and wait times, special events and more.
Let’s dive in:
We LOVE visiting Disney World in September.
Well, we don’t love the heat or the rain, but we *do* love the lower than average wait times.
September is typically a great time to travel to Walt Disney World as school is usually back in session in most areas, but it is before any fall breaks have the chance to bring heavy crowds.
Not to mention, the special events that are available to enjoy — one food and wine-related and another for those who love a particular spooky season.
There are all kinds of reasons to love Disney World during September. Here are some of our favorites:
But while there is plenty to enjoy about September at Disney World, there are a few things that we don’t love:
Over the years, we’ve noticed that September is usually a good time to visit Disney World, thanks to schools resuming in most areas. Plus, it’s before any fall breaks have started and the heavier crowds they bring with them arrive.
Here are the dates we are predicting will be the busiest in September:
Traveling in 2024? Here’s how we think September 2024 will look:
Though September can see peak crowds during Labor Day, there are still large pockets of time when guests will find the crowd levels to be much more reasonable.
Keep in mind, however, that even if the overall crowds may be lower, it may not always feel like it.
There are several reasons for why that is and while it is all speculation, here are some things that we’ve noticed that can make the parks feel busier than they are:
Even if the overall wait times at attractions aren’t dramatically reduced, you can still definitely feel a difference in the parks.
It can be a lot easier to find a table at a Quick Service restaurant, the pathways and walkways in the parks aren’t as crowded, and it can be even easier to find a bench to sit on or a spot to watch the nighttime shows.
The low crowds of September means that Disney frequently offers good discounts for this time of the year.
But remember: Disney doesn’t offer discounts to be nice, they do it to fill hotel rooms. For the best chances of snagging a good deal, keep your travel dates and preferred resort flexible.
One of the best perks of visiting Disney World in September—aside from dodging those summer crowds—is the potential cost savings. We’ve been budgeting for our Disney trips for years, and let’s just say, September often feels like a mini financial vacation compared to the peak holiday weeks.
Even without a discount, the rack rate prices for Disney Resorts are at some of their lowest prices of the year during September, so if you are looking for a good deal, September is an excellent choice.
There are several special events happening during September at Walt Disney World:
Probably the most famous of all the Epcot festivals is the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This festival is extremely popular, and for good reason. With tons of tasty small plates and drinks to buy, there is something for everyone.
Held every year in the fall, if you are a fan of good food and fun drinks, you’ll definitely want to plan to spend some time at Epcot during your trip.
Halloween has always been an extremely popular time to visit Walt Disney World, with specially ticketed events at Magic Kingdom a highlight for many guests.
One of the hottest parties around, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a specially ticketed event (translation: it costs extra) at Magic Kingdom. During the party you’ll find special character meet and greet opportunities, dance parties, the popular Boo to You parade, fireworks, and of course, trick-or-treating.
September at Disney World remains hot. And steamy. Maybe not as hot and steamy as July or August, but it is still really hot.
During September, the temperatures will range from lows in the mid-70s to highs in the upper 80s.
The rain chances decrease slightly, but September still sees on average over 6 inches of rain per year.
We recommend that you come prepared with ponchos, multiple pairs of shoes (in case one pair gets wet), and umbrellas just in case.
Plus, September is prime hurricane season and storms that impact Florida are not uncommon during this time of year. Orlando’s position in the middle of the state offers it some protection, but air travel is often impacted during bad storms. We don’t tell you this to dissuade you from visiting Walt Disney World during September, but it is something you should think about – especially when it comes to considering trip insurance.
The pools are a popular place to be in September as people search for ways to cool off after a busy day in the parks.
Besides resort pools, Disney’s 2 water parks are popular spots for beating the heat.
If swimming is a must-do, and you are worried about the crowds, consider starting your day at the pool and heading to the parks later in the day. Most people reverse that plan, which means the pools can get quite busy by the end of the day.
Traveling in September? You’ll definitely want to prepare for the hot weather and pack accordingly.
Shorts, capri pants, and moisture wicking socks are all good options.
One place where you might get cold, however, is inside some restaurants and attractions.
And in fact, even during the hottest months we keep a light jacket in our park bag because coming out of the sun into an air-conditioned space is sometimes too cold for our liking.
If you’re the kind of person that finds sitting under the AC to be too much, you might want to consider tossing in a light jacket, too.
While routine refurbishments aren’t typically scheduled in September, you’ll likely still run into a few attractions that are closed.
There is a lot of construction happening in Epcot that is supposed to open “later this fall”, including Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana and a new nighttime show. However, at this time we don’t have a firm date on when that might happen.
For those craving even more insider details, we offer comprehensive trip reports that dive deep into personal experiences at Disney World. These reports provide a day-by-day breakdown of activities, from navigating the parks and dining options to tackling the Genie+ system and seasonal events.
Each trip report is a candid look at what to expect, what to avoid, and how to make the most of your time in the Magic Kingdom and beyond. It’s like having a friend guide you through the park’s maze of wonders — all from the comfort of your home!
You can either listen to guests tell their stories (on your favorite podcasting app) or read the reports at the link below:
Depending on the length of your trip, here’s how many days we recommend for each park:
When it comes time to decide which days are best for each park, here are some general things to keep in mind:
1. For each day of the month, we tell you on a scale of 1-10 how busy the entire Walt Disney World Resort is when compared to other days of the year.
2. Then, for each park, you’ll see the park hours and any special events that are planned.
3. We also track refurbishments and closings (which you can toggle on and off).
4. We have a handy feature that allows you to automatically add your Advanced Dining Reservation date to your calendar.
5. And, one of the most useful features is the ability to be able to print the calendar so that you can have a paper copy for planning (or to just use as a backup).
Disney publishes its park hours about 75 days in advance, but those hours can (and very often do) change.
Note: This used to be about 180 days in advance, but since the reopening, they have transitioned to a roughly 75-day window.
As the dates get closer, it isn’t unusual for Disney to tweak either the opening or closing times. And during especially busy times of the year, they may change both.
That means to avoid having your plans sidetracked, you’ll definitely want to keep checking the park hours – including while on your trip.
When it comes to park hours – in general – the heavier the crowds, the longer the parks will be open during the day. Of course, that also means that the parks will be open fewer hours of the day during less busy times of the years.
Since September is typically a slower time of the year, outside of the Labor Day holiday you may see the parks not open as late as what you see over the summer.
Official park hours are usually released around 75 days in advance.
The "crowd level" compares each day to the rest of the year; it indicates how crowded the entire WDW Resort area is on a scale of 1-10.