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Visiting Walt Disney World in September 2023

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If you are considering a visit to Walt Disney World in September, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind. Two major events typically take place throughout the month including Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival as well as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. In terms of crowds, it’s considered to be one of the lightest months of the year. This is mostly due to the not-so-great weather (think hot and rainy) as well as the fact that September is the beginning of a new school year. But if these are non-issues for you, September can be a great month to visit Walt Disney World!

 


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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2023? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster, updated nighttime spectaculars, and more!


 

September At-a-Glance

  • Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and to drink lots of water! Temperatures in September are still quite warm! And while Disney offers many ways to cool off, you will definitely want to be prepared with sunscreen and water.
  • Be prepared for rain. As September can be very hot and humid, rain happens. Ponchos are a great thing to keep handy for afternoon showers!
  • Mornings are a great time to visit the pools. Due to the hotter temperatures, the pools can get quite busy during the heat of the day as well as in the evenings when guests return from a day in the parks. Consider visiting in the mornings when they will be less busy.
  • Major refurbishments are not typically common in September. Disney tends to schedule their refurbishments during less busy months (such as January or February), but that doesn’t mean closures can’t or won’t happen in September.
  • After Labor Day, crowds in September lighten quite a bit. Many schools are back in session and not many want to miss the first weeks of school. So if that isn’t an issue for you, this could be a great time to visit the parks!
  • The Food and Wine Festival is quite popular with locals. Consider visiting Epcot on weekdays if you’re trying to avoid the crowds.

 

September Events

Halloween arrives early at the Disney World Resort with their Halloween events and decor arriving as early as August.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party made its return for the 2022 season and will likely be back in 2023! The event is hosted on select nights in Magic Kingdom typically beginning in mid-August, and it runs through October 31. In 2022, tickets went on sale in mid-May, so be prepared to purchase tickets early if you’re planning to attend one of the events. (*Important note: Tickets for this event will not require a day park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation. )

While we don’t have prices or dates for the 2023 season yet, we can certainly look back to 2022 for an idea of what to expect. Ticket prices in 2022 ranged from $109 to $199. The event dates were:

  • August: 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30
  • September: 2, 5, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • October: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

*Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members were able to purchase specially priced tickets ($10 less per ticket) for select dates.

Another festival to be aware of is Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival which ran from July 14 to November 19 in 2022. (No dates have been announced yet for 2023.) Undoubtedly one of the most popular festivals, this event typically features over 30 food and beverage booths (compared to under 20 for the other festivals). As we stated earlier, be prepared for local crowds as many come to “eat and drink their way around the world.” Evenings and weekends will be busier so plan on visiting Epcot during the week if crowds are a concern.

ESPN Wide World of Sports typically hosts several athletic events each month. These events don’t usually have a major impact on crowds in the parks, but they can affect resort availability and crowds at Disney’s value resorts. Here are the events scheduled so far as well as events that are typically held in September:

 

September Refurbishments & Closures

*We’ve included all current refurbishments here on this list… even ones that may be open in time for September 2023. (Please note that this list could change at a moment’s notice.)

Magic Kingdom

  • Walt Disney World Railroad is finally open after nearly 4 years of closure due to Tron construction!
  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow reopened on January 15 in Storybook Circus.
  • The Little Mermaid meet and greet with Ariel officially returns on January 22, 2023.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle is reopening on February 19, 2023.
  • Happily Ever After (an updated version) is returning to Magic Kingdom on April 3, 2023.
  • Tron Lightcycle Power Run is opening on April 4, 2023.
  • Splash Mountain is closing permanently on January 23, 2023, to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The newly rethemed attraction is scheduled to open in 2024.

EPCOT

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is now open!
  • Moana: Journey of Water, a brand new attraction, will be opening in 2023.
  • Canada Far & Wide in CircleVision 360 is closed through November 2022 (most likely for the Food & Wine Festival)
  • The American Adventure is closed from September 19 thru December 16, 2022
  • A new nighttime show will be opening at some point in 2023 to replace Harmonious.

Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away (stage show) has permanently ended
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration will be closed January 9-27, 2023
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith will begin a length refurbishment beginning February 20, 2023. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2023.
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid is temporarily closed with no reopening date yet.
  • Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple is also temporarily closed.

Animal Kingdom

  • Primeval Whirl is permanently closed
  • Kali River Rapids will be closed for refurbishment beginning January 9

 Other

  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will be closed for refurbishment beginning November 13, 2022.

 

September Weather

Overall, the weather in Orlando is quite hot in September. The average high is 90 degrees and the low is typically around 72 degrees. It is technically Orlando’s rainy season as well. In fact, September is often considered to be the wettest month of the year. That being said, most rain in September will come in short “spurts” rather than be an all-day thing. Brief afternoon downpours are very typical!

One other thing to keep in mind is hurricane season. While it is rare that Disney World needs to close due to hurricane-related weather, it HAS happened in the past. Since 1985, the Walt Disney World parks have had to close nine times due to hurricanes. We’ve seen two closures in August, six in September, and one in October. Closures are typically only a day or two, but it is certainly something to be aware of when planning your September vacation.

 

September Disney World Crowd Calendar

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comCrowd calendars are very popular, but they can also be a bit unpredictable. That being said, the pandemic has made predicting crowds even more difficult than normal.

While crowd calendars can be a big help in planning your trip, keep in mind, they are predictions at best. When designing our calendars, we take a look at events, school calendars, ticket prices, park hours, holidays, and typical monthly patterns. But unfortunately, our crowd calendars cannot predict other things such as weather, travel advisories, pandemics, or last-minute openings or closings of shows and attractions.

September tends to be one of the lightest months of the year in terms of crowds. This is due to several factors including the start of a new school year as well as the weather. Weekends at Epcot will be busier than normal with locals due to the Food and Wine Festival, and the Magic Kingdom will undoubtedly see some smaller crowds in relation to the Disney After Hours BOO BASH.

Labor Day weekend is really the only “holiday” during the month of September. And while you may see a slight uptick in crowds, it’s typically not a huge draw in terms of crowds due to most families not wanting to pull their kids out of school during their first weeks back.

Another thing that might change the crowds a bit in September is for more things to be reopened or reintroduced. Disney’s phased reopening will definitely play a role in crowds this year, and many new attractions are on the horizon. Time will tell, however, if this will affect September crowds or not.

Disney World Crowd Calendar September 2023 | Magic in the Planning

 

**For a free printable PDF version of this crowd calendar, be sure to visit our resource page to become an email subscriber! You will also gain access to other printable resources to help you plan your next Disney vacation!

Ready To Start Planning Your Visit To Walt Disney World In September?

Here are some resources to help you get started!

  • Guide to Walt Disney World in 2023

Disney World Pop Century Resort | Magic in the Planning

Walt Disney World Resorts:

 

Walt Disney World Dining:

 

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway | Magic in the Planning

Walt Disney World Attraction Guides:

 

There’s nothing better than knowing what to expect on your Disney World vacation. Our monthly guides can help you visit with a plan!

January   |   February

March   |   April

May   |   June

July   |   August

September (you are here)   |   October

November   |   December

 

Planning your first Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to start planning!


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