Walt Disney World in September offers a more relaxed and enjoyable experience with lighter crowds and some exciting events. The month features two major events: Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. While it may not be the ideal weather with hot and rainy conditions, this leads to September being one of the least crowded months of the year. Additionally, the start of the new school year keeps the numbers down. However, if weather and school schedules are not a concern for you, September can be a wonderful time to explore the magic of Walt Disney World.
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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2024? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the return of the Disney Dining Plan, and more! (You can also find our 2023 guide here!)
- 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.
Halloween arrives early at the Disney World Resort! Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Disney’s very popular ticketed event at Magic Kingdom, will likely be taking place once again in 2024. (Although nothing has been officially announced by Disney yet.) The event is hosted on select nights in Magic Kingdom beginning mid-August, and it typically runs through October 31.
Another festival to be aware of is Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival which takes place from July 27 – November 18 in 2023. Dates have yet to be announced for 2024, but it is likely they will be similar to previous years. Undoubtedly one of the most popular festivals at Epcot, this event typically features nearly 30 food and beverage booths (compared to under 20 for the other festivals) as well as the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Evenings and weekends will be busier so plan on visiting Epcot during the week if crowds are a concern.
The Eat to the Beat Concert Series will also likely return in 2024 to the America Gardens Theatre stage. We will keep you posted as more details are announced.
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. There are currently no events scheduled for the month of August, but this could change as some event dates have yet to be announced.
September Refurbishments & Closures
*We’ve included all current refurbishments here on this list… even ones that may be open in time for September 2024. (Please note that this list could change at a moment’s notice.)
- Tron Lightcycle Power Run is now open!
- Splash Mountain closed permanently on January 23, 2023, to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The newly rethemed attraction is scheduled to open in 2024.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is now open!
- EPCOT Forever returned on April 3, 2023 (replacing Harmonious which permanently ended on April 2, 2023)
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opened on October 16, 2023!
- Luminous: The Symphony of Us, a new nighttime spectacular will be debuting on December 5, 2023.
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid is temporarily closed with no reopening date yet.
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple has permanently ended.
- Primeval Whirl is permanently closed
- It is anticipated that Dino-Rama, as a whole, will likely close at some point to make way for a major expansion. Disney has shared plans for potential replacements, such as a Moana Mini-Land, which includes detailed concept art. Additionally, there is the possibility of a Zootopia Expansion beyond Dino-Rama. Although these proposals are promising, it should be noted that they have not yet been approved or funded by Disney. Therefore, the fate of Dino-Rama remains uncertain, but it is evident that its days are limited.
- Blizzard Beach closed on March 19, 2023, for refurbishment, and it will reopen on November 6, 2023.
- Typhoon Lagoon will close on November 6, 2023, for winter refurbishment. No opening date has been announced.
- Disney Skyliner Gondolas will experience closures in mid-to-late January 2024. This will be a phased closure that will occur first with the Disney’s Hollywood Studios side of the routes, followed by the Epcot side.
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
Crowd calendars are very popular, but they can also be a bit unpredictable. It’s best not to completely rely on them when making your Disney World vacation plans.
While crowd calendars can be a big help in knowing what to expect, 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. Unfortunately, our crowd calendars cannot predict other things such as weather, travel advisories, pandemics, or last-minute openings or closings of shows and attractions.
On top of that, many are choosing to travel differently these days. Quiet months have become popular due to runDisney events as well as other Disney events and promotions, while busier seasons have seen a downward trend in the last couple of years.
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 crowds in relation to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
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.
Ready To Start Planning Your Visit To Walt Disney World In September?
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