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Everything you need to know about visiting Disney World in September

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People have mixed emotions about visiting Disney World in September. Some people will stay well away from the parks—and Orlando as a whole—thanks to the weather. Whereas others take full advantage of the cheap ticket and accommodation prices. 

Despite the rain, heat, and potential hurricanes, September does have its perks. And if it’s the only time of the year you can take a trip to Disney, then you’ll still have a fantastic time.

I myself have been to Disney in September. And the low crowds, short ride wait times, and special events do make up for the unpredictable weather. 

So to help you plan for your upcoming Walt Disney World trip in September, I’ve got some information, tips, and tricks that I can’t wait to share with you. 

Everything you need to know about visiting Disney World in September

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The average temperature in Orlando in September

The average temperature in Orlando in September ranges from highs of 32°C (89°F) to lows of 23°C (73°F).

The summer months in Orlando are no joke in terms of heat. However, September is also peak hurricane/storm season in Florida. So you can expect rain, storms, and possibly even hurricanes during your trip to Walt Disney World.

Since 1999, there have been six hurricanes to close the Disney parks in September—with three of those being in the last six years. Visiting the parks in September really is a gamble.

You sort of have to go in expecting there to be closures. But rest assured that hurricanes in Orlando aren’t too much of a safety issue. And you’ll know all about the hurricane well before it hits land. 

If you’re lucky enough not to experience any major storms, then something you will have to deal with is the humidity. Orlando is hot—and I mean hot—during the summer months. So be prepared with a handheld fan, plenty of suncream, and refillable water bottles. 

How busy is Disney World in September?

September is actually one of the least busy months in Walt Disney World—aside from Labor Day Weekend.

With the heat, risk of hurricanes, intense downpours, and the fact that kids go back to school, many people steer clear of the parks.

Now, just because September doesn’t have a lot going for it, it doesn’t mean you should discard it completely. Low crowds in the parks mean that wait times for rides, character meet and greets, and dining reservations are minimal.

It also means that ticket prices and hotel prices are the lowest of the entire calendar year. If you’re looking for a budget Disney World holiday and don’t mind the possibility of a day or two in the resort because of bad weather, then September could be a fantastic month for you. 

Special events at Disney World in September

Despite the unpredictable September weather, Disney World has some exciting special events that somewhat make up for a few downpours here and there. 

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

The first event is the International Food and Wine Festival in EPCOT. Running from July all the way through to November, the International Food and Wine Festival is EPCOTs most popular event. And it’s no wonder why. 

On top of all the incredible snacks, treats, and dining options EPCOT has to offer, the festival brings with it an even more diverse range of food items—if that is even possible. 

I truly love the International Food and Wine Festival and have eaten myself into a food coma in previous years. With so many choices and cuisines, it’s hard not to get carried away.

Before you know it, you’ve eaten enough food to feed an army. But that’s the whole point of a holiday, isn’t it? 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

You may think spooky season begins in October, but that isn’t the case at Disney World. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party actually begins in mid-August, meaning you can get in on the Halloween fun during your trip to Disney World in September. 

The Halloween party, which runs on select nights, begins at 7:00 PM and runs all the way through to midnight. However, guests who have a ticket to the party can actually enter Magic Kingdom from 4:00 PM onwards dressed in their favorite Halloween costume. 

Your ticket to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party not only gets you entry to the park. But it also allows you to trick-or-treat, watch spooktacular shows, witness the Halloween parade, and marvel at Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular firework display. 

Halloween at Magic Kingdom
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween at Magic Kingdom

Early Entry for Disney Resort Guests

One of the biggest perks—in my opinion—of staying in a Disney hotel is the fact that you get early entry into the parks. No matter if you’re in a value or a deluxe resort, every morning for all four theme parks, hotel guests get let into the parks for an additional 30 minutes to ride one of the most popular rides, take photos, or just enjoy the Disney atmosphere. 

Extra Park Hours for Deluxe Resort Guests

On top of the extra 30 minutes in the morning, Disney Deluxe Resort guests can make use of an additional 2 hours in either Magic Kingdom or EPCOT after the park closes. 

Extended evening hours vary from week to week, so it’s best to check the Walt Disney World website to see what time, date, and whether EPCOT or Magic Kingdom offers extended evening hours for your select dates. 

As the parks are only open for Deluxe Resort guests, you can expect crowds to be at their lowest. And in those two extra hours, you can easily smash out some of the biggest rides in either park. 

I highly suggest saving yourself time throughout the date when wait times are at their highest by riding your must-do most popular attractions in these extended evening hours. 

Disney H2O Glow After Hours at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

A separate ticketed event that runs throughout September is Disney H2O Glow After Hours at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. By purchasing a ticket to this limited-capacity event, you can experience Typhoon Lagoon illuminated at night from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

If you’re a huge fan of the Disney waterparks, then this event will be right up your street. You can spend your three hours tackling the wave pool, getting your adrenaline pumping on the water slides, or relaxing in the lazy river with very few people around you.

Sounds like absolute bliss, doesn’t it? With Disney character meet and greets, a DJ dance party, and free tasty snacks, the H2O Glow After Hours event is a night not to be missed. 

What to wear to Disney World in September

As September does see temperatures of 32°C (89°F), you’ll want to wear light, breathable clothing—preferably clothing that dries quickly.

Even in the evening, Orlando is still warm enough for warm-weather clothing, meaning you can leave your jumpers and jackets at home and pack shorts, T-shirts, and dresses.

As the weather is unpredictable, however, you will also want to take a poncho or a raincoat. And wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.

During the months when rain is likely, I often like to pack a pair of flip-flops in my backpack, which I can change into when it pours. That way, my shoes are dry when the rain stops, and I’m able to wear them the next day. 

What should I pack for Disney in September?

No additional layers are needed in September—aside from a raincoat—so pack only summer clothing that is light and comfortable. Don’t forget these Disney Packing Essentials either! Some additional items that you may want to pack include: 

  • Comfortable shoes
  • A sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable cool, loose clothes
  • Flip flops for days in the water parks or around the pool
  • Swimwear
  • Cooling towels
  • Mist fans
  • Suncream and regular toiletries
  • Backpack

Tips for visiting Disney World in September

Disney World can be extremely overwhelming—especially for first-time Disney-goers—but over the years, I’ve gathered some Disney World Tips and Tricks that come in incredibly handy when visiting the parks. 

Rent or Take a Stroller

Strollers are an absolute godsend in Disney World—no matter how old your kids are. It’s no secret that the Disney parks are big, and you can easily walk over 20,000 steps in a day.

For kids with little legs, all this walking is a tantrum waiting to happen. So save yourself the meltdown and take or rent a stroller.

Even if your kids protest that they’re too old for a stroller, I can guarantee that within a few hours, someone will be hitching a ride. 

You can rent a hard-shell plastic stroller from Disney for $18 for a single and $36 for a double—plus tax. Or you can take your own as long as it’s smaller than 31” (79 cm) in width and 52” (132cm) in length.

If your stroller is larger than these measurements, then Disney, unfortunately, won’t let it in. For recommendations on suitable Disney strollers, head over to What is the Best Stroller for Disney?

Pack Your Own Snacks

One of my best money-saving hacks is to take your own drinks and snacks into the parks. Sure, part of the fun of Disney is all the incredible and mouthwatering treats. But these items can quickly add up, especially if you have a larger family. 

I personally like to take a refillable water bottle with us, filling it up at refill stations throughout the park. As a single bottle of water in Disney costs around $3.50. So you can only imagine how much money you can spend throughout the day keeping your family hydrated. 

If you do want to take your own snacks, but are stuck for ideas, check out Best Snacks to Bring to Disney World.

Visit the Water Parks Early in the Morning

One of the best times to visit the water parks in September is in the morning. When it gets to mid-day, so many people flock to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach to cool down in the peak temperatures.

As afternoons are typically when the storms roll in, mornings are when both parks will be at their quietest. 

Schedule Naps for the Middle of the Day

Disney days are long, which is why I always like to schedule a break in the middle of the day. If we’re staying onsite, I’ll take my kids back to the hotel for a swim, a nap, and just an hour or two of relaxation before heading back to the parks in the late afternoon.

This break allows you to avoid the hottest part of the day while also recharging in the hopes of keeping your kids going until the parks close. 

Ride Attractions with Indoor Queues in the Middle of the Day

Alternatively, for families with older kids or those who are staying offsite, then try to ride attractions with indoor or shaded queues in the middle of the day. There are so many rides and shows that are indoors. And they make a great escape from the unbearable midday Florida heat. 

Pack a Poncho or an Umbrella

I’m sorry to say that rain is highly likely during your September Disney World trip. But not to worry, even in the rain, you’ll still have an incredible time. 

If you don’t want to spend a fortune—and I mean a fortune—on Disney-branded ponchos, then it’s wise to take your own into the parks with you. When it rains in Florida, it pours.

If you’re caught without some form of rain protection, you will be soaked from head to toe!

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes are the replacement for Disney’s old fast pass add-on. And oh, how I miss fast passes. 

I’m slightly on the fence with Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes—especially when the parks are quiet, which they will be in September. In September, you should find that ride wait times aren’t completely ridiculous.

If there is an attraction that you really want to experience but don’t want to wait in an hour-long queue for, then Disney Genie+ or Lightning Lanes could be well worth the investment. For more information on Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, I put together An Easy Guide to Using Disney Genie +.

Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Queue Cheat Sheet
Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Queue Cheat Sheet

Download the Disney World App

The Disney World App is a tool that at least one person in your party should download. It really does have some incredible features that can make your park days run as smoothly as possible.

With the option to join virtual queues, order food from your phone, navigate the parks with interactive maps, and track ride wait times, the Disney World App has everything you need all in one place.

I highly recommend downloading the app well before your trip so you create a login, come to terms with how it works, and understand all its features.

Book Dining Reservations 60 Days in Advance

If you’ve ever tried to book Disney dining reservations, then you’ll know it can be a stressful task. Disney dining reservations open up 60 days before your trip.

If you’re not ready and waiting at 6:00 AM (EDT), you could miss out on your desired sit-down restaurants. Many of the most popular sit-down restaurants—especially character dining—book out incredibly fast.

So, be sure to have a plan of what parks you’ll be in on what day, which restaurants you’d like to book (with backups, just in case), and a few different time slots in the event that your initial slot isn’t available. If you don’t manage to land the reservations you’re after, then keep checking the Disney World app for cancellations.

As people change their plans, dining reservations become available, meaning you may still be able to book reservations even when you’re already in the parks. 

FAQs 

How busy is Orlando in September? 

September is one of the quietest months in Orlando, thanks to a combination of bad weather and kids returning back to school.

Combine the weather and school terms with the fact that there is only one major holiday—Labor Day weekend—and crowds are minimal in Orlando during September.

What to wear to Disney in September? 

As Disney World sees 32°C (89°F) temperatures, you’ll want to wear light, comfortable, and breathable clothing, packing a poncho in case it rains. 

Are Disney parks busy in September? 

September is the least busy month of the year at Disney World. However, there are moderate crowds during Labor Day weekend. 

Is Disney World worth it in September?

Despite the heat, rain, and possibility of hurricanes, Disney World is worth it in September.

Because September has a lot to deter people away from the parks, ticket, and hotel prices are the lowest you’ll find all year, making it a great time for families holidaying on a budget. If you do book a September Disney World holiday, however, then you should go into it expecting park closures.

Even if the parks do close for a day or two, you’ll still have a fantastic time. It’s hard not to in the most magical place on Earth. 

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