The heavy crowds and frantic pace of summer begin to fall away as September begins and most school aged children return to the classroom. Visitors to Disney World in September can expect to see lower crowd levels and experience less waiting in line at the theme parks.
Even though it is September, it will still be hot during the day. While you will avoid the blistering high 90-degree temperatures of July and August, expect to experience summer weather during the day.
Some rides may be closed for refurbishment in September, so check online before booking if you have a "must see" favorite. Special events in September include "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party", "Night of Joy" Christian music festival and special activities and events just for toddlers and preschoolers.
Expect Disney World crowds to become more manageable by the first of September. Most U.S. school children return to school in this month, so fewer families travel to Disney World during the "back to school" season. The Disney theme parks will still be crowded on the weekends, though, as local visitors and school groups visit the parks. Use Disney's FastPass+ during the most crowded parts of the day, and pack your autograph books — you'll have plenty of time to get autographs from your favorite Disney characters.
The lack of "big kids" makes September a great time to visit Disney with a toddler or preschooler.
Disney World generally rolls out some fun activities designed with little ones in mind at this time of year. Look for special programs and events in September, including special park hours and character greeting opportunities.
Even if you have booked your trip far in advance, keep an eye out for special promotions in September.
Look for packages aimed at families with small children, and watch for discounts on dining and resort packages as well. You may spot a better deal for your vacation dates.
Get a fun preview of Halloween when you attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which begins in late September. Not only will you have a blast dressing up the kids, but you'll spot some great fall decorating ideas as well!
- Even though September is a "fall" month, Disney resort pools and water parks are still experiencing summer weather, so be sure to pack your bathing suit.
- Arrive at the theme parks early in the morning, and enjoy the thin crowds and more comfortable temperatures. Hit the pool when things heat up in the afternoon.
- Plan afternoon visits to wet or cold attractions like Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon or Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.
Warnings and Cautions
- Sunburn alert! It may be cooler in many parts of the country, but in Florida, you still need sunscreen, especially if you visit the theme parks or water parks in the afternoon.
- Some rides and attractions may be closed in September, which is an "off" season. If you have a "must do" attraction, look online before you book to be sure you won't miss a favorite ride.
- Long Line Alert! If free dining is one of the promotions offered during your stay, dining reservations are a must. You will not be able to secure a table at your favorite restaurant without a reservation.
Edited by Dawn Henthorn, Florida Travel Expert since June, 2000