With the kids having gone back to school and the temperature cooling down, September is one of the best times to visit Orlando, Florida. This kid-centric city is home to more than a dozen theme parks—including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Legoland, and SeaWorld—and most of them report their lowest attendance during the month of September. Smaller-than-normal crowds mean shorter lines and potential deals on park tickets and lodging.
Orlando Weather in September
Orlando's climate falls into the "humid subtropical" category, which is defined by hot summers and cool, mild winters. September marks the end of the balmy summer season and is arguably the best time (climate-wise) to visit. Temperatures cool down gradually as the month goes on.
- Average high: 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius)
- Average low: 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius)
The chance of rain also decreases throughout the month, but there is still a 50/50 chance that you'll see showers on any given day. Florida's frequent wet spells sweep through in the afternoons. Keep in mind that September is also the peak of hurricane season, so you'll need to be on the lookout for extreme weather and plan accordingly.
What to Pack
Summer attire such as shorts, tees, and airy sandals are ideal for a trip to Orlando in September. Throw in a light jacket for evening outings, just in case. Seeing as this time of year can be rainy, a poncho or umbrella may come in handy, too.
Evenings, especially at nice restaurants, provide an opportunity to go Orlando dressy-casual—meaning: tropical sports shirts and slacks or sundresses and strappy sandals are welcome. Don't forget comfortable footwear, especially if you plan to spend most of your vacation walking around the amusement parks.
Disney World Resort pools, hotel pools, and water parks are perfect places to cool off, so pack a bathing suit and cover-up for the obligatory mid-day dip. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also necessary for a September trip to Florida.
September Events in Orlando
September means food-focused events throughout Orlando and the beginning of the festive Halloween season at Walt Disney World.
- Magical Dining Month: More than 100 Orlando-area restaurants offer three-course prix-fixe meals at $35 per person from the end of August through the beginning of October, the 38 days known as Magical Dining Month. At the end of the program, restaurants donate $1 for each Magical Dining dinner served directly to one or more deserving charities. 2020's event will take place from August 28 to October 4.
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Feast on food from around the world at the more than 20 marketplaces that make up Epcot's annual International Food & Wine Festival. In addition to food, there are also nightly concerts, chef-led events, and scavenger hunts. 2020's event starts July 15 and will be modified to allow for social distancing. The various marketplaces will be located throughout the park.
- Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Halloween gets a head start at Walt Disney World, where Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party happens most nights from late August through October. The ghosts and goblins come out after dark in the Magic Kingdom, and Disney characters clad in Halloween costumes are on the scene. Just like on Halloween night, you can collect sweets and treats. Many attractions in Walt Disney World will be open during this event. You'll need tickets to the park to get in.
- SeaWorld Craft Beer Fest: SeaWorld is an ideal place to bring the libation enthusiasts in your family during Craft Beer Fest. On any weekend through September 20, you can choose between 100 craft beers from breweries across the state of Florida, plus a few domestic and international craft favorites.
September Travel Tips
- Just because the temperatures have dipped a bit doesn't mean you should travel without sunscreen. Apply early and often, and expect the sun to roll back in after the afternoon showers.
- Because September is considered to be the slow season, some rides and attractions are closed. Consider planning a day trip to explore lesser-known gems like Kissimmee, (30 minutes from Orlando and known as the "Gateway to the Everglades"). This is a fun place to see alligators and do some outlet shopping. Alternatively, head to Wekiwa Springs State Park, not far from downtown Orlando, to enjoy clear, emerald springs and lush tropical vegetation.
- Although Orlando is about an hour's drive from the coast, travelers should beware of incoming hurricanes by staying up to date on National Hurricane Center warnings.