September in Orlando: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Spaceship Earth geodesic dome at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center in Florida
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It's September and school is back in session, but you'll still experience summer-type weather in Orlando. It's a great time to check out theme parks and local attractions because you'll encounter smaller-than-normal crowds. Theme parks report their lowest attendance during the month of September, and with the weather (slightly) cooling off, it's a fine time to visit Walt Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld and take in some special events such as the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. 

Orlando Weather in September

Daily highs in September top out in the mid- to upper-80s Fahrenheit, with nighttime lows in the low- to mid-70s. So it's still very warm and humid in the afternoon but not quite as unbearable as during June through August in Orlando. The temperatures go down toward the end of the month, and that is the time to visit if you have some flexibility.

The chance for rain also goes down as September progresses, but there still is a 50/50 chance every day that you'll see raindrops, and that is most likely in the afternoon—you might even see rain every afternoon you are in Orlando. It's also the height of the hurricane season, so you'll need to be on the lookout for extreme weather and plan accordingly.

What to Pack

Definitely pack your summer attire for a September vacation in Orlando. Shorts and T-shirts are ideal for the theme parks—throw in a hoodie or sweater for evening, just in case.

Evenings, especially at nice restaurants, can be an opportunity to dress up with a tropical sports shirt and slacks or, for women, sundress and strappy sandals. During the day you'll either be sightseeing or be on your feet at a theme park so wear walking shoes or sandals to be comfortable.

September can bring rain, so a light poncho or umbrella will come in handy if you encounter one of those afternoon downpours.

Disney World Resort pools, hotel pools, and water parks will be where you'll want to cool off so pack a bathing suit and cover-up. For a day at a water park, bring your own water shoes to prevent slipping. And, since you'll enjoy being outdoors in the warm weather, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are must-pack items.

September Events in Orlando

September events bring events for foodies in several different venues in Orlando and the beginning of the 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, during Magical Dining Month. At the end of the program, restaurants will donate $1 for each Magical Dining dinner served directly to one or more deserving charities.

Food and Wine Festival: At the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, you'll find global marketplaces featuring food from countries around the world at 35 kiosks; concerts every night that go from rock to pop, new wave to swing; and events with chefs where you can watch them whip up a fantastic meal that will make your mouth water. A ticket to the park is required to attend each day.

Mickey's Halloween Party: Halloween gets a head start at Walt Disney World, where Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party happens most nights from Aug. 25 to Oct 31. The ghosts and goblins are out after dark in the Magic Kingdom, and favorite Disney characters with a Halloween twist are on the scene, complete with a backdrop of lightly-scary entertainment. And just like on Halloween night, you can collect sweets and treats while dressed in costume. Read the rules on the website before you decide on that really cool costume you have in mind to be sure it will be allowed.

Many attractions in Walt Disney World will be open during this event. You'll need a ticket for everyone in your group to get into the park.

SeaWorld Craft Beer Fest: SeaWorld is an ideal place to bring the beer lovers in your family during September. Over four weekends, enjoy 100 craft beers from breweries across the state of Florida, plus a few domestic and international craft favorites.

Things to See and Do in Orlando

Theme parks are fun, but sometimes it's nice to take a break and see some of the local attractions. September generally has great weather for eating a leisurely breakfast, lunch, or dinner alfresco on one of Orlando's many restaurant patios; shopping at Orlando's famous outlet malls; or checking out the local boutique scene on Winter Park Avenue, where you'll get a taste of what Orlando was like before it became the capital of Disney. Winter Park Avenue's bars and bistros also make it a cool place to be.

If it's raining, take a stroll through the East End Market, which features food, art, and fresh produce from Central Florida. On a warm and lazy afternoon, chilling at the hotel pool might be the best idea yet, with a stroll to the hotel bar for your favorite craft cocktail right around 5 p.m. before heading out to a great dinner at one of Orlando's many fine restaurants.

Visit Kissimmee: Kissimmee, just 30 minutes from Orlando, is known as the "Gateway to the Everglades" and it's a fun place to see alligators and do a little outlet shopping.

SeaLife Orlando: Orlando's aquarium offers an opportunity to see Atlantic sea life like turtles, sharks, and jellyfish. Take a behind-the-scenes tour or help at feeding time. If you are staying on International Drive, SeaLife Orlando Aquarium is easily accessible by walking.

Visit the Hot Springs: Wekiwa Springs State Park, not far from downtown Orlando, boasts clear, emerald springs feeding the Wekiwa River and lush tropical vegetation. It's a great place for hiking or taking a dip in the crystal clear warm spring waters.

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