What Is Walt Disney World Like in September?
If you’re like many people in America right now, you have plenty of unused vacation days that you’ll need to spend by the end of the year.
Now that you’ve been vaccinated or will be soon, you’re starting to fantasize about the best ways to use that time off.
What you need is a Disney fantasy, right? You’re probably thinking about booking in the fall when the weather cools down, and COVID’s in the rearview mirror.
What is Walt Disney World like in September? Here are a few things you should know.
Let’s Talk about the Offseason
The first thing you’re wondering is what crowds will be like as summer turns to fall.
Well, that topic’s grown complicated in 2021. For a while now, Disney observers have stated that the parks don’t have an offseason.
As we’ll discuss, the weather remains pleasant, and Walt Disney’s World is no longer a place just for families.
Many singles and childless adult couples visit, too. Their travel dates are more flexible, meaning that they can just as easily vacation in the fall.
However, September has remained a constant in the offseason debate. From the week after Labor Day through the end of the month, crowds remain low.
Disney has tried to juice the parks’ appeal by altering a couple of items on the annual calendar.
Festivals usually run on every date in September. Also, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has opened in mid-September.
Will we even have a Halloween party this year? That remains to be seen.
Even so, I expect September crowds to be larger than average. The United States may achieve herd immunity by then.
Guests will be more willing to travel during the second half of the year. Of course, school will be back in session…and I mean in person.
That aspect will keep families away for the most part. Similarly, Disney hasn’t raised capacity yet. It’s currently sitting at 35 percent maximum.
As long as those numbers don’t increase over 70 percent, you should still have the run of Walt Disney World in September.
Crowds shouldn’t be a factor.
Let’s Talk about the Weather
You know that Florida gets hot throughout the year. If you’re wondering about September, the place is cooler…but still hot.
For comparison, the average high temperature in July is 92 degrees while the low is 75 degrees.
In September, those averages drop to 89 degrees and 74 degrees. The main change is that it rains slightly less in the fall.
You’ll need an umbrella about one out of every three days on average. However, you’ll be hot on most days.
That’s totally fine, though! You’ll simply wear light, brightly colored clothing to remain cool throughout the day.
Disney theme parks also sprinkle rest areas and covered seating throughout the themed lands, providing you with opportunities to refuel.
I’ve visited Disney at a time when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees on seven consecutive days – no joke! – and I was fine.
Just remember to hydrate and try not to push yourself excessively.
Let’s Talk about Special Engagements
The first thing you should always check about a Disney visit is whether EPCOT will host a festival.
These events operate on most days on the Disney calendar. You’d be fairly unlucky not to experience one during a weeklong visit.
Even so, you should still verify because EPCOT festivals are the absolute greatest. You’ll find plenty of entertainment, delicious food, and unique merchandise.
Based on recent events, we can reasonably expect the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival to run throughout September.
Disney has started this festival in late-August and then operated it through early November.
While the park hasn’t confirmed official dates yet, over the past decade, it’s always hosted a festival at some point in September.
Your only concern here would involve a visit during the earliest part of the month. Even then, you should be fine.
About the Holidays
You should consider holidays when you plan your visit. During September, the main one is Labor Day.
If you plan to visit over the holiday weekend or the previous batch of weekdays, you should expect larger crowds at the parks.
Like you, the other guests are trying to squeeze every last drop out of summer. So, they’ve headed to Disney to maximize the good times.
After that weekend, the crowds should shrink until the Halloween party begins, presuming that happens this year.
If not, expect September to count as the least crowded month during the second half of the year.
Other Events to Remember
The greater Orlando area features some other events that you may appeal to you enough that you’ll want to leave the Disney Bubble.
There’s not an NFL team in Orlando (yet). Still, the University of Central Florida’s football season will start in early September if you want to catch a game.
Broadway will also make its much-anticipated return to Orlando in September.
Touring casts of plays like Hadestown, The Prom, and Tootsie will arrive by the end of 2021. In September, your only option is Hadestown, though.
At Walt Disney World, ESPN Wide World of Sports will start hosting amateur events again soon.
The current calendar calls for a youth soccer showcase qualifier event that month, which may be the reason you’re considering a visit.
General Stuff to Track
Disney park hours have felt like a moving target during the pandemic. Park officials have adjusted on the fly to changing circumstances.
The end result requires you to keep checking the anticipated dates for your visit. Obviously, that won’t help you right now. It’s something to monitor later.
Generally, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has opened (and closed) the earliest during the pandemic. EPCOT is usually the last park to operate each day.
Something else to remember is that golf courses, mini-golf, and other entertainment options are available.
Meanwhile, water park fans should know that Disney’s Blizzard Beach has reopened.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon hasn’t yet. Realistically, I expect it to reopen by September. That’s pure conjecture on my part, though.
Overall, I believe that adults traveling without children will enjoy September as much as any month on the annual calendar.
I say this because of the lack of crowds combined with unique amenities like Food & Wine and the Halloween party.
However, 2021 may prove the exception due to all that unused vacation time floating around.
Even if that’s true, the worst-case scenario is that you get to visit Disney in 2021, which is better than you’d dared to dream possible, right?