Light crowds and short lines at Disneyland may seem more like fantasy than reality these days, but you just might be in luck if you go in September.
The month of September at the Disneyland Resort is a relatively quiet one. The busy summer season ends this month, making way for a Disneyland with a little bit of breathing room and lines that are actually bearable. This magical time of the year — known as the “off-season” (or what’s left of it) — doesn’t last for too long though. The big crowds are just around the corner, as the popular Halloween season officially starts this month as well.
Here are the Best and Worst Days to Go to Disneyland in September:
|Best & Worst Days||Crowd Forecast|
|TUESDAYS (after Labor Day)||The summer season crowds are usually gone on the weekdays right after Labor Day for the first two weeks of the month|
|WEDNESDAYS (after Labor Day)||Check Calendar for best dates|
|THURSDAYS (after Labor Day)||Check Calendar for best dates|
|LABOR DAY||Labor Day tends to be most crowded over the holiday weekend|
|WEEKENDS (starting mid-September)||The Halloween season attracts bigger crowds on Saturdays and Sundays starting in the middle of the month|
Disneyland Crowd Calendar
We recommend going on weekdays early in the month (right after Labor Day if you can) for the most manageable crowds. Weekends are also generally less crowded in early September.
If you must go later in the month, be sure to check the Crowd Calendar for the best dates to go. Mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday) is usually best.
Crowds/Attendance in September
The summer season crowds traditionally start to die down in late August. By Labor Day, all schools are back in session and the summer season is officially over. There are some days that are better than others, though. Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting Disneyland in the month of September.
1. Go after Labor Day
There’s a small window of opportunity to enjoy some of the least crowded days of the year at Disneyland if you go right after Labor Day. It’s the start of a short “off-season” before crowds start to pick again for Halloween Time. It’s best to visit on the weekdays right after Labor Day, but the week after traditionally isn’t very crowded at all either.
Crowds on Labor Day Weekend tend vary from year to year, but it’s generally moderately crowded for the holiday weekend. Saturday and Sunday are historically most manageable. Labor Day itself tends to be most crowded, so we recommend avoiding Monday if you can.
2. The earlier you go in September, the better
To catch some of the lightest crowds of the year, it’s best to go early in September rather than later. The reason? Halloween Time!
The Halloween season at Disneyland has gotten very popular in recent years, attracting more crowds to the parks in September and October. Halloween Time traditionally starts on the Friday on the week after Labor Day, so be prepared for Disneyland to be slightly busier on the weeks that follow. Weekends tend to be most crowded.
The good news, though, is that the very beginning of the Halloween season is the best time to go. Crowds are historically much worse in October, so if you want to experience a more manageable Halloween Time or Mickey’s Halloween Party, September is the time to go.
3. Mid-week is most manageable
Unlike much of the summer season (where weekends are most manageable), Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are historically the best days of the week to go in September. The Halloween season tends to attract more crowds on the weekends (particularly on Sundays in September) since some of the lower tier annual passes are valid.
Even still, weekends in September are less crowded than weekends in October. So if you must experience Halloween Time on a Saturday or Sunday, go in September.
Lines/Wait Times in September
If you’re looking for the shortest lines in September, go right after Labor Day. Around 10-20min waits is the norm mid-week (Tuesday – Thursday) on the first two weeks of the month. After that, the lines tend to be a little longer as attendance picks up for the Halloween season. Around 30min waits on average is the norm on weekdays starting in mid-September. Weekends are a little longer (30-60min on average).
We highly recommend arriving at Disneyland early (at park opening if you can) no matter what day you go. The lines are just about always shorter in the morning, until around noon when the crowds start to pick up.
Weather in September
September is one of the hotter months in Southern California. Temperatures can range anywhere in mid 80°s to upper 90°s on average. It’s still the summer, so it’s not uncommon for there to be sweltering heat on some days. The good news, though, is that whenever it’s near 100° or more, crowds tend to be much lighter. In the evening, temperatures are in mid 60°s and 70°s on average. September is one of the driest months of the year at Disneyland as well, so rainy days are extremely rare.
Have you been to Disneyland in September? What was your experience like? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!