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How Busy Is Disneyland in September?

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September is often considered a sweet spot for visiting Disneyland. The scorching summer heat begins to subside, children go back to school, and the park transitions into the enchanting fall season. However, there are several factors to consider when planning your trip to Disneyland during this month.


Disneyland in September is generally less crowded, especially in the early part of the month when most schools have resumed and the summer vacation crowds have subsided. However, crowd levels can increase towards the end of the month due to the start of the Halloween season and special events. Weekdays, particularly Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, are typically less crowded than weekends.

Crowd Levels in September

Historically, late August through mid-September has the lowest crowd levels of the year at Disneyland. After the busy summer months and Labor Day weekend, the park experiences a significant drop in visitors. This trend continues until mid-September, after which the crowd levels start to gradually increase as the Halloween season begins.

During the weekdays, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the park is considerably less crowded than on weekends. However, weekends and holidays like Labor Day can still draw larger crowds.

Factors Affecting Crowd Levels

Several factors contribute to the crowd levels at Disneyland in September.

School Schedules

Most schools resume after summer vacations in September, leading to a drop in crowd levels, especially in the first half of the month.


September in Anaheim, California, experiences warm temperatures, with daily highs ranging from 81°F to 85°F. This pleasant climate can attract visitors seeking to escape colder weather elsewhere.

Special Events

Disneyland hosts several special events in September that can affect crowd levels. The Halloween season, which begins in mid-September, attracts a significant number of visitors. Unofficial events, such as Disneyland Gay Days and Dapper Days, also take place during this month and can lead to increased crowd levels.

Local Visitors

Disneyland has a large number of local visitors, including Magic Key passholders, who can visit the park for a few hours before or after work, particularly on weekends. This can lead to fluctuations in crowd levels throughout the day.

Tips for Visiting Disneyland in September

To make the most of your Disneyland visit in September, here are some tips:

  • Arrive early and stay late: Being at the park 30 minutes before it officially opens allows you to experience the park with smaller crowds.
  • Use wait time apps and FastPass: Utilize wait time apps to monitor attraction wait times and take advantage of FastPass and Single Rider Lines to minimize waiting.
  • Plan your visit during weekdays: Weekday visits in September are generally less crowded, making the parks more enjoyable.
  • Eat during off-hours: Plan your meals during non-peak hours to avoid long lines at restaurants.
  • Be prepared for hot weather: September can still be hot, so dress appropriately and stay hydrated.
  • Use Genie+ and Rider Switch: Purchase Genie+ to help manage your time in the park and use Rider Switch if you have young children who cannot ride certain attractions.
  • Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel: Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel can provide additional benefits, such as early entry to the parks.
  • Make dining reservations: Plan ahead and make dining reservations to ensure you have a table at your desired restaurant.
  • Check the Disneyland Crowd Calendar: Use a crowd calendar to help plan your visit and avoid peak visitation periods.

In summary, early September is generally a good time to visit Disneyland in terms of lower crowd levels. However, as the month progresses, crowd levels might increase due to special events and the beginning of the Halloween season. By planning your visit carefully and using the tips provided, you can avoid peak times and enjoy a fantastic Disneyland experience in September.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Disneyland’s operating hours in September?

Disneyland’s operating hours can vary throughout the year, and exact times are typically released around six weeks in advance. However, generally, the park opens around 8 or 9 a.m. and closes between 10 p.m. and midnight in September.

Are all attractions open in September?

Most attractions are open in September, but there may be temporary closures for maintenance or refurbishment. It’s advisable to check Disneyland’s official website or app for the most up-to-date information.

Does Disneyland offer any special discounts in September?

Disneyland occasionally offers special discounts, especially during off-peak seasons like September. These can include discounts on hotels, tickets, or dining. Check Disneyland’s official website for current offers.

What exactly is FastPass and Genie+?

FastPass and Genie+ are services offered by Disneyland to help guests save time. FastPass allows guests to reserve access to select attractions, entertainment, and character meet and greets. Genie+ is a new service that provides access to the Lightning Lane entrances for over 40 attractions.

What is Rider Switch and how does it work?

Rider Switch is a service offered by Disneyland for guests with young children who do not meet the height requirement for certain attractions. One adult can wait with the non-rider while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction; then, they switch roles to allow the waiting adult to ride without having to wait in line again.

What special events occur in Disneyland during September?

In September, Disneyland kicks off its Halloween celebrations with special events like the “Oogie Boogie Bash”. Unofficial events like Disneyland Gay Days and Dapper Days also take place in September. These events can affect crowd levels, so it’s good to be aware of them when planning your visit.

What is the Disneyland Crowd Calendar?

The Disneyland Crowd Calendar is a tool that predicts the crowd levels at Disneyland on any given day. It uses historical data and factors such as school schedules, holidays, and special events to make these predictions. It can be a useful tool in planning your visit to avoid peak crowd levels.

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