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September is one of the best months to visit Disneyland. If you are planning a trip to The Happiest Place On Earth in September, ghouls and ghosts, parties and hauntingly delicious treats are all in store for you. But what do you need to know before heading to Disneyland in September? Keep reading to find out.
September marks the end of summer, the beginning of Halloween Time, and the return of school. All of which makes it a great time to visit Disneyland.
In our guide to visiting Disneyland in September we will cover annual trends first (so you can decide if September is a good time for you to visit this year, or in the future). After we cover annual trends and general tips, we will look at what you need to know specifically for Disneyland in September 2021.
Just a reminder that if you have not booked your trip yet, do so ASAP! I suggest booking through Get Away Today to get discounted tickets, free hotel nights, and more. Plus, they have a Peace of Mind Plan that makes your vacation fully refundable, or you can make changes as you need to. Perfect for this year.
Disneyland in September – Annual Trends
September is one of the best times to visit Disneyland, and if you can swing a trip in during this month, I definitely suggest doing so. In fact, I am going TWICE in September 2021. But I will admit, September is not for everyone. Here are some things to consider when deciding if this is a good time for you to visit.
Crowds at Disneyland in September
While 2021 will be a unique year for crowds, especially with the new Disneyland parks reservation system and the roll out of the Magic Key Passes, it should still be a very enjoyable time as far as crowds.
Summer crowds tend to stay through Labor Day Weekend, with a sharp decline immediately following Labor Day.
With school just starting, and a holiday weekend over, many families hesitate to take time off from work or pull kids from school to visit the parks.
Monday – Fridays should be an enjoyable time in the parks, but we may see evening crowds pick up with locals now that there will be an Annual Pass option, and Disneyland’s special California Resident ticket offer being good through September.
The biggest exception to crowds will be nights that Disney California Adventure hosts the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party. On those nights, California Adventure closes at 6 pm, and non-party guests tend to head over to Disneyland. This can make the crowds fairly large in the evening on the Disneyland side.
Personally, I think that if you are not attending Oogie Boogie Bash, those nights are often a good night to head out early to catch up on sleep.
Weather at Disneyland in September
The weather at Disneyland in September is hot. While you might have some cooler days, you could also very easily see temperatures in the 90’s and even over 100 during the month.
Remember that it also always feels about 10 degrees or so hotter at Disneyland.
Definitely be sure to read up on my tips to stay cool at Disneyland before heading to the parks. I also suggest planning a mid-day break either at an indoor attraction or heading back to your hotel for a swim break or nap.
As the month passes, expect the nights to start cooling down. I suggest packing a light jacket or a hoodie, and at least one pair of long pants, just in case you need it.
Annual September Events at Disneyland – Halloween and more!
There are several events and celebrations happening at Disneyland Resort in September you will want to be aware of. Check out the information below.
The Halloween Party also kicks off in September. Traditionally, it has started mid-September but this year starts a week earlier, with the first party shortly after Labor Day.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Along with Halloween Time, Jack Skellington and his crew become a major fixture of Disneyland Resort, especially in New Orleans Square where you will see the Haunted Mansion Holiday.
This holiday ride layover opens in September for Halloween Time and lasts through the New Year.
You will also see lots of merchandise, treats, and more. Especially this year when the ride overlay celebrates 20 years.
Gay Days Now In September
Also in September is the Gay Days Celebration. This used to be held in October, but as of 2021, the celebration has been moved to September 17-19, 2021. Crowds for this weekend may be larger than other weekends in September (save Labor Day weekend). We don’t know if the park reservation system will make a difference in the crowds brought in by the celebration.
Attraction & Entertainment in September at Disneyland
In September, most Disneyland attractions and entertainment are normally running. Extra entertainment options include the Halloween Screams projections and, on the weekends, fireworks at Disneyland. This nighttime spectacular used to be limited to Halloween party guests, but since Oogie Boogie Bash is now at California Adventure, it is available to all.
Annually, in September we do start to see shows and nighttime offerings be limited to either one show a night, or even weekends only. This year, however, most entertainment options have not reopened.
Disneyland in September 2021 – What to know this year
So you have decided that September 2021 is when you want to visit Disneyland. Here is what you need to know for your visit.
September 2021 Guidelines
As Disneyland continues with a phased reopening, here are the current guidelines for visiting the parks:
All guests ages 2 and up must mask indoors, unless actively dining, regardless of vaccination status. This includes on many attractions, shows, and more.
The state of California encourages all guests to be fully vaccinated or have a negative test within 72 hours of your visit.
Guests do not need to mask in outdoor areas.
Social distancing markers are removed and guests are left to determine the appropriate distancing on their own.
Halloween Time 2021
Halloween Time at Disneyland runs from September 3 – October 31, 2021. This is the first time that the Halloween season has kicked off before Labor Day at Disneyland.
I have a full guide to Halloween at Disneyland, but one thing to know right now is that there is a ticketed Halloween Party.
The party takes place on select nights at California Adventure. Guests who have not purchased a party ticket must exit the park at 6 pm on party nights.
While many people opt to make Disneyland their “starting park” on party days (or only park if you do not have parkhopper tickets) I prefer to start at California Adventure and plan to leave early that evening. You can read my Halloween Guide for more information as to why.
Halloween Time also includes special treats, merchandise, ride overlays, decorations, and more. If you love Halloween you will love visiting during this time of year.
Disneyland Park Hours in September 2021
Usually, September begins to have shorter park hours. However in 2021, Disneyland has slowly been increasing park hours, and it looks like all of September will keep the longer hours.
Here are the current hours listed for Disneyland Resort during the month of September. Remember these are subject to change.
Disneyland Resort Park Hours September 2021
|LOCATION||OPENING||CLOSING||On Party Nights|
|DISNEYLAND PARK||8:00 AM||11:00 PM|
|CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE||8:00 AM||10:00 PM||6:00 PM|
|DOWNTOWN DISNEY||8:00 AM||12:00 AM|
Ride Closures and Refurbishments September 2021
It looks like my personal favorite ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will go down for refurbishment on September 7, 2021. Thankfully I have a trip planned before then so I can get one last ride in before the refurbishment.
The Sailing Ship Columbia will not be offered beginning September 13, 2021. I am not sure if this is a refurbishment or a closing for the season. One can hope it is possibly to prep for the return of Fantasmic…
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is also closed. Signs outside the ride state it will return Winter 2021.
The Disneyland Monorail has not returned at this time either. I really hope it returns before the holidays.
What To Look Forward to in September 2021 at Disneyland
In September 2021, we have a lot to look forward to. In addition to Halloween at Disneyland, we will see more of the parks reopening.
We also will enjoy continued low crowds, a new(ish) night time spectacular with fireworks on the weekend.
One of the best parts about September (and October) at Disneyland is even if you aren’t attending the party, the villains tend to be out more.
I also expect we will continue to see more character sitings and calvacades.
What are you most looking forward to in the parks in September?
Disneyland in September – Travel Deals
Let’s not end without talking about travel deals in September.
California Residents Save
California Residents can save on 3-day tickets for use before September 30, 2021. In addition to the savings offered, these 3-day tickets do not require use within 13 days, so you could use them to go once per week. Be sure to purchase your tickets from Get Away Today as they have an even bigger discount for you.
Save on Disneyland Hotels
You can save on stays at the Disneyland Resort Hotels through October 2, 2021, when you book by September 16, 2021. Save up to 25% on Grand Californian, 15% on Paradise Pier, and rates as low as $476 per night at the Disneyland Hotel.
You can also book this through Get Away Today and use code CrazyAdventure on stays of 2 nights or more to save an extra $10 on top of your savings. Bundle with their discount tickets for the best deals.