September is one of my favorite months to visit Walt Disney World. There are so many fun things happening around the parks and back to school means the crowds die down a bit. And even though it’s not high summer, it is still plenty hot there in September.
I love visiting in September because even though it is still hot, high summer is over and you aren’t overheating as much as in June or July. Packing for a September Disney World trip is probably one of the easiest as far as what items to pack goes. You are still able to get away with shorts and t-shirts which take up less space in your suitcase, leaving room for any extra items you want to bring.
I’ve come up with a lot of packing lists for Disney over the years and specifically have a lot of experience traveling to Disney World in September. September is my favorite month to travel to Disney World because I feel like you get so much more from your trip.
Between the Food and Wine Festival and the Halloween activities and events, you are sure to get your money’s worth. The Food and Wine Festival is my favorite event that Disney offers and I love that it is free with your admission to Epcot. There is so much more to experience during this event at Epcot and even more, options to keep the whole family happy. There is also extra merchandise to purchase themed for the Food and Wine Festival which makes for a great souvenir.
I am also obsessed with the extra merchandise available for Halloween. This is my favorite time to shop in the Disney parks because the gift shops are full of really fun Halloween items. Each year you can decorate for Halloween with the fun Halloween items you got on your Disney vacation. So much better than a t-shirt souvenir. I have learned so much from my travels to Disney World, but especially from my trips in September. Follow along for some tips and must-haves, as I help guide you on your journey to creating the best packing list for Disney World in September.
What to Pack for a Disney Vacation
A trip to Disney is not the time to skimp on the packing. You are going to want plenty of clothing and shoe options to accommodate the long days walking in the sun. Planning what to pack for a Disney vacation can get overwhelming, but if you follow this guideline, you’ll be more prepared and less stressed. First, run through your daily routine in your head. This way you won’t forget anything you use on a day-to-day basis.
Keep in mind, September is still hot in Florida, so shorts and tees/tanks are optima. As far as shoes go, sneakers are your best bet. Don’t bring a pair of brand-new sneakers. You’ll end up with blisters and will make it less than a pleasurable trip. If you do want new sneakers, I suggest buying them in advance and wearing them in a bit so they are good to go for the trip! Bringing a secondary comfortable pair of shoes is also a great idea. With the amount of walking, you’ll be doing; your feet will thank you for not sticking to the same shoe each park day.
The best packing list for Disney World includes a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect you from the hot sun, and a compact umbrella or poncho to protect you from the unpredictable rain. If you have stroller-aged children, I suggest getting a clip-on fan like this to keep your child cool. Also, one of the best things you can get for a more comfortable trip is a cool cloth or a misting fan to help cool you off!
I have found kids and babies are much more content when they are cool, especially when sitting in a hot stroller. The clip-on fan gives them a little breeze and makes them a lot happier. A misting fan is maybe the best purchase you can make ahead of your Disney trip. It gives you the option to cool down on the go without having to take time out of your busy day to stop and get a refreshment.
This is also a great item that can be shared throughout the family. Maybe grab a couple only to eliminate non-stop arguing!
Bringing a battery pack will be a huge lifesaver when you are taking pictures and using the Disney app. Charge your phone on the go so you are ready for the photo opportunities when they come up. You’ll be taking a ton of pictures and videos, plus using the Disney app throughout the day, so your battery is sure to run down quickly. Bringing a battery pack to recharge your phone will save you a lot of disappointment and added stress.
Pack a water bottle that you can fill up throughout the day. Disney will give you free cups of ice water. So, bringing your water bottle that you can fill with cups of water will save you a ton of money and will make you stay more hydrated. Hand sanitizer is a great item to have. I love a spray hand sanitizer because it is more convenient for using constantly without having to stop and without there being a mess.
A first aid kit is great to have on hand, but not completely necessary. I like to have a small first aid kit on hand for small scratches or blisters. But there are first aid locations in each park that have everything you need.
Also, go out and buy an anti-friction body stick. I promise you won’t regret it. Walking all day, plus sweating and water rides equals some uncomfortable walking at times. Nothing ruins your day more than a rash from being wet or sweaty. An anti-friction stick is small enough to stick in your bag and will save your family from being uncomfortable all trip.
You are going to want a comfortable backpack that you won’t mind lugging around all day but has plenty of room for all of your necessities. I also suggest a crossbody bag or fanny pack for days outside of the parks and quick access to important items. These bags are so great to stay hands-free but have everything you need at your fingertips. You barely know they are there and it is so convenient.
Disney World Clothes to Wear
Planning your Disney outfits is almost as much fun as going to Disney itself. Matching shirts, and coordinating outfits to each park make for some fun and memorable photo ops. But, when planning outfits for Disney in September, one of the biggest considerations should be comfortable and not anything heavy.
I love packing the men in my family sweat-wicking, quick-dry clothes. These keep you the coolest while also keeping you dry throughout the day. For women, bike shorts and an oversized Disney t-shirt are fashionable yet comfortable choices. I also recommend athletic wear. You can still make these outfits stylish without sacrificing comfort.
There are so many adorable Disney World clothes to wear for kids from dresses to hats and t-shirts to themed shoes, these are great options to keep the kids Disney photo-op ready but also comfortable in the Disney September heat.
Keep their clothing light and airy especially if they are sitting in a stroller most of the day! Lightweight loose-fitting clothes are key for a comfortable vacation. With the hot temperatures, you don’t want to be weighed down by heavy clothes. Shoes that kids can wear comfortably all day are so important when packing for a Disney vacation in September. They will still be doing quite a bit of walking even if you are bringing a stroller and the last thing you want is a cranky kid because their feet are hot and achy.
I love light airy shoes to keep kids happy. These are my favorite shoe option for kids. They are comfortable for a lot of walking, not restricting or hot, and they are easily washed and can double as a good water shoe. Not to mention they come in so many colors, your child will love picking out their favorite color!
Slip-on shoes are a great option to pack for your Disney vacation. A good slip-on shoe will be light enough to not have your feet sweating all day but still comfortable for the miles of walking. I like to switch off what shoes I wear each day to keep my feet from being achy.
Packing for a Disney vacation is not the time to minimize your packing list. Disney is the one vacation where I use all of the extra items I pack. Extra clothes, shoes, socks, dressier options; you’ll use them all. Using these suggestions will give you the best packing list for Disney World so you are fully prepared for your trip.
Snacks to Pack for Disney
Snacks are one of the most important things to consider when preparing for your Disney trip. While there are tons of great food options in the parks, it can get expensive and take time away from other experiences waiting in line every time you want a snack.
Here is a good list of snacks to pack for Disney to save you time and money and keep everyone in the family happy. Packs of goldfish crackers are quick and a great option for the family, and with the Disney-themed bags they make for a fun snack in the parks.
Granola bars have so many options to fit everyone’s wants and needs for a healthy yet flavorful and filling option. Small variety packs of cereal are great for the kids. Snack-size bags of chips, applesauce packets, and rice cakes are also good to have on hand. I love packing trail mix for the parks because there are so many choices, you are bound to find one that the whole family agrees on.
These also come in miniature bags which makes it all the more convenient. I love to buy the individual-size bags so everyone in the family can get their favorite snack and it cuts out a lot of time putting snacks in bags to bring in. Even though buying snack-size items can get a little more expensive, it is so worth it as a special treat for your trip and is convenient.
If you don’t want to worry about fitting all the snacks into your suitcase or don’t want them to get crushed in your travels, order your snacks ahead of time to be delivered to your hotel! I have ordered groceries countless times from grocery stores in the surrounding areas. I place the order ahead of time and schedule the delivery for when we get there.
I love getting to the hotel and having my groceries ready for me. This also saves a lot of money in the long run. Disney snacks are fun and a great treat, but it can get expensive and redundant getting multiple snacks and meals each day. I love bringing lunch for the family and having a picnic in the park. That way we have healthier options for lunches and snacks and it cuts down on the costs, leaving you to splurge on a fun souvenir or a special dinner.
Special Events in September at Disney World
There are so many fun things to experience at Disney World year-round, but September is one of the best times to visit the parks and get to experience even more. You are going to want to consider these special events in September at Disney World when packing for your trip.
First, you have the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. This happens every fall and is open to anyone who has a valid park ticket to Epcot. This event allows guests to sample and enjoy special cuisine, merchandise, and entertainment from additional countries added around Epcot.
Bringing a fanny pack or crossbody bag with quick access and cash is a great option to get in and out of line faster. When packing your bag for the day, leave out the extra snacks. You’ll be sampling your way around the world and won’t be in desperate need of a snack from your bag. Still bring those snacks for kids though!
Another special event offered in September is the Disney After Hours Boo Bash. This is a fun event for the family to celebrate Halloween at the happiest place on Earth. From Halloween-themed cavalcades, characters and decor, and trick or treating around Magic Kingdom, this is a can’t miss event.
There are also special Halloween treats offered around the park as well as shorter wait times. Leave some room in your suitcase for Halloween costumes for the whole family, you’ll be glad you did! This is my favorite event Disney has to offer and my top recommendation to consider when planning a Disney vacation. It is so fun for the kids and the adults and the cast members to get involved and enjoy this event as well.
Keep in mind, unlike the Food and Wine Festival, this is a special ticketed event. The extra expense with this event is one hundred percent worth it in my opinion. Kids get a kick out of trick or treating around Magic Kingdom. I think the price is worth it for the amount you get to enjoy during this party. Learn more about the Disney After Hours Boo Bash and purchase your tickets here.
Helpful Tips for a Better Trip
Planning a trip to Disney World can seem a bit intimidating and overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider and plan, but with these helpful tips for a better trip, you’ll be more prepared and able to enjoy your trip more.
Before you do anything, download the My Disney Experience App. You’ll have access to your ticket information, reservations, park and event hours and times, wait times, and even to your hotel room when staying on Disney property.
If you are searching for a reservation on the app and one doesn’t fit your needs, plug it into Mouse Dining to get alerts for when a reservation you want opens up. This is the easiest way to get your reservations quickly before they book up again. I have personally used this website before and have tested it.
There are so many people searching for the same reservations at the same time and hard to snag the one you want while using the app. This website sends you a notification the second the reservations you are looking for become available so you have a much better chance of getting what you want.
This is a great option if you are planning your visit on short notice. Reservations book up well in advance in Disney, so if you are planning your trip without much notice, you’ll have a much harder time securing a reservation.
If you are planning on visiting Disney World in the near future and have time on your side, I highly recommend getting things planned out for your trip first. It is one of the first things I do when planning our vacation. Get your character meals and dinners booked before they disappear. I like to take a look at the park hours for the week of our trip and plan which days we will do each park. I also like to plan with some time because it gives you time to make payments on the resort and isn’t so much all at once.
Another great thing to have is a compact lunch bag/cooler. One that can fit into your backpack is ideal and great for if you want to keep your drink cold or want to bring lunch into the parks. I have used both ices from the ice machines in the hotel and an ice pack and both have worked great at keeping our lunches cold.
A smaller lunch bag will fit at least 3 lunches with a little room to spare. I like to get one that can be folded if you don’t have as many items to consolidate space. And also, can be folded up when you are done using it to save space in your bag. I recommend getting a couple of lunch coolers to put in multiple family members’ bags to fit everyone’s lunches in.
One of the biggest tips I have when planning your trip to Disney is to leave plenty of time to get to the parks. You can get into the parks before the park opens, you just cannot get on the rides until the park’s opening. The Disney buses run well before the park opens, so be sure to snag an earlier bus to get to the parks before the rush. If you don’t want to get to the parks early, make sure you are still giving yourself plenty of time to get there.
This is especially important when you are trying to make it to a reservation on time or the fireworks. Some busses make stops and it does take a little to get from your resort to the parks. Leaving time will ease the stress of getting there by a certain time.
This is also important at the other end of the day. The park closing is a busy time for the buses. Everyone is exiting the parks and filling the busses up. While standing is permitted on the Disney buses, if there is no more space available, you will have to wait for another bus to come to your spot. This can be incredibly frustrating at the end of the day when everyone in your party is tired after a long day.
I suggest starting to move towards the park exit during the fireworks. You will still get an incredible view of the fireworks and you’ll be in a much better position for getting out of the parks first and headed to the buses. Using these suggestions will help ease your mind for your Disney World vacation.
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