September 2014 Disney World Operating Schedule Available

Disney released the September 2014 operating schedule yesterday at a new link: The calendar linked is exactly the same as what’s currently posted internally. Things are a little different this year. First of all, per Disney Parks Blog, the Food and Wine Festival starts a week earlier than usual, on Friday September 19th. A cast member “soft opening” is likely on Thursday the 18th. Expect the booths to open by noon on Thursday, but the Festival Center will remain closed and no Food/Wine events should be scheduled. An early start means heavier crowds on the weekends beginning the 19th, when Epcot is open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. It also causes World Showcase to “feel” more crowded every other day of the week, both because the Festival pulls crowds into World Showcase and because there’s physically less space to move around with all the booths and lines. I’m not too ecstatic about an early start because September still sees highs in the 90s with lows that never dip below 70 degrees. Of course, it will be nice for those that are planning vacations that week and would like to take advantage of everything the Festival has to offer, perhaps for the first time.

It looks like Disney is going to extend Mickey’s Halloween Party into August with dates on Friday August 29th and Monday September 1st. Disney may be looking to capitalize on slightly heavier crowds over Labor Day Weekend. The Halloween Party dates are not official and the 7pm closes on those two dates could be due to something else. Either way, expect a 7pm close and no evening entertainment during regular hours on August 29th and September 1st. Night of Joy returns on September 5th and 6th, which is the reason for the 7pm closures on those dates.

Speaking of the Halloween Party, in past years, Disney has run just two Parties per week for most of September – one Party on Tuesday and another on Friday. This year, they’re adding Parties on Sunday September 14th and Sunday September 21st, so there will be three Halloween Parties those weeks. That means Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on three days per week with no evening entertainment during regular park hours. It also means Mondays during those weeks have evening Extra Magic Hours at both Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. That makes Epcot that much better of a Park to visit on Mondays and it should also help ease crowds at both Parks during the evening EMHs if you’re looking to Park Hop over. Magic Kingdom is always your best bet for an evening EMH due to the high number of attractions operating.

Otherwise, September remains the least crowded month of the year overall with September 2nd – 18th seeing the absolute lowest crowds of the year. Things pick up a bit after that, driven mostly by the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.


  1. Amy says


    Just wondering Jammin’ Jungle parade is still showing as being available however i thought it was due to finish in June????????

    also festival of fantasy parade is not shown is this because the parade hasn’t officially started???? this is my month to go and just want to plan as much as possible!!!!

    Thanks so much for all you do!

  2. josh says

    They won’t remove the Jungle Parade from the official schedule until they announce it’s ending. And they won’t schedule Festival of Fantasy on the official schedule until they announce when it’s starting.

  3. josh says

    I would expect the Jammin Jungle Parade to end its run in June with no parades scheduled after. But Disney isn’t going to alter their official schedules until they announce it.

  4. Kelly says

    Hi Josh,
    Thanks for posting this calendar, however, will you posting one as well like you have in the past? Have to admit, I carry yours around in a binder while we’re at WDW. Thanks!

  5. josh says

    Hard to say. Depends on bookings. The earlier Food/Wine start and additional Mickey’s Parties certainly looks like Disney is attempting to increase revenue at the same time they decrease the number of discounts. They would certainly love to eliminate free dining.

  6. Kitty says

    Thanks for this update Josh – September is the month we visit so I’m mega excited to be able to finalise my plans against the hours (and your recs. when they come)! The early start to Food and Wine is exciting for us (previously we were only going to have one day really, but it also means I need to rejig my plans, which of course, I hate doing 😛
    Thanks again for keeping us informed.

  7. Kitty says

    Also, sorry, I notice the studios is closing at 1930 a lot and AK isn’t open past 1700 (I think there were a couple of 1900 closes last Sep) is it probable either of these situations might change? Extended hours at either (at least on occasions) seem likely. I can’t remember what the first draft of hours looked like last year!

  8. Kitty says

    Jeez, sorry to spam, but I typoed. There’s meant to be a ? after “extended hours at either (at least on occasions) seem likely?” it was a question not an opinion!

  9. Pudge says

    Agreed, Josh. At least one Disney exec has publicly stated that they need to get out of the free dining vortex. (My phrase, not theirs.) I think Iger made a statement to that affect at least two years ago at a quarterly stockholder update. Obviously they keep offering it, but this may be a strategic attempt to at least shorten the window of opportunity for that discount.

  10. Melissa says

    Do we have any idea what is going on at MK on Wednesdays, starting 9/17, that they are closing at 8 pm. I checked compared to last years, and it is about a 2 hour early close.

    Also, I am not happy that the only EMH at evening for MK are on the same nights as HS. I really enjoyed the evenings last year, because it was nicer out. This is making it hard to decided when and wear to eat. With the excessively shortened hours, I could almost get completely away with QS meals and snacks and cook TS type meals back in the rooms.

    Except for MNSSHP, it seems everything is locked up tight by 9 pm. Last year I remember hitting MK till like 1 am a couple of nights a week.

  11. says

    My wife and I will be there 9/9-9/16. The doubled PM-EMH on Monday the 15th really screws us over. The only Epcot EMH is on our anniversary (9/10), which we planned on spending at the MK (Dinner at BOG).

    How hard is it to catch Wishes and immediately get to Epcot for EMH? Is it even worth the bother? I was thinking Boat to the TTC, then the monorail.

  12. Erin Elizabeth says

    I really think August is too early for the Halloween party. I wonder if the magic kingdom will even be decorated in fall decor.

  13. alex #2 says

    when does disney typically announce the free dining dates? We are planning a trip at that time frame and would love to take advantage of that plus MNSSHP and the Festival. Too much to ask for?

  14. Goofy13 says

    @Erin-MK has been in fall decor the last week in August for the past few years I’ve gone that last week. Seems more so each year so I wouldn’t be surprised if the 29th was a party.

  15. Rob Huddleston says

    Alex, it was in May last year and in March in 2012. So, basically, it could be any time.

    I know we were planning to go this year, but we need FD and that current promotion for September is junk.



  17. Kendra says

    Darn – I was really hoping for MNNSHP on Sept 30 – seems odd that they skip that Tues but have one every other Tues of the month! :(

  18. Maddie says

    Oh my god I think August is too early for Halloween but we will be there till August 31st and I would LOVE to be able to go to MNSSHP!!!!!

  19. Ang says

    Hello Josh,

    My family and I wanted to thank you. Because of your website we were able to really maximize our time at the parks. There were days when we did all the rides you recommended by 1130. Went January 31- February 7 since we discovered on your website we can maximize our time and money. The only nuisance were the cheerleaders! The time we went before was Christmas 2012 and it was the worst! Now we know to always check your site before we plan our trip…which we plan on going February 2015!!!!

  20. Dani says

    Ughhhhh it is still so hot here then. But the soft opening doesn’t coincide with my Thursday night food truck bazaar….so that’s a plus

  21. Shari says

    @Tracey-I totally agree with you!!! I’m really hoping that it’s true for the MNSSHP for August 29!!!!! Does anyone know when the official dates come out??

  22. Laura says

    Thanks Josh for all the info! Your website has been THE BEST for helping us plan our next visit ( and first visit for our 2 and 3 year old boys!). We chose September based on weather and your crowd calendars- September 13-20. Then today we saw the F&W festival has been moved up…while a fun event we were really disappointed because now the crowds will be larger and promotions may be gone. So my question is this….will we be able to tell a noticeable difference in crowd levels between a 2 and a 3 or 3 and 4? I’ve been to disney about a dozen times, but never in September. Just trying to figure out what to expect now! Thanks again for all the great information you put out here!

  23. Lori S. says

    Can you tell me the link for the release of the October 2014 operating schedule. I had a page with all of the monthly links but I think they must have changed those in September?? I thought it would be released earlier this week but I’m not sure? Thanks!

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