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Visiting Walt Disney World in August can come with some unforeseen challenges. The weather that time of year is difficult to plan for, the crowds fluctuate regularly, and there are a number of special events happening in the parks.
If you haven’t been to Disney World in August before, these tips are perfect for you! They help you get the most out of your trip and help you plan for whatever comes your way.
Your trip will be magical no matter what, but these five tips will help bring the magic of your trip to the next level!
1. Crowd Calendars Aren’t Always Right
You should always consult a crowd calendar when you’re planning a Disney trip. A crowd calendar estimates how busy each of the theme parks will be on any given day on a scale of 1 through 10.
Crowd calendars help you be prepared for how busy the parks will be when you’re there. They are also a great tool to use when planning you’re trip. If you have the flexibility, you can arrange your trip to coincide with a time when the parks are predicted to be less busy.
Unfortunately crowd calendars are not always accurate. It is impossible to estimate how busy a park is going to be months in advance. I have been fooled by a crowd calendar more than once, and the parks ended up being way busier than I anticipated.
The crowds in Disney World in August are particularly difficult to estimate.
A lot of the crowds depend on whether kids are in school or not. There are also increased crowds during the opening of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. The free dining offer brings in extra people in August as well.
It is great to use a crowd calendar to plan you Disney World trip in August, but I suggest you plan for the parks to be a bit busier than the calendar suggests. If the calendar says one day will be a 4, I would plan for a 5-6 crowd day. You won’t run into any unforeseen crowd issues this way!
2. Look into Special Events Around the Parks
Walt Disney World in August is home to two special events: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Epcot’s Food and Wine festival.
Both events start in late August.
Disney posts the dates for both events months in advance, so you can check their website to see if you’ll be able to catch them when you’re in Disney.
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is included in your ticket price, so it is a great option for people who don’t want to spend extra money. There is an extra fee for MNSSHP. You get a lot of extra benefits like a quieter park and candy with MNSSHP. It is worth researching and determining if it is worth it for you!
It is so much fun to partake in the special events around Disney World in August. They add an extra layer of magic to your trip and make everything that much more fun.
The Food and Wine Festival lets you try bite-sized food from all over the world and MNSSHP lets you celebrate Halloween like never before!
There are other special events that may be offered during your Disney World trip in August. These events are offered all year round and are not exclusive to August. They are still worth checking out though!
- After Hours– This event lets you pay extra to have access to either Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom for 3 hours after the park closes! It is expensive, but I think it is worth it.
- Early Morning Magic– Similar to after hours, this is a hard ticket event. You get access to either Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom 90 minutes before the park opens. You are limited to specific lands only. Be sure to check what lands you can access to see if it is worth it for you.
- Dessert Party– A dessert party gives you access to a prime viewing location for the nighttime show in each of the parks. You get to indulge in sweets and drinks before the show then get an unobstructed view of the nighttime show. In some parks (specifically Epcot) you even get to go on a popular attraction with no wait time after the show!
I always advocate for taking all the extra events you can while on a Disney vacation. They make amazing memories and are so much fun! I never hesitate to pay for an after hours event or other hard ticket event when I’m at Disney.
Walt Disney World in August has a lot of special events to choose from! If you were only able to attend one, I would recommend MNSSHP! It is such a fun event! Seeing all the characters in their Halloween costumes is way more fun than I thought it would be. You also have the chance to see rare characters like all of the dwarves at once and Sally and Jack.
You won’t regret splurging and attending a special event at Disney World. I promise.
3. Everything You Need to Know About the Weather in Disney World in August
The weather in Disney World in August is predictably unpredictable. It changes constantly. The weather can go from swelteringly hot to pouring rain in minutes, so you need to be prepared for everything!
The only two things you can guarantee about the weather in Disney World in August is that you’re going to get wet. Whether it is from sweat or rain is yet to be determined though. But in all likelihood it will be a combination of both things.
You will need to pack accordingly and be prepared for the changes in weather. A poncho is a must-pack item. You can buy a 5 pack of ponchos for less than $10. This will save you a lot of money! The ponchos in the parks are extremely overpriced but people buy them because they didn’t come prepared.
You also need to pack a fan for when it is hot! I prefer a hand fan, but many people like the battery-powered fans. This is another item that is substantially more expensive if you purchase it in the park. Save your money for good souvenirs and pack your own fan! You will definitely need it!
Get Ahead of the Weather
I hate checking the weather and refuse to do so basically as a life motto. But there is one place that checking the weather ahead of time is essential. You guessed it: Walt Disney World.
Downloading a weather app and checking it before you leave your hotel in the morning should be a ritual when you’re at Disney World. Knowing what weather is predicted for the day will help you plan your activities.
You know that you should plan to be indoors when it is going to rain and are able to do your outside activities either before or after it starts to rain. This will make your Disney trip go much smoother. There is nothing worse than being caught out in a rain storm and being wet and uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
The good news is that the rain rarely lasts for more than 10-30 minutes in Disney World in August. You won’t have to spend your entire day inside or trudge around in the rain all day.
The same goes for the heat. If you know that it is supposed to be hottest around 3pm, then you can plan to be inside during that time. This will allow you to avoid sunburn and sunstroke and have an overall more enjoyable time in the parks.
The Truth About the Weather in Disney World in August
You can’t avoid the weather at Disney. As much as we would love for Disney to be under a giant dome, so the weather is always perfect, that simply isn’t the case.
The only thing you can do is be packed for the weather and have a plan on how to make the most of your day and work around the weather.
As I said, the rain hardly ever lasts long in Disney World in August, so it won’t ruin your trip. A rainy patch is the perfect excuse to go inside and grab a sweet treat or jump in the queue for an indoor attraction.
4. You May be Able to Eat for Free!!
You read that correctly! Disney World often offers a promotion for guests visiting the parks in the fall where they get a free dining plan attached to their reservation. This means that you can potentially save a lot of money by visiting Disney World in August.
There are, of course, certain requirements you have to meet to get this deal, but it can still save you money in the end. You have to pay full price for your hotel room and purchase a park hopper ticket in order to be eligible for the free dining offer.
The offer is also only available at certain hotels during certain dates, and there is a finite number of packages available. The promotion is normally released in the spring, and you have to book your vacation shortly after the promotion is announced.
This promotion is great for people who know they want to visit Disney World months in advance. It is definitely the sort of deal you know to know about before it is released and be ready to book it quickly.
My Thoughts on the Free Dining Promotion
I’ve used this promotion in the past, and it definitely has its pros and cons. You get a lot of food on the dining plan, so it can be difficult to use all of your free credits.
You also have to price out whether it is cheaper for you to purchase your room at a discounted rate versus pay full price and not pay for food. Disney often releases a 25% off hotel prices promotion around the same time as the free dining promotion.
You have to do the math to determine which promotion is best for your family.
The free dining promotion often works out to a better deal, and is is one tactic that Disney uses to draw more crowds at a historically less busy time of year. You should take advantage of any offer Disney has that makes your trip more cost effective! Free dining is one way of doing this.
5. No Ride Refurbishments
It is pretty much a sure bet that there won’t be many rides under refurbishment in Disney World in August. August is the end of the busy summer season, so none of the rides will be under refurbishment.
Of course there is the possibility that a few of the smaller, less popular attractions could be closed. But even that is rare. It is likely that all the attractions will be running as normal.
This is great news for people that don’t get to visit the parks very often. It is especially good for people who are able to be at the parks when the crowds are lower. You can ride everything you want without a huge wait time!
Not having to worry about being disappointed that your favourite ride will be done is one of the benefits of going to Disney World in August. You won’t have to try to plan your trip around a refurbishment schedule. It makes planning and getting FastPass+ so much easier and less stressful.
Would I Recommend Visiting Disney World in August?
I would recommend visiting Disney World at the end of August rather than at the beginning of August. The crowds will be less intense, and you will be able to partake in the special events and festivals.
Visiting in August is easier for families that have children in school because you don’t have to pull them out of class during the school year. And if you do have to pull them out, they are only missing the first few days of classes.
I think there are benefits to visiting Disney World in August, and it is the best summer month to visit the parks. It is significantly less busy than the end of June and July. The parks are packed during those times!
However, I would recommend visiting in September if that works for your family. You get the same benefits as visiting Disney World in August, but you are guaranteed to have smaller crowds.
The parks are significantly less crowded the first two weeks of September than they are the last two weeks of August. You still get to attend the special events, but you don’t have to guess whether the crowd calendar is correct or not like you have to in August. The crowds will be lower!
Visiting Disney World in August can be great. But it can also have its downsides. You can either have low crowds or extremely high crowds deepening on what time of the month you go.
The weather is also a concern but easily combated if you are prepared. Packing appropriate clothing and accessories will make the Orlando weather much more enjoyable.
August is a great time to visit Walt Disney World because you have the opportunity to experience a number of different special events like Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival and MNSSHP. You can’t beat the extra magic and memories that come with these events. They are perfect for people of any age!
You can’t go wrong with any Disney vacation. August is a great time of year to visit Disney World as long as you plan it properly and are prepared for the weather and possibility of higher crowds than you anticipated.
So go ahead and book your trip to Disney World in August! It will be a magical adventure!