The summer tourists have gone home, and the local kids are back in school, making September a spectacular time to visit the Disneyland Resort if you desire short lines. Mid-week visitors can expect the smallest crowds seen since before the June relaunch of Disney California Adventure. Beware, however, that seasonal installations and long-delayed refurbishments will result in several favorite Disneyland attractions being declared off-limits over the next month. Be sure to check the refurbishment list when planning a visit to the parks, so that you aren’t unpleasantly surprised upon arrival.
Quietest Day: Most Mondays through Thursdays this month sport wait times in the bottom third of the year. The day after Labor Day is traditionally dead quiet, with Tuesday 8/30 predicted at only 1.1 out of 10 at Disneyland, and 1.8 at DCA.
Busiest Day: Saturdays and Sundays will be moderately busy once the Halloween decor is in full effect. Saturday 9/22 should hit a predicted peak of 6.3 out of 10 in Disneyland, and 6.6 at DCA.
- The Disneyland Half-Marathon on September 2 wraps up a weekend of fitness events that attracts 17,000 runners. Due to races, there will be no early entry at DCA on September 1, and none at Disneyland on September 2.
- Halloween Time, Disneyland’s annual trick-or-treat-themed decor treatment, officially runs September 14 through October 31, though merchandise is already available in the park.
- Disney’s Happiest Haunts VIP guided tours run every night starting September 14 through October 31
- The season’s first Mickey’s Halloween Party will be held after hours in Disneyland on September 28. Parties continue on select nights through October.
- Disneyland will close early at 5pm on September 6 for an employee recognition event. DCA will remain open until 8pm.
- “Sneak peak” dining events at the the Paradise Pier Hotel of the PCH Grill’s new menu are being offered to Annual Passholders during September 2-20.
Openings, Closings, and Refurbishments
- The final performance of The Magic, The Memories, and You will be held on Labor Day. The version in Florida is being replaced with a new projections show, but there are no plans for the Disneyland version to return after the seasonal lighting display on it’s a small world.
- Haunted Mansion: Closed since 8/27/12 through 9/13/12 for installation of the Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Hauntend Mansion Holiday overlay.
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed 9/4/12 through 12/7/12 for a much needed refurbishment.
- Storybook Land Canal Boats and Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed 9/4/12 through 11/15/12.
- Big Thunder Ranch: Closed 9/10/12 through 9/13/12 to install Halloweentime decor.
- Space Mountain: Closed 9/10/12 through 9/13/12 to install the Ghost Galaxy seasonal overlay.
- Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes: Closed 9/17/12 and 9/18/12.
- Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed 9/18/12 through 9/20/12.
- Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed 9/25/12 through 9/28/12.
- Construction continues through 2013 on the new Princess Fantasy Faire and Fantasyland Theatre.
Disney California Adventure
- Soarin’ will run at 50% capacity on September 18 and 19 as its two theaters are each serviced on successive days.
- Toy Story Midway Mania! is closed on 9/5/12.
- Muppet*Vision 3D is closed 9/10/12 through 9/13/12.
- The Art of Animation lobby will be closed 9/10/13 through 9/13/13 to install a Frankenweenie exhibit, but the other attractions inside will remain open.
- Construction continues on Earl of Sandwich, with no opening date announced yet.