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In this guide to August 2021 at Walt Disney World, we cover everything you need to know for planning a trip and if August is a good time overall to visit the most magical place on Earth.
Figuring out when to visit Disney World is always a difficult decision so in this post we’ll cover all the major factors to take into consideration before deciding whether August is a good time to visit or not. We’ll go over weather, crowd levels, special events, prices and refurbishments during this month.
Getting right to the point, we feel that August is one of the worst months to visit Walt Disney World. It’s very close to July and it ranks low on our list of the Best Times to Go to Disney World for most of the same reasons.
Our biggest problem with visiting Orlando, Florida in August is the weather. It only takes one trip during the summer to realize that it’s not the best idea in the world. The whole summer is extremely hot, but July and August are the worst with sky-high temperatures and overwhelming humidity most days.
As for events and crowds, August can be divided into 2 completely different months. The beginning of the month has little going on and heavier summer crowds still around, while in the second half there is more do do and fewer crowds.
Don’t get us wrong, a bad day in August at Disney World is still better than almost any day back home, and if it’s the only time of the year you can go, it’s better than nothing. We do think however that most months are going to give you an overall better experience if you are flexible.
This however is just our opinion. Whether you are interested in going in August 2021 or August 2022, we’ll break it all down more for you in this post so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
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Overview of August 2021 in Disney World
Though we do not like visiting Disney World in August, we understand that for some families it’s a necessity. During the first half of the month most kids in North American are off from school, making it an ideal time to bring kids. This leads to higher crowds in the first 2 weeks with longer wait times.
Like the rest of the summer months, August isn’t a big month for refurbishments so you won’t miss you favorite rides and every day is a potential pool day if you like swimming.
2021 at Walt Disney World has been like no other and with things rapidly changing week by week, it’s important to stay on top of the latest updates before you go.
The good news is the vast majority of attractions are open once again and more shows and entertainment is being brought back every month. There will sill be some closures in August 2021, but nearly as many as it seemed like at the beginning of the year.
While we cover all the changes in this post, we encourage you to read the Disney World Reopening Guide for a more detailed look at what’s different.
First of all, you need to be aware of the new safety guidelines designed to keep guests safe. There are a lot fewer than 6 months ago, but they are still important to know. In our opinion, Disney World is still safe to visit right now, of course you have to decide for our family. Here are a few examples:
Safety Guidelines – Disney has been lossening the rules and some things are going back to normal one step at a time. Even physical distancing and distanced queues are now gone. On the other hand, some restrictions are coming back. For example, wearing face masks at Disney World is now required indoors for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests.
Experiences – Be prepared for some attractions and experiences to be closed for the moment. Staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel right now is less enticing with the Disney Dining Plan, Extra Magic Hours and FastPass+ still not available. Character meals and meet and greets are much different and you cancan only see them from a distance.
One good change has been bringing Disney World Park Hopping back to the parks so you are no longer constrained to one theme park per day. We like to go to one park in the morning, then take a rest and go to another park in the evening. Just check for availability before going.
We also are super happy to see fireworks return to Disney World as the parks just weren’t the same without them!
Limited Park Capacity – To allow for proper distancing, capacity in all 4 Disney World theme parks is currently limited. Disney has increased the capacity and it is now higher than 35% (likely higher than 50%) and it will continue rising throughout the coming months.
Disney Park Reservations – Another huge change is the Disney World Park Pass reservation system. Reservations are required for theme park admission, so make sure your entrance is booked well in advance.
If you would rather wait until these safety restrictions have passed, then we suggest not going in August 2021. Things will not be back to normal until 2022 so if it’s a big issue for you and your family we suggest waiting until then.
Many families come to Walt Disney World for the special events for an even more special vacation, but for the most part, August is not one of those months. Special events are very light in the first half of the months, though there are some you want to be aware of.
August Dates of Note:
- Food and Wine Festival: July 15 – November 20
- Disney After Hours Boo Bash: August 10 – October 31 (Select Dates)
The EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is starting even earlier this year (in July) so it will be running throughout the entire month of August.
August is also the official start of the Fall season in Walt Disney World and Halloween decorations will go up somewhere between August 2 and August 10, in time for the new Disney After Hours Boo Bash.
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
Even though the Summer months are usually quiet for EPCOT festivals, since 2020, Disney has made a shift and there are now hardly any days during the year without one of the 4 major festivals going on. That means “Diet EPCOT” is not going to be on much of a diet after all.
In 2021 the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is starting July 15th and is running until November 20th. That’s a full 129 days of eating and drinking your way around World Showcase…not that I’m complaining or anything!
Of course this is a must-do EPCOT festival, and the king of food and drinks. In total there are going to be between 30-40 different food marketplaces with almost every kind of cuisine under the sun. To see it right you need to dedicate 1 full day during your trip, and we even recommend one or two more partial days to cover it all.
If you are going, make sure to read our Complete Guide to EPCOT Food & Wine Festival for more info and tips. It’s also helpful to look over the Food & Wine Menus and our guide to the Best Snacks at the Food & Wine Festival so you know exactly what to eat.
Disney After Hours Boo Bash
Only in Walt Disney World does Halloween begin in August, but that’s the status-quo around here.
Normally, the Halloween-inspired celebration is “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party”, but this year it’s being substituted by the “Disney After Hours Boo Bash.” This is a limited-capacity hard-ticketed event at Magic Kingdom which means you will need a special ticket to enter with the average cost between $129 and $199 per adult.
The event features “Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade,” reduced wait times for certain rides, character greetings, and lots of candy. Despite the big price increase, most days are already sold out so you’ll have to move fast if you want tickets. Visit The Walt Disney World website to get your tickets.
How Busy is Disney World in August is one of the biggest questions on peoples’ minds when contemplating a trip during this time of the year. In reality, the answer depends on when in August you are visiting.
The first half of the month is much like any summer month. Lots of families visiting, trying to get one last vacation in before going back to school. That means the first couple of weeks are pretty busy with crowds ranging from a Medium-high to High level.
Things change however in the back half of the month with local children back in school, and kids from other parts of the country heading back there too. This is a much quieter time in the parks and a better choice if crowds are a concern.
Figuring out the busiest times to go to Disney World is not an exact science, and things have changed a lot of the past few years. Disney has gotten better and better at filling in weeks that historically were “slow” periods in the parks, and there are many fewer slow times now than even 5 years ago.
Even though it’s not as much as in the past, Disney park attendance levels are still affected by school schedules. Since Walt Disney World is such a popular vacation destinations with families, it only makes sense that when kids are out of school the parks will be more full. When kids are out of school, there is a drop-off in attendance.
Though it’s impossible to predict day-by-day crowd levels with great accuracy, we still think it’s important to consult a Disney World Crowd Calendar to get the best general idea when to go.
If we were going to assign a number value to crowd levels, the first half of the month is between a 7/10 and 8/10, while the back half is more like a 4/10 – 6/10 most days.
There is really no more tue “off-season” anymore at Disney World but there is a definite advantage in going late in August, especially if decided between the other summer months.
Like in every season, the theme parks are more crowded on the weekends, when they are off from work and school. EPCOT is especially crowded on the weekends during the Food and Wine Festival and should be avoided those days if you are on vacation. Weekends are also a great time to take a pool day and just relax.
The Magic Kingdom is less crowded on days when there is the Disney After Hours Boo Bash since the park closes to regulars guests early and people don’t think they are getting their money’s worth. This might be a good touring strategy to get more rides done there in less time.
Another factor is the “feels-like” crowds, which are higher in 2021 than a normal year. With the park capacity reduced, the overall attendance might be lower, but wait times are still high with fewer attractions open and overall lower ride capacity. All of this makes you feel like the parks are more crowded than they are in reality.
One thing to look out for is Disney increasing theme park capacity again, which is possible by the time August gets here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it well over 50% and Disney CEO Bob Chapek has even hinted that we may be back to 100% before 2021 is over.
The worst part about visiting in August though is the weather…
Disney World Weather in August
There is no beating around the bush…the weather at Disney World in August is terrible. The combination of extreme temperatures, humidity and tons of rain make it one of the worst months to visit.
August and July are comparable and by far the hottest months of the year. From the time you step out of the airport and that heat smacks you straight in the face, you will begin to second-guess yourself as to why you ever decided to choose August to come to Orlando.
How Hot Is Disney World in August?
Temperature – According to USClimateData.com August in Disney World has an average high of 92°F (33.3°C) and an avg. low of 76°F (24.4°C).
The problem is the high temperatures begin early in the morning and and last into the night. The only time it cools down slightly is after 1:00 am, when you are likely to be in bed. Even worse than the heat is the extreme humidity, putting the “feels-like” temperature regularly at 100°F or higher.
Thank goodness literally every indoor space at Disney World is air-conditioned. You’ll never be happier in your life when stepping inside out of the heat and you’ll realize air conditioning might be the greatest invention of the past 100 years!
If you don’t have an unhealthy love of the heat, we strongly recommend not visiting in August. If you end up going, make sure you drink plenty of water as dehydration and heat exhaustion are both possible.
Swimming – On the other hand, if you plan on swimming a lot, August can be a great month to visit. We end up spending almost every afternoon at our resort pool as the parks get way too hot. Use the mornings to your advantage to get on as many rides as possible, then head back to the hotel and get some rest by the pool.
Rain – August is the rainiest month of the year at Walt Disney World. In Orlando it rains approximately 24.6 days in August and it gets on average 5.31″ of rainfall during the month.
If you visit Florida in the Summer, just go into it knowing it will rain at some point most every day. Usually, they are just passing afternoon thunderstorms and after an hour or two, they sun will come back out and you can resume whatever you were doing.
If there is a bigger storm system in the area, you might get rained out for a day or two during your trip. You should have some alternative activities planned for indoors in case that happens.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, August is also right in the middle of Hurricane Season at Disney World. Though they are still rare, visiting during August and September are the likeliest times a hurricane will strike and you should know the risk first before planning your trip during this time of the year.
Daylight – The one nice thing about the weather at Disney World in August is the long daylight hours. On average, Orlando, Florida has 13 hours and 7 minutes of sunlight in the month of August. In fact, it has almost an hour more sunlight than September.
Overall, it’s a battle between July and August for which month is the worst for weather at Walt Disney World. Extremely high temperatures and humidity plus tons of rain and the hurricane factor all bring the whole month down. In that respect, you are better off going in the very beginning of Summer, or waiting for the Fall when things cool down some.
What to Wear to Disney World in August
What should you wear to Disney World in August? Since the temperatures are super high, you obviously will want to dress as light as possible during the day and also most nights. In fact, the summer months are probably the easiest to pack for at Disney World and you will have fewer clothes in your suitcase.
Your go-to outfit is going to be shorts and a t-shirt or tank top. August isn’t the time to get all fancy and look your best. Like all the summer months in Floridan, you are going to sweat, a lot, so it’s important to be comfortable and as light as possible.
If you have a really fancy meal planned, for example at Victoria & Albert’s, then you should bring a pair a pants and a button-down shirt and jacket. Otherwise they won’t be necessary.
We do recommend women bringing a light sweater or jacket for dinner since most of the restaurants are just short of being in a freezer with the amount of air conditioning that is used.
Of course, before going to Orlando you want to check the forecast for your trip. The weather can change rapidly and you should pack according to the forecast.
Swimsuits are a must in August and you will likely spend a few days, or parts of days sitting by the pool and swimming. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen which you will likely need everyday. It’s a lot cheaper than buying it when you get down here.
Sunglasses are also a must and only leave my face when doing an indoor attraction.
Rain is likely to happen every day as well as strong thunderstorms so bring appropriate gear to help you stay as dry as possible. We recommend buying some cheap ponchos back home and bringing them with you. Again, this will save you a ton of money as they are easily 3-4x the price at Disney World.
No matter the season, you are going to need a good pair of walking shoes at Walt Disney World. Unless you are already training for a marathon, this will probably be the most you walk in a day all year long so make sure your feet are as comfortable as possible. Our average is 8-10 miles per day and even getting as high as 12 miles at times so good sneakers are a must!
For the most part since the reopening, theme park hours in 2021 have been reduced compared to what they normally are. On average, park hours have been cut by 1-2 hours each day. That’s a lot and can cut into an already packed schedule.
Thankfully, this too has been slowly coming back to normal and Disney has increased the theme park hours to accomodate the increase in guests. Hours still aren’t what they normally are, but they are close. Park hours are way up from 2020 and this should only continue into the fall with the 50th anniversary coming up.
Here is an example of what you can expect the park hours to be in August:
- Magic Kingdom – 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
- EPCOT – 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Prices & Discounts
Another question many people have is “Is Disney World Cheaper in August?” This actually is one of the only things the month of August has going for it and prices for hotel rooms and park tickets can be significantly lower than other months of the year.
The first half of August falls under the “Summer” season for pricing, while the second half starts “Value” season. This makes it much cheaper than the spring months and even June and July.
With kids going back to school in August, Disney usually offers lower pricing to entice travelers to come down for a late-summer visit. August is usually the start of the popular Disney Free Dining Plan promotion, though with limited dates.
These discounts and relatively cheap pricing for Disney World standards is one of the only reasons we would recommend going in August.
Current Disney World Hotel Discounts in August 2021:
- Annual Passholder Summer Hotel Discount (special summer rates for Annual Passholders) – starting August 8, 2021 through September 4, 2021.
- Save 25% on Select Rooms with Summer (from 10%-25% at select Disney World Resort Hotels – starting July 11, 2021 through September 29, 2021.
Let’s first take a look at resort hotel room pricing in August. These prices are before taking into consideration extra promotions. We’ll look at a comparison in price between going in August and other times of the year at Walt Disney World.
Below are the prices for a standard room per night at 3 different Walt Disney World Resort hotels. We chose one from each hotel tier, Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. The prices show the base prices during the various seasons of the year compared with August:
You can see from the chart that August is below average for resort hotel prices with some of the months falling into the Summer and Value categories. Almost all other times of the year are more expensive than the second half of August. Friday and Saturday nights are also more expensive than Sunday-Thursday.
Again, these are just the base prices, and you might even find a cheaper rate depending on what special promotions are available. If you are on a tight budget, August may be one of the best times to go, especially if you can get Value season dates. Keep checking the Disney World website for the latest offers.
Read our guide to the Cheapest Times to Go to Disney World, to compare August with all the other months of the year.
Theme park tickets vary greatly throughout the month of August, with prices much higher in the first three weeks and then dropping off dramatically. The difference can be as much as $20 per person for a one-day ticket. As always, weekends are more expensive than weekdays.
Prices for single-day Disney World theme park tickets range from $109 to $132 which is average to below-average. The first three weeks of August are about the same prices as in June and July, but they are much cheaper in the last week.
The most expensive days in August for park tickets are at the beginning of the month from the 1st to the 7th. It’s best to skip those dates if possible and go later in the month on a weekday to save the most money.
Read our guide on “How Much Does it Cost to Go to Disney World?” for a more detailed break down and example trips in every budget.
If you want to take advantage of the best offers for August or any other month, we recommend using an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Contact Show You the World Travel for all your trip planning needs. They are super helpful and the best part about it is they are FREE to use!
August 2021 Refurbishments and Construction
Another decent positive of going to Disney World in August is that there shouldn’t be too many major attraction refurbishments taking place and your favorites for the most part will be running.
The worst time to visit for refurbishments is in the winter months after the holiday season. That’s when crowd levels are lowest and Disney takes some time to do any major maintenance on the rides. They tend to avoid August since crowd levels are still high.
Nothing is 100% and there are still refurbishments scheduled even in the summer months. We suggest looking at our Walt Disney World Refurbishment List before going so you know what will be open and what will be closed.
2021 is a bit different since they are trying to get everything in place for The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration which starts in October. That means some refurbishments that normally wouldn’t be taking place.
For example, at the Magic Kingdom the Walt Disney World Railroad will still be closed in August and won’t be open until sometime in 2022.
The Hall of Presidents is coming back in August so if you visit then there is a good chance you can see the Joe Biden Animatronic. The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse however is closed through Christmas.
On the bright side, the Jungle Cruise refurbishment finishes in July and you’ll be able to see all the new scenes and changes up close.
At this point, both Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be pretty quiet in the month of August and pretty much everything will be open.
Of course, there is always some construction happening at EPCOT. The park is undergoing a total renovation, and it’s impossible for it not to be a factor during your visit.
When the EPCOT expansion project is finished the park will look and feel completely different. For example, Future World is splitting up into 3 separate neighborhoods, and the three areas will be called: World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery.
If you are planning a trip in August 2021, most of the new attractions will not be ready in time. We are looking forward to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the Space 220 restaurant, and the new fireworks show “Disney Harmonious” but they won’t be ready until at least October 2021.
If you really have your heart set on seeing those, you might want to wait until the Fall 2021 or later to plan your trip.
As always there are lots of other Disney World construction projects currently in progress with new rides coming to the parks and big additions being made to some hotels. If you read our post about if Disney World is better in 2021 or 2022?, that will tell you all the positives and negatives for both years and help you make a good decision.
Check out our guide to the New Disney World Attractions coming 2021-2023 to see all the projects in more detail.
Here are our most important Disney World touring tips for the month of August:
1. Go at the End of the Month
While the weather is the same all month long, the crowds drop off drastically from the first two weeks of the month to the last two. It’s also less expensive at the end of August, so unless your kids are already back in school it’s a no-brainer to go later in the month instead of the beginning.
2. Start Early Each Day
This is the same advice we give no matter which month you are visiting and it’s one of the most important things you can do when planning your park touring schedule. Even though it’s not fun waking up early on vacation, you will get SO much more done if you get to the parks early each day.
The first 2 hours from park opening each day are crucial since that is the point of the day with the lowest amount of guests. By rope dropping the parks, you’ll get all the best rides done before the others arrive. It also lets you avoid some of the midday heat which is brutal in August.
3. Get Ready for the Heat
Speaking of the heat, you better get used to it because if you visit in August, it’s unavoidable. Orlando in August can be unbearable, and they may have to scrap up your melted remains from the sidewalk by the end of the day.
Yes we are being dramatic, but it’s bad, trust us. That underlines our last point about getting an early start each day. You will probably want to go back to your hotel to sleep in the air conditioning or take a swim in the pool to cool down. Then in the evening when temperatures are more bearable, you can head back out to the parks or dinner.
Make sure to drink plenty of water and don’t over-do it. Heat exhaustion is a real thing at Disney in August.
4. Prepare for Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios is by far the most popular park at Disney World, and the fact that it’s always crowded means you need to have a good plan to tour it. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of the best rides in Disney World, but it requires some advanced planning if you want to get on.
For example, you will need to learn about the Virtual Queue, Disney’s new online reservation system, before you go. Our detailed guide on How to Ride Star Wars Rise of the Resistance will give you a good start. There we share all our tips and tricks which will give you the best chance of riding.
July vs. August in Disney World
There are few differences between going to Disney World in July or August, they are almost the same. The weather is identical with super high temperatures, humidity and lots of rain. July is better for avoiding hurricanes, but that’s it.
August however is the overall better month since it has lower crowds (especially at the end of the month), and lower prices, (again in the second half). You will therefore save time and money choosing August instead of July.
There are also more special events as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party usually starts in the middle of the month. In 2021 this is the Disney After Hours Boo Bash instead.
Read our guide to Disney World in July for a more thorough look at the month.
August vs. September in Disney World
Obviously, it’s more difficult to visit Walt Disney World in September if you have kids, but we definitely prefer it over August.
September is still really hot, but not always the skin-melting heat you get in August. Hurricanes are slightly more common in September than August, but there is a little less rain overall.
The whole month of September is better for deals and you can usually find rooms at a discount and many more special offers that will save you money. Crowds are overall lower in September, but compared with the end of August they are similar.
If you can swing it then we recommend going in September and it’s in the top half of our favorite months at Walt Disney World.
Read our guide to Disney World in September for a better look at the differences.
Should You Visit Disney World in August?
Again we emphasize, we’d rather be in Walt Disney World than back at home working in the month of August, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still one of the worst months of the year to visit.
When you combine the brutally high temperatures and humidity with high crowds in the first half of the month, and the fact that it’s the rainiest month of the year, we think you can do better.
The benefits for going in August (cheap prices at the end of the month with lower crowds) can be found in other months with much more pleasant weather.
Therefore, unless you are absolutely forced to go to Walt Disney World in August, it’s best to pick another month instead.
Visit Disney World in August If…
- If you have no choice because of your schedule.
- You love extremely hot weather and lots of humidity.
- You want to be first at the fall special events.
- You want a bargain on hotel rooms.
DON’T Visit Disney World in August If…
- You don’t like high heat.
- You want sunny weather every day.
- You want to avoid the crowds. (first half of the month)
August is one of the worst times to visit Walt Disney World and we do not recommend it. The combination of extremely high temperatures, rainy weather, and potential hurricanes puts it low on our list. If it’s the only month you can go because of your schedule then it’s still worth it, but if at all possible it’s best to switch months.
Walt Disney World in August can be busy depending on which week you visit. The first couple of weeks are busiest as kids are still on vacation from school. By the end of the month most families are done vacationing for the summer and kids are back in school which means lower crowds in the parks.
The weather at Disney World in August is terrible. The temperatures are extremely high and the humidity is unbearable 99% percent of the time. July and August are the two hottest months of the year in Orlando and should be avoided. It also is the rainiest month of the year and best to avoid.
If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World, make sure to read our Disney World Vacation Planning Guide. There you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.
I want to know what you think about visiting Walt Disney World in August…
- Do you think August is a good month to visit?
- Which month do you think is the best?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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