Disney World in August: Reopening Policies, Summer Weather, Magical Tips

Disney World in August is a great time to visit Walt Disney World with warm weather and chances to experience new entertainment.

Everyone has personal preferences to consider when planning the date of their Walt Disney World trip- each season will have its pros and cons and guests' choices will vary based on those. Make sure to read our Walt Disney World crowd calendar to get an idea of what to expect when picking a date to visit Walt Disney World.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about visiting Disney World in August including current events, what weather to expect, crowd level predictions, and what to pack!

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Disney World Events in AugustWine in front of Epcot

Here are all the current events to know about impacting Disney World in August! This year is especially unique due to the reopening of Walt Disney World after the longest closure in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reservations Required- Park Pass System

Advance reservations for park admission is required for Walt Disney World upon reopening as Disney navigates limited capacity restrictions to ensure a safe environment for guests and cast members.

How to Make a Reservation 

  1. Link your park tickets/admission to your Disney account. You will need valid park admission to make a reservation.
  2. Create your party. Before you make a reservation, you'll be prompted to create a party from your Family & Friends list on your account. This ensures your group has the same reservations for your trip.
  3. Select a date and park. Choose the date and time you'd like to visit from the available reservations.
  4. Review and confirm your plans. You will also be prompted to agree to a COVID-19 liability waiver.

Important Details for Making Reservations

Everything looks a bit different right now for visiting Disney World so it's important to be aware of these new policies for the reservation system and the state of the parks when they open.

  • Reservations are limited and subject to availability and are not guaranteed until a reservation is finalized.
  • At this time, Guests will be able to select one park per day; visiting more than one park per day will be temporarily unavailable upon the reopening of the theme parks due to attendance limitations.
    • Guests with existing tickets that include the Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option have options available to them for ticket modifications and cancellations.
  • A park reservation must be made for each day of entry. If you have a multi-day ticket, you will be required to make a park reservation for each date of your visit.
  • It is highly recommend that you make your park reservation as soon as you complete your ticket purchase, as availability can change until the reservation is finalized.

You can read more about how to make a reservation in our opening guide. You will NOT be able to enter the park without a theme park reservation.

New Safety Policies

It's crucial to be aware of the new health policies in place from required face coverings for guests to reduced capacity measures. Here are some highlights of the new policies to help you prepare:

  • Certain Experiences Temporarily Suspended: Experiences that draw large group gatherings– such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable. Characters will still be in the parks to greet guests from a distance.
  • Reduced capacity: Walt Disney World will have a reduced guest capacity and an advanced reservation system in place to manage attendance. All guests will be required to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.
  • Screening and prevention support: Guests 2 years of age and older and cast members will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests and cast members will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park.
  • Physical distancing: Managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort.
  • Mask Relief Areas: There will be designed ‘guest relaxation' areas for guests to safely remove their masks and get a break from wearing them throughout the park. More details coming soon on how this will be implemented and what safety procedures will be in place for these areas.
  • Reduced Operating Hours: As of now Disney World's operating hours will be much shorter with an average time of operation from 9AM-7PM. Over time, along with capacity, Disney World will begin extending operating hours based on the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. As of right now, there will be no Early Magic Hours.
  • Dining & FastPass Reservations Suspended- all existing reservations have ben canceled in order to reschedule dining to limit capacity. FastPass+ is temporarily suspended to effectively create social distancing by using the additional line queues.

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is kicked off early this year and will continue into the Fall.  Walt Disney World is doing their best to make this festival a big hit by extending the duration of the festival and by incorporating other festival elements. The EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival was cut short due to the closure of the parks because of COVID-19 and Disney will include elements of that popular festival with this one.

Disney World in August Crowd CalendarImage result for disney world summer

Crowds this August? Not an issue! This is one of the main perks of having limited capacity and a reservation system in place for this year. Crowds will not be an issue and you will likely experience Disney World in a way we may never see again. But as always, a pattern emerges with how guests behave at the parks so here are our top three tips for navigating the theme parks in August:

  1. Arrive later- this normally goes against all our Disney park advice but we're living in unusual times! There's no need to arrive early and rope drop with such limited crowd levels. If you show up at hour after the parks open you can miss getting caught up in early morning bottlenecks as guests first arrive.
  2. Stay until closing- since many guests seem to be arriving right when the gates open, they end up leaving 1-2 hours before the parks officially close since wait times are so low you can get everything done before the end of the day quite easily. This is when you will see the absolute lowest wait times for rides that may be pushing that 30+ minute plus range which seems to only be an issue in Hollywood Studios.
  3. Be prepared for Hollywood Studios- since Disney's Hollywood Studios has Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story Land, and the newly opened Mickey's Runaway Railway attraction it is by far the theme park that feels the most crowded at the moment. The reason lies not in larger attendance than the other parks but smaller walkways and fewer hit attractions (plus lack of entertainment) to evenly disperse guests. Consider arriving later in the day and staying until close for this theme park.

Looking for information about August in 2021? Keep reading for a ‘typical' August crowd level prediction. 

August is one of the Walt Disney World's popular summer months which means that it is classified as the peak season of travel for many families and groups. There is the chance that if you visit during the end of August you can encounter lower levels of crowds as some schools go back to session early but I wouldn't plan on it too much. Walt Disney World is more popular than ever and summer is a favorite time to visit for many.

Staying on site is a big plus for visiting Disney World in August so you can navigate the crowds much easier by being close by and taking advantage of Disney's Extra Magic Hours will allow you early and later access into the parks. In fact, when visiting during this peak time of the year staying on site is essential.

The good news is that Walt Disney World prepares for this peak season by offering longer hours, more cast members on staff to operate everything smoothly, and constant entertainment options. Disney wants everyone to have a good experience even when it's crowded.

Disney World Weather in AugustImage result for Disney World

Visiting Disney World in August means visiting during hurricane season in Florida which results in high humidity, heat, and potential for afternoon rain. The average high in August is 92 degrees with the average low being 72 degrees. While the rain might not last long, August sees large amounts of rain with an average of 7 inches for the month. Since August also equals hurricane season, there is a chance these rain showers can develop into afternoon storms but the good news is that Orlando is located further inland which keeps it out of the fray for most storms.

Most summer rainstorms move in and out quickly within an hour so it usually won't impact your days at the parks too much. Those afternoon showers can also help cool down the parks and bring that average high temperature down a few degrees making the rest of the day a bit more bearable. Regardless, you should be prepared for hot, humid, and rainy weather when visiting Disney World in August.

Tips for Visiting Disney World in AugustImage result for Disney World

When it comes to visiting Disney World in August, we have some tried and true hacks for having a magical time on your vacation.

What to Wear 

One of the most frequently asked guest questions is: what should I wear to Disney World? Always check the weather leading up to your trip. August is one of the hottest months of the year in Orlando so you should dress accordingly for heat. Wear clothes that are comfortable in hot weather and can easily adapt to deal with sudden rain. Bringing a rain poncho to the parks with you this time of year is crucial so you can still enjoy the park if it does suddenly rain. Keep in mind that indoors everything will be extremely air conditioned- I always pack a light hoodie when I visit in the summer because of this.

Tips for Wearing Masks Comfortably

Make sure to add masks for everyone in your group two years of age and older. Face coverings are required to enter Disney World and must be worn at all times except for dining. Here are some tips to try to prepare yourself for the mask requirement and help your family have a comfortable experience:

  • Practice wearing the masks outside for long periods of time to get your family used to them, especially for children.
  • Try different masks to see what's most comfortable. Some people find the paper surgical masks more comfortable for the heat while others prefer the cloth masks.
  • Bring enough masks for everyone in your group so you can easily wash the ones you've worn and switch them out throughout the day.
  • Let your kids pick out fun Disney masks! And consider getting some fun Disney prints for yourself.
  • Order your masks far in advance- many popular retailers have delayed shipping for masks right now.
  • Consider looking on Etsy for faster shipping and cute Disney prints.
  • If you normally wear a baseball hat, put pins (bonus for Disney ones!) on your hat to hook the loops for the mask on to take some of the pressure off your ears.

The biggest takeaway here is finding masks that are comfortable and safe to wear which often takes some trial and error. Order your masks in advance, practice wearing them for long periods of time, and have conversations with children about the importance of wearing them.

What to Pack 

August brings such hot weather that you should pack for summer! Think summer clothes, sunscreen, cooling towels, and whatever else you might need to keep your family cooled off if the temperatures get high. Always check the weather right before your trip and come prepared based on what the forecast says. Don't underestimate the Florida heat this time of year- bring plenty of items designed to keep you cool. This will save you money in the long run since buying these items in the park can be pretty costly. That Florida humidity will be high this time of year and packing the essentials is a must.

You can read our giant packing list here to make sure you show up prepared for literally anything you need while you're visiting Disney World.

What to Expect

There are a few things you should expect when choosing August as your month to visit Disney World:

  • Be Prepared for Rain and Heat- August is one of the hottest and wettest months of the year at Walt Disney World. When in the parks, be sure to pack your ponchos! The rain will often move in and out quickly in the afternoons so don't leave if it rains- plan on sticking it out.
  • Prepare for Possible Construction- at the recent D23 Expo, Disney Parks announced a huge project to completely reorganize and add to Epcot in preparation Disney World's 50th Anniversary in 2021.
  • Rise of Resistance- there is a virtual queue in use for the popular Rise of Resistance attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge where guests will have three chances throughout the day to secure a Boarding Group to ride. This ride is more popular than ever so be prepared so you don't miss out.
  • New safety policies- temperature checks upon entry, face coverings required, social distancing in line queues, reduced dining capacity, and modified character experiences are all changes you can expect on your visit. You can read in full detail all about the new reopening safety procedures in our guide.
  • Nighttime shows and parades- all nighttime spectaculars, stage shows, and parades will return at a later date. Disney World is doing surprise character cavalcades in all four theme parks so guests can still interact with characters from a distance. Many of these occur every 15 minutes so no planning is required to experience them.

But most of all, remember to enjoy your time at the most magical place on earth!

Plan Your Disney World Vacation!

Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for a Disney Parks vacation! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

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