One question we get often is “When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?” It is literally the Most Magical Place on Earth, so I don’t think there is a wrong time. However, there are good times to visit and great times to visit. The best of the great times is without question the fall. I could easily list a couple of dozen reasons this is true, but here are the top 5.
5 – The Weather (October and November)
Those of us who live in central Florida have come to love the month of October. It is usually around the second or third week of October that Orlando ceases being hotter than the surface of the sun. The “humidity bubble” that covers Orlando during June-September, magically disappears and we actually begin to cool off with little or no humidity. It’s a welcome relief from oppressive summer weather. For those who are traveling from the north, you may think our upper 70s/low 80s is a bit warm, but your kids will love that they can swim outside in Disney pools in November! Fall is a great time to visit Disney World, because you’ll find comfortable temperatures in the afternoon, cools temps in the mornings and evenings, and you can enjoy being outside all day without being miserable!
4 – Lighter Crowds in September, November, Early December
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, capacity limits are in place to keep the crowds low to promote physical distancing. These limits have been increasing. For example, capacity was at 25% when the parks reopened and then raised to 35% a few months later. With the distribution of the vaccine, we expect the capacity levels to increase as 2021 goes on. So fall 2021, may see more “normal” crowd levels.
Along with better weather, the fall is a great time to visit if you want to experience lighter crowds. Now “lighter” is a bit relative. I do believe the days of walking on every single ride all day is over. You’ll still find waits. It will be busy, but it should not be crazy busy. Disney has done a great job of getting people to visit in the fall with resort discounts, free dining plans, and awesome special events (See how I slipped a couple of extra reasons to visit in fall in there 🙂 ).
However, if you come in early September, especially after Labor Day, mid-November, and early December, you may experience lighter crowds than other times of the year. Again, it will still be “busy,” the lines will just be shorter. For example, we recently saw a 20-minute wait for the Mine Train in Magic Kingdom; substantially lower than the 90-120 minutes that is normal during peak season.
Notice I did not include the month of October. You may find a few days here and there that are lighter, but overall October is a busy time.
3 – Celebrate Christmas Early in November at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was canceled in 2020. We fully hope (and expect) the party to be back in 2021.
Early in November, Magic Kingdom transforms shedding its Halloween decorations and magically, becomes a Christmas wonderland. If you visit the first week of November, you’ll start the week with Halloween decorations and end it with Christmas. If you like celebrating Christmas early, then you’ll love Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This special event party is a fun time which includes a special holiday parade, fireworks and stage show. It certainly will get you in the holiday spirit!
2 – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was canceled in 2020. We fully hope (and expect) the party to be back in 2021.
Starting in September and running through Halloween, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will be your absolute favorite special event! Read all you need to know about the party here. Also, don’t miss our 13 Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!
1 – Food & Wine Festival
The hands-down number one reason to visit in the fall is the Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. The Food and Wine Festival brings out over 30 global marketplaces where you can taste the best food and drink from around the world. Also, popular is the Eat to the Beat concert series, which brings in favorite artists from past glory to entice you to dance the night away. These shows run every evening throughout the festival. There are also many excellent seminars and special tasting events in addition to the kiosk around World Showcase. You’ll want to spend a lot of time in Epcot exploring and tasting your way around the world during your fall visit!
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