There’s no doubt about it – the fall season is our absolute favorite! The way nature begins to ease away from the heat of summer and prepares for the crisp winter is so soothing and cozy to us. The cool air starts moving in; the leaves are gathered into a pile to be jumped in; we put together our costumes for the Halloween festivities, and join family for Thanksgiving. Wherever you may call home, Disney (you’re home away from home) is calling your name this fall! But before you slide on your fall boots and grab a pumpkin spice latte, you’ll want to keep in mind a few planning tips to make the most of your fall Disney World trip!
Editor’s Note: We understand that with the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, some of the advice in this article may not apply if you visit while park hours are reduced, capacity limits and physical distancing are in place, and some of our favorite experiences—fireworks, parades, and character greetings—are temporarily suspended. (You can read everything you need to know about the phased reopening by clicking here). We will continue to share articles that give guidance on a “normal” vacation to Walt Disney World, along with any special changes or instructions you may need to be aware of during the phased reopening to provide the best tips we can regardless of when you are visiting. ~ Chad & Cindy
1 – Look for Discounts
With school back in full swing, many families take the bulk of the fall season to focus on academics and athletics. While this isn’t the case for major school breaks such as Thanksgiving, we will say the crowd level is much more tolerable and enjoyable during the fall season at Disney World. Disney, therefore, knows how to boost attendance and typically offers pretty fantastic discounts over the fall season. During the summer months, a Free Disney Dining promotion is usually launched for fall visits, which require the purchase of tickets and a Disney resort stay. Other discount packages are typically available as well. Just be sure to see what’s available, and don’t hesitate to ask Disney for their best discount!
2 – Plan your Epcot visit around the Food & Wine Festival
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, there is a modified Food and Wine Festival. Click here to learn more about the modified Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is a fantastic event that is definitely something you’ll want to experience when visiting Epcot. The festival typically runs from late-August to mid-November. Epcot is filled with extra venues and kiosks with flavors from all around the world to excite your taste buds – plus, there are special entertainment and merchandise worth checking out. Plan to visit Epcot with the Food and Wine Festival as a focus if this is your cup of tea.
3 – Get in Shape for a runDisney Race
Yep, you can stay fit while enjoying all the Disney goodies! Over the fall season (typically the first week in November), the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is offered. Speaking from personal experience, we can say the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a blast! If a half marathon is a little intimidating, you can go for the Wine & Dine 5K or 10K run. Put on those running shoes and jog in to fall.
4 – Purchase Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Tickets in Advance
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2020 has been canceled.
Make the most of the fall season with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. This special ticketed event provides guests a chance to wear costumes and trick-or-treat through Magic Kingdom – no matter what the age. The special parade, fireworks, entertainment, merchandise, and food are absolutely “Spooktacular”! Purchase your party tickets well in advance before the night you are seeking sells out.
5 – Order an In-Room Celebration
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, in-room celebrations are temporarily suspended.
Continue the Halloween spirit with a special in-room celebration. Disney Floral and Gifts has special Halloween-themed celebrations that can be ready in your Disney Resort room upon arrival. It’s a memorable experience entering your resort room to a special surprise! Prices can range from Mickey’s Halloween Celebration for $400 to small Halloween themed balloons and candy costing anywhere between $7 and $15 per item.
6 – Make Minnie’s Seasonal Dining Reservations
Hollywood and Vine Restaurant at Hollywood Studios offers seasonal dining for both lunch and dinner. The “Halloween Dine” usually runs from early-September until mid-November. Minnie and her favorite friends will haunt Hollywood and Vine as they make their way from table to table to greet diners. This makes for fun Halloween photos and is an excellent opportunity to see some of the most popular characters in their Halloween finest. Book your reservations 180-days in advance as this character dining experience does fill up fast.
7 – Reserve an Eat to the Beat Dining Package
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series is canceled.
While we’re talking about dining reservations – be sure to check out the Eat to the Beat Dining Package. This is an excellent opportunity to eat at one of Epcot’s excellent table-service restaurants while securing VIP seating for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Be sure to check out the concert line up well in advance and select from one of the many Epcot restaurants. You’re going to eat anyway – might as well get an excellent seat for the concert out of the deal!
8 – Budget for Christmas Shopping
While you’re planning for the entertainment and dining above for your incredible fall trip, you may want to budget for Christmas shopping. If you’re anything like us, you’ll find the fall season a perfect time to start gathering gifts for friends and family. You’ll start to see Christmas merchandise hit the shelves at Disney during late fall. You can also find Christmas merchandise year-round at Disney’s Days of Christmas in Disney Springs and Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Magic Kingdom. Everyone loves a gift from Disney under the tree!
9 – Prep for Cooler Mornings/Evenings
As September slows to an end, thankfully, so does all that Florida humidity! It’s a beautiful time of year to be in Florida. With mid to high 70’s and low 80’s, you’ll find yourself able to enjoy flipflops but may want to plan to bring a light jacket along for the early mornings and evenings. The best part is that while you may be able to slip on a jacket every now and then, you can still pack your bathing suit for a dip in the resort pool! That’s right – Disney keeps their pools heated. It’s really a great time to enjoy the Florida weather.
10 – Get Your Camera Ready!
Last, but not least, be sure to bring along your camera. Of course, every season at Disney is a stunning season – but for people that love fall as much as we do, you’ll especially fall in love with all the fall décor featured throughout the parks and resorts. The splash of orange, yellow, and brown are just about everywhere, right along with the Mickey-shaped pumpkins. Capture those memories on film so you can recall your fantastic fall visit to Walt Disney World time and time again!
Enough planning… let’s get to enjoying a memorable fall at Walt Disney World!
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