It’s no huge secret that Walt Disney World always has something special happening in the parks. Whether it’s a limited time meet-and-greet, a festival, a movie premiere, a one-day-only celebration, or a regularly scheduled annual event, the World is going to be an exciting place regardless of the season. For me though, fall is definitely the best time to plan a visit! And although the temperature likely won’t show it right away, fall is only a month down the road. Here are just a few of the reasons why I love to go to Disney World during these months:
Milder Weather- In south Florida it can still get pretty hot some days, even into December, but it’s definitely not the same misery as a typical day during the summer. Slightly cooler weather can help make long lines and other situations much more bearable, especially when the temperature is in that perfect range between too hot and too cold. The average high in central Florida in October is 85 degrees, which is just about perfect. The only real downside to the weather during this time of the year is that sudden rainstorms are more prevalent, but they tend to pass fairly quickly and can actually drive some of the crowds out of the parks. So that’s really a bonus if you can find a dry place to wait things out!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party- Halloween is a favorite holiday for the young as well as the young at heart! As much fun as trick-or-treating already is, it’s even better at the Magic Kingdom, surrounded by Disney characters (And yes, those characters are also dressed up!). The MNSSHP is a separate ticketed event that has most rides and quick service food locations open, trick-or-treat stations set up around the park (the above image is from the 2011 station at the Liberty Belle Riverboat), a Halloween-themed parade, stage show, and fireworks show, exclusive character meet-and-greets, storytelling outside the Haunted Mansion, exclusive photo opportunities and merchandise, and an appearance by the Headless Horseman! Does that sound amazing? Well, that’s because it is! It’s a fully immersive party that is done in a way only Disney can achieve. This year’s party will be thrown on select nights between August 25th and November 1, with tickets ranging from $74-$115 for adults and $69-$100 for kids. Tickets can be bought online through Disney’s official website, but they do tend to sell out quickly!
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival- For many people, food is a huge part of a Disney vacation. With so many delicious options, it’s not hard to understand why. And for those who love food, or even just love trying something new, the Food and Wine Festival is a must! In a nutshell, the festival consists of themed booths set up around the World Showcase serving tapas sized food offerings, as well as specialty drinks, from whatever country is being represented. This year’s festival runs for nearly three months, from August 31st until November 13th and features 35 booths to celebrate its 35th year of operation. Most of the items are reasonably priced and actually count as a snack on the Disney Dining Plan! There are also cooking demonstrations, seminars, and appearances by celebrity chefs. Many of those activities are included in the price of park admission, but some do carry an additional charge. Of course, there is also the usual array of dated, festival-themed merchandise available for purchase! The Eat to the Beat concert series takes place on weekends during the festival and features many popular performers from the past two decades. Full details of the booths, seminars, and concerts can be found here.
Free Dining Promotion- During the year, Disney offers a number of “deals” to help entice guests to come to the parks. One of the ones people are most eager to take advantage of is the free dining promotion. For select dates starting in late August and running through December, guests receive a free dining plan with their resort package. As long as your check in date falls within one of the available windows, the dining plan is free for your entire stay. Admittedly, this isn’t as much of a perk as it used to be, as Disney has added a significant amount of restrictions to the offer over just the past few years. (Restrictions include what kind of plan you get based on what resort you book, length of stay, and extras on your ticket.) For many people though, this promotion is still worthwhile, especially if you already had a vacation booked for this time of the year and even more so if you don’t do many sit down meals anyway. (All resorts except the deluxe level provide guests with only the quick service plan for free.)
The reasons to visit Disney World in the fall certainly aren't limited to these few, but none of them hurt either! What is your favorite time to visit, and why?