Fall is one of my favorite times to visit Disney. Those who spend their summer vacations at one of the Disney parks are missing out on several spectacular events and experiences that only take place in the autumn months. Imagine strolling down Main Street with a pumpkin beignet, trick-or-treating at Magic Kingdom, or cruising the Caribbean with Jack Skellington. There’s just so much to do! Here are 13 reasons to visit Disney in the fall.
Fall Travel Benefits
1. Less Crowds
General rule: if the kids are in school, it’s a great time to visit the Disney parks. Once Labor Day hits you’ll find that crowds in the parks drop (meaning less time in line). This is especially true on weekdays. So if you can, visit between mid-September to mid-November.
2. Great Discounts
Disney has a history of offering great deals to guests who stay at a Disney Resort in the fall. This year’s promotion boasts discounts of up to 25% if you book by August 31st! It’s a great way to get more bang for your buck and make the most out of your vacation.
3. Cooler Weather
Florida is notorious for its heat waves, but by mid-September the temperature typically dies down to a more tolerable level. In fact, by October the average temperature is a perfect 72 degrees.
4. Fall Decorations
Disney LOVES its pumpkins. Visit Disneyland or Magic Kingdom to find hundreds of uniquely carved pumpkins scattered up and down Main Street, U.S.A. Don’t miss the gigantic Mickey Mouse pumpkin in Town Square too (great for a family photo-op). It’s a beautiful sight to see the autumn colors in the gardens and banners, especially surrounding Walt & Mickey in front of the castle.
5. Halloween in the Parks
So it’s not just pumpkins – you can celebrate Halloween by touring cultural celebrations such as the Dia de los Muertos display in Disneyland or clubbing with your favorite Disney villains at the aptly named “Club Villain” in Hollywood Studios. There is even a special “Halloween Tree” dedicated to Ray Bradbury in Frontierland worth checking out.
6. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
By far one of the most popular events at both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. At this after hours event you can catch your favorite characters in costume, watch special Halloween-themed parades, shows, and fireworks, and even get into character yourself. Bring an extra bag for all the candy you’ll collect!
7. Halloween on the High Seas
Disney Cruise Line has its own fair share of Halloween excitement – during the months of September and October select sailings enjoy a variety of festive activities in addition to their usual adventures. Join in a masquerade dance party with Mickey and Minnie, enjoy a “Sing and Scream” Nightmare Before Christmas experience with Jack and Sally, and listen to spooky stories told around the Pumpkin Tree.
8. Spooky Ride Overlays
Every year Disneyland offers guests a new way to experience two of its classic attractions: Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion. In Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy you are chased through the stars by a scary phantom (complete with a spooky soundtrack and eerie lighting). Haunted Mansion Holiday is what happens when Jack Skellington decides to haunt the Haunted Mansion with all of his Halloween Town friends as they count down to Christmas Day (this overlay lasts until the end of the Christmas season).
9. Seasonal Treats
Of all the fall treats the ones I look forward to the most are the pumpkin beignets from the Mint Julep Bar at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland. They are both Mickey-shaped and delicious. That being said, there are plenty of seasonal treats offered beyond the pumpkin-spiced latte you’re sure to find at every Starbucks in the parks (although you won’t find one on Disney Cruise Line…sorry). Try the Candy Corn Cone from Storybook Treats in Magic Kingdom or a Skull Apple from Sweet Spells in Hollywood Studios.
10. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Halloween isn’t the only big event in town. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has taken place annually since 1995 and brings in delicious eats from over 20 countries. Tour the booths at the World Showcase or sign up for a premium event such as food and wine pairings or seminars with your favorite culinary stars. Take a mixology class with a pro or enjoy a beer tasting. Events take place for two months both at Epcot and the Disney Resorts, so don’t miss all the fun!
11. Rockin’ Concerts
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival also brings the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. These free concerts are held nightly during the festival and feature artists such as 38 Special, Wilson Phillips, and Sugar Ray. Fall also brings the Night of Joy Christian Music Festival at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
12. Wine & Dine and Super Heroes Half Marathons
In November Disney offers exciting runDisney events on both coasts. The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place from Nov 3 – Nov 6 at Walt Disney World Resort. The Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend takes place from Nov 10 – Nov 13 at Disneyland Resort. Dole Whip is always a refreshing reward for a job well done!
13. Christmas Comes Early
Disney gets into the Christmas spirit just after Halloween ends, making November a great time to kick off the holiday season without the extra crowds. So why wait until December for all the fun?
Fall is full of activities both the kids and adults can enjoy, so why not plan your next vacation when the leaves start turning? Remember that it’s always best to book earlier rather than later (I can help you there). Don’t forget to pick up some pumpkin beignets!
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