I remember the first time Rochelle and G and I took the trip down to Walt Disney World together. I had (finally) finished therapy school and this was my big celebration.
The Magic That Can Happen When It’s Autumn
Free Disney Dining Happens in the Fall ( usually )
I knew very little about Walt Disney World and if I am being honest, I wasn’t even sure I would like it. If I’m being even more honest, the lure of FREE FOOD had a lot to do with why I had booked the trip in the first place.
Free food?! I come from a large Italian family and food is basically one of the top reasons we even exist. So it was definitely one of the stronger forces at work tempting me to come down to Orlando during the middle of my absolute favorite season, fall.
Fall Has All of Our Favorite Things
If you don’t follow us on Instagram, then you may not know it, but we are fall junkies. We live for it. The boots, the leaves, the sweaters, the pumpkin everything. We can’t get enough. We even have a fall collection in our shop! So why, then, would we waste our precious fall days in Orlando at Walt Disney World when we could be living for fall in our home state of Ohio?
Well at the time, it was the free food. I wanted to take my daughter to WDW and the fact that I didn’t have to pay for food for 5 days was a pretty big deal. After our first couple of trips, we kept returning at fall and as time has gone on, we have fallen so in love with fall at Disney that it seems we can’t stay away.
Why is Walt Disney World So Great in the Fall?
So why fall? There is so much to love about fall at Walt Disney World and this post isn’t here to give you all the details about the Food and Wine Festival or even the Halloween Party. You can find that info in our other posts.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival Happens in the Fall
What I said earlier about the free food, well its still a thing. Though the details of the promo change every year, Disney has been offering the Free Disney Dining Plan in limited quantities since the recession when they were having a hard time filling rooms. You can read more about the Free Dining Plan here. What makes the free Dining Plan even more alluring is the fact that a lot of those snack credit can be redeemed at the Food and Wine Festival.
Walt Disney World Epcot in the Fall
Now as I said before, I’m usually traveling with my sister and my daughter, which means I’m not going down to the Food and Wine Festival to end up stumbling around the world. Even if you’re not much of a drinker, the Food and Wine Festival is simply phenomenal, with food you can’t get otherwise and is super kid friendly. We’ve been to Disney 4 other times this year and I have to say there is just something about being in Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival that you don’t get the rest of the year. And no, I’m not talking about the overabundance of drunk people…..
Side note: if you are traveling with kids, I recommend staying away from the Festival Friday and Saturday nights. You can read more about my thoughts on that in this post.
Aside from the festival, there is so much more to love about fall in Walt Disney World. For starters, the weather starts to cool down.
The Weather in Florida is Cooler in the Fall ( and sometimes rainy)
Ok guys, when I say “cool down” I don’t mean its sweater and boots weather. I mean in September it cools down to the high 80s and the humidity is a little less exhausting. That being said, its also rainy season in Orlando, so be prepared for storms and downpours, which don’t usually last long but can really dampen your day if you’re not prepared.
If I’m being completely honest(again), I actually prefer the rain a little…..it makes for a nice break from the insane heat and the crowds usually lessen a bit.
If you go in October, the weather is a little cooler and the rain isn’t as bad, but October generally sees higher crowds than September at Walt Disney World.
The Disney Crowds Are Lighter in the Fall
Speaking of crowds, the fall is a great time to avoid them. While there really isn’t an off season at Walt Disney World anymore, statistics will show that when kids go back to school the Parks are a little less crowded. That doesn’t mean you’ll get to walk right onto Frozen Ever After, but it does mean you won’t have to wait in lines as long or have as hard of a time getting those coveted ADRs that might otherwise be difficult to score.
I feel like I need to add the fine print here…..we’ve been going every fall for the last 5 years and we have noticed the crowds getting increasingly larger every year. Except for last year, when we shifted our dates a little earlier in the month of September. I’m not sure if WDW considers fall a “slow” time anymore, but even when looking at crowd calendars the crowds are lower than a lot of other times, so I’m sticking to my low crowd argument here.
Magic Kingdom in the Fall
If there was one thing that I can’t stop talking about every year, its Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you follow us on Instagram or even have had a peek at our shop, then you’ll know that we LOVE the Boo to You Parade.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Happens in the Fall
It is the BEST parade I have ever seen and it never gets old. Its that good. And that song becomes my life soundtrack until Halloween is over. We even have a whole post with the lyrics to the Boo to You Parade song so you can memorize them ahead of time!
All the Fall Decorations and Treats Arrive at the Parks
Besides, the parade, Hallowishes is an incredible fireworks display, there are Halloween theme treats, and there are special meet and greets you can’t experience other times during the year. There is also trick or treating on Main St which is always fun with little ones. Be sure to dress up or at least wear something Halloween themed to get picture perfect photos with your family(or your favorite characters).
Speaking of special treats, much of Magic Kingdom actually offers Halloween and Fall themed treats throughout the Park even when the Halloween Party isn’t going on. From Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks(err Main Street Bakery) to glitter pumpkin cupcakes at Be Our Guest and candy corn soft serve ice cream at Storybook Treats, you’re sure to find something you’ll love during the fall.
In fact, even the candy apples are dressed up for Halloween. We love them so much actually we designed a pin after one of them!
If you think festivals, parties and treats are as good as it gets when it comes to fall at Walt Disney World, think again.
What if we Don’t Go To Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?
Magic Kingdom is completely dressed up for the occasion, so while Floridians may miss out on a traditional fall with beautiful foliage, Magic Kingdom brings a little of that magic to the Park with their adorable décor. I personally think the fall decorations are warm and welcoming and I can never take too many photos of those adorable little Mickey Jack O Lantern Wreaths.
Regular Shows at Disney Get a Fall Makeover!
Do you love the Trolley Show? We do and one thing we love about it in Autumn, is that the entire show is changed to fit the season. The songs are different, the performers get to wear their fall best and even the trolley is decorated. Its a small thing to love, but we love it nonetheless.
So what have I missed? Is there anything you love about fall that I forgot to mention? Let us know, because if we are missing out, then we need fix that!
So between festivals, parties, treats, lower crowds along with all of the magical touches, you can see why we love Disney in the fall. And hopefully can continue to return to this magical place year after year. Its the magic that can happen when its autumn!