Spending Halloween at Walt Disney World is always a good idea. Unlike the later part of the holiday season, you don’t have so many crowds, you still have decent weather and frankly, it’s when the things that are MOST FUN finally happen. While we love all of Disney’s festivals and parties year-round, there’s nothing that quite compares to the outdoor kitchens at the Food and Wine Festival, the Halloween events at Magic Kingdom, and the fall-themed treats all over the Disney Parks. Here’s everything you can do for Halloween at Walt Disney World.
If you’re headed to Orlando, Floridia for Disney World and Halloween, know that it’s one of the best times of year to visit Disney World. It lasts about 3 months, from August through October, and covers the entire fall season with pumpkins, fall flavors and spooky nights! That said you can expect the gamut of crowds, weather, and activities. But, in general, Halloween at Walt Disney World begins starting with the arrival of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, at Magic Kingdom, starting in early August.
Halloween at Walt Disney World
Of all the Disney Parks, Magic Kingdom celebrates our favorite spooky holiday the most. With Halloween decorations in the Parks up in early August, you know you can count on a long season of various surprises. New Halloween Snacks, special events, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and new Halloween merchandise arrive throughout the 3-month Halloween season. In contrast, the other Disney Parks don’t celebrate Halloween at Walt Disney World with such fervor or zest. But, as all the parks get into the Fall spirit, there is always something fun to be had.
Halloween Decorations at Walt Disney World
Cost: FREE with Admission
We love vacationing in the fall at Walt Disney World. One of the best things about a Disney World Halloween is that decorations can be found in the parks and at the resorts. And if you’re looking for a free Disney day, take a trip around the Monorail Resorts, for a look at how things can get extra spooky. Almost all of the Disney Resorts get new Halloween merchandise in the gift shops and new haunting treats in the bakery cases.
Halloween Decorations to oogle include the Pumpkin People, Scarecrows, and Stacked Pumpkins on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom. Both the Mickey and Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin Wreaths, a slew of handcrafted Halloween Chocolate displays at select Deluxe Resorts.
When Does Disney World Decorate for Halloween?
If you’re planning a Fall Vacation at Disney World, then you’ll be happy to know that chances are, decorations will be everywhere by the time you arrive. Halloween Decorations at Walt Disney World go up at different times depending on the park.
Magic Kingdom typically has decorations up by mid-August, to accommodate for the early Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween crowds. While EPCOT aims for a September 1st date, with Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit as part of the Food and Wine Festival. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom don’t have a strong Halloween presence but you can typically see fall wreaths show up in September. Disney Springs, on the other hand, establishes fall with the Fall into Magic decorations and snacks, also in early September.
Halloween Activities at Walt Disney World
Halloween brings special overlays, decorations, snacks, and more that you can’t experience any other time of year. As such, we thought it would be helpful to break them down for you, so you can pick and choose what to add to your next Disney Halloween vacation. Complete with Park location and Cost, hopefully, this guide to Halloween at Walt Disney World gets you ready!
Main Street Trolley Show Autumn Overlay | Magic Kingdom
Cost: FREE with admission
The Main Street Trolley singers get a magical fall overlay to their usual dance and song with fall-themed songs, costumes, and decorations for the trolley. This is a free show that pops up on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom every day. Check out the Main Street Trolley page for the details and add this to your plans. It’s totally worth it, cool to see, and a nice more up-close treat than the larger-than-life castle shows.
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival | EPCOT
Cost: FREE with admission
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival combines outdoor kitchens with cultural cuisine, foodie experiences, shows, and kid-friendly activities like Remy’s Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt. This festival is best when you visit during the day, Monday-Thursday. Absolutely one of our favorite experiences for the family that cooks together. If you’ve never been to this event, check out our Food and Wine Festival Guide and if you’re traveling with kids there’s a whole slew of things you should know to make sure they have a great time with all the kid-specific perks of this event. You can also see the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, and take part in classes and presentations on food! Perfect for the family that cooks together.
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit | EPCOT
Cost: $9.99 plus tax.
New to Walt Disney World this Halloween is Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit! Starting September 29 and running through October 31st at EPCOT Park, guests can grab a scavenger hunt map and go on a hunt for pumpkins across the park. This game is in tandem with the already present Remy’s Hide and Squeak Game which also happens this time of year at the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival.
Squad Ghoul Live Music | Disney Springs
Listen to live music at Disney Springs’ Waterside Stage Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29 to Oct. 29. Featuring Squad Ghoul for seasonal music and free fun at Walt Disney World.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party | Magic Kingdom
Cost: $109-199/ person depending on the date, Magic Kingdom.
One of our favorite things to do when visiting Florida both Disney World and Halloween time is attending the Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2024 Dates are TENTATIVELY August 9- November 1, 2024. We absolutely love this event. And even though prices tend to increase each year we simply cannot stop going! This hard ticket party closes Magic Kingdom to other guests who have not paid to be at the event at 6 p.m. on select nights throughout the fall months. So watch the dates if you’re vacationing in the fall. You don’t want to have your Magic Kingdom day on a day when the park closes early for this party.
For all the details read our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Guide! We share treats, parade info, and strategies to get you around to your favorite in-costume characters before the night is over. One of our favorite parts of attending this party is seeing the Boo to You Parade. If you’re lamenting being unable to visit this year, check out our Disney Halloween Parade Photo Tour.
Disney Halloween Fireworks Show | Magic Kingdom
Cost: Included in your Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Ticket
Disney’s Not So Spooky Halloween Spectacular is a Fireworks show that ONLY happens as part of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. BUT, technically CAN see this without attending the party! If you want an up-close shot just take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom gates. Once there, you can find a spot on the ground to relax while you watch and listen. You won’t get a view of the castle but you will get a view of the train station and all the fireworks and music. If you’re not springing for a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ticket, you can also head over to the Contemporary Resort. Guests can watch the fireworks from the balcony, or book an evening reservation at California Grill for ideal fireworks show viewing.
Disney Halloween Food Guide
From specialty dining at Minnie’s Halloween Dine to Fall into Magic at Disney Springs, there are loads of things you can add to your Halloween Snacks goals. With loads of new Halloween snacks at Disney World showing up at the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs, be sure to check out the things to eat in the Halloween Snacks post below.
Halloween Snacks at Disney World| Everywhere
Cost: Usually 8 bucks or less!
Nothing says fall like caramel apples, pumpkin lattes, and hot cider. Luckily, every park and resort ( and Disney Springs) usually has something special brewing in the kitchen for the fall menus and treat stations around the parks. Even regular treats like caramel apples and ice creams all get a fall twist. Check out all the New Halloween Snacks at Disney World.
Minnie’s Halloween Dine at Hollywood and Vine | Hollywood Studios
This Halloween character meal is a buffet; all you care to enjoy. We love the extra fun of our favorite characters in costumes. Much like Akershus in Epcot Norway and Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, the thrill of getting all the character photo ops without having to wait in line for them at the Halloween Party is HUGE! You’ll get to see the Fab Five at Minnie’s Halloween Dine. So plan to see Mickey, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. Absolutely makes it worth it. Dining options are available in mid-August. Check out all the details for Minnie’s Halloween Dine at Hollywood Studios.
Fall into Magic Snacks | Disney Springs
Cost: Usually 8 bucks or less!
As part of Disney Springs’ FREE Fall into Magic event, there is always a slew of snacks special to the season. And fall decorations begin to show up around the shopping center too. No matter what Halloween treats you are hoping to find, Disney Springs will have it. From caramel-flavored, pumpkin flavored, cinnamon-flavored..and more, if it’s a fall flavor, you can find it. We like Sprinkles for cute cupcakes, Amorette’s Patisseries for fancy desserts, and The Ganachery for the best chocolates. Keep an eye out for the WonderFall Restaurant Crawl. You can usually grab a guide at the Information Center. Or just keep tabs with us, we track the New Disney Snacks here.
Halloween Merchandise at Walt Disney World
The merchandise for Halloween begins arriving in mid-August and comes in full force once October hits. Special tees, for the party, pass holder merchandise, and the new Halloween season arrive alongside flavored popcorn, treats, decor, and stuffed animals. So spooky. So fun! Check out all the New Disney Halloween Merchandise for the season!
Disney Halloween Popcorn Bucket and Sipper
Available for a limited time and in limited quantities, these Disney Parks Halloween Novelties are available at select locations throughout the park. While supplies last. For Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Mayor’s Car Bucket, there’s a limit of two per guest!
- Mayor’s Car Popcorn Bucket: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Mayor’s Car Bucket (Available only at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party)
Donald Duck Candy Corn Sipper: Glow in the Dark Donald Candy Corn Sipper (Available at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party but will materialize in other Disney parks during the Halloween season)
Halloween Crowds at Walt Disney World
If you want to get a feel for the crowds during the Halloween Season, know that they run the gamut. August typically sees everyone fixated on “getting there first” for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and as a result sees high crowds the week the party starts, typically the second and third weeks of August.
Lighter Crowds can be found in September after Labor Day and offer one of the best times of year to visit Walt Disney World, both in terms of lower crowds and costs.
October brings heavy crowds as people really dive into the Halloween season, and has quickly become one of the busier months at Disney World. As it brings cooler weather and some of the best events of the year.
Walt Disney World and Halloween Things to Do
If you’re looking for an extra special way to build a new Halloween tradition in your family, add a Disney Vacation to your list. There is so much to do and see and it changes every year. So, you’re always in for a surprise. It’s also a great way to get everyone into costume, and out of the house! No matter what Fall events at Disney strike your fancy, you can be sure there is always something fun about being in the parks during the holidays. If you’re visiting Orlando for Disney World and Halloween try to visit in September before the crowds get crazy:)
And if you can’t make it out to Disney for the spooky season, check out our post on how to have a last-minute Disney Halloween Party at Home and add our Disney Halloween Movie List to your fall activities.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.