It can be tough narrowing down when to plan your Walt Disney World Resort vacation. After all, there are many factors to consider such as crowd levels, weather, special events and more. While you can't go wrong with whichever time of year you choose, we have a few reasons why fall is our favorite time of year to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth. You know it's spooky season when the pumpkin wreaths and fall foliage adorn Main Street, U.S.A.! Hop along with us as we explore all of the fall fun waiting for you at Walt Disney World.
Fall Crowds at Disney World
As many frogs head back to school, the fall season used to be considered a "slow" period at the theme parks. While nowhere near as busy as the peak summer months, traveling to Disney World in the fall has grown in popularity over the years. You'll find the best times to visit in the fall to be most days in September and weekdays in October. You'll want to be mindful of holidays and school fall breaks, including the weekend of Columbus Day (Oct. 10), Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and, of course, the week of Thanksgiving. The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend is from Nov. 3 to 6, which can add some extra crowds.
Be sure to check our Crowd Calendar for daily crowd levels and recommended parks.
Fall Weather at Disney World
There’s no escaping the hot and humid weather during the summer. So, when the fall season rolls around, we always welcome the cooler temperatures with open arms. (Hellooo, spirit jerseys!) September remains fairly hot with an average high of 89 degrees Fahrenheit. While the daily afternoon thunderstorms start to decline this month, it’s still important to pack a poncho or umbrella and have a Plan B for inclement weather.
October brings warm days and cooler nights with much less rainfall than the months before. You can still wear T-shirts and shorts during the day, but we recommend packing a light sweatshirt or jacket for the evenings. November continues this trend, but keep a close eye on the weather forecast leading up to your trip. The first cold front of the season (OK, cool front, this is Florida after all) usually hoppens this month. Layering is key to staying comfortable in the fall.
Fall Events at Disney World
There are lots of exciting events to enjoy during the fall, such as the classic EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival and the return of the popular Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
After three years, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has returned! This separately ticketed event runs on select nights from Aug. 12 to Oct. 31 at Magic Kingdom. Enjoy special characters, trick or treating, and exclusive entertainment such as Mickey's Boo to You Halloween parade and the Hocus Pocus stage show. We highly recommend purchasing tickets to this great event!
EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
Foodie frogs rejoice! The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival runs this year from July 14 to Nov. 19, 2022. This frog-favorite event allows guests to wine and dine around World Showcase, sampling special food and beverage items from a hodgepodge of cultures. I’m not joking when I say that Leap trains for this event each year — who knew eating around the world can be taken as seriously as a sport? And the best part is, you can experience the festival with regular park admission. Make sure to try the amazing new Fry Flight from The Fry Basket!
Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
Burn off some of those Food and Wine calories with the popular runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend from Nov. 3 to 6. The weekend consists of a 5K, 10K and half marathon that run through the parks before opening. Learn more with our runDisney guide!
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Celebrate the holiday season with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, returning to Magic Kingdom Park on select nights from Nov. 8 to Dec. 22! The separately ticketed event features rare characters, special entertainment, jolly-good treats, ride overlays and more! There is even “snowfall” on Main Street intermittently throughout the night.
Returning are big highlights such as Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration castle stage show and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet your favorite Disney characters, some of whom are decked out in their holiday finest. Check out our festive party guide for all the exciting details!
Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration
For those traveling to Disney World in fall 2022 — lucky you, you're visiting during the 50th anniversary! Enjoy new entertainment, specialty food and drink, merchandise and other fun EARidescent extras. The new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction debuted May 27 at EPCOT for an out-of-this-world adventure! And experience interactive fun with the new MagicBand+, taking the popular wristbands to a whole new level. It's truly a great time to make a trip and enjoy everything this special celebration has to offer.
Our Favorite Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World This Fall
Hoppin’ Good Hotel Rates
Because fall is typically a slower season, you can often score a ribbeting deal at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. And if you book through us, you’ll gain even more savings! On property, you have many hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly value hotels to luxurious deluxes (or get a mix of both at the moderates). There are many great reasons to stay on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel!
Returning Characters and Entertainment
So much entertainment has returned this year to Disney World with more still on the way! At Animal Kingdom, enjoy the reimagined Finding Nemo: The Big, Blue and Beyond! musical show At Disney's Fort Wilderness, enjoy a meal and tons of laughs with the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. We especially look forward to the return of Fantasmic at Disney's Hollywood Studios, coming back sometime later this year.
Traditional character meet-and-greets are back as well with the majority of locations now open for hugs and autographs. Meet favorite characters including Mickey and Minnie in their new EARidescent outfits at Town Square Theater, Chewbacca and Darth Vadar at Star Wars: Launch Bay and more! You can even see Mirabel from "Encanto" cruise by in the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade at Magic Kingdom.
Character dining locations are also rapidly returning with the return of Pooh and friends at The Crystal Palace (Sept. 20), Lilo and Stitch at 'Ohana Breakfast (Sept. 27) and Minnie Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Cafe (Oct. 4). It's such a great time to visit and meet so many of our favorite characters!
Spectacular Seasonal Decor
Even if you’re not attending any of the holiday-themed parties at Magic Kingdom, you can still revel in the decor spread throughout the theme parks and resorts. Fall leaf Mickey wreaths and jack-o-lanterns pop up everywhere along Main Street, U.S.A.
As soon as Jack Skellington bids farewell, Magic Kingdom transforms into a winter wonderland overnight. The rest of the theme parks and the resorts join in with towering Christmas trees and gorgeous garlands. Star-shaped wreaths along Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are usually the first decorations to pop up (as early as mid-October!). The holidays at each of the four parks and Disney Springs begin Nov. 11, 2022.
Tasty Fall Flavors
Is that the smell of pumpkin or peppermint in the air? Walt Disney World serves up seasonal, sweet and savory flavors across all of its properties. (Like the delish treat pictured above ... drool!) Themed offerings are available at all of the Disney theme parks, as well as Disney Springs and the resorts. And keep an eye out! As we get closer to winter, Disney usually gifts us a festive foodie guide to the holiday goodies heading to the parks. We're making a list, and checking it twice ...
Toadally Cute Merchandise
And speaking of lists, boy do we have a shopping list ready for our next trip to Walt Disney World! Whether it's backpacks, Mickey ears, spirit jerseys, T-shirts or pins, super cute seasonal merchandise can be found all across Walt Disney World Resort. It's only around for a limited time and generally goes scary-fast, so grab it while you can! If you're more of a holly-jolly froggy, Christmas offers an equally tempting array of themed merchandise to stuff your stocking. And don't even get us started on all of the 50th-anniversary merchandise — adorbs!
Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World in the fall? Let us know what you are looking most forward to in the comments below!