- I worked at Disney World for 2 years, and fall is my favorite time of year to visit the parks.
- I love dressing up for the Halloween events at Magic Kingdom and seeing the characters in costumes.
- There are some great food opportunities in the fall, like the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.
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I had the pleasure of working at Walt Disney World for two years, and fall is my absolute favorite time of year to be in the parks.
It’s usually not as crowded since schools are back in session, and the Florida weather cools down from the oppressive summer heat.
After years of working in and visiting the parks, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best things to do, see, and eat at Disney World in the fall.
I love strolling down Main Street for the first time after the fall decorations go up
There is nothing like walking down Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA in the fall. It’s lined with pumpkins, seasonal drapes, scarecrows in funny outfits, and Mickey-shaped jack-o’-lantern wreaths.
I grab a pumpkin- or apple-flavored coffee at the Main Street Bakery and spend a lot of time soaking it all in.
All of the decorations make it feel so cozy and allow for some really cute photos. I always make sure to have a little photo shoot every year.
It’s the only time of year when adults can go all out with their costumes in the parks
Fall is the only time of year when adults can really dress up as their favorite Disney characters in the parks.
Usually, only children under 14 can be in full costume, but when special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Boo Bash are running, adults can go all out.
This is such a fun way to celebrate Halloween, especially because you can see all of the unique costumes that everyone comes up with.
If you’re not into wearing a full costume to the parks, you can also “Disneybound” by using your regular clothes to match the color scheme or aesthetic of your favorite character in a more subtle way.
I love Disneybounding different characters all year, but it’s especially fun when the park is decorated for Halloween. Park employees and other guests will usually pick up on your outfits, too, which makes for some fun interactions with fellow fans.
Although they cost extra, events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Boo Bash are totally worth it
I think Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is the best special event that Disney World has all year.
It typically runs from the end of August through October 31, and it requires a special park ticket that’s usually a little more expensive. But in addition to donning fun costumes, guests get the opportunity to trick-or-treat all around Magic Kingdom and feel like a kid again.
There are also special entertainment offerings that are unique to the event, like the Boo to You Parade, the “Hocus Pocus” stage show, and exclusive character meet and greets.
The Boo to You Parade is my favorite. It has all of the classic characters, including Mickey and friends, the Hundred Acre Woods gang, most of the princesses and their princes, Pixar stars, Haunted Mansion maids and butlers, and a wide range of villains.
For 2021, amid COVID-19 restrictions, Disney has changed the event to After Hours Boo Bash, which still offers trick-or-treating and Halloween-themed entertainment, but on a smaller and more socially distanced scale.
There’s so much cute merchandise to peruse in the fall
I’m a sucker for Disney merchandise, and when fall comes around, I want to purchase just about everything in the stores. There’s something about jack-o’-lanterns shaped like Mickey Mouse that I just can’t get enough of.
I recommend going to World of Disney at Disney Springs or the Emporium in Magic Kingdom because they’re some of the largest stores on the property. But luckily, you can find fall merchandise pretty much everywhere.
Make sure to check out what kind of costumes your favorite characters are wearing
Seeing characters is always a huge highlight of any Disney trip, but it’s extra special in the fall when you can see their Halloween outfits.
It’s the cutest thing to see Mickey dressed as a vampire or Winnie the Pooh dressed as a bumblebee.
You never know what your favorite character will dress up as, and it’s exciting to see them in something other than their typical outfit.
I also love seeing all of the Magic Kingdom park employees in their festive Halloween uniforms.
Hollywood and Vine gets a total makeover for Halloween
Hollywood and Vine is a restaurant located in Hollywood Studios with a buffet-style character dinner.
But in the fall, it transforms into a Halloween-themed dining experience.
All of the classic Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald – are dressed up in their Halloween costumes. They also have Halloween-inspired desserts and festive decor throughout the restaurant.
Haunted Mansion always gets me in the Halloween spirit
Out of all of the rides at Disney World, Haunted Mansion truly embodies the Halloween season.
If you’re anything like me and like to be spooked – but are also a huge wimp when it comes to anything scary – this is the perfect ride for you. It has such a good mix of scare and fun.
Taking a ride always gets me into the spirit of Halloween.
If Halloween isn’t your thing, pop over to Epcot for the International Food and Wine Festival
Fall isn’t complete unless I go to Food and Wine at Epcot, which usually runs from August to November.
It’s my favorite festival that Epcot offers throughout the year because it’s full of amazing foods and drinks inspired by cuisines from around the world.
One of my favorite stands is Appleseed Orchard in the Canada pavilion. It offers an assortment of different beers and ciders along with sweet treats like a frozen apple-pie drink and apple-crumble tarts.
The candy-corn milkshake in Tomorrowland is a must
The candy-corn milkshake at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tomorrowland is only available during the Halloween season.
It’s candy-corn flavored and topped with a big Mickey-shaped marshmallow.
This is just one of the many seasonal treats that can be found throughout Disney World at the resorts, parks, and Disney Springs.
Garden Grill reminds me of a Thanksgiving feast
Garden Grill in Epcot’s The Land pavilion is another character-dining experience with an all-you-can-eat, family-style meal.
I think one of my favorite things about the fall season is all of the amazing food, and this buffet reminds me of a Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a harvest salad, and a berry shortcake.