This is a guest post written by Disney lover and author of The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays and Lessons from my Decidedly Disney Travels, Kyle Burbank. ?I met Kyle at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA last August. ?He too shares my love of Disney World in the fall! ?It is a fantastic time of year to visit for many reasons! ?Read below to see why!
Why Early Fall at WDW is Theme Park Perfection
There are many pros and cons to visiting Walt Disney World at various times throughout the year. Like who can deny the beauty of the Parks during the winter holidays? Or maybe night owls prefer going during at busy times like Spring Break just so they can enjoy Magic Kingdom until 1 a.m. ? long after the kids and families have headed back to their hotel rooms. Then, of course, some people like to make WDW their summer retreat and Fourth of July celebration.
When I visited Walt Disney World for the first time in 15 years ? and my first time as an ?adult? ? my quest for near-instant gratification after visiting the D23 Expo led me to inadvertently visit the Parks during what would become my favorite time of year: late September and early October. These autumnal getaways have since become my calling card over the past few years. As a result, I?ll tell anyone who will listen just why I think the timing is so great. And so, without further ado, here (in no particular order) is my list of reasons why the early fall is the perfect time for a trip to WDW.
Epcot International Food and Wine
Now in its 20th year, the Epcot International Food and Wine fest is something I inexplicably love, even if the last word of title doesn?t appeal so much to me.? To be honest, I?m quite sure why I enjoy buying such tiny portions of food for so much money, but I can never resist. Being a picky eater, I think part of my obsession is just being able to brag about cuisine I?ve had from different regions. ?I?m not that bad! I had South African food at Epcot once!?
Although I never seem to go on a week for it, I do appreciate the idea of the Eat to the Beat concert series that runs throughout the festival. The way the bookings have been going lately, it will only be a matter of time before all of my favorite bands from high school join the line up. OK, so maybe Blink 182 won?t be invited, but otherwise?
This can always change, but, in my experiences, the crowds in late September/early October are delightfully low. Granted, there may be some crowds around the Food and Wine Festival area (especially on weekends) but that scene doesn?t usually make it over to the rides. These light crowds are what made it so easy to see everything I wanted to on that initial trip ? and I had a lot to catch up on.
Again, this can always change and vary, but, on the whole, Orlando seems to be a little bit cooler and a little less rainy in fall than during the summer. Sure, that legendary Florida humidity may still catch up with you, but the afternoon downpours aren?t a daily ritual during this time of year. I can?t stress how hit or miss this part of my list is, but it could always be worse ? it could be July.
Mickey?s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties
You might think that this would be geared mostly towards kids? and you might have a point. Even though the astronomical amount of candy you can acquire at these parties doesn?t excite me as it may have when I was a child, the rest of the festivities are right up my alley.
First, as someone who closes their eyes in the graveyard scene of The Haunted Mansion, the ?Not-So-Scary? disclaimer is not only appreciated but it?s also requirement for me. Knowing that I can walk safely around the park without shadowy figures jumping out to startle me is a relief so great that I can?t even put it into words.
What makes these parties worth it for me is the low crowd turn out during the earlier dates and the entertainment. I may not be the biggest parade guy, but I have to say that the Boo To You parade may be my all-time favorite. There are fireworks too, but seriously: watch this parade!
So there you have it: all the reasons I love early autumn in Walt Disney World. For more stories about my fall visits to WDW, my toddler-esque eating habits, my scaredy-cat tendencies and more, be sure to check out my new book, The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned From My Decidedly Disney Travels available now from Laughing Place Press.