When most of us think about family vacations, we usually imagine wearing flip-flops and sun visors on warm summer days. But there are a lot of advantages to traveling in the off-peak season, especially if you're traveling to Walt Disney World.
Now, let me say this first: there's really never a bad time to be at Walt Disney World. (Although there are a couple of days I’d suggest the casual guests avoid, but your travel planner will help you schedule around those.) Every season has it's charms, it's advantages and disadvantages. And Disney is magical no matter when you’re there.
But when I’m asked when is the best time to go to Walt Disney World, I always give the same answer: Autumn.
Here are five reasons why I believe autumn is the best time to visit Walt Disney World:
1. Cooler Weather
Florida weather in the autumn is spectacular. Afternoon highs will still feel like a summertime vacation, but the evening lows will be just cool enough to feel refreshing and crisp. You might even need to snuggle under a blanket during Wishes, which makes the firework show even more magical.
2. Lighter Crowds
Because many families will be in school, you’ll find shorter lines for attractions and better views for parades and fireworks shows. If you are free from the school calendar, or your school district offers a fall break, this is an ideal time to visit the parks and enjoy a little more elbowroom. And, if you are subject to the school calendar, we won’t tell if you call in sick a couple of days.
3. Great Specials
Disney usually offers a free Dining Plan for guests staying in a select Walt Disney World Resort most dates from late August through early December. Who doesn’t love free Mickey ice cream? If the details of this special don’t match your travel plans, Disney also tends to offer a discount on select rooms at Walt Disney World resort hotels for stays mid-August through early October. Your Disney travel planner will be able to help you find the best special for your particular situation.
4. Special Events
Walt Disney World invites guests to enjoy some amazing special events during the fall.
Epcot hosts the International Food and Wine Festival from the end of September to the middle of November. It provides the opportunity to taste foods from around the world, learn from top chefs, and shop a global marketplace. Want to see your kids become foodies? Who else but Disney can encourage them to try escargot!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special ticketed event on select nights from late September through October in Magic Kingdom. Kids and adults can trick or treat and dress in costumes. There are exclusive villain meet and greets, monster dance parties, and unique shows. You won’t want to miss the Boo To You Parade, led by the legendary ride of the Headless Horseman.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special ticketed event on select nights in November and December in Magic Kingdom. With beautiful Christmas decorations, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade, and complimentary cookies and milk. Imagine magical snowfall as you stroll along Main Street USA.
5. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Since Starbucks has come to Walt Disney World, you can now look forward to indulging in your favorite seasonal coffee drink while in the parks. Admittedly, it seems a little over the top to plan a vacation around a cup of coffee, but I sure did enjoy a lovely October afternoon watching the fountains of Epcot and sipping a pumpkin spice latte. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!