Our Five Favorite Things About Autumn at Walt Disney World
As we wrap up our Labor Day weekend festivities and kids head back to school, our thoughts turn to the coming of fall…and cooler temperatures, changing leaves (well, up north anyway), and lots of holiday Disney magic. The Autumn season brings lots of changes and events to Walt Disney World, and we thought this would be a great time to share some of our favorites:
1. Boo to You!
Next to Christmas, nothing brings out the holiday decorations at Disney like Halloween. Creepy creeps with eerie eyes, grim grinning ghosts of every size, and happy haunts materialize to celebrate this spooky time of year. The highlight of the season is of course Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but the festivities don’t stop there. The Magic Kingdom is magically transformed into an autumn getaway, with pumpkins, hay bales, and orange buntings taking over Main Street U.S.A. The Haunted Mansion is bathed in orange and green lights, and even in Tomorrowland you can see ghoulish cobwebs “draped” over Space Mountain. Be sure to keep your eyes open; you’ll find lots of Halloween hijinks around every corner!
2. Dining Around the World
Epcot has it’s own way of celebrating the fall season; the International Food & Wine Festival. Nothing beats sampling sweet and savory treats from all over the world, and every year brings new delicacies and cocktail concoctions to the table (so to speak). This year’s event introduces five new marketplaces: Active Eats (Sweet Avocado Crema with strawberries, yellow cake and tortilla streusel), Almond Orchard: (featuring a nutrient-packed Cauliflower Risotto with pulled chicken, artichokes, spinach and parmesan cheese, Coastal Eats (Lump Crab Cake with Napa cabbage slaw and avocado lemongrass cream and Seared Scallops with roasted corn), Flavors from Fire (Smoked Corned Beef with warm crispy potatoes, pickled onions and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue). and the Light Lab (offering spirited concoctions like the Bleu Spectrum with Blanc de Bleu Cuvee Mousseux with Boba Pearls). But no matter what your tastes, you’ll always find something delicious and new at the Food & Wine Festival.
3. Haunting Fireworks
Guests of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will get to enjoy Happy HalloWishes, the ghoulish fireworks spectacle that lights up the night high above Cinderella Castle. You can sing along with some of your favorite(?) Disney Villains, including Cruella de Vil, Jafar and Oogie Boogie. The Castle itself transforms into a creepy, colorful mansion (though not quite as spooky as the real Haunted Mansion!), and the fireworks themselves, featuring brilliant blooms of orange, green, and purple, will fill the sky like you’ve never seen before!
4. Time to Warm Up!
The fall also brings a respite from the sweltering heat of the Florida summer. Though you still might experience the odd hot day as the seasons change, you’ll find the temperatures to be much more pleasant during this time of year. Now you can enjoy those long walks around the resorts or a casual strolling through the parks…and not having to stop every few moments to pop into a store to cool down. Sure, that may make it a bit trickier to find a nice day to spend in the pool, but then again you’ll feel perfectly justified in getting that Pumpkin Spice Latte…which of course is the perfect beverage to celebrate the changing of the season! (And who knows, you may have that occasional evening where’ll need to duck into a store not to cool off…but to pick up a sweater to battle the nighttime chill in the air, a nice change of pace!)
5. Light Up the Night!
While some might bemoan the fact that the days are getting shorter (compounded even more when Daylight Savings Time rolls around), the plus side is that you’ll get to enjoy evenings in the parks earlier and longer! As the sun sets, nearly every land at the Magic Kingdom transforms. Adventureland turns mysterious and exotic; Fantasyland becomes a dazzling world filled with magical lights, Main Street U.S.A. takes on a carnival-like atmosphere as the shops are illuminated with thousands of tiny turn-of-the-century bulbs, and Tomorrowland becomes aglow with brilliant neon colors and glowing metallic palm trees. Speaking of Tomorrowland, the TTA becomes a whole new experience as your night-adjusted eyes get a much better view of the interior of Space Mountain. Over in Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise is suddenly more menacing and mysterious, and is definitely worth a nighttime visit. (Don’t worry though, you’ll still see the back side of water…)
That’s just a small sampling of some of the new magic that comes to life as summer turns into fall. Do you have any favorite moments? Share them with us in the comments section (and don’t forget to bring your death certificate!).