Walt Disney World in the Fall: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

best time to go to Disney World
Updated for 2016!

When school starts back each fall, temperatures slowly dip back below 90 degrees in the deep south. Add in football games, marching bands, and you have yourself the season known as fall. Is now the time for you to load up the family and head to Orlando for a vacation? We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans what they thought about visiting Disney World in the fall.

Here are eight reasons why you should pick a resort, grab your Mickey Mouse ears hat, and head off to the Magic Kingdom.

The Day You Arrive at Disney World, Don’t Waste Your Tickets on This…

1. Quieter

The kids have gone back to school, and thus there are fewer people in the parks. Fewer people = shorter lines = definite vacation bonus!!

Megan, “We honeymooned in September, and it was great! No one was there, and the trip was cheaper overall.”

Stacy, “We are taking our kids for their first time this fall because we home school. We have a bit more flexibility in our school schedule, so we purposely wanted to pick a time when everyone else was at school/work.”

Sandra, “I love the fall. It’s not as humid in Florida, and in the fall it would be the grownups trip. No kids, because they were in school.” 

Sophie, “The reason we go in fall is because the crowds are less, the weather is cooler than in summer, and Halloween at Disney is awesome.
We haven’t taken our daughter yet as she is only one, but we probably would try to take her out of school. I feel holidays and making memories is important.”

Perhaps the Most Amazing Disney World Resort Ever? The New Four Seasons Resort Orlando

why go to Disney World in the fall

2. Cooler Weather

The weather is cooler now than in the summer. Ok, August and September many not be a tremendous amount cooler, but anything is better than late June and mid-July temperatures.

Jen, “It’s cooler. I’m from Syracuse, so I’m used to it being about 65. Anything warmer and I melt.  It’s also better because of the smaller crowds. Maybe the park isn’t EMPTY, but its better than in July/August. And its way easier for me to get time off from work. I work at a science museum so late spring with school groups and summer with the kids off means we’re a bit busier. We’re dead in September/October so I don’t have to worry about asking for time off!”

Joyce, “Fall break – hallelujah! A little cooler and a lot less crowded.”
Tonia, “Mid to Late August is when we normally go.  We get to celebrate Disney Daughter’s birthday, and most of the crowds are gone. Last year one week later ,and we would have gotten free dining, AND her school hasn’t started back up yet. Yes, it’s still HOT and yes, it rains every day, but we love it!”
But the fact remains that it’s still definitely warm enough to swim in the fall, a huge bonus with staying in tropical Florida.

 3. Parks Close Early

Starting in August, some of the parks close as early as 5 p.m for the Halloween and Christmas parties. While fewer hours is more of a bummer than a bonus, this gives you time to go to Disney Springs, visit the other resorts, or have a nice dinner without feeling pressure to ride more roller coasters. There’s more to Disney than theme park rides, and fall is a beautiful time to explore.

Judy, “We prefer the fall because of the beautiful colors with the decorations! Yellows and oranges just make the park pop….. Plus the crowds are a tad less. It can still be hot but more bearable.”

Bianca, “If we have park tickets on a day there is a party scheduled, we make fun plans for that night, like a character meal or a trip to Disney Springs. Fall is definitely cooler than summer, and the colors are so bright and vibrant. It’s a nice time to visit Disney.”

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plan a fall Disney World trip

4. International Food & Wine Festival

In the fall, you can attend Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. Kids probably won’t love this so much, but chances are you will.

Brandi, “Three kids with fall birthdays plus Epcot Food & Wine Festival make fall perfect!”

Debbie,The weather is better, the crowds are lower, and if you time it right, you can visit the Food and Epcot Food & Wine Festival during the day and to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on the same visit.”

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5. Christmas Decorations

In the late fall, Christmas decorations start popping up, and they are truly spectacular. The closer you get  to Christmas, the more expensive accommodations’ prices get and crowd levels rise substantially, so the earlier may be the better.

Amy, “I love the early/mid November visits! The weather is perfect, and there are no lines.”

Carol, “We go during ‘Jersey Week’ so the kids miss less school. The weather is cooler, plus crowds are lower and more polite. We like to catch either the Halloween party or the Christmas party during our trip too.”

6. Christmas Parties

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties crank up with free cookies and hot chocolate plus snow on Main Street, U.S.A.

Heather, “We went in December; after Thanksgiving but before Christmas. We took our daughter out of school. The weather is beautiful; it is still warm in Florida when it is freezing cold at home. What a great get away! The prices were cheaper and the crowds were fewer.  I wouldn’t want to miss the Christmas decorations and party!”

Grayson, “It was fun to be in the park when the crowds were lower, but the snacks were probably my favorite part. I could get as much hot chocolate and cookies as I wanted. That rocks!”

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Photos of WDW during the Christmas Holidays

Disney World vacation

7. Free Dining!

There are  the fall “free dining” dates, and everybody loves free. To qualify for the free dining, you must check in to a Disney resort during one of the available dates. If your stay extends outside of the available dates, you will still receive the free dining for your entire stay.  As you would expect, availability is extremely limited, and not all the resorts may be available.

To see if you can qualify for fall dining dates and special travel offers, contact our Cheapskate Travel Agent using this link:

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

Elizabeth, “September is our favorite time, and we pull the kids out of school for a week (we get their assignments). Crowd levels are great, temperatures are not too bad, prices are the best, and most importantly, there is the free meal plan!”

Matty, “We don’t go to Disney unless we can get he free Dining offer. I hope they never get rid of this offer.  If they do, we’ll have to space out our trips more. Fall is so much better for us than holidays or summer.” 

8. Halloween Decorations and Parties

In the fall, you can make plans to see Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. (MNSSHP) This is a party both kids and adults will love. Use this link for prices:

Can You Afford Tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

Morgan, “We like fall because it’s cooler weather, less crowds, and something is so magical about Halloween time.”

Christina, “We get a week-long Fall break in September, so no need miss school. We love the less crowded parks and the free dining! The weather is also still summer-like so pool time is wonderful as well. Our favorite part of a fall trip though is MNSSHP! We love the park decorations, the character costumes, the villains, the trick or treating, the headless horseman, and the Hallowishes fireworks display. We wouldn’t miss it!

What Are the Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World?

So there are eight reasons why you should make plans to visit Disney in the fall. If you are one of the many people who play hooky from school, I am green with shorter- line envy.

Do you go to Disney World in the fall? Leave us a comment and tell us about your experience!


To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Elizabeth, Julie, and Erin, our Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations in Florida travel.

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Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Elizabeth, Julie, and Erin. You can also e-mail them at cp@destinationsinflorida.com.


  1. Leigh Ann says:

    Hi there, just read this article about going to Disney in the fall, and I’m not sure if one comments about free dining is accurate. I was told by my travel agent and a cast member from Disney that if you vacation during the free dining period, and your dates extend beyond the free dining dates, you will only receive it for the dates it is offered, not for your entire stay.

    • Amanda says:

      I just checked with a TA friend, and she said, “It’s been in the past that as long as you were there, even on the last day of the free dining offer you got it for your entire stay. I’ve not seen anything come across my email showing that Disney has changed this. I know of two other people it was extended for as well.” I checked 3 more travel sites. Here’s a quote from one,”Now the great thing is you can still get free dining even past these dates as long as you check in during one of the free dining promotion dates. So yes, you can get free dining for your length of stay.” I guess it depends on who you talk to – sounds like you need to talk to someone who will extend it for you! Thanks for reading! ~A.

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