8 Reasons Not to Go to Disney World in the Fall

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Updated for 2017!

Fall. Leaves start dropping out of the trees, footballs are flying through the air again, and kids everywhere have begrudgingly snatched up their backpacks and headed back to school. What does this signal?  The crowds are suddenly lighter at Walt Disney World.  Does this mean fall a good time for you to go to Disney? Well…

8 reasons you should not go to Disney World in the fall.

1. School

Kids have gone back to school and could fall behind in their studies, especially in upper middle school grades and high school. Now this is a hotly debated topic on the internet. Teachers say keep them in school, and yet many parents want to get the most from their vacation dollar during the less crowded “off season” of fall. You know what works for your child, and for some, missing school may be too much.

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2. The Temperature

It’s still hot. It’s not as hot as summer, but it’s warmer than winter.

3. Shorter Hours 

Hours are shorter in the fall than other times a year, because there are fewer people. Every park except Epcot can close as early as 5 p.m. Compare this to midnight in the summer, and while you may be standing in shorter lines during fall, you will spend less time in the parks.

Read: Would a Disney Princess Spend $25 for A Disney World T-Shirt?

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4. Not As Much Entertainment

If the parks close early, they may not show some of their night-time entertainment. Or these shows may only run on the weekends, and crowds are definitely heavier on the weekends.

5. Special Parties Mean Higher Crowds

Because fall is the time for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, crowds will be higher during these specific times.

6. Parks Close Early

If you do vacation during MNSSHP, the park will close early on those days. You paid for a full day, but you’ll feel like you’re being kicked out early as party-goers pass you on the way in. With tickets for MNSSHP $50.95 for kids ages 3-9 and $55.95 for ages 10 and up, and these are advanced purchase prices, then you’ll pay a pretty penny to stay from 7 p.m. until midnight.

Read: Planning a Disney Vacation? Why You Need a Disney Change Jar!

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7. Ride Refurbishment

With crowdlevels being lower, some of your favorite rides may be closed for refurbishment. This makes sense from a Disney stand point – less people in the park is a better time to spruce up the rides. I can still hear my sons wails of heart-ache when we showed up one year to find Space Mountain closed for refurbishment. It’s wise to check the refurbishment schedules before you plan anything for certain.

8. Free Dining

Free Dining is offered in the fall, and many money conscious families plan their vacations around free dining. And why not, because you can save a lot of money taking vacations during these specific times. Free Dining means more people vacationing during this offer, and many of the table service restaurants you hoped to enjoy will be filled with free diners. If you don’t make your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) as soon as possible, then you may not get to eat at the restaurant of your first choice.

Read: How NOT to Lose Your Kids at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

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Admittedly, these are not super strong reasons to skip that Disney vacation in the fall. Most people love Disney during the off season, but if you are one of the many that just can’t take off work during the fall, these 8 reasons may make you feel a bit better, take the edge off your Disney Depression Syndrome. I have to admit, it would be hard to talk myself into NOT going to Disney during fall, if it was a time of year when I could plan a vacation.

Now if you need some reasons to go during fall, we have that covered for you as well!

Read: 7 Reasons You Should Definitely Visit Disney World in the Fall

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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. 

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  1. Karen H says:

    Love Disney in the fall! That is the time of year we usually go. We don’t mind any of the things you are talking about because the shorter lines and walking on to Splash Mountain without a fastpass is so worth leaving the parks early. (Plus we’ve never been in the summer) We love the decorations for Halloween and Christmas. We didn’t have kids before but we are planning on homeschooling anyway so the school thing is a non-issue. As for the parks closing early have you ever stayed on property? There is so much to do at your resort and Downtown Disney and other resorts and just riding the monorail for an hour or 2… For us it’s the perfect time of year to go!

    • mouzekateerz5 says:

      As a public school teacher, I live in constant envy of you homeschoolers…I say plan away, and enjoy the fall decorations! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Jade Y says:

    We have been to Disney twice in the fall and planning on going next fall. I also teach but we get a week of fall break. I love going in the fall.

  3. Becky says:

    I love going in the fall, but one major reason why I think twice about it sometimes is because it’s still hurricane season (at least for the first half of the fall). Worrying about rain all day and flights possibly being cancelled can be a deterrent.

  4. Michele says:

    Hubby and I made our first fall trip to WDW this year as a “babymoon”. (Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy hit our home state at the time and made getting home an adventure, but that’s another story.) The cooler temperatures, slightly smaller crowds, and the free dining promotion ALL contributed to our decision. We will likely try autumn travel when the kids are older, even if it is during “Jersey Week” when it seems EVERYONE we know makes the trip!. We’ve been to WDW in May and in August, and the crowds and weather were BIG turnoffs, especially to the hubby who prefers high temps to stay in the 60’s instead of the 90’s.

    I’ve loved reading your arguments for and against going during the fall – thanks for pointing out both sides! 🙂

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