TPT logo

Your guide to theme parks in Orlando and beyond


Main menu

4 Annoying Things All Walt Disney World Guests Will Have to Deal With This Fall

3. Changing entertainment options

Along with the adjusted hours, many Walt Disney World Parks will scale back their entertainment offerings as well during the fall season. Again, the two parks most affected by this will be the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Because of the events happening at the Magic Kingdom during the fall/winter seasons, guests visiting this park in the fall months shouldn’t count on seeing Wishes or the Main Street Electrical parade, as both of these events are preempted on event nights during Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. 

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, while guests may be enjoying a nightly fireworks display currently, starting September 8th there will be no nightly fireworks whatsoever at this park (Fantasmic doesn't really count as fireworks). In addition, this park’s only parade (the Frozen Summer Fun Royal Welcome) will also be discontinued after next week.

The one bright spot here is Epcot, which is actually getting some extra entertainment options this fall, thanks to the 20th Anniversary of the Food and Wine Festival. Though there will be plenty of upcharge activities happening at this annual event, free demonstrations, inexpensive scavenger hunts and even an opportunity to see a taping of ABC show The Chew will all be brand new entertainment options that guests can partake in at this year’s event. You can find out more about what’s going on at this year’s Food and Wine Festival here.

4. Weather-based changes 

Summers at Walt Disney World can be hot and soggy, which isn’t exactly the best weather for a theme park visit. Though it’s true the fall brings cooler temperatures, and less rain, once the weather gets below 60 degrees, guests will notice several changes at the park.

First up, rides with outdoor track (like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain) will have increased downtime, as the cold weather makes the trains run a little sluggishly, which can set off safety sensors, triggering a safety reboot. Often when a morning is especially chilly, ride operators will delay the opening of affected attractions to lessen this effect, but total prevention is unfortunately not possible.   

In addition to increased ride downtime for some attractions, outdoor entertainment will also change as well as the months get cooler. Though Disney has been making a concerned effort to increase outdoor meet and greets at the Magic Kingdom, cooler weather will force some of these characters back inside, both at this park and at others as well.

Though some popular outside meet and greets (like Belle at Epcot) will adjust to the weather with “winter attire”, this isn’t always possible.  While we’ll likely see Pocahontas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom retreat to Rafiki’s Planet Watch in the cooler months, walk around characters like Mary Poppins may be left without a home this winter, which can be a bummer for those wanting to meet as many characters as possible this fall.  

In this humble writer’s opinion, the fall is definitely the best time to visit Walt Disney World…but not for a first trip. Though the cooler temperatures and milder crowds definitely make a trip during this season much more relaxed, more refurbishments, shorter operating times, less entertainment options and weather changes can make a first visit to Walt Disney World in the fall months a little underwhelming.

Do you have a favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?

Go to page:


There are 14 comments.

I always find it strange how major parks like Disney & Universal struggle to run their outdoor attractions at temperatures below 15C (60F). Over at Disneyland Paris they run their outdoor attractions in single figure temperatures, the same at places like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park in the UK, during September to early November these parks are still open daily when weather is between 4 & 10C and they don't experience any extra down time.

"event nights during Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Halloween Party" I believe this is supposed to be Very Merry Christmas?

You may want to correct your Hollywood Studios statement that after Sept 8th there is no nighttime entertainment as Fantasmic will still be playing on a regular schedule.

Actually it doesn't say all nightly entertainment will end just fireworks and Fantasmic isn't really a fireworks show it just utilizes them. :)

We have reservations for the fantasmic dinner package on september 25th. Am I correct from getting from this article that it will no longer be happening??

Reread the article, It says that: "starting September 8th there will be no nightly fireworks whatsoever at this park (Fantasmic doesn't really count as fireworks)." That says to me that Fantasmic will be operating as usual.

My family and I will be visiting October this year for 2 weeks. Having previously been September, October and August the late nights in summer a real plus but the lack of crowds in October allow more freedom and less time queuing. Which is something to be appreciated!

These annoying things don't sound too bad! ::-) I love Autumn at wdw. I think the changes in schedules and refurbs makes wdw exciting!

My hubby and I always go for 9 days starting Super Bowl weekend!! Cool weather, light crowds, less refurbishments! We chose to go the week before Thanksgiving one time....we won't go then again! Too warm and too crowded! This year we are going for 15 days, our last day being Mardi Gras! So excited!!!

The week of Thanksgiving or the full week before that?

My mother and I love going in the fall. Yes, we get sorta put off by rides being closed, but overall, we have a great time and we feel less pressed. In fact, we are getting ready for another trip very soon. We love Disney.

These things are really not annoying... Yes, the parks close earlier, but with the crowd levels decreasing, you won't need to be at Magic Kingdom until midnight to do everything you want to do.
The reburbishments are unavoidable... WDW is open 365 days a year. Cast members work around the clock to do little things like painting and landscaping in the middle of the night when the park is closed.
As far as entertainment, this article is a little misleading. I have been any times in the "off season" and there are still plenty of shows, parades, etc.
I think October is the best time to visit!

Generally for us, we go late January-early February. Coming from Canada's East Coast, the weather in Florida is a pleasant change from our blustery winters. Travelling is a caveat at this time, though, with storms wreaking havoc on flight itineraries. Parks generally aren't too crowded this soon after the Holiday season. We went a little earlier this passed year, maybe 2nd week in January(?), and due to the popularity of Frozen, they were still 'celebrating' Christmas...decorations and lighting was still up, carols were being piped in over audio system... we nicknamed it 'Christmas in July' because we were all in shorts and tee's. We were even serenaded by a Streetmosphere couple at Hollywood Studios who sang us a rousing rendition of Holly Jolly Christmas by request, and hoped that next year Santa would bring us sleeves. We enjoy all of our Disney excursions, but this last one was one of my favourites, because since it wasn't our first time, we weren't driven to 'get it all in' on this trip, and we got to experience some of that winter wonder without enduring the winter Holiday crowd.

My family frequented WDW in the late spring, after the break crowds but before sweltering summer. I've also personally been in the fall. This is a great opportunity to advocate FOR the calendar-based pricing system. Why should you pay the same amount for a ticket, and lose 2-6 hours of fun in the park. The argument can be made for shorter lines, etc...but I think that the prices that are charged now should be lighter for those who are forfeiting fun times in the name of refurbishment or daylight hours which cannot be avoided.


Connect with Theme Park Tourist: