DISNEY WORLD IN FALL
This is for real the best time of the year to visit Disney. Kids have started the school year, the extreme heat has given way to a gentle warmth, and thanks to the months-long duration of the Halloween Party, you can get your spook on without fighting the throngs. You may encounter more weekend warriors during the fall, so plan the majority of your must-dos and can’t-miss reservations on the weekdays.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
August 17 - October 31, 2018
Although the Haunted Mansion in Orlando doesn’t get that sweet “Nightmare Before Christmas” overlay like its counterpart in Anaheim, there are tons of spooky events and activities. Anyone who’s ever blessed their timeline with a GIF of Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus will enjoy ‘gramming the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular in Magic Kingdom. I’m generally iffy on Disney parades, but their Halloween version is pretty awesome, not least because it’s marshaled by the Headless Horseman and features the Haunted Mansion’s grim grinning ghosts. Tykes will be trick-or-treating, so expect larger crowds on Main Street come sundown. The time-honored trick of cutting through the Emporium helps you avoid the hordes.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
August 30 - November 1, 2018
Yo foodies, this one’s for you. Where better to stage a gigantic celebration of global cuisine than at Epcot’s World Showcase? In addition to the 30 marketplaces offering gourmet treats, bites, and drinks, you can book a variety of packages for specialty dining and exclusive parties. Fanboys and girls of all ages can watch a roster of celebrity chefs creating culinary delights, including appearances by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Top Chef Richard Blais, and Kelly Kapowski herself, Tiffani Thiessen. Before you book your tickets though, hear this: the festival is Epcot’s most popular annual event, so if you can’t stomach the crowds it’s best to hit up Disney World at a different time.
November 22, 2018
Somewhat unbelievably, Disney World has no dedicated Thanksgiving events or festivities. But to quote Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars, “IT’S A TRAP!” Disney will be slammed this week, so unless you have a strong desire to be in Orlando instead of with your alt-right aunts and cousins in Wherever, USA, it’s probably better to deal with their conspiracy theories. If you insist on visiting Disney during Thanksgiving, you should make your reservations, like, yesterday. Dining will be crazy busy for obvious reasons, and tables can be claimed up to six months in advance. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.