5 of Our Favorite Autumn Experiences at Walt Disney World
Fall begins in a few weeks, but it’s already out in full force at the Walt Disney World resort. It’s one of my favorite times of year and one of my favorite times to be in the parks (well, fall and all of the rest of the seasons). Come take a stroll around the parks while we visit some of our favorite fall experiences.
Decorations on Main Street U.S.A.
The moment you step onto Main Street, U.S.A., you’re fully immersed in the harvest season. The wreaths that adorn the lampposts are utterly charming: loaded with leaves in fall colors and pint size gourds, all of which encircle a jack-o-lantern that resembles Mickey Mouse. There’s orange and yellow bunting on all of the buildings, garlands of leaves on pillars, and more pumpkins than you can count. It puts you in the mood to go bobbing for apples, take a hayride, and buy something pumpkin spice flavored (more on that in a bit). They’re some of my favorite park decorations and I’m always looking forward to the time they reappear.
The Fall Trolley Show
While we’re on the subject of Main Street, let’s take a little trip back in time. In the past, one of my favorite autumn experiences was the fall trolley show. Like the buildings on Main Street, the trolley was decorated with multi-colored leaves. The Citizens of Main Street U.S.A. were dressed in dapper fall clothing and perform wonderful song and dance routines. The song “In Autumn” is a number that, frankly, I’m prone to humming all year long, as are tunes like “Shine On Harvest Moon,” and “The Autumn Leaves.” It was charming and heartwarming, and guaranteed to leave you smiling and tapping your feet.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
While it begins in late July, the Epcot International Food & Wine festival will always be a Fall event in my mind. It runs through November 20 and hearkens back to celebrations of old when the harvest was celebrated with all manner of delicious food. The festival features over 20 food booths. This year’ festival features a number of new booths:
- The Noodle Exchange
- Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina
- The Rotunda Bistro
- The Swanky Saucy Swine
- Brew-Wing at the EPCOT Experience
- Lobster Landing
- Mac & Eats
Among some of the highlights are items like Spiced Apple Twinings of London Chai Tea, Fisherman’s Seafood Pie, Apple Crumble Tart, Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce, Baked Lobster Dip with Old Bay Chips, and countless others. The only problem? Whenever I get to the Food and Wine Festival I want to try everything. I suppose that wouldn’t exactly be an issue, if it weren’t for the next item on our list…
All The Snacks!
The fall foodie experience doesn’t end with the Food and Wine festival. The parks are overflowing with treats that celebrate the flavors of autumn. Love pumpkin spice? You’ll find your fill. There are pumpkin spice cookies at Fairfax Faire and Catalina Eddie’s, pumpkin spice marshmallows and pumpkin spice latte ganache squares at the Ganachery in Disney Springs, and a drink called Around the Pumpkin Patch (tequila, pumpkin spice, lime juice and sour mix) at Wilderness Lodge. You can also get a pumpkin cannoli at Pizzerizzo (along with Muppet Haunted Mansion eclairs), pumpkin mousse at the Trolley Car Cafe, a Jack Skellington pumpkin pie pop at the Grand Floridian, and that’s just the tip of the pumpkin flavored iceberg. Don’t want pumpkin flavor? That’s okay. There’s plenty more to choose from: the Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake at Sleepy Hollow (shown above), an Apple Ginger Dale (Frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale topped with whipped cream and chopped Twix) at Golden Oak Outpost, and all manner of spooky cupcakes.
Halloween Is Just Around The Corner…
While I didn’t want to focus too much on Halloween (we’ll be talking about that a lot throughout the month of October), it would be impossible to talk about the delights of Walt Disney World in fall without talking a little about the spooky thrills that come to the parks. After hours events, characters like Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh in Halloween costume, the Cadaver Dans, the return of Carlotta and Renata to the grounds of the Haunted Mansion, the appearance of Jack Skellington (the Pumpkin King himself) in the parks, and even trick-or-treating: It’s a cornucopia of not-so-scary delights.
In years past, the return of the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus and their villain filled spectacular was a one-of-a-kind experience, as was the Boo to You parade. Though the after hours events look a little different this year, you can still see character cavalcades and experience totally unique photo opportunities (along with a host of other treats) at the Boo Bash.
It’s an exciting, heart warming, wonderful time in the parks, and one that I look forward to every year. These are just a few of the things that I’m excited about, but I’d love to hear from you. What are you looking forward to experiencing at Walt Disney World this autumn?