If you love Disney snacks, then you’ll be happy to know that we’re in the middle of the biggest food festival of the year — the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival!
The festival started in July and runs until November 20th, so there’s plenty of time to stop by! But with crowds for the holidays, a new ride opening, several more booths opening up on October 1st, oh…and that little 50th anniversary of Disney World thing happening soon 😂, when is the best time to visit? We’re answering that question today!
Is August the perfect month to visit the Food & Wine Festival? Well, let’s start by discussing the weather…it’s HOT. If you ever wondered what walking through a cloud while simultaneously being in an oven felt like…it’s Disney World in August. You’ll definitely be sweating throughout the day, and you’ll probably still be suffering from the humidity due to those afternoon rain showers. It’s also right in the heart of hurricane season!
So the weather may be a tad miserable, but what about the crowds? Well, we have some good news there! August is the month that many Americans go back to school, so you’ll find that the beginning of the month still carries some summer crowds, but things will likely thin out after the first few weeks. Also, some of the biggest celebrations aren’t happening at Disney World until October, so there may be guests waiting to visit until then.
But, if you’re planning to visit in August, there are some exciting things to experience! Several restaurants are scheduled to reopen, more entertainment options are returning throughout the month, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will fully open back up. And if you’re visiting the other parks, Halloween celebrations will kick off at Magic Kingdom with the Disney After Hours BOO Bash!
So should you go? If you don’t mind being a hot, sweaty, sticky mess, August, especially later in the month, could be a pretty good time to visit with possibly lower crowds than we’re currently seeing.
In September, the weather will still be pretty intense, but will likely improve throughout the course of the month. (Make no mistake, though…it’ll still be VERY hot and balmy.) At this time many guests will be back in school, so crowds will be lighter than in other months, but you’ll have to watch out for Labor Day weekend.
One of the big benefits of visiting in September is that it will be the cheapest month to stop by throughout the rest of 2021. Prices go up in October for the 50th Anniversary and stay expensive through the end of the year because of the holiday season. Lower crowds AND lower prices?! We couldn’t ask for more! As the month comes to a close, we do anticipate that crowd levels will start to rise as guests arrive to celebrate the October 1st festivities.
We expect that things will continue to reopen throughout September as well. So far, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is scheduled to reopen on September 16th, but we may get more announcements for entertainment, attractions, or restaurants as we get closer to that time. Plus, you’ll get to celebrate Halloween all month long! Check back often for any updates as we learn of them!
So should you go? If you’re looking for cheaper hotel rates and (slightly) cooler weather with lighter crowds, try September! Just avoid those end-of-the-month crowds rolling in for the big anniversary!
October is where things really start to kick into gear! The weather continues to get milder, but we’re concerned that the crowd levels are going to be some of the highest we’ve seen. The 50th Anniversary kicks off on October 1st, and along with the massive set of celebrations at all four parks, Harmonious (new fireworks show), Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and La Creperie de Paris will open at EPCOT on that day.
But it’s not just those things — nine more Food & Wine Festival booths are opening then, with everything from The Alps to India to Lobster Landing and Mac & Eats arriving late to this year’s fest. So not only will you have plenty of new attractions to experience, but you’ll also have lots of fresh and exciting food to try!
While there are many new things to check out in October, you’ll definitely be paying the price if you want to be there on the big day. Tickets and hotel rooms are more expensive, and availability is slim for Disney Resorts, so you’ll likely have to book something a bit pricier if you haven’t planned your trip already. Add in the crowds, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a TON of patience if you’re visiting this month. Thinking the end of the month might be more your speed? Just consider avoiding Halloween too if you want the best odds for lighter crowds.
So should you go? If you’re planning a trip in the first or last week of the month, beware of some gnarly crowds! October is typically a less crowded month but we suspect with all the activity coming at the start of the month, the crowds will stay pretty hefty!
And now we’re at the last month of the festival — November! In November, we finally start to experience fall weather in Florida, so you likely won’t be faced with those 100-degree days anymore (but don’t you worry your pretty little head — it’ll still be plenty warm!). Halloween celebrations have wrapped up, but Christmas time has just begun in Disney World!
During this month, you’ll get the benefit of Christmas decorations and celebrations, 50th Anniversary offerings, and all the new attractions and food options that opened in October. We expect high crowd levels throughout the month because of all the new things available, but the busiest week will likely still be Thanksgiving break.
Prices are still high and availability is slim, but there’s going to be quite a bit to do around the four parks. And if you plan your trip just right, you may be able to experience two EPCOT festivals in one trip! The Food & Wine Festival ends on the 20th, but the Festival of the Holidays kicks off on the 26th — that’s just a week apart!
So should you go? November brings fairer weather, but, with Thanksgiving and Christmas ramping up and the still-new 50th Anniversary events going on, it’s looking like there will be crowds!
So Which Month is Best?
Well, it really depends on what you’re looking for! If you’re the guest who wants a cheaper vacation with lower crowd levels and you don’t mind the heat, then go ahead and visit in August or September. (September especially looks promising!) If you’re waiting to experience the new offerings and will gladly brave the crowds to do it, then come in October or November. The allure of the new experiences AND 9 new Food and Wine booths is strong!
It’s important to note that no matter when you’d like to visit, you’ll want to plan your trip ASAP. Things are filling up rather quickly for the rest of this year, and Disney Park Pass availability is limited and still required to visit. PRO TIP for whenever you visit: if you can, try to visit the Food and Wine Festival during the week. The weekends draw in the local residents, so you’ll likely find lower crowds Monday through Thursday than you will around the weekends. Get your eating and drinking knocked out during the day too, if possible. Locals often frequent EPCOT in the evening for a casual dinner at the festival!
We’ve got an exciting few months ahead of us, and we can’t wait to check out everything that Disney has to offer…we’re as pumped as you are!
Make sure to stay tuned to DFB in the coming months for all the help planning your trip to Walt Disney World. We’ve got you covered on the latest news, and we’ll be in the parks on the important days to bring you all the updates! Oh, and if you’re heading to the Food & Wine Festival, don’t forget to get your copy of the DFB festival guide (check out the link below)!
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What’s your favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?