Collecting cookbooks from our travels and during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival is always a favorite souvenir!

Joy for Autumn & a Disney Countdown – 5 Things to get excited about for Fall at Walt Disney World

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to buy coffee. Thanks for supporting my habit. 

It’s hard to believe another month this year is in the books and now we are only a few weeks away from the beginning of autumn. This year has been a blur, some parts really awesome, some not so much. It seems like it was just yesterday I was putting away Christmas decorations, it’s so hard to believe it is almost time to start over again with the seasonal decor, of course kicking it off with a family favorite…Halloween!

I am bursting with Joy for autumn!
I am bursting with Joy for autumn!

Autumn is truly a time of year I love, as well as all my family.

I have two autumn-born kids, plus two autumn-born dogs! There is so much to do and Georgia in the fall is a wonderful place to be. One thing we look forward to the most in the fall though is our annual trip to Walt Disney World Resort for some of the most magical events to occur all year! As this year has had a lot of changes in our family and has had its share of hardships, we are all super excited and counting down the days until we are again in our happy place and being dosed with liberal amounts of magic.


It is hard to pick what I am most excited for, and I think my family may all have a different opinion, but here are my top 4 things I must do on our next trip:

Inside Out Movie Costumes – Joy, Anger – available via

Let’s Eat and Drink our way around the World!

Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, where you can sample foods and drinks from around the world as you stroll through the Wold Showcase (and now even parts of Future World!) while watching acts, learning from master chefs and culinary artists and listening to popular musicians during nightly concerts. The Food & Wine Festival is one of THE BEST things at Walt Disney World. We make sure to attend it several times during our trip, because there is just so much to do, see and eat!

Collecting cookbooks from our travels and during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival is always a favorite souvenir!
Walter is getting excited for Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival!

Let’s Hang Out with Nerds!

“Hey, who you callin’ a nerd?!”

You, and me! I am calling us all Nerds. Disney Nerds!!

This year I am so excited for the 3rd annual Disney Nerds Podcast Meets. Every year the meet has grown larger, so I am super excited to see how many Nerds are in attendance during the different meets planned this year. First, we have the Samplethon! A meet up in the World Showcase where we all eat and drink our way around the World together, taking in a concert and enjoying getting to know other Nerds. You can find out about that event HERE.

Walter loves Dominican food. Who can blame him?
When he can’t be at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, Walter makes sure to bring some of those recipes home!

Don’t eat or drink too much, though, because the next morning we are hitting Magic Kingdom for a serious Nerd Scavenger Hunt. Ed, one of my podcast co-hosts and blogger over at  is a serious Nerd and takes planning the hunts very seriously. In other words, they are hard! And so much fun! You definitely end the hunt with more Disney knowledge than when you began! And if you’re good, you end it with prizes, too! You can find out about the Scavenger Hunt HERE.

Let’s check out all the new stuff!!

There has been so many things added since our last visit in March, and I am giddy with excitement over some of these new attractions.

First up, all new Animal Kingdom at night. The Tree of Life comes to life, there’s now a nighttime safari and even a nighttime show in an all new theater along the banks of the Discovery River. There’s new foods, new drinks and Expedition Everest in the dark! I can’t wait to check it all out!

Next up is the new Soarin’ and the reimagined Norway Pavilion in Epcot, now featuring Frozen Ever After! I know both my girls are super stoked for that!

Disney's Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters
Our favorite Autograph book!

There are also new character meets that have been added since our last visit, and I may be most excited to visit with Joy and Sadness of Disney’s Inside Out. Of course I will make sure I have my favorite autograph book, Disney’s Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters. We have had several editions of this book and have loved each one. It has made for some great character interaction, especially the time Tinkerbell tried to draw a mustache on Wendy! All the characters love to see themselves in the book, and we have loved having all their unique signatures on their pages. It also makes for fun during the line while you wait for your turn, and we have many times ended up striking up a conversation with other guests in line because they were curious about the book.

TIP: Pack your book in a giant ziplock. That way it stays nice in your Disney bag and free from moisture, leaking sunscreen, etc. (Yes, I speak from experience!)

Let’s attend a television taping!

I am so excited that this year our Nerd meets align perfectly with the taping of ABC’s The CHEW. Filming their show for 4 days in Epcot, plus segments all around Walt Disney World Resort, and add in special presentations, CHEW-inspired Festival dishes, and even a CHEW Marketplace, there is going to be some good fun, and good food happening! I can’t wait!

The CHEW will be taping in EPCOT during the Food & Wine Festival!
The cast of The CHEW

Let’s party with Villians and Trick or Treat with friends!

Wilderness Explorer patches printable
Explore the Wilderness!

Hands down, the number one thing my family loves to do at Walt Disney World during our fall trip is to take in a magical night in the Magic Kingdom at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. From the special treats and merchandise, to event only parades, live shows and firework spectacular, MNSSHP is the quintessential culmination of our fall trip. We dress up in costumes (yes, even the adults!) and we trick or treat throughout the Magic Kingdom, and for good candy, too! Last year a new stage show was added, and we are all so excited to see that the Sanderson sisters will be returning again this year during the Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular.

Of course, dressing up for Trick or Treating with Mickey, Minnie, a host of villains and all the gang means awesome costumes, and I am pretty excited for what we have decided to do this year. We have loved dressing up every year and have some great memories of past Halloween parties. My girls love to dress up so well that Castmembers take notice. Rarer characters, matching characters and princesses, they’ve done it all and this year, I love who my character is to go with what they are doing and excited they chose someone so awesome. I am going to have some fun with this one! She’s positively evil, dahling!

IMy girls love to match or have complimentary costumes, I love to do it on a budget! Tips for cute and comfortable costumes. - Just Peachy Keen
Explore Walt Disney World in Autumn!

One thing I love to do is plan our costumes and do it in the most thrifty way possible. I want us to look good as well as be comfortable. Remember, autumn in Florida is still AUTUMN IN FLORIDA. It’s Florida! Hot, sticky. Sometimes rainy. Florida. Don’t wear costumes that would be appropriate for a cold Halloween in Wisconsin. I try to stick with using real clothes and making costumes from what I can find. Last year we went with Wilderness Explorers and my girls re-used their Tweedles tees from a few years before. I added skorts and sashes, actual Girl Scout Brownie uniforms, and added patches. For the patches, I printed the Wilderness Explorer patches I found HERE on a litre of sunshine, stuck them to foam backing and sealed them. I then used my favorite fabric glue to apply them to the sash and voila! The girls looked so cute, and even ran into some other Explorers during the party.

I am so happy it is almost time for our trip, I know there will be so much to see and do and it will be over before you know it. The best thing about that? Planning a new one!

Thanks for joining me and happy September!

Charlotte Dawn