Visiting Disney World in September 2014


September is a great month to visit Walt Disney World thanks to improved weather, lower crowds, and fun seasonal events. It’s the first full month of school being back in session, and crowds essentially drop off a cliff after the Labor Day holiday and stay low the duration of the month. In our experience, it’s arguably the best month of the year in terms of crowds (check out our When To Visit Walt Disney World post for the best and worst months of the year) and while every park isn’t going to be “dead” every day of the week, if you plan well, you can really avoid crowds during a September Walt Disney World visit. That also means shorter September park hours, but you can’t really argue with accomplishing more in less time.

In terms of weather, September is better than the July and August, but early in the month it can still be pretty hot and humid. It’s also the height of hurricane and storm season, so you may want to consult our Visiting Walt Disney World During Storm Season article to navigate the afternoon showers (or worse) without them putting too much of a damper on your trip. Things get better towards the end of the month both in terms of humidity and storms, so your best bet is definitely to hold off on visiting until later in the month if you can. Just remember to pack accordingly, bringing the Frogg Toggs for the humidity…and ponchos for the rain so you don’t spend $179 on them at Walt Disney World. You can view day-by-day temperature and weather forecasts plus historical averages for Walt Disney World weather in September here.

September is also great for special events. To answer a common question: yes, you will see Halloween decorations if you visit Walt Disney World in September. Any day in September (this year decorations started going up August 24). Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is offered throughout September, and most of the best dates for attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are in September. It’s a really fun hard-ticketed event that we fully believe is worth doing at least once. If you’re considering attending and want to know whether it’s worth it or you’ve already decided to attend and want some tips and strategy for the party, read our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Guide.

The end of the month also brings with it Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, which is a great way to graze and sample different cuisines, or attend instructive seminars, or other foodie special events. It’s also a great way to lighten your wallet, as it is very easy to spend a lot of money at Food & Wine Festival on these small samples. Especially if you buy booze: not only can you spend a lot on the drinks, but the drinks might cause you to relax your credit card swiping hand and use it more freely on snacks. Not that we know from experience or anything. Check out our Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival Guide for more tips and tricks for this event.

But wait, that’s not all! (more…)

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info & Tips

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Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival at Disney World runs September through November 2015. During this culinary celebration, guests can taste (and drink!) around Epcot’s World Showcase.  The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of our favorite events at Walt Disney World, and is one reason why we love visiting Walt Disney World during the fall.

Although this article will provide tips for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, there are a lot of things we recommend doing in the fall; make sure to read our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the Tower of Terror 10-Miler runDisney event, and our When to Visit Walt Disney World posts to get an idea of what else to do this time of year. As you may know, fall is the perfect time to visit Walt Disney World! Well, my personal “perfect” time of year is Christmas (nothing beats Christmas at Walt Disney World for me!), but fall is a close second.

We’ve been to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival for each of the last several years, spending more money on snacks than we care to think about! While Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival can be a pricey event, it can also be an a ton of fun, and it doesn’t have to be expensive if you have the right approach (we’ll cover how to save money at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival further down this post).

If you’re looking for what’s new for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival or what our recommend plan of attack is for the festival? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our preview of what’s new, what we recommend doing, and strategy for keeping your sanity at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival! (more…)

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Snack Reviews

Dessert Trio at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival is one of the top snacks...read about 20+ other great choices!

Epcot’s 2014 Food & Wine Festival makes fall great at Walt Disney World. This post reviews the best Food & Wine Festival Snacks, and how to save money by getting the most bang for your buck and value from Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival snacks. This is a great foodie event, but let’s be real: it’s also an expensive event. These snack tips can help you save time, money, and valuable stomach “real estate,” while also aiding you in finding the best of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival snacks!

Even if you’re not a “foodie,” per se, the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is still a lot of fun and a great way to spend a day grazing the World Showcase at Epcot enjoying good food and drinks, capped off with an evening of Illuminations. The downside to all of this is that grazing Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival can be expensive. Prices for these snacks range from around $3 to $7. Add beer or wine to the mix, and one person could easily spend over $100 on snacks in a single day. That may seem outrageous, but it has happened to us! Unless you have plenty of snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan or you are careful and only go for the snacks that are good values, expect to spend a decent amount of money at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

With these Epcot Food & Wine Festival reviews, hopefully you can better (and more economically!) experience the fun without breaking the bank by ordering the “duds” at the various Food & Wine Festival booths. We have ordered many, many items at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival over the past few years, and have gotten a great idea of what tastes good, what tastes bad, what’s a good value, bad value, etc.

Note that there is a bit of selection bias in these reviews, as we no longer order things we tried in our pre-blogging days (you know, before we started taking oddly dramatic photos of everything we ate) and didn’t like or thought offered poor value, and when new things are added to Food & Wine Festival, we generally only try those things that have a little buzz or sound good to us. Thus, there are proportionately more “Top Picks” in this post than there would be if we did a post reviewing every single item at the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. (more…)

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2012 Preview

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival at Disney World begins on September 28, 2012 and ends November 12, 2012. During this culinary celebration, guests can taste (and drink!) around Epcot’s World Showcase.  The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of our favorite events at Walt Disney World, and is one reason why we love visiting Walt Disney World during the fall. Between Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, special events and fan meets, and great weather, it seems fall is the perfect time to visit Walt Disney World. My favorite time is Christmas (since I love Christmas!), but fall is a close second.

In 2011, we had an absolute blast on our Walt Disney World 40th anniversary and Epcot Food & Wine Festival trip, and we expect to have just as much fun during our Epcot 30th anniversary, Tower of Terror 10-miler, and Epcot Food & Wine Festival trip. If anything, we might have a fun overdose. But this page isn’t about convincing you to visit Walt Disney World in the fall, it’s a 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Preview, so I better get back on track…

So what’s new at this fall-favorite event for 2012? Well, besides the obligatory price increases (C’mon, this is Disney, after all!), there are actually a number of new offerings being brought to the table this year. Here’s our preview of what’s new and what fan-favorites are returning! (more…)

October 2011 Disney World Trip Report, Pt V

The previous night we had gone to bed at 1:30 am, and it’s really a good thing we didn’t stay up any later. Perhaps it was workout we got from wearing those hot costumes (that likely became heavier as the night wore on, as they soaked up sweat), but we were both fairly tired the next morning.

Still, when it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up. Once I wake up, no matter how tired my body tells me it is, I’m can’t go back to bed. If I do, the result is always just lying there, thinking about random things. So, when I woke up at 7 am the next morning, it was time to start the day.

I began by heading to Old Port Royale, again taking my cameras and refillable mug to start the day with some photography and caffeine.

I made this a much shorter trip than the previous day. I had captured a lot of photos the previous day, and my path was the same, so I didn’t see many new things to capture. I did, however, decide to put my hesitance aside and head over the pool. I am normally reluctant to take photos around pools because there are people in bathing suits walking around, while I have a bunch of camera gear and am fully clothed. I don’t want people thinking I’m the sleazy photog/paparazzi trying to capture photos of scantily-clad individuals. Not sure if this is actually what people think, but it’s always in the back of my head.

Anyway, I wanted to get some cool photos of the canons in the pool. These canons are really close to the edge of the pool. I had very little room to navigate. As I’m bending down to take my shot, a little kid comes running around the site of one of the canons, almost colliding with me. Even though my camera is water sealed, I’m pretty sure it couldn’t handle falling into the pool, so I quickly ended this mission after narrowly averting disaster.

After that, I headed inside and deliberated as to whether I wanted to purchase breakfast. I ultimately decided on just taking pictures of food I saw, which, curiously enough, is not as filling or tasty as actually consuming food.

When I arrived back at our room, I got ready, and we headed to the bus stop. Again, we were spending the morning at Epcot. Since it was Food & Wine Festival, we planned on spending a lot of time there.

After we headed through the turnstiles, I suggested to Sarah that maybe she could get FastPasses for Soarin’ while I took some photos of Spaceship Earth. The sun was still at a decent point in the sky for photos, so I figured I ought to grab a few.

With Sarah busy for at least 10 minutes, I went wild with my cameras. I probably took over 100 photos of Spaceship Earth in that short time, and had a blast in the process. I can only imagine some local watching me snap so many frames, thinking, “silly tourist.”

When Sarah was done getting the FastPasses, she headed towards World Showcase, which was only about 30 minutes from opening. She picked up a Food & Wine gift card while I fiddled with my camera. I had noticed some spots in a couple photos I had taken the previous day, so I took a few photos of the sky. Sure enough, there were tons of little spots. I didn’t have my rocket blower, so I used the camera’s self-clean function.

I later discovered that my D7000 was putting oil on the high-pass filter above the sensor, which could only be removed by a professional. Or, in my case, an idiot with some household items and some swabs from Hong Kong. Yep, I actually cleaned it myself with sensor wet-swabs. These swabs left streaks that I removed with a Q-Tip. Luckily, I removed the oil and didn’t ruin the camera in the process. I was so reluctant to send the camera to Nikon (I’ve heard nothing but bad things about their service) that I actually risked my thousand dollar camera. Well, no one can accuse me of not being a risk-taker, at least!

Once Sarah purchased her gift card, which of course was a must purchase thanks to its fashionable wrist strap, we debated what to do next.

Well, it wasn’t really much of a debate. Like the people we drive past at 6:45 am in the rough parts of ton outside liquor stores, Sarah decided to line up for the Desserts and CHAMPAGNE stand. Lush.

In all fairness, she didn’t actually buy any alcohol, but I thought it was pretty funny to see her standing in line outside of a closed alcohol kiosk. I suppose my sense of humor is a little warped. Again, she purchased the Dessert Trio. This was a really smart move.

As we thought about whether we’d head towards Mexico or Canada, we both realized that we were really hungry. Since it would probably cost $278 for each of us to get a filling meal from the snack kiosks, we decided to instead head to Sunshine Seasons. It pained us to eat “regular” counter service food during Food & Wine Festival, but at least it was from one of our favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, it wasn’t exactly a brutal blow.

Sarah had some sort of weird goat curry and rice. It didn’t really make sense to me, as I have been attempting to have her try Tangierine Cafe for a while, and she has always resisted. Yet, she ordered the very cuisine they serve there at Sunshine Seasons! I opted for the more delicious choice, the chicken. Part of me still wonders if I should have gotten the Turkey and Monterey Jack Cheese sandwich.

There are multiple pages in this Walt Disney World trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!