Our annual trip to Walt Disney World in the fall is a highlight of our year. But, like many people, our travel plans got derailed this year, thanks to COVID-19. If you’re like us, and won’t be able to get to WDW this fall, take heart – there are plenty of ways to bring the parks to you! Here are just a few ways to enjoy the best of Walt Disney World within the comfort of your own home this fall.
1. YouTube Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular
There’s nothing like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to put you in a fall mood! Trick-or-treating around Disney’s Magic Kingdom, a special Halloween evening spectacular, entertainment featuring your favorite villains, and of course, the best WDW parade ever – what could be better? It might not be quite as good as being there in person, but you can still enjoy Disney’s new Not-So-Spooky Spectacular from the 2019 Halloween parties on YouTube – and you won’t even have to fight the crowds to catch a bus at the end! Access the full show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGbyZfCxTdM.
2. Take a Virtual Ride on Haunted Mansion
We always make a beeline for Disney’s Haunted Mansion, no matter when we visit Magic Kingdom. But of course, this spooky fan favorite is even more perfect around Halloween. If you can’t make it to Walt Disney World this fall, don’t worry – you can enjoy a 360-degree virtual ride on a Doom Buggy – including pre-show and queue! – on the Virtual Disney World YouTube channel. There are several different versions to try, and you can even move your device to change your viewpoint and look around. If you find them too dark, you can always try the non-virtual version of the ride at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRp4CiUnuWY, where the lighting is much better.
3. Disney Board Games
We love board games, especially in the age of COVID-19; there’s nothing like a weekly game night to bring everyone in the family together. And if you’re missing your Disney fix this fall, why not bring a little pixie dust to your board games? From Disney Parks Theme Park Edition of Monopoly (with a pop-up castle!), to Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Clue, to The Haunted Mansion Game of LIFE, there are plenty of Disney-themed board games out there that will have you feeling the magic.
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4. Bake Some Disney Fall Magic
Mmmm, pumpkin spice! Fall flavors are just the best, and Disney has a way of capturing those flavors in especially delicious (and beautiful) ways. Not heading to Walt Disney World this fall? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite fall park treats, right in the comfort of your own home! Explore the Disney Parks Blog to learn how to make a variety of delicious WDW goodies, including Scrumptious Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Twists, Jack Skellington Sugar Cookies, gluten- and vegan-friendly Pumpkin Soup, and even a new, exclusive Pumpkin Crème Brûlée recipe. Yum.
5. Host Your Own Food and Wine Festival
Besides Halloween, our main reason for visiting WDW in the fall is to attend Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. We love traveling from pavilion to pavilion in the World Showcase, enjoying a taste of what each country has to offer. If your fall plans don’t include a Disney trip, you can still enjoy the wonder of culinary discovery by creating your own International Food and Wine Festival! There are lots of recipes available, from classic favorites like the popular Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, to this year’s Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese topped with Herbed Panko, on the Disney Parks Blog.
6. Search for Disney Scents
If there’s anything that can bring back Disney memories faster than tasting your favorite WDW treat, it’s getting a whiff of one of the many scents used throughout the parks and resorts. Whether it’s the irresistible scent pumped through Disney’s Beach Club Resort, the oddly appealing smell of the water in the parks’ dark rides, or the tantalizingly delicious scent of Main Street Confectionary, Disney smells will immediately make you feel like you’re back in WDW. Scentair is the company that produces the scents used on property, and its sister company, Enviroscent, produces similar scents for individual consumers. There are also entrepreneurs who have created candles, sprays and wax melts that mimic your favorite Disney scents, so you can bring the magic home!
7. Decorate Disney-Style
If you won’t be able to see all of Walt Disney World’s spooktacular Halloween decorations in person this year, why not create your own? Paint or carve your favorite Disney heroes and villains on your pumpkins, make your own Haunted Mansion tombstones complete with pun-filled epitaphs, or create your own Mickey-shaped fall wreath decorated with seasonal colors, leaves and gourds – your imagination is the limit! And, of course, there are endless online resources to give you ideas and step-by-step instructions.
8. Create a Disney Playlist
No matter the time of year, music sets the tone for a magical visit at Walt Disney World. If you’re like us, you may even have the soundtrack of your favorite attraction memorized! You can buy official Disney theme park music CDs, some of which focus on specific events, rides or lands, and some of which cover all of WDW; you can also find free downloads for your favorite Disney park music. However you find it, playing these beloved tunes will immediately transport you back to the parks, and fill you with happy memories of past WDW vacations.