11 Great Ways to Celebrate Fall 2020 in Orlando
Embrace fall with these fun events happening throughout Central Florida.
Warm-hued leaves, spooky stories, apple and pumpkin spice-everything—they all point to one thing: Fall is here!
Although we may not feel a dip in temps quite as quickly as our northern friends (and some of those fall leaves might be artificial), it’s time to embrace autumn in all of her glory.
While 2020 may look a little different, there’s still plenty of festive fun waiting for you out there. Here’s a rundown of some fantastic fall events happening this month and next throughout Central Florida.
Walt Disney World
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a no-go this year, but the harvest-time happiness is still on. Head to Magic Kingdom for your annual dose of Mickey-shaped jack o’ lanterns and fall-flavored goodies from now until October 31. Many favorites from past years return, like the Pumpkin Spiced Waffle Sundae at Sleepy Hollow.
My favorite? Don’t miss Constance’s For Better or For Worse Wedding Cake! With creamy Raspberry Mousse, tangy Citrus Cake, and a Chocolate Hatchet, how could you go wrong?
Additionally, you’ll find even more goodies at Disney Springs and throughout the Disney Resorts.
Beyond Magic Kingdom, the Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is in full swing, and you won’t want to miss one delicious bite. Check out our previous story for lots of details, and stop by soon to experience a brand new returning booth—Flavors From Fire!
Now through November 1, SeaWorld’s Spooktacular returns for plenty of family fun every weekend. Included with valid park admission, kids of all ages can enjoy a trick-or-treat trail and seasonal festivities with the Sesame Street gang, including a special Halloween breakfast or Cookie Decorating with Cookie Monster.
In addition, SeaWorld is bringing back a blast from the past that’s perfect for our current climate: drive-in movies. Sign up for Flicks & Frights and experience all the thrills and chills this fall. Running Saturdays now through October 31, and Fridays on October 23 and 30, the cost is $40 per vehicle. For each date, the park shows a family-friendly Halloween film at 7:45 p.m., followed by a frightening film at 10:30. For more details about the schedule and to reserve your spot, visit SeaWorld.com.
Adults who are more into food and drink than tricks and treats can also check out this year’s Craft Beer Festival, which includes menu items that feature beer as an ingredient, in addition to a well-curated list of pours. The fest runs through November 1. Check out details and menus here.
Although Halloween Horror Nights 2020 isn’t happening, Universal Studios has come up with some creative ways to celebrate the season—whether you prefer frights or something a little less intense. The park’s Tribute Store offers scary scenes and retro merch in four themed rooms.
In addition, the resort has just announced that soon, guests can wear costumes, trick-or-treat at Islands of Adventure, and embark on a fun scavenger hunt.
Even more thrilling, Universal Studios is debuting two new Haunted Houses. “The Bride of Frankenstein Lives” and “Revenge of the Tooth Fairy” promise bone-chilling frights. Even better, the houses are included in regular park admission! Look for the new attractions to debut the weekend of September 26, and to be available daily October 3-November 1.
The Haunted Road: A Drive-Thru Halloween Experience
Looking for frights without leaving the comfort of your car? Then head to the The Haunted Road in East Orlando, where social distancing doesn’t stop the terror that awaits you.
As guests drive through, they’ll watch a nightmarish twist on the tale of Rapunzel. Select weekends will also feature a daytime family-friendly event. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit The Haunted Road website.
Southern Hill Farm Fall Festival
Head to the country for fall, Florida style, at Southern Hill Farm’s Fall Festival. Nestled amid Clermont’s rolling hills, feast on apple cider donuts, pick out prize-winning pumpkins, and take home beautiful sunflowers and zinnias.
Visit the pumpkin patch, load up on farm-grown corn, and stay for lunch, which is served 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. In addition, grown ups can visit the Beer Shed for craft beer, wine, mimosas and more. With plenty of autumn-inspired photo ops, games, and play areas for the kids, it’s the perfect place to make memories.
The Fall Festival takes place Thursdays through Sundays, starting Saturday, September 26 through November 8. Purchase tickets here; advance reservations are required to ensure that the farm stays within capacity limits.
Long & Scott Corn Maze
Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora has been Central Florida’s first choice for locally-grown produce since 1963. However, come fall, there’s a whole new reason to visit: Scott’s Maze Adventures! Meander through 6.5 acres of cornstalks, with 23 Q&As, picture rubbings and puzzles to complete along the way. There’s also a half-acre mini maze for small-fry (or impatient large-fry.)
The maze opens October 3. Along with the mazes, farm visitors can play on the open air playground, go for hayrides and visit Scott’s Country Market, which opens September 29.
Finally, this year, the farm will also host night mazes on October 24, 31, and November 7—the perfect way to celebrate shorter days and cooler nights.
To learn more and purchase tickets, visit the Long & Scott Farms website.
Grande Lakes Fall on the Farm
Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October and November, Whisper Creek Farm at Grande Lakes welcomes guests for “family-friendly offerings celebrating the season.” Activities include arts and crafts, pumpkin picking and carving, hayrides, games and more.
Along with plenty of fun, guests can also visit the farmer’s market to purchase locally-produced and homemade items such as sauces, jams, spices and honey.
Guests can also learn about fly fishing and falconry, as Grande Lakes’ team of experts conduct presentations about these and other outdoor pursuits. In addition, there will be plenty of food and drink options, and guests can also have family portraits taken.
Access to Fall on the Farm is available for $35 per person, and the event is open to the public. For more information on purchasing tickets, and to learn more about the resort’s Family Escape Package, visit GrandeLakes.com.
L’Autunno in Ravello
We may not be able to travel to Italy right now, but that doesn’t mean that our tastebuds can’t take flight. Now through October 18, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort presents L’Autunno in Ravello, a four-course, prix-fixe menu created by Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi and Sous Chef Riccardo Sala.
For a limited time, guests are invited to sample the traditional flavors of Torino and Milano, with dishes such as Gnudi Spinaci e Funghi (Ricota Dumpling with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms), a choice of Zuppa di Pesce (Seafood Stew) or Costolette Brasate all Milanese (Braised Short Ribs), and much more. Call 407.313.6161 to make required reservations.
Wurst Weekends at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe
To quote Hollerbach’s, “It’s a different kind of Fest this year—because 2020—but nothing will rein in the Spirit of Gemütlichkeit!” And with that, Central Florida is invited to attend a modified, Oktoberfest-esque gathering in Historic Downtown Sanford. In contrast to Munich, Willow Tree is forging ahead with this beloved tradition, complete with social distancing and mask requirements.
Gather in Magnolia Square, or find a spot in the Rooftop Biergarten to hoist a brew or two, while feasting on traditional German dishes. In addition, make time to stop in Magnolia Square Market German Deli for goodies to take home as well as Outfitters Folk Clothing for that dirndl you’ve had your eye on. Visit Hollerbach’s Facebook page for the latest news.
Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
While one of our favorite fall foodie events, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic, won’t take place this year, the resort will offer a taste of the event for guests via their Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays.
The “new twist on the Food and Wine Classic Experience” takes place each Saturday now through October 24, and features different culinary experiences that are available exclusively to guests who book through the new Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays overnight package. Each weekend offers a different theme complete food and drink, including a pared-down version of the Food & Wine Classic: Limited Edition on October 17.
And, thanks to overwhelming demand, another date has been added for Food & Wine Classic: Limited Edition! Don’t miss your chance to celebrate this incredible event on Friday, October 30. Event Only tickets are available for $110 per person, and one-night packages, which include a one-night stay plus two event tickets, start at $395. Quantity is limited, so call 1.888.828.8850 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. to book your stay. (To purchase event only tickets, call 407.934.1609 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. this week.)
For more information, visit the Swan and Dolphin’s website.
Goblins and Giggles Getaway Weekends
Finally, the Gaylord Palms is offering all treats and no tricks with their Goblins and Giggles Getaway Weekends now through October 31.
The package offers tons of activities, including a new Castillo de San Marco ALIVE Ghost Experience, meet and greets, trick or treating, animal encounters, bedtime stories, moonlight movies, and so much more. Visit their website to learn more.