12 Ways to Get Fall Festive in Orlando

With local brews and theme park boos, Orlando is a top destination to celebrate fall.

Whether it’s enjoying a local brew, shopping for fall fashions, visiting a nearby farm or taking part in over-the-top Halloween events, you’ll find spirited ways to celebrate the season in Orlando.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Taste global flavors at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. (Courtesy Walt Disney World)

Wining and Dining

At Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, through Nov. 13, enjoy tastes from around the world at 35 global marketplaces. Explore each country’s unique culture through savory appetizers, small-plate entrees and sensational desserts in addition to craft beer, regional wine and specialty cocktails. Small portion sizes allow for more sampling without breaking the budget.

Enjoy unlimited bites and sips at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. Opt for tickets to the Causeway Event and sample small plates paired with wine and beer from every corner of the world. Or up your culinary game by attending one of 11 culinary and beverage seminars. Add a stay at the resort and a reservation for the Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Oct. 29 for a weekend to remember.

Raglan Road Irish Pub
Stop by Raglan Road for Irish brews and an Irish red by Crooked Can Brewery (Courtesy Raglan Road)

Local Craft Beer

Of course, fall means Oktoberfest, which is a great excuse to try some of Orlando’s best beer. Whether your taste runs to local craft or traditional Guinness, Raglan Road Irish Pub is always a happening hot spot at Disney Springs for a pint accompanied by live entertainment daily.

In the quaint town of Winter Garden, visit Plant Street Market for local artisan food vendors alongside Crooked Can Brewery, where there are always crisp local beers on tap. The Saturday farmers market is also one of the most popular in the metro area. 

Halloween Horror Nights Scare Zone
Interactive scare zones at Halloween Horror Nights (Courtesy Universal Orlando Resort)

Halloween Scares

It’s no surprise that Orlando’s theme parks go all-out for Halloween. Buy a special ticket to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, now through Oct. 31, and you’ll not only enjoy lighter crowds, you can don your favorite costume, go trick-or-treating through the Magic Kingdom and experience the exclusive Halloween parade featuring all your favorite Disney villains.

Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights are more terrifying than ever. On select nights through Nov. 4, this family-friendly theme park by day becomes your worst nightmare after sundown. Dare to enter graphic haunted houses, interactive scare zones and the infamous Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s "The Shining," new this year. The experience is truly scary, so participants must be at least 13 years old.

For a kid-friendly Halloween without the bad dreams, head to SeaWorld Orlando for Halloween Spooktacular now through Oct. 29. Enjoy a fall “fantasea” filled with trick-or-treating, carnival games, animal shows and dancing sea creatures, including pumpkin fish and plenty of fun photo ops. 

Calling All Fashionistas

In the charming community of Winter Park, don’t miss Fashion on the Avenue Oct. 30-Nov. 4. Now in its 11th year, the Park Avenue Merchants Association plays host to 50 in-store trunk shows, styling events and special sales in the area’s locally owned boutiques and specialty shops. 

Fall Foliage, Florida-Style

On Oct. 20-21, the Disney-created town of Celebration hosts its annual Oktoberfest. Join the residents of this "Truman Show"-like town in a giant street party with plenty of food and beer, live German music plus a flurry of autumn leaves that magically fall onto the streets at 7, 8, and 9 pm. Free.

(Photo courtesy Pexels)

Raised in a Barn

At Green Meadows Petting Farm in Kissimmee, youngsters can ride ponies, milk cows, feed the pigs, take a hay ride and visit with all the barnyard animals. Through Nov. 17, you can even select a free pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. 

Just down the highway, Partin Ranch is open weekends in October for some old-fashioned, corny family fun. Try solving the five-acre corn maze, take a barrel train ride, zoom down the zip line and take a ride on a combine harvester. There’s also a corn-shooting cannon, games of corn hole and a giant play box of corn kernels.

In the beautiful New England-style town of Mount Dora, Long and Scott Farms has become a fall tradition for families all around Central Florida. The farm has two corn mazes, a super slide, jumping pillow, a huge play fort and zip lines. Be sure to stop by the market or cafe for amazing fresh produce and country cooking.