Is it Packed: Disney World in November

Magic Kingdom 101” by Jeremy Thompson licensed under CC BY 2.0

In this article, we’re going to help you figured out how packed Disney World is in November. So sit down, grab a coffee, and we’ll help you determine whether or not November is a great time to visit Disney World (and specifically which days and weeks in November are better than others).

Visiting Walt Disney World in November

With the holiday season right around the corner, some families will be checking time schedules and consulting their bank accounts, trying to determine if now is the right time to fit in a family vacation. If you have looked into your calendar and your bank account, and all looks right with the world, then you should without a doubt book those plane tickets and come to Orlando, Florida. 

Expect Pleasant Weather

When preparing for your Walt Disney World vacation, you may be uneasy about traveling in the month of November. For some people, this month is fraught with unpleasant weather patterns. It may be raining or snowing where you live. The winds might be whipping through the trees as autumn leaves cascade toward the ground. 

That is not the case in sunny Florida. During the month of November, the temperatures have dropped just a pinch. The average temperature is between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, with the temperature drop has also come a decrease in humidity. So, when the thermometer reads 85 degrees, that is how it truly feels. You are not being manipulated into sweating because the heat index is off the charts. Most who travel during this season report feeling comfortable. 

For those who are Florida residents or who may be traveling from other southern locations, you might even think it is downright chilly once night falls. It is a unique time of year because some people will come to the parks wearing sunglasses and shorts while others will be dressed in sweatshirts. The important thing is that the sun will be shining and for the most part, the rain will not be a problem.

Noteworthy Events

Perhaps the reason November is such a wonderful month to visit the Walt Disney World Resort comes down to the fact that the month of November features so many magical experiences. Guests of all ages will revel and delight in the offerings that are available at this time of year.

For those who want to catch the end of the Halloween season, there will be at least one more of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween parties being thrown as November rushes in after October. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party is a tremendous event which appeals to a plethora of visitors. Little ones love being able to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat throughout the Magic Kingdom.

Teenagers cackle with glee when they see their favorite Disney villains prancing through the aisles during the nighttime parade. Adults will appreciate the shows presented throughout the evening. There is always a specially themed fireworks spectacular set to cap off each night.

Tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party can be purchased before going to the parks or at the admission gate for approximately $150 a person. This includes admission to the Magic Kingdom, as well as all the trick-or-treat candy you and your party care to collect. 

The best dining at Disney World can be done during the month of November as the International Food and Wine Festival is wrapping up over in Epcot. From the second you and your party enter the park, you will be inundated with the sights, smells, and sounds of all the glorious food and beverages. Visit one pavilion after the next, feasting on the most delicious foods you can possibly imagine. 

Adults will be happy to travel around the world and sample foods and drinks, but little ones will find the experience pleasing, too. Walt Disney World Chefs have created food choices that speak to little ones and their appetites, so adults won’t be the only ones finding pleasure in this activity. For the kids, there is also a food scavenger hunt, led by Remy the star of the Pixar film, Ratatouille

When everyone has sampled so many different kinds of food they feel nearly ready to burst, head on over to the American Gardens Pavilion and enjoy one of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series Performances. Every evening, a celebrated musician will take the stage and give a performance that lasts approximately thirty minutes. 

(I find the thirty-minute runtime to be right on point for kids. It allows them to gain an appreciation for listening to live music, while also ending the show before anyone gets fussy.) 

The artist will grace the stage three times throughout the evening, so there are multiple opportunities for guests to find their way into a couple of comfortable concert seats. Click here for a list of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series Performers and the dates they will be in the park. 

For those who feel the need to exercise after eating so much delicious food, Disney Parks has you covered once again. The Walt Disney World Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place at the very beginning of November.

This race is rumored to be one of the favorites as participants wake up bright and early to run the course, but then also get to spend the evening strolling through the streets of Epcot at a celebratory after party. If running doesn’t appeal to you, there are many different options for guests who would care to participate.

Run or walk in the 5K or test your endurance by going for the Half Marathon. All paying participants receive a swag bag, including a fabulous medal that you can wear later as you boast about your experience running with the Disney gang. 

The fun keeps rolling in the month of November as the 18th nears and Mickey Mouse celebrates his birthday. In 2018, Mickey Mouse turned 90 years old.

This resulted in a fantastic celebration that resounded throughout the Disney Parks. Generally, on the leader of the club’s birthday, special snacks, complimentary cake, stickers, and buttons will be distributed to park guests at various locations.

To get the most out of Mickey Mouse’s birthday celebration, plan to visit Disney Springs or the Magic Kingdom on November 18th. Those spots will be the most likely to do something special in honor of the one who started it all.

Thanksgiving Day can be a very extraordinary time to hang out with your family and loved ones at the Walt Disney World Parks. For those looking to marry new traditions with old, you can even get a Thanksgiving-inspired feast at various park locations.

So, while some members of your party may want to order pizza and pasta at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (located on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom), others will be able to select the Thanksgiving Feast that is specially offered on this occasion. It includes turkey, dressing, and cranberries.

My Thanksgiving Day favorite meal is served over at the Liberty Tree Inn, next to the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square of the Magic Kingdom. Roast beef, turkey, and pork are delivered to each table in an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy setting. Be sure to make your dining reservations for all Walt Disney World restaurants well before Thanksgiving Day in order to take advantage of these hearty homestyle meals.

From the middle of the month, to the end of November guests can participate in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There is no better holiday celebration on the planet. The Magic Kingdom is gloriously decorated with lights and wreaths as Mickey and Friends welcome you and your family to join them for this holiday extravaganza.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a specially ticketed event. On select nights, the Magic Kingdom will close early and only party goers will be welcome to join in the fun. Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party range from approximately $100- $150, depending on the night you and your brood decide to go to the Magic Kingdom. 

Attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in November is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season with your friends and family, while making any vacation a little more merry and bright. Unique character meet-and-greets are available during the celebration.

Mickey, Minnie, and a whole host of Disney characters will participate in a cherished tradition as they glide down Main Street for a special parade. Decadent desserts are offered this time of year and you won’t be able to find them outside of this environment. To learn more about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the advantages of going during the month of November, click here. 

Crowd Levels

If I could peek inside your head for just a minute, I would be able to see that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. Who knew there was so much to do at the Walt Disney World Resort during the month of November?

Thinking that way may have also led you to an obvious conclusion: November is a very busy time at the Walt Disney World Resort. The parks are sure to be packed. Well, my friend and fellow traveler, if that is the way you feel, I must applaud your tenacity.

Because, you’re right. The parks are going to be stuffed to the brim, but here you are, still thinking about making the journey. Good for you! If you can learn to navigate the crowds and plan your trip to suit your needs, you won’t be bothered by the hoards of guests who are certain to be roaming the parks.

Know this: The crowd levels are never going to dip below average. The weather is just too nice, and the notable events are just too plentiful for people to stay away from the parks for even a day. 

Planning your vacation for the beginning of November might seem like a sound idea, if you are looking forward to spending time over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As a matter of fact, that is what I would recommend, if those two parks appeal to you and your travel party. Those parks are likely to have the least number of guests milling around; therefore, your wait times for attractions, rides, and character meet-and-greets will be minimal.

However, the beginning of November is going to be very hectic at Epcot Center. When you consider the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is happening there during the first week of the month, and world-renowned performers, like Boyz II Men,  are going to be showcasing their talents during the second week of November at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, that park will be nearly unapproachable.

So, before you begin diving into your vacation at Walt Disney World Resort during the month of November, speak to your fellow travelers and decide what’s most important to you. Do you want to head to Hollywood Studios and explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, or were you hoping to savor some of the delicacies offered during the International Food & Wine Festival?

For those looking to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, November will certainly treat you to a less crowded park because the newest attraction in that land, Rise of the Resistance, is not set to open until the beginning of December 2019.

Some people I know, I’m talking about my own family here, jump at the chance every year to go to the Magic Kingdom on November 18th to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday. Sometimes, we don’t even participate in the special events. We just want to be there to let the Mouse know how important he is to us.

If you and your family are like mine and you decide that you want to hang with Mickey and the gang in the Magic Kingdom on his birthday, you must be prepared for the crowds. (This timeline extends to the weekend before Mickey Mouse’s birthday, too. When November 18th falls on a week day, the celebratory activities are inevitably shifted to the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before the actual date.)

There will not be a great number of extra activities to do on this date, so when more people show up, the ride lines and the character meet-and-greet lines can become very long. I highly recommend, if you intend to go to the Magic Kingdom for this celebration, that you carefully plan your Genie+ reservations and you reserve a restaurant for your family’s meal time that day. You certainly do not want to try and get a Quick Service meal on Mickey’s birthday because the lines will wrap around the door. You may spend more than a half hour waiting to get a cheeseburger. 

On Thanksgiving Day, there will be a very noticeable uptick in the number of patrons who flood the Walt Disney World Parks. While the crowds will be average to above average on most November days, once the Thanksgiving holiday arrives, the parks will be very close to reaching maximum capacity almost every day. 

Come Prepared

If you have evaluated everything involved, including the time, money, and crowd levels that will be at the parks during the month of November, and you still think you want to visit, then the best advice I can give you is to come prepared. Follow these helpful tips to enjoy the best possible Disney Vacation during the Month of November:

Plan your meal times: As soon as you book your hotel rooms and secure your days off work, head to the My Disney Experience website or app and make your dining reservations. Dining reservations can be made for all Walt Disney World Resort table service and character dining restaurants 180 days beforehand.

You should definitely take advantage of this. By booking your table in advance, you are guaranteed admission to the park (not often, but on some holidays the parks do reach maximum capacity and guests are turned away at the gate. If you have a dining reservation at a Walt Disney World Theme Park Restaurant, you will still be permitted to enter the park as other guests leave). 

My family appreciates when I book these table service meals because that ensures that we will have at least an hour of downtime while we are in the parks. We have a place to go where we can relax, unwind, get something to eat and drink, and also enjoy the air-conditioning.

If you would prefer not to select a table service restaurant for your family’s meal time needs, then you should still familiarize yourself with the My Disney Experience app. Almost all the Quick Service locations throughout the theme parks now will take Mobile Orders. What this means is you can place your party’s Mobile Order at a Quick Service Location and then stand in a significantly shorter line in order to pick up your food at the time you request it.

Select your FastPasses: If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you will be able to choose your FastPasses 60 days before you arrive. This is how you get to the front of all the most coveted attraction lines. There is no better perk than knowing that you and your family will only have to walk through the FastPass line as opposed to waiting three hours to ride one coaster.

Your family will thank you for taking the time to put their FastPasses in order so that they have more time to enjoy attractions throughout the day. If you are not staying at the Walt Disney World Resorts, you will still be able to access the FastPass system 30 days before your arrival to the parks. Log into your account, link the tickets for all the travelers in your party, and try the best you can to select FastPasses that will appeal to you and your travel guests.

  • Do note that Disney World has removed their FastPass system in favor of a new system (a paid system, in fact) called Genie+.

Only Take What You Need: 

When the parks are congested, as they are certain to be during the month of November, nothing can put a damper on your day like carrying around unnecessary backpacks. If possible, try to pack one small day bag with essential items.

By having only one person in your party arrive to the parks carrying a bag that will not only cut down on the amount of time it takes you to get through the security inspection lines, but it will also mean there are now less people carrying bulky bags throughout the park. 

Think About Your Travel Needs: 

Look at every member of your travel party. Are these members able to navigate the parks on their own two feet or will strollers or wheelchairs be a necessity? I have found, after many years of traipsing through the parks with my little ones, that the number of steps a child is able to accomplish on their own two feet is equal to their age times 1,000. 

In short, if you have an 8 year old child, he/she will be able to walk approximately 8,000 steps each day before getting really tired (to make sure you fully understand what this means, for the average adult, spending a full 10-12 hour day at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts, that person will most likely put in anywhere from 20,000-30,000 steps). 

This doesn’t mean that your day has to conclude once your little one reaches his or her limit, but it does mean that you need to plan what will happen when they do fatigue. This can mean needing to rent or bring in your own stroller. It could mean scheduling a sit-down meal into the plan. It is up to you, but it is something you should think about before heading into a crowd.

Familiarize Yourself with the Bathroom Situation

Everyone at some point throughout their vacation day will need to visit the bathroom. Depending on your travel needs (see number four), you may be frequenting the restroom every hour or so. To head off accidents or uncomfortable feelings before they present themselves, look at the park map before entering for the day. Be sure you know the location of at least two different bathrooms throughout the park. 

If you are going to utilize the family restrooms, it is worth noting that family restrooms or companion restrooms are not available at every single rest stop. You will need to look at the map closely to find what you need. On busy days in November, the restroom lines can be almost as daunting as the attraction lines, but if you know where you are going, instead of having to look around for a pit stop place, that will ease some tension later.

There is No Other Time Like November

To be sure, there is no other time at the Walt Disney World Resorts like the month of November. While you may have to wait in line, you will certainly be treated to some of the best experiences Walt Disney World has to offer. So, gather your friends and family and prepare for a trip that will be undeniably unforgettable. 

If you enjoyed this article, please “like” our brand new Countdown to Magic Facebook page!

You Also Might Like:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *