What to Wear in Disney World in October

Photographed by Michael of Countdown to Magic

October has arrived and it is time to celebrate with the leader of the Club, Mickey Mouse. Gather your favorite friends and your family members so you can prepare for the best vacation ever at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

With the temperatures leveling off in the 80s and low 90s and the humidity finally taking its own vacation, the air around the resort can feel downright pleasant and everyone you know will be clambering to find their way into this vacation spot. The month of October can be one of the best times of year to visit Disney World, so you don’t want to miss out on the excitement.

What to Wear in Disney World in October

Let’s first talk about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and how that impacts what you’ll be wearing in Disney World in October.

Packing for Disney’s Halloween Party

As is the case with most theme parks, the month of October is the perfect time to capitalize on the Halloween season. The Walt Disney World Resort pulls out all the stops to make sure you and your travel party are pleased with their Halloween-inspired offerings.

While all of the parks are decorated in their friendliest fall-inspired fashions, the Magic Kingdom serves as the home for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

This event takes places on select nights throughout the months of September and October. This fun and festive event begins on these nights with guests being able to enter the parks at approximately five p.m.

Once you are inside, you and your travel party may divide your time between watching Halloween-inspired shows, riding on coasters that no longer have elevated wait times, and grabbing a bag of goodies in order to trick-or-treat across the park.

Tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party should be purchased well in advance. The cost per person varies from $100- $130, depending on the day you attend the party. The closer you are to Halloween, the more expensive the ticket is going to be.

If you are coming to the resort in order to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, here are my packing suggestions:

Costumes for kids: I know you might be thinking that seems like common sense, but some people do not bring costumes with them because they think they will just purchase what they want once they get to the parks. In some cases, you can do this, but you may be surprised to find that the parks don’t have every costume you may desire readily available.

What is more likely is that they will not have the costume you want in your child’s size. Most Disney costumes only accommodate up to size 9-10 for children. If you are bringing an 11 or 12-year-old, finding a costume to fit them nicely in the parks might be an impossibility. Pack a costume for your child, so you don’t run into issues later.

If you are one of the lucky ones who is able to score a reservation at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique during these October days, you will be able to purchase a gown for your little princess at that location, but if you didn’t make your reservation when the booking window opened (180 days in advance) chances are you won’t be getting into that hot spot. Even if you are ready to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, you may still want to consider bringing your own princess gown for your child because they may be more comfortable in something they have already worn and loved.

Costumes for adults: Yes, yes, the Walt Disney Resort does have a policy that prohibits guests over the age of 14 from wearing costumes to the parks, but this does not mean adults have to miss out on all the fun. Buy or make a Halloween-themed t-shirt and don it especially for the party.

My husband and I wore Mickey t-shirts when we attended the party, but we were impressed by the number of adults who came up with unique ways to create costumes out of simple t-shirts or other pieces of clothing. Jack Skellington and Sally, from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, are favorite characters for adults, so you may see a plethora of people dressed like them wandering through the parks on these nights.

An extra change of clothes for children: When you go to the parks in honor of the Halloween bash, you may be anticipating that your child will only need his or her costume. That is not going to be the case here in sunny Florida. Throughout the month of October, the weather can still be very warm. The lowest nighttime temperature I have encountered in recent years is 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

For fall, some might call that downright hot. As always, the pavement in the Magic Kingdom will make little ones who are tottering around on their tiny legs or are riding closest to the pavement in those strollers feel especially hot. If your child is wearing a Halloween costume to this event, they may be content for a while, but they will probably want to put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt before long.

Last year, when I took my Muppets, I was so happy I thought to pack clothing for both boys. I would have thought my eldest would have been content to wear his costume throughout the entire night, but he was the one to put up a fuss. He was sweltering inside his long-sleeved shirt and pants combo.

He gratefully peeled out of his costume and put on the alternate clothing I had packed. I mean that. He must have thanked me four times for bringing him a change of clothes. I have an awesome son. He is so polite. The point is: it was a good idea to pack the extra clothes because they were necessary due to the heat. I can’t imagine what would have happened if one of the kids had also had an accident while we were in the parks. Then, we might have needed even more clothing. 

A refillable water bottle: This does not have to be anything fancy. As a matter of fact, I would recommend just bringing a water bottle you purchased earlier in the day. Any container will do for this event, because having water at the tip of your fingers will be a necessity. It is going to be very hot inside the park and delicious chocolaty treats are going to be oh-so-accessible.

This will make you and your little ones work up a thirst before you even know it. There are plenty of vendors who will be happy to sell you a bottle of water, and that is always an option, but sometimes it is nice to save a little green. When you want to have the Disney Experience, but you also want to stick within your Disney Budget, having a refillable water bottle handy can help you accomplish your goals.

A reusable shopping bag: While we are talking about keeping you and your party within your Disney Budget, you may want to stow a couple of reusable shopping bags in your suitcase. These slim and flexible bags can be easily tucked into any suitcase or piece of luggage and they are guaranteed to save you some dough.

During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party you and your family are going to be bombarded with candy. When you walk into the park, a cast member will hand you a small plastic bag. Inside this bag will be your “candy starter kit”. This may include a park map, so you know where else to find the treats, but it will also contain a couple of fun-sized and full-sized chocolate bars and Skittles.

The fun doesn’t end here. As you travel through the rest of the park, you will find cast members standing next to barrels and barrels of Halloween candy. Indulge as much as you please! But, have your reusable shopping bag ready to collect your spoils. There will be really nice Halloween-themed reusable shopping bags available for purchase throughout the park. Those will cost approximately $10 per bag.

Avoid incurring that cost and bring your own from home. A note to the travelers: While it might be tempting to stockpile as much candy as you can possibly hold, if you are getting on a flight when you return home, it might be a challenge to get all of that candy back on the plane with you. Just think about it before you fill up too many bags that won’t travel back with you when you have to go home.

If you are coming to the Walt Disney World Resort during the month of October, and you do not plan to attend the Halloween Party, then there are some essentials you will need to pack. 

Packing Basics for the Month of October:

  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Mid-length Trousers
  • A long-sleeved t-shirt or a thin hoodie
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50)
  • Disney MagicBand

Disney Gift Cards: I sneak this one onto the bottom of the list because I never go to the parks without my Disney Gift Cards, especially during the month of October. There are so many specialty treats designed for this month that I usually do not purchase the dining plan in October because I want to taste everything, and my hunger cannot be contained.

Instead of using the Disney Dining Plan, I carry gift cards. I can stay on my budget by only packing the amount I plan to spend each day. I can satisfy my sweet tooth or bust a burger craving by swiping my card at any restaurant across the parks. Also, by toting Disney Gift Cards around the parks instead of my credit card I don’t worry so much about losing something that is important to me.

I am one of those worried types who checks and double checks my pockets and purses to ensure that I always have my ID and credit cards with me. When I travel without them, I feel as if a burden has been taken away from me and I am better able to enjoy my vacation.

Disney gift cards not only cut down on the amount of money I spend while stopping at some of my favorite food and beverage stands, but they also help me make prudent purchases when it comes to kiosks and shops throughout the parks. During the month of October, Disney World Merchandise is magnificent.

Whether the products are designed to celebrate the fall and Halloween seasons, or they are pieces of apparel that have been brought into the parks in honor of the newest Disney-PIXAR film which will be released on the big screen in November, there is always something I want, nay, I need to buy. I keep myself and my spending in check by limiting my purchases to what I can afford, based on the amounts pre-loaded to my gift cards. 

Those are the essentials and everything else is negotiable. During the month of October, many people flock to Epcot in order to celebrate the International Food and Wine Festival. For many visitors, this is a bigger draw than the Halloween party. This event appeals to adults and children. Eat and drink your way around the world by wandering through the World Showcase and enjoying a bit from every Outdoor Kitchen along the way.

Once you’ve made it halfway around the world, make a pit stop at the American Outdoor Concert Hall so you can listen to a variety of musical artists who are performing. There are three concerts each and every night. The acts last for approximately thirty minutes, so you can take in one show or come back for more later in the evening.

It’s completely up to you and your travel party. These family-friendly performances feature artists who were popular during the 80s, 90s, and today. The acts rotate nightly and Walt Disney World is able to bring in fresh artists, as well as continual crowd-pleasers, year after year. 

If going to Epcot for the day sounds like an enjoyable experience, be sure to have the following items on you or in your day bag:

Sunscreen: Epcot is a mostly open-air environment and so you will spend your day out in the sun. Protect your skin by applying sunscreen before entering the park and then reapplying throughout the day.

Comfortable shoes: The majority of the time I recommend wearing tennis shoes, and when I go to the International Food and Wine Festival, that is exactly what I do, but if you don’t love sneakers the way I do, this is your chance to wear a different pair of comfortable shoes.

I find many guests like to wear sandals with a bit of cushion in them to Epcot during this festival because these shoes are ideal for strolling. You won’t be running any marathons in these shoes, but your feet will feel free and relaxed as you adopt a leisurely pace in this park.

Back pack or day bag: If I can’t jam everything into my pockets before going to Epcot, I like to take a back pack or day bag into the park. The reason I do this is because I endorse the hands-free approach to the Food and Wine Festival.

I like to be able to enjoy my snacks and beverages with both of my hands, instead of trying to balance platters, plates, and cups on top of other items I may be carrying. If you have one, try to use a lightweight bag so that you don’t tire so easily throughout the day because you have the burden of toting a bag through the parks. 

Long-sleeved t-shirt: I find that most people, when attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival wind up spending a full day in the parks, even if that was not in the initial itinerary. The thing is that there is so much to do and see during this event. You can’t just spend a few hours there. You may plan to come in and tour the booths, but then you decide to stay for one of the concerts.

If you hang out for the performance, you may as well catch the new nighttime spectacular. (Illuminations: Reflections of Earth operated on the water inside the Epcot World Showcase for twenty years. Recently, it has been replaced by Epcot Forever. After a short run, Epcot Forever is also going into retirement to make way for a new revolutionary water and light show. You and your party, no matter your age, won’t want to miss out on this experience).

While the night air won’t be exactly cool during the month of October, it can feel that way after spending a long day in the sun. Be prepared for the brisk wind blowing off the water during the nighttime show by wearing your long-sleeved tee.

Anti-bacterial gel and/or wet wipes: If you are traveling with small children, there is a very good chance that you never leave home without either one of these essentials. I know wet wipes are a staple in my house and I have an anti-bacterial hand gel attached to my day bag so that I never go anywhere without it.

If you are one of those parents who carries these things with you all the time, you already know the benefits of having them on hand. Kids can find a mess anywhere, and you have to be ready to combat germs and sticky goo as it appears. If you are not traveling with small children or it has been a long time since you worried about having hand sanitizer in your day bag, this might be a good time to pick up some of these travel-sized products and tuck them into your backpack.

During the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, not only will the parks be crowded with people, but those visitors will be eating and drinking tons of food. This means that every time they eat something and then touch a hand railing or buckle themselves into a ride, they are spreading their germs onto those items.

You may be the person behind them who happens to encounter the now germ-infested object. For the record: You don’t want to be the germ-carrier, either. You want to be the person who cleans your hands every time you eat or drink anything. You may want to be as neat and clean as possible so as to keep yourself and the other park guests healthy and germ-free.

While you can certainly wash your hands or use sanitizer that is available throughout the park and at restroom areas, it is practical to have your own stash so that you don’t have to ditch your group and rush to the restroom every time you want to grab a quick bite to eat or take a sip of a specialty drink.

One More Thing

If you’ve got room in your suitcase, and you already happen to own a pair, October is the perfect time to wear your Mickey or Minnie Mouse ears. The weather is lovely and so you won’t have to worry about wind or rain destroying your playful souvenirs. If you pack a pair of sunglasses, then a hat probably won’t be necessary in October because the sunglasses should provide all of the protection your eyes need.

Without a hat, you are free to wear your Mouse ears. While the cooperative weather is reason enough to urge you to bring your Mouse ears to the park with you, it is also the perfect time to participate in one of Disney’s charitable giving events.

Each year, near the beginning of November, the Walt Disney Company partners with the Make-A- Wish Foundation to present the “Share Your Ears” online event. If you have been to the Disney Parks recently, or if you just want to participate at home, you take a picture of yourself or your family members showing their Mickey or Minnie Mouse ears and then you post it to your social media account.

For every person who shares a picture accompanied by the #ShareYourEars hashtag, the Walt Disney Company will make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If there is any cause worth supporting, this is certainly one of them.

So, swing by the Walt Disney World Resort in October, wear your favorite pair of Mickey or Minnie Mouse ears, take a photo, and post it to your social media account in November. You’ll be happy because you donated to a noteworthy cause, and because you got to have a fantastic time while you were on vacation. 

This article was written by Digital Piano Review Guide contributor Mindy Killgrove.

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