WDW October Park Hours Updated!

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The Disney World park hours were recently updated for September 30 through October 27, with operating hours extended for the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are now a handful of days where the Magic Kingdom is open until 12am with a second Main Street Electrical Parade added.

Hollywood Studios also had quite a few days changed, and will now stay open until 9 or 9:30pm occasionally. Those days will also see an additional showing of Fantasmic!. Animal Kingdom had many closing times adjusted as well.

The chart below shows all current park hours with changes in red.

You may notice changes to our Crowd Calendar involving some of the changed dates. We recently began using our own internal projected park hours to give you the most accurate crowd ratings available. Using these projected hours has made our long-term crowd ratings more stable, but we are not perfect (well, some of us).

Even with our projections, there were some changes to the Crowd Calendar for October:

October 18:

Animal Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 1.4 to 5.3 – This is due to the closing time being moved from 5pm to 7pm. We expected closing to remain at 5pm as it did on the equivalent day last year (October 20, 2011). The increase to 7pm indicates that Disney is expecting a larger crowd on this day.

October 19:

Magic Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 4.6 to 7.6 – This is due to the addition of 2 Main Street Electrical Parades where there were previously none. It is less common for Disney to add parades where none had previously been scheduled, indicating that higher crowds are expected.

Animal Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 3.2 to 7.0 – This is due to the closing time being moved from 6pm to 8pm. We expected closing to remain at 6pm as it did on the equivalent day last year (October 21, 2011). The increase to 8pm indicates that Disney is expecting a larger crowd on this day and specifically keeping the park open until 8pm is odd in the off season. Typically 8pm or later closings only occur at Animal Kingdom at busy times.

October 20:

Animal Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 3.1 to 6.9 – This is due to the closing time being moved from 6pm to 8pm and the rationale is exactly the same as for October 19 above.

October 25:

Hollywood Studios’ crowd rating was decreased from 6.0 to 1.1 – Finally, a good change! This is due to the closing time being 6pm with no showings of Fantasmic!. I am unsure of the reason for the early closing but it is typically for a private special event. Regardless, short park days often have very low crowds as many do not want to go to a park with shorter operating hours.

We apologize for the changes, although one thing you should be aware of is that Disney sometimes announces extended operating hours on the actual day of operation. Saturdays in particular tend to be prime candidate for last minute extensions. These extensions are not necessarily something that can be planned around, but you should be aware that they are possible. We will make sure to keep you updated on all changes.

Thanks!

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Posted on September 18, 2012

21 Responses to “WDW October Park Hours Updated!”

  • Where did you find these new park hours? When I look on the Disney World website (calendar for each park) they are still the old hours.

  • by Andrew Drummond on September 19, 2012, at 9:07 am EDT

    Brian,

    From looking at your previous article, it seems like they are making more MK adjustments than last year. Is this true or just my perception? And if it is true, has it been true in general this year or is it an October aberration?

    Just trying to plan for November…

  • Hi. Just asking, if the parks have extended hours is this because it’s a busy time to go? Looking at travelling there in September 2013 as they say its a quieter time but worried that the weather will be wet the whole visit. Any help would be great – links?
    Thanks in advance

    • Yes, generally the later the closing times, the busier the park is expected to be. September is a very good time to visit because the crowds are as low as they get. October is a reasonably low month as well, but the weekends get busier with the Food and Wine festival at Epcot and the breaking of the summer heat.

      You will probably get a little wet in September, but that’s Florida :) The storms are frequent, but fast moving so they don’t impact touring all that much.

  • I’m trying to update a personalized touring plan with the additional MK am hour and the plan won’t accept the change. Suggestions? Thanks

  • Crowd levels for AK on 10/19 & 10/20 more than doubled!! Really?

  • agree with chris.

    watching ak numbers double didn’t really make any sense to me.

  • My Ak plan for 10-20 does not show new hours as well

    • The 20th is also showing the correct hours for me, although, as I said above, I don’t think it will automatically adjust an existing plan. If you click the “Edit” button in the grey box at the top you should be able to change the time.

  • Great info, thanks a lot. One question, the crowd for MK for 20th has dropped from 8/9 to 5.6 which will be great! How confident are you it will stay below 6ish please? I’m thinking of changing our plans as MK would be better for us that day, but don’t want to risk a subsequent increase back up to 8/9 out of 10. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.

    • The reason for the drop is because we had expected the MK to be open until midnight on that day. I would not be surprised if Disney extended the operating time by an hour sometime during that day because the crowds are a little larger than they expect at this time.

      My best advice is to get there prior to park opening and use a Touring Plan. Then it won’t matter how big the crowd is.

  • The update to the HS hours on 10/25 has me a little puzzled regarding what to do with our park planning. Following ‘best park’ recommendations, I previously planned:
    10/25 mid morning arrival at resort then EP; 10/26 HS; 10/27 AK; 10/28 MK, 10/29 EP; 10/30 MK, leaving resort at 3:00. Now…I am wondering whether it is beter to go HS on 10/25 but then not sure when I pick up the EP hours in trade. Also have Fantasmic dining event reservations for 4:40 on 10/26. Would it make sense to go all in HS on 10/25 and then split 10/26 EP/HS, hoping for lighter EP crowds early in the day?

  • Do you know when the November hours will be updated? I’m leaving November 1st and am anxious to make sure my plans are up to date!