October is a month for scary costumes, but there is nothing scary about October crowds at Walt Disney World. October brings in some of the lightest crowds all year: not as light as early September or mid-January, but more manageable than most other periods on the calendar. We noticed some recently adjusted park closing times throughout the month, however, so we thought it might be a good idea to review the crowd profile for October. Changing the official park closing is not unusual, but there were a couple changes to note that fall outside the norm.
What to watch out for at Magic Kingdom
As the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party goes, so go the crowds at the Kingdom. Days on the schedule that include a Party at night (October 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31, November 1) will have low wait times throughout the morning and early afternoon. Normally guests with tickets to the Party will begin to arrive after 4:00 pm. If you are not attending the Party and want to tour the Magic Kingdom in the morning and afternoon, these days can be great for doing so efficiently. However, the trade-off is not being able to see the nighttime festivities.
If the nighttime festivities are a must-do for you, then pick the day without a Halloween Party that has the lowest crowd level rating for Magic Kingdom. We like October 8, 12, 15, 16, 21, 23, 28, or 30.
The Magic Kingdom park closing has been extended to midnight and 11:00 pm on October 21 and 23, respectively. It is rare to see such a late closing time at Magic Kingdom on a weekday in October. We stand by our crowd predictions, however: we just can’t imagine a dramatic increase in crowds for those days.
Some weekend nights have been extended, as well, which is good news for those hoping to tour for a full day when Magic Kingdom does not host a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Park Hour Changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Throughout the middle of the month, October 13 through 24, the Studios has moved its closing time earlier. Check the calendar for your dates; you may now notice a 7:30 pm or 8:00 pm closing. That is still plenty of time to tour the Studios effectively, but you may need to revisit your dining reservation times to make sure your itinerary still works.
Food & Wine Festival at Epcot
Our crowd calendar is based on wait times at the attractions. The wait times during the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot don’t tell the whole story. In fact, the wait times are deceivingly low compared to the significant crowds – especially on weekends. If your Epcot day is focused on a touring plan of Epcot’s attractions, then you can do so comfortably in Future World. But trying to meander through the masses of the Food & Wine festival in World Showcase can be daunting at best. This is why we don’t recommend visiting Epcot on weekends in October.
If Food and Wine is a must-do then go ahead – it is great! Go during the week if you can and arrive early.