Disney released the October 2014 operating schedule today at the updated link: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_october.pdf. As always, this is the official calendar that will show up at DisneyWorld.com closer to the end of the month. Also as always, the initial operating schedule release has conservative hours and nighttime entertainment. To get an idea about what the final operating schedule will look like, check out last year’s: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/oct13.pdf.
The operating schedule is otherwise about what we would expect. Disney continues with no Extra Magic Hours scheduled on most Sundays in an effort to sell more Halloween Party tickets.
Otherwise, there are a couple things about October. It’s peak Halloween Party season, which means Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on three or four dates each week. These days are overwhelmingly less busy than days with longer hours and nighttime entertainment. Of course, most people want to see the nighttime entertainment and experience Magic Kingdom at night. The weekday with long hours is the best day of the week to visit Magic Kingdom and see Wishes/Electrical Parade. With two days at Magic Kingdom, the website usually recommends a Mickey’s Party date to hit the attractions hard and then a second day at Magic Kingdom to see the nighttime entertainment. Ideally, you’d visit a more-recommended Park in the morning, take a break, and then hit Magic Kingdom around 5pm for dinner, some FP+ attractions, the nighttime entertainment, and some late night rides when waits are shorter.
The International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot also has a major impact on weekends, particularly at Epcot on Fridays and Saturdays when crowds are extremely heavy. Weekdays in World Showcase will be significantly busier than they would be otherwise as the booths pull a ton of people away from Future World.
October remains busier than it would have been a few years ago with schools moving to year-long schedules with additional weeks off throughout the year. Fall breaks in the south drive crowds higher over the first two weeks, culminating in the heaviest crowds of the month over Columbus Day. Later in the month sees lower crowds and temperatures that finally start to cool. Otherwise, October is more than doable.