Preliminary October 2014 Disney World Crowd Calendar

by josh on March 17, 2014

This is what we’re looking at for October. Click to enlarge or view as a prettier PDF. And if you don’t know what the numbers/letters mean, read the top of this post.

October sees average crowds for the most part with the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot driving weekend crowds higher than they would be otherwise, also helped by long hours at Magic Kingdom. One potential mistake on the official operating schedule is October 4th when the Tower of Terror 10-miler is scheduled at 10pm in and around Hollywood Studios. I’m expecting Disney to switch the Animal Kingdom/Hollywood Studios morning Extra Magic Hours so Friday’s morning EMH is at the Studios and Saturday’s is at Animal Kingdom. Also expect Hollywood Studios to close at 6pm with no Fantasmic scheduled on Saturday the 4th so Disney has time to set up some infrastructure for the race. I’ve indicated this by crossing out the Fantasmic and the recommendations have the expected changes already built in.

Otherwise, the main hurdles are the Mickey’s Party schedule and Food and Wine Festival. Mickey’s Halloween Party closes Magic Kingdom on three or four nights each week, causing crowds to be much heavier on days with longer operating hours and both nighttime spectaculars during regular Park hours. The website almost always recommends visiting Magic Kingdom on the weekday with long hours/nighttime entertainment because it’s less crowded than the Monday or Saturday with a similar schedule if you’d like to see the nighttime shows. Mickey’s Party days, particularly Tuesdays, are otherwise the least crowded days of the week at Magic Kingdom. That rings true throughout the month.

Ordinarily, Magic Kingdom would not be recommended on a national holiday, but for whatever reason local schools here in Florida don’t get a day off for Columbus Day and the rare Monday Halloween Party cuts down on crowds significantly. The Tuesday following Columbus Day weekend is not recommended with the likelihood Disney will add the Electrical Parade in the future, in addition to the already long hours and Wishes.

Epcot on a Friday or Saturday during Food/Wine in fun under the right circumstances – namely being pre-buzzed and sans children.

This was the line for the beer booth on a Saturday afternoon last year. Note that you can’t even see the kiosk. Otherwise, these days are best avoided. The only other time you’ll see World Showcase crowds that heavy is during New Year’s Eve. Even July 4th wasn’t as densely crowded.

Otherwise, October is a good month to visit for the most part. Temperatures remain hot, particularly early in the month. South America remains a concern over the first two weeks, coupled with fall breaks in the south. Local Florida schools are out on the 17th and 20th, which is the reason for the higher crowd levels on those days. A trip over the last week in October would be best with cooler temperatures and lower crowds as compared to the first half of the month.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina March 18, 2014 at 1:13 am

Thanks Josh, much appreciated

Rob Huddleston March 18, 2014 at 5:49 am

Thank you, Josh!

Sarah March 18, 2014 at 6:05 am

Awesome! We’re going the 3rd full week of October and can’t wait.

Kristina March 18, 2014 at 6:24 am

Thanks for getting the crowd calendar up so quickly! Looking forward to planning!

Denise March 18, 2014 at 7:41 am

Thanks for getting this up. I’m having a tough time planning this time because we are including in-laws and I’m not sure what they like or how much they want to do in a day. In other words I need all the time I can get to plan. Thanks Josh.

Wes March 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

I noticed that as of right now HS is a green recommended park for Saturday the 4th. If the morning EMH does get taken off for that day, will the park really be light with the marathon that night? I have us planned for that day but didn’t know if the marathon crowds would hit the park all day or if it would be slow until they all come in the evening?

Amanda March 18, 2014 at 8:15 am

Thanks for getting this up so fast. I am super excited to start planning our Oct trip. Now I just have to wait/hope for Free dinning in Oct and I can really start planning. We have used your trip planner for our last 2 years of May vacations and they have worked great for us.

Nell March 18, 2014 at 8:38 am

Thank you so much for posting the calendar!
This part was my favorite: “A trip over the last week in October would be best with cooler temperatures and lower crowds” – I so rock!

RebeccaMcK March 18, 2014 at 9:07 am

Fall breaks aren’t just in the south – we have them in parts of Colorado, too. Thanks for posting this crowd calendar so quickly – now I can really start planning and seeing if the one in-law who hasn’t been yet wants to go with us. Our dates aren’t decided yet but it’ll be some time between 10/10 and 10/25 at the Contemporary. Also, like Amanda, hoping that Free Dining will be announced. Also hoping that Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” will still be doing meet’n'greets by then. Got the movie dvd today!

Allison March 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

Hi Josh, not sure if you feel this hits park crowds at all in the evenings, but the Gartner IT conference is October 5-9 – usually swamps the Epcot area hotels/restaurants at night. It also looks like maybe HS might close early on 10/7 per the operating schedule – that was a location for a “special event” on the Tuesday night of Gartner last year. Seems to always be the Tuesday night and none of the other parks seem to have varied schedules that day.

Amanda March 18, 2014 at 11:35 am

RebeccaMcK

I just was reading that Anna and Elsa are moving to Princess Fairy Tale Hall at Magic Kingdom.

Stephanie March 18, 2014 at 11:37 am

Anyone have any guesses as to the last MNSSHP? Seems unlikely they would close MK at 7 on a Saturday (November 1). Could the last one be Sunday November 2, or would it just end on Halloween night?

Sarah March 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Do you think it could be a mistake that Wishes is listed for 10 pm so often? It was 9 pm most nights last October, and it just seems so late with little ones. We’ve been planning to do the Pirates and Pals Cruise on the 4th, but now I’m not so sure it’s a great idea.

Anonymous March 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

This will be our first end of October trip and seeing this makes me realize it actually is creeping up soon. Thanks for all the work you put into these.

Milan March 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Going October 1-9 this year. Is there a best day out of the Thursday/Friday/Sunday MNSSHP to pick? I’m assuming Thursday but not sure.

Greg March 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Great, thanks!

RebeccaMcK March 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm

@Amanda
Yes, I know – they’re there as of April 20th. But how long they will be there is not known yet. Just hoping they’re still somewhere in October. It would be nice if they’re still at the indoor meet’n'greet since it’s air-conditioned and we could schedule FP+ for it.

Caro March 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Awesome – thanks!! Curious why Oct 17-19 go up to 7 but other weekends in Oct don’t?

Greg March 18, 2014 at 6:07 pm

From the update “Local Florida schools are out on the 17th and 20th, which is the reason for the higher crowd levels on those days”

Jennifer March 19, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hey Josh! Thanks so much, I was wondering about June updates or changes and if you foresee any coming? Especially Animal Kingdom closing times being pushed back on certain days! I have 2 reservations and need to get rid of one of them based on when the park is going to close. Also, w/all the changes going on at AK specifically(FP+,parade leaving and FOTLK on hiatus) how does that affect your normal advice on that park+crowds and times etc. We’re going thursday June 19…..

Olga March 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I’m also curious about 10PM Wishes, instead of the 9PM last October. Do you think it is here to stay, or will Disney be changing it closer to the date?

Agent R March 19, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Josh,
Thanks for the calendar. We find it to be very useful! You have on thing on it that doesn’t match the official WDW Operating Hours PDF from a couple of days ago. You have no Fantasmic! listed on Tuesday 10/14, but the Official calendar shows the no Fantasmic! day as 10/16. Not sure if this affects your rankings for those two days.

Keep up the good work and the blogs. We love the commentary and the top notch photography.

Psac March 20, 2014 at 6:17 am

Are they still expected to do Hallow-wishes on the party nights? Is it usually at 9:30?

Thanks

Robert March 21, 2014 at 10:39 am

This is good, but I’m having trouble finding room availability for the 39th of October.

Psac March 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Ha! Funny. Didn’t notice that. I would expect that from Smarch, but not October.

Dani March 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Bro, do you even blog?

Bernadette March 24, 2014 at 8:32 am

Lousy Smarch weather…

Mick March 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Miss the “old” tri-weekly easywdw updates and park views. It was great while it lasted! :( RIP!

ursula March 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm

me too… I used to come read this blog every day and I found something new almost every time… I get that it takes a lot of time to write and that josh might be busy but more than a week without updating is too long for a blog which stayed relevant posting up to dat park information. maybe get some help josh, someone else who you can partner up and share the blog?

josh March 25, 2014 at 9:22 pm

thx for volunteering content guys all these comments are very beneficial

Bernadette March 26, 2014 at 5:49 am

Complaining because a *free* service is not being updated as frequently – seriously!?!

Lori March 26, 2014 at 6:46 am

I come here for the information & stay for the comments. You can always go to the forums for more information, too!! Did it occur to you that Josh might be a little busy with an actual life, too?

ursula March 26, 2014 at 8:06 am

not only did it occur to me lori, I actually said it on my post. also, I am not complaining I am saying that since josh is probably really busy maybe someone could give him a hand so the blog can keep giving us the valuable and up to date information it always did.
looking forward to your next post josh!

Sarah March 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

If anyone needs a Josh fix, check out the site’s twitter feed. He posts a lot of quick updates and photos about things there as well as he’s gathering info for this site. I don’t even have a twitter account, but I can still look at his posts there.

andrew March 26, 2014 at 8:59 am

Ditto what Sarah said alot of what is in the updates is posted on the twitter feed first. Also, do you all forget(for people that check constantly) that at the beginning of the month Josh say he was writing guidebook with Dave from yourfirstvisit.net. That was like 3 weeks ago! I know we all love our snarky updates from Josh but give him a break.

Louise Simpson March 26, 2014 at 9:25 am

does anyone know why no watermark hours are listed for the last week? Thought only 1 get refurbished at a time.

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