I updated the October Crowd Calendar with the changes listed in this post. There are not a lot of recommendation changes. The major change is October 9th, where Magic Kingdom is no longer officially recommended because the hours were extended and two Electrical Parades were added. It also follows a Monday holiday with a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and 7pm close that won’t be popular with those arriving over the weekend. If I recall correctly, none of the crowd levels needed changing.
Occasionally I’ll be harassed about why the crowd levels and recommendations aren’t “updated” more often. Generally speaking, I only change something if something has changed, and that only happens two or three times over the course of the year for each month. Disney occasionally extends the hours at Animal Kingdom seemingly randomly, but that doesn’t happen all that often either. I think it’s a bit of a disservice to constantly tweak the crowd levels and recommendations, ultimately irking people and causing confusion. One would assume you’re planning your trip several months out to hone in on dining reservations and general plans. And changing Animal Kingdom from being recommended to not recommended because the hours changed from 9am – 6pm to 9am – 7pm seems silly. As we know, that extra hour is an excellent time to tour and is in many ways beneficial. An 8pm close at Animal Kingdom on a Saturday in October does not mean it’s going to be more crowded than originally anticipated. It’s simply Disney’s way of trying to make it as attractive as possible with Epcot drawing huge crowds for Food/Wine and Magic Kingdom being incredibly crowded with the long operating hours and both nighttime spectaculars. The 8pm close is beneficial because it means people will arrive later and also clear out before the end of the night to head elsewhere. Does the 8pm close attract more people? Not really. People generally visit Animal Kingdom when there isn’t anything attracting them elsewhere, since most people already consider it to be a “half day Park” with no nighttime entertainment and restaurants they’re unfamiliar with.
One day that will be more crowded than originally anticipated is October 19th at Magic Kingdom, where Disney also extended the close and added Two Electrical Parades. I left Magic Kingdom recommended because it’s the second best day of the week to see Wishes and the Electrical Parade. Wednesday remains a better choice and Friday’s extended close will help pull people away from that date.
Overall, October is a pleasant time to visit as temperatures cool a bit and crowds are mostly average. It’s still hot and at times, crowded though. It’s decidedly busier than most of January and September, but we’re not talking spring break or holiday crowd levels here. It’s still important to arrive prior to Park opening and tour efficiently in the first couple of hours. Feel free to post any specific questions or visit the Itinerary forum. There isn’t a ton of action in the forums, as they’re generally a dying breed in the first place, but it’s a fun and knowledgeable group of people that probably won’t freak out at your post. And we don’t discuss the intended tone of your post for six pages either.
I’m headed out to Hollywood Studios and the Grand Floridian Resort this afternoon as I’m still waiting on more April 2013 information. The initial April 2013 Crowd Calendar should be available tomorrow evening.
Edit: With 100% chance of rain from 4pm – 7pm, maybe I will sit this one out.