Disney released the October 2016 operating schedule today at the usual link: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_october.pdf. Hit “refresh” on your browser if it’s still showing 2015. Like much of September, Disney has neglected to note nighttime entertainment at Magic Kingdom. It would be rather extraordinary if Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes were not scheduled and like much of September, we should see Wishes scheduled every night when a Halloween Party isn’t scheduled and an Electrical Parade most or all nights as well. 7pm closes should indicate Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates, though Disney has not yet confirmed nights or prices. I’d expect to see both announced late this week. Disney has still not confirmed later closes at Animal Kingdom and still shows the Park closing around 6pm in April, in addition to October. Those hours will need to be extended well past sundown to accommodate two or three Rivers of Light performances per night.
Much of October is otherwise more crowded than it would have been five or six years ago with Columbus Day Weekend, fall breaks in the south, and the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot propelling weekend crowds higher. The last week should prove the least busy overall with slightly below average to average crowd levels. The rest of the month is perfectly manageable with an intelligent plan, but we are not talking “empty” here.
A preliminary crowd calendar will follow.