Preliminary October 2013 Disney World Crowd Calendar

Below is what I think we’re looking at for October:

Click the image to enlarge or click here for a more attractive PDF file.  If you have no idea what any of the letters and numbers mean, read the top of this post, which explains it.

On one hand, October is a pretty easy month to plan.  For the most part, crowds are slightly below average to average.  Picking Magic Kingdom days is easy if you’re willing to forgo seeing the Electrical Parade and/or Wishes.  But Mickey’s Halloween Party closes Magic Kingdom at 7pm on three to four nights each week.  That pushes a ton of people to the days with longer hours and nighttime entertainment, which makes seeing the Electrical Parade and Wishes that much more difficult because the only options will be more crowded than the overall crowd level suggests.  Magic Kingdom is recommended on Wednesdays throughout the month, but those days are going to be significantly busier than Party dates, including Thursday Party dates with a morning Extra Magic Hour attached.  Expect Disney to extend the close on most Party dates to 8am – 7pm when they update the operating schedule, eliminating the benefit of those 8am breakfasts.  Those 8am opens will be more common in the first two weeks of the month.  Expect Disney to extend the hours on Saturdays all the way to 8am – 12am with two Electrical Parades.

The Food & Wine Festival also creates problems.  Friday, Saturday, and some Sunday nights can be downright uncomfortable with massive crowds in World Showcase.  The effect on Future World is not as intense, but the “newly imagined” Test Track should pull crowds.  Mondays and Thursdays are your best days to visit Epcot.  To have the most success, you’ll want to be on your way up to World Showcase right at 10:45am with plans to return to Future World as soon as 5pm.  You shouldn’t run into any major problems with that plan of attack.

Other wrinkles include Columbus Day on Monday the 14th.  Columbus Day really isn’t a big deal.  The Florida schools here don’t get a day off and longer breaks over the holiday are less common.  Fall Breaks over the first full week in October (7th – 11th) will actually bring in more people.  Local school breaks on the 18th, 21st, and 25th are the reason for the bumps in the overall crowd level on those dates.

Fantasmic isn’t scheduled on three Saturdays during the month.  Fantasmic won’t be scheduled on October 5th due to the Tower of Terror 10-Miler race.  Disney may add Fantasmic on the other two Saturdays as we get closer to October, but the Studios would remain the best Park to visit.

Overall, October is a pretty good month to visit with Mickey’s Halloween Parties and the Food & Wine Festival.  It’s still extremely hot in Florida, particularly during the first three weeks.  Luckily, rain is less common than September and the summer months.  An October trip is more than doable with diligent planning and the right expectations.


  1. Jenifer says

    Thanks Josh, this is great! I’d already finished a preliminary plan using last years and it doesn’t look like I need to make any changes….except for one concern. Is there a reason no Fantasmic! scheduled for Tuesday, October 8th? I’d normally skip it because I’ve seen it so many times, but we’re bringing a first timer this trip.

  2. Ben says

    Cheers Josh……….. Been waiting for this calendar since booking my trip last Sept…… If you were British you should be Knighted for your Services to Disney Planners everywhere!!! Thanks again from the UK.

  3. Mike says

    Josh, is the anticipated extended MK 8am openings on party days a new thing? I don’t remember that happening last fall. To me this makes party days evem more attractive for ealry risers with young kids not planning on stayiong late anyway. The “herd” will hopefully still follow the EMH schedule.

  4. Jana says

    We will be there 10/17-10/24, and want two MK days. One can be a party day, but we’d like to do the parade one night too. During those dates, which day would be the best non-MNSSHP day to try MK?

  5. Jim says

    David, perhaps Josh’s thoughts from a similar Thursday in October 2012 would provide some insight into the HS recommendations:

    “With no evening entertainment at Magic Kingdom, short hours at Magic Kingdom, no evening Extra Magic Hours anywhere, and nothing special happening at Epcot or Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios is going to be busier than recommended days during the week. While the addition of Fantasmic to every night this week makes each specific show less appealing, we still need to be concerned about the lack of attractive forces elsewhere. Plus, it’s later in the week, which means most people on a weeklong vacation will already have visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot and they’ll be looking to spend a day at one of Disney World’s less popular theme parks. With nothing specific drawing people to the Studios, it’s not going to be crazy crowded, but it is going to be busier than other recommended days during the week and should be avoided if possible.”

  6. Amanda says

    I’m waiting very patiently for November’s crowd calendar, I have no idea what to expect for the week we are going and your calendars are so helpful! Thank you for all you do!

  7. Married to Mickey says

    Love your sight and read it faithfully, but am questioning October 29th…is it really going to be 813 degrees for the high temp? Glad we always go in November! Seriously, how do you pack for that? Sorry, but it begged to be pointed out.

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