The November 2015 Disney World operating schedule is now available at the usual link: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_november.pdf. Always click “refresh” on these documents to load the newest version – some browsers don’t bother loading the newest version of documents with the same name.
The operating schedule is about what you would expect. I get a lot of questions about what the final operating schedule will look like, so you can check out 2014’s final schedule here: https://i2.wp.com/easywdw.com/reports13/november14.pdf. Epcot’s Extra Magic Hours are not listed for the first week in November. I expect to see them added in the future, though Disney is a very cheap company and they may instead omit the Extra Magic Hours to help cover the extra cost of the Park operating until 10pm on most Fridays and Saturdays during the Food and Wine Festival. You would expect all of those $5 6-ounce samples of Kirin to help the bottom line, but Disney has an odd way of accounting for things. Expect to see Epcot host its usual morning Extra Magic Hour on Tuesdays with evening Extra Magic Hours falling in the vacant space on Thursdays.
Speaking of Extra Magic Hours, it’s interesting that Disney is keeping the same schedule after the Food and Wine Festival concludes on November 16th. Historically, Disney has changed the Extra Magic Hours schedule during Food/Wine to help pull Disney resort guests toward less-crowded weekdays. Epcot usually hosts morning Extra Magic Hour on Tuesdays and evening Extra Magic Hours on Fridays. During the Festival, Disney has historically moved evening Extra Magic Hours to Wednesdays. This year, they moved evening Extra Magic Hours from Fridays to Thursdays and also moved the morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom from Thursdays to Mondays, in addition to moving the morning Extra Magic Hour at Animal Kingdom from Sundays to Fridays. We may see the switch back to the “normal” schedule once the Mickey’s Party season concludes. Or we might not as the Extra Magic Hours schedule follows the same pattern for Thanksgiving, when no Christmas Parties are scheduled.
FastPass+ and My Disney Experience have had a modest impact on crowd movement and the updated EMH schedule may be a reaction to that. There are two main reasons why certain Parks host Extra Magic Hours on certain days. The first is to try to pull resort guests away from days that will be naturally crowded. Magic Kingdom used to host a second morning Extra Magic Hour on Tuesdays during the summer, because guests would naturally visit on Mondays as their first full day during a typical weeklong vacation. The Tuesday Extra Magic Hour helped pull resort guests toward Tuesdays because so many think that it’s Disney’s way of dictating where they belong each day. That’s also the reason why Disney’s least popular theme parks – Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – host Extra Magic Hours on Mondays. It’s an attempt to pull as many people as possible away from Magic Kingdom. The other reason is to elongate hours on days that will naturally be very crowded. A good example is Magic Kingdom’s evening Extra Magic Hours on Saturdays. Saturdays at Magic Kingdom are naturally the busiest day of the week as people visit for one last time before leaving on Sunday, in addition to locals having a better opportunity to visit. The extra hours in the evening, which most Disney resort guests end up missing because it’s so late at night, are Disney’s way of marketing additional opportunities for its guests to get on Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s also the reason why Disney has moved evening Extra Magic Hours from Saturdays to Wednesdays. Are the two reasons completely contradictory? Absolutely, but they both make sense in different situations.
Otherwise, it doesn’t look like there are many surprises. Hollywood Studios closes at 4pm on Tuesday the 17th for a private event that recognizes cast members. That means no Osborne Lights and reliably low crowds, as most casual vacationers will avoid a day with a 4pm close and no Fantasmic shows scheduled. The best week to visit is the week before Thanksgiving, with relatively low crowds and cooling temperatures. Thanksgiving is by far the most crowded week. Crowds over the first two weeks are average during the week and above average on weekends with Epcot expecting to pull in record crowds again with the burgeoning popularity of the Food and Wine Festival.
The preliminary crowd calendar should be available shortly. I would expect the recommendations to be similar to much of October with the similar operating schedule.