October used to be a relatively slower time of the year, but now many schools have fall breaks which means it can get kind of busy.
Here's what you need to know:
October CROWDS & PARK HOURS
Disney publishes its park hours about 78 days in advance, but those hours can (and very often do) change.
Note: This used to be about 180 days in advance, but since the reopening, they have transitioned to a 78-day window.
As the dates get closer, it isn't unusual for Disney to tweak either the opening or closing times. And during especially busy times of the year, they may change both.
That means to avoid having your plans sidetracked that you'll definitely want to keep checking the park hours - including while on your trip.
For many Disney World visitors, 78 days isn't enough time for planning. That's why we use historical data and current park hour trends to show the "Anticipated Hours" for dates around 79-110 days out. After Disney releases official park hours, we update the calendar above.
When it comes to park hours - in general - the heavier the crowds, the longer the parks will be open during the day. Of course, that also means that the parks will be open fewer hours of the day during less busy times of the years.
It isn't unusual to see park hours extended in October to accommodate the busy crowds. This is especially true in 2021 with the kickoff of the big 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Disney World Crowd Calendar
PRICES AND DISCOUNTS
The busier that October gets, the fewer the discounts that have been offered - but they are still around, there just may not be as many rooms available to be booked at a discounted rate.
But remember: Disney doesn't offer discounts to be nice, they do it to fill hotel rooms. For the best chances of snagging a good deal, keep your travel dates and preferred resort flexible.
Guide to Disney World Discounts
50th Anniversary Celebration
October 1, 2021 is the official kickoff for the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Extending all the way until April 1, 2023, this celebration will offer guests the opportunities for new experiences, entertainment, and of course merchandise and treats.
Complete Guide to the 50th Anniversary at Walt Disney World
International Food and Wine Festival
Probably the most famous of all the Epcot festivals is the International Food and Wine Festival.
Held every year in the fall, for 2021 we will see the dates extend from July 15 all the way until November 20.
If you are a fan of good food and fun drinks, you'll definitely want to plan to spend some time at Epcot during your trip.
Overview of the International Food and Wine Festival
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Note: Due to current health and safety measures, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was suspended for 2020. We will update with 2021 information as soon as it becomes available.
One of the hottest parties around, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a specially ticketed event (translation: it costs extra) at Magic Kingdom. During the party you'll find special character meet and greet opportunities, dance parties, the popular Boo to You parade, fireworks, and of course, trick-or-treating.
Complete Guide to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
While October at Disney World remains hot, there are some glimpses of cooler temps, especially in the mornings and after the sun goes down.
During October, the temperatures will range from lows in the upper 60's to highs in the low 80s.
The rain chances also decrease, with October only seeing around 3 inches of rain per year.
But even though the rain chances aren't as high, we still recommend that you come prepared with ponchos, multiple pairs of shoes (in case one pair gets wet), and umbrellas just in case.
How to handle the weather at Disney World
Swimming in October
The heat of the midday sun means that the pools are still a good option for those looking to take a swim.
In addition to the pools at the resorts, at least 1 of Disney's 2 water parks will remain open.
If swimming is a must-do and you are worried about the crowds, consider starting your day at the pool and head to the parks later in the day. Most people reverse that plan which means the pools can get quite busy by the end of the day.
FAQ's about the Pools at Walt Disney World
WHAT TO WEAR
Traveling in October? Summer clothes are still likely going to be your best bet.
Shorts, capri pants, and moisture wicking socks are all good options.
One place where you might get cold, however, is inside some restaurants and attractions.
And in fact, even during the hottest months we keep a light jacket in our park bag because coming out of the sun into an air-conditioned space is sometimes too cold for our liking.
If you're the kind of person that finds sitting under the AC to be too much, you might want to consider tossing in a light jacket, too.
Ultimate Packing List for Walt Disney World
REFURBISHMENTS AND CLOSURES
While routine refurbishments aren't typically scheduled in October, you'll likely still run into a few attractions that are closed.
We keep track of those on the calendar above.
To see what will be closed on your trip, toggle the "attractions closings" tab.
During the colder months, Disney also typically closes Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (one at a time) for refurbishment.
These scheduled closings typically take place between the end of October and mid-March.
Make sure you check the calendar above to see what park will be open during your visit.
TIPS FOR DISNEY WORLD IN October
- Fall breaks are very common now so plan for the parks to be busy.
- Keep checking for discounts. Even if you've already booked discounts can still be applied.
- The pools can get quite busy. For the lowest crowds consider visiting in the morning.
- If you plan to visit the Food & Wine Festival, consider going on a weekday when the crowds are lower.