Crowd Predictor for Disney World in October

Photographed by Michael of Countdown to Magic

Ahh, October. The leaves are changing, spooky season is underway, and apple cider and pumpkin spice are invading everyone’s lives. October is so beautiful, isn’t it? It is one of my favorite times of year, if not my favorite time of year to quite be honest. 

If you love October and Walt Disney World, perhaps you are looking to travel there at this time of year! Honestly, if you are, it is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Walt Disney World in the fall is so beautiful with all the decorations and activities going on. However, you probably want to ask some questions first, such as how crowded would it be if you traveled there in October? 

What all is happening that would drive people to Walt Disney World in October? How can you avoid the crowds? Well, in this crowd predictor for Disney World in October article, we’re going to break down everything you need to know!

Pricing of Walt Disney World in the Fall

In the past, the fall used to definitely be the best time to travel to Walt Disney World. It was an amazing secret every Disney World traveler would keep, knowing that the crowds were less, the weather was much cooler, pricing was down, and different festivals and activities are happening. Now, there really is no time of year when the crowds are the lowest. 

All year round, guests are traveling to Disney World, so the pricing of everything might be a hit or miss. There is a chance the pricing can go down just because fall can be known as the “off season.” However, with everything Disney World has to offer in the fall, there is a chance that pricing can be even higher than in the summer.

Now, this is not always the case, so you should definitely do your research before making a trip to central Florida in October. Definitely check out more than one specific weekend in October to go. There could even be a change in price from the beginning of October to the end of the month, so keep that in mind.

The reasoning for this might be because going near the end of October is obviously closer to Halloween, so more people might be going for the holiday. We will touch more on this subject later, because Halloween is probably the biggest reason people travel here in October. 

My advice to you would be to start looking early. Start looking at travel agencies, pricing on the Walt Disney World website for the hotels you’re looking to stay at, and have an open mind. If the first weekend in October is less expensive, chances are that could mean crowds are predicted to be down, at least a little bit.

Definitely try and look early when you’re planning a trip, and I mean as early as you possibly can. While sometimes Disney World can send out deals in their emails, this is not always a guarantee, so look as soon as possible to get the best deal. 

While you and your party are trying to figure out when to go in October, you also need to come up with a budget at the same time in order to figure out if October really is the best time to go. If it is, then that means you should then check a specific time to go during that month.

Like I said earlier, check as many available options in October as you can, because the pricing might differ from the first week to the second week. Yes this can happen. In my experience, one week can be different pricing from one week to the next week. That is how fast pricing can sometimes change for the best Disney World hotels. So, if there is one important piece of advice I could give, it would be to do your research, and do it really well!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 

Arguably, the most popular thing in Walt Disney World in October is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This party is so much fun and is my favorite special ticketed event that Disney World has. It is everything and more, and that is why it is so popular. Therefore, many people are going to want to go to it, only making the crowd number go up exponentially.

One thing I will point out, however, is that the party starts extremely early. When I say early, I mean mid-August early. The party’s first day was August 14th of this year.  I love Halloween, but even I think this is a bit too early. 

One of the reasons they do this is so people have more options to get to the Halloween party if they only have a certain amount of time during the year to go on Disney World trips. This way more people have the chance to attend a Halloween party if they would like to if they are not able to go into October. Plus, it controls the crowds a lot more so not everyone is going to the party in October. 

Having been to the party only once recently in 2018, I had attended it at the end of October; October 28th to be exact. This was the second to last party of the year, the last party to happen on Halloween night. I prepared myself for terrible crowds, but honestly, it really was not bad at all. There were a lot of people, do not get me wrong, but the party was nowhere near to being sold out. This was thanks to the fact that the party had started back in mid-August. 

So, if you are afraid of going to the party late in October, my advice to you would be to not be. While it is never for certain, the crowds really will not seem that bad, and it should not impact your experience at all. 

Now, decide whether or not you would love to go to the Halloween party (honestly, the only right answer is, yes, you would love to go) Then determine which parts of October would be the best times for you. Have a couple different options just in case one time period does not work out. Within those time periods you have chosen, is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party scheduled? 

Another suggestion I am going to give you is that if any of these available time periods that you have are in early October, then this is the time I would try for. I did mention above that the crowds would essentially be the same in later October up above. However, it is never certain, so if you could still go around Halloween season, then early October would help you be more safe than sorry. The pricing will still be up, but not as much as it would be closer to Halloween, and the crowds should definitely be better. 

Other Orlando Activities

Something else that needs to be thought about when it comes to traveling to Disney in October are other activities in Orlando itself going on at this time. Not everyone who travels to Disney is only staying and doing things there. There are thousands of people who might only do Disney for a day or two and then go do other activities in Orlando. 

For instance, Universal Studios is EXTREMELY popular around Halloween time as well because of their ticketed event of Halloween Horror Nights. Many guests could actually attend this event as well as going to Disney. Just like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Halloween Horror Nights are only on select nights, but they have more nights per week the closer it is to Halloween. So, naturally, the number of nights will go up in October.

Legoland and SeaWorld also have Halloween themed events, so crowds are going to go there too. There are so many haunted houses, parties, events, and happenings going on in Orlando that many people who are not locals might want to see as well:

  • Halloween at Disney Springs
  • Gatorlands Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins
  • Oveido Halloween Festival of Frights
  • Central Florida Zoo Boo Bash
  • Horsepower Ranch Annual Pumpkin Festival
  • The City of Ocoee Haunted House
  • The Crayola Experience Screamin’ Green Hauntoween
  • Winter Park Pumpkin Party
  • Spooky Star Party
  • Haunting Tales at Leu Gardens
  • Lukas Nursery Fall Festival
  • Halloweenfest Winter Garden

 Therefore, not everyone is going to always funnel towards Disney World at this time of year. 

The theme parks are not the only things that are celebrating the Halloween season in the Orlando area. Something else to keep in mind are the number of locals that are going to attend Disney World, and not just for the Halloween party. On weekends, the number goes up with attendance in the park because of all the locals being off work, and everyone always tries to plan their trips on the weekends so they don’t have to take off work. 

Disney World is always decked out for the holidays, including the fall season and Halloween. Naturally, everyone always wants to see this because the aesthetic is absolutely stunning, so even more locals are going to attend the parks around this time of year. It really is absolutely beautiful and worth seeing. 

With the locals most likely going to other events in Orlando besides Disney, more guests from out of town are still going to make an impact on October’s crowded level for the parks. I’m truly not trying to scare you or make things confusing when predicting crowds. 

Like I mentioned earlier, many Halloween or fall events start early in Disney and even around Orlando, so many people might have already seen these things before October, especially locals. Just the idea of going to all these events, whether at Disney or not around Halloween time gives everything an even more spooky vibe. This may be, but do not let this alone influence your decision as to when to go in October. 

No matter when you go in October, spooky season is underway, and it will definitely feel like Halloween and/or fall whichever time period you decide to go during the month. As far as I see it, all of October is Halloween season (and even part of September), so it does not matter when you go if that is what you are worried about!

Best Times in October

I know that we have pretty much talked about this in everything above, but let’s get into it in more detail. Unfortunately, a lot of your opinion is going to come into what time of October is the best time to visit Walt Disney World. It really depends on what exactly is most important to you.

What I mean is, what exactly do you want to do while you are in Walt Disney World?

What is most important to you while you are there? Are you going to be mostly concerned about the crowds or the weather? Are you going to want to do ONLY fall and Halloween activities, or are you going to want to do a variety of things on your Disney trip? 

It is important to get together with your party while planning ahead of time so you can discuss what exactly you want to accomplish on your trip. If you’re going strictly for all the fun seasonal stuff, then pretty much any time in October will do, honestly. Fall is not just in October, and Halloween is celebrated all month long (actually longer) so it doesn’t really matter what time you go during the month if that what you are most concerned about. 

Is the weather your biggest concern? In that case, the later in the month that you visit Disney World, the cooler the temperature will be. This typically happens both during the day and night. The average temperature at this time is 75 degrees fahrenheit. However, despite this, the late October nighttime temperatures can drop to the mid and low seventies during the day and to the low 60s at night.  

The average high is 84 degrees fahrenheit, and the average low is 65 degrees fahrenheit, so things can get pretty cool pretty quickly. While this is actually really nice and comfortable weather for central Florida, the temperature dropping quickly can make it seem way more chilly than what it really is. 

When it comes to rain, the rainy season is mostly in the late spring, through the summer, and in the early fall. The good news is that October is when the rainy season starts to disappear. Now this does not mean that rain will not show up. It is Florida after all. Usually if rain makes an appearance, it will be a short shower in the afternoon. In my experience, the rain usually does not last that long, and when it is over, it almost looks like it never even happened. 

The sun comes right back out, and it is beautiful for the rest of the day. In October, there is less of a chance for it to get rainy, but if it rains briefly, then I mean briefly. Go inside to get something to eat, watch a show, go on a ride that is inside, and more likely than not, the rain will be gone and the sun will be out once you come back outside. 

If the weather being the best it can possibly be when you head down to Disney is the most important factor for you, then definitely head down to Walt Disney World later in October. The temperature will be more even more comfortable later in the month.

It will not be too cold, nor too hot, and the rain is not as prominent. Definitely visit Walt Disney World later in the month if the weather is more important to you. If you’re worried about the crowds then, no need to worry. 

There is a chance, like mentioned above, that there could be a bit more crowds. However, it will not affect your experience at all, as long as you do not let it. There are ways you can avoid the crowds if many people have decided to go down in late October.

The earliest you get to the parks in the morning, the better. This goes for any time of the year you travel there. The earliest you get to the parks, it will be less crowded, especially if a park has extra magic hours in the morning. These extra magic hours in the morning usually start in the fall, so there is an extra bonus as to why going in October is an excellent option! People also tend to mill out around the evenings as well, especially because of little kids or from being exhausted. 

Even if you are exhausted, I suggest that you push through, because you can stay in the park until it closes. The less people there, the more you can do in the park, even late at night! Though it might not seem like it, but the weekdays are always less crowded than the weekends. Obviously, more people travel on the weekends than during the week, and the locals will most likely go during the weekends too. 

It might seem like it wouldn’t do a whole lot, but these tips will definitely help you avoid the crowds as much as possible. It really makes a difference and lets you experience the absolute best of Walt Disney World. You’re at the most magical place on earth at, arguably, the most beautiful time of the year. Why not make the absolute best of it? 

Is it Worth it to go in October?

One word: YES! Let us recap shall we? First off, there is SO much going on in October. It is smack dab in the middle of the fall season, and spooky season is in full swing. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is going on, and this reason alone is to go in October!

However, October also provides an excellent time to go if you are worried about the weather at all. If you or someone in your party absolutely hates the heat, October is definitely a beautiful time to go. 

The heat and sun are not as brutal, if not brutal at all, and you can be comfortable while walking around the parks all day. For those that hate the cold, they do not have to worry about that either. It isn’t so cold that you do not want to be outside enjoying the parks. It’s beautiful weather that is extremely bearable, and you won’t feel sick walking around in horrible heat or shivering because you are so cold. Just bring along a light jacket and dress in layers, and you are all set to go!

We have mentioned the fact that there really is no off-season for Walt Disney World anymore. In the not-so-distant-past, it was a best kept secret that October was part of the off-season for Disney, and that crowds were significantly lower than they were during the summer. Now, more than ever, there is definitely no defining off-season for Walt Disney World. 

So, the season of fall is just as crowded as it is in the summer. However, school is in session, and the holiday season is upon everyone, so there is a chance that the crowds could be a little lower. Remember, that there are always ways to avoid the larger crowds any time of the year.

Always go early in the mornings when the parks are opening, and then stay late until closing. The weekends are always the most crowded, so weekdays are actually better days to visit the parks. 

If you are planning a Walt Disney World trip, I beg of you to really consider going during the month of October. It is an extremely magical time for you to go visit the parks, and there are so many beautiful details that are just waiting for you. 

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