October 2014 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

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October 2014 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews October 2014 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Late October has some of the best times of the year to visit Disney World, with nice weather, low crowds, low prices, and fun special events.

The beginning of the month is OK, but not so good, as the first week is still in the peak of the hurricane season, and the second week sees extra crowds and higher prices from Columbus Day.


October is one of the least crowded months at Walt Disney World–though it gets more crowded every year with kid son fall breaks, especially the week of Columbus day.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 9/27 has a crowd rating of 3/low, the week beginning 10/4 3/low, the week beginning 10/11 5/moderate-minus, the week beginning 10/18 3/low and the week beginning 10/25 3/low.

However, because of the Halloween Party and the Food and Wine Festival, you can face higher waits if you go to the parks on the wrong days.  See this for how to avoid these crowds.

See this for more on 2014 crowds at Disney World.


October hotel prices begin at the values 15% higher than the lowest of the year, and at the moderates to 10% higher. Prices stay at these levels all month except for a bump over the Columbus Day weekend. Deluxe prices begin the month 15% higher than the lowest of the year, bump over the Columbus Day weekend, and drop on 10/19 to 10% higher than the lowest of the year.

See this for more on 2014 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


As I write this, no deals are available for October 2014. If any come out, you’ll be able to find them here.


Early October sees the end of the peak of the hurricane season. The second half of the month sees weather  about as good as Orlando gets.

Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.


Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party continues on many dates through October.

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival continues throughout the month.


Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2014 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

2014 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World Ranked in Order v2Click the image for a calendar view of 2014 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

9/27/2014 Prices low at values and moderates, moderate at deluxes. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=26. Use the Fastpass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary but swap Sunday and Tuesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List

10/4/2014 Low prices at values and moderates, moderate at deluxes. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=25. Use the Fastpass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary but swap Sunday and Tuesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List

10/11/2014 Prices moderate-minus at values, low at moderates, moderate at deluxes. Moderate-minus crowds. Crowd ranking=5. Week ranking=15. Use the Fastpass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary, but swap Tuesday and Thursday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List

10/18/2014 Prices low. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=7.  Recommended week. Use the Fastpass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary but swap Sunday and Tuesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List

10/25/2014 Prices low. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=8.  Recommended week. Use the Fastpass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary but swap Sunday and Tuesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List

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1 Erica { 03.18.14 at 7:34 am }

Does disney historically offer the “free dining” promotion in late Oct.? And if I plan on booking a vacation 6 months out with the dining plan included, will Disney honor the “free dining” promotion if it becomes available later on? Thanks!

2 Michelle { 03.18.14 at 10:52 am }

Hi Dave,

Now that the October calendar is out, I’m hoping you can help me plan my itinerary. I will be in WDW from 10/19-10/25 with my son, who will be almost 4, and my parents. Currently, we have a 5 day ticket (no park hopper, though that’s still under consideration). I’m targeting one day in AK and up to 3 in MK, with the last day up for grabs. My goal is to keep this as low key as possible given the young child and the grandparents. I’m likely to skip the Halloween party (unless there’s a real benefit to going), but do want to see the MK fireworks. We’re also planning on character dining and dinner shows (Hoop-de-Doo and Mickey’s BBQ), so even though I’d like to keep this low key, we’re going to have to be very scheduled, I think. Oh, and I’ll be celebrating my birthday during our trip – any tips?

Thanks so much for this site and your advice; all so incredibly helpful!


3 Dave { 03.19.14 at 7:01 am }

Hi Erica–Disney won’t “honor” anything. If the deal comes out–which I don’t think it will–you will need to call, or get online, and compete with everyone else to get it. “Historically” has not much meaning here–Disney did a ton of deals coming out of the recession, and has been steadily cutting them back for years now. While Oct has seen free dining the last few years, I expect it to go away as part of this general deal rollback…though of course I hope I am wrong!

4 Dave { 03.19.14 at 7:12 am }

Michelle, MK will be least crowded the days it has a 7p close, so you should pick a couple of those–those are also great days to head on after park close to the Fort Wilderness dinner shows. Your dates it closes at 7p the 19th, 21st, 23rd and 24th. The best date to see its evening stuff is the 22nd, but MK will be wildly crowded in that day. Ak is good multiple days, particularly the 22nd.

For your birthday, see the second half of this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/02/01/is-walt-disney-world-free-on-your-birthday/

5 Sydney Bland { 03.19.14 at 4:25 pm }

Hi Dave!

I’m planning a trip with my cousin for October 2015. I’ve gone 4 other times but never in October, and she has never been so this is going to be really special for her!! My goal is to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival, and MNNSSHP! With ….. low crowds! Could you please tell me the best dates to do this? The only day out of the whole month we will have to be home is the Saturday before Halloween, as we have a annual Halloween Party we have to attend. She is 26 and I will be 22.

Thanks so much!

6 Sydney Bland { 03.19.14 at 4:25 pm }

Thanks so much!*** That’s what I get for not looking while I’m typing hahaha!!

7 Lara Gordon { 03.20.14 at 4:26 am }

Hi Dave,
Not sure I am doing things right as haven’t had a reply from you or seen my comment on the page so will try one last time? We are coming from NZ and will be only here once in our lives – should we do both MNSSHP (one night) and Elect Parade + Wishes (another night). Are they different enough? Just that its two late nights for the kids (9,7 and 5) but if they are both different, we don’t want to miss anything!
Thanks for all your advice on this site!

8 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:54 am }

Hi Sydney! I’d advise weekdays in the second half of the month–e.g. arriving October 19, 2015…

9 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:55 am }

Fixed! I had thought you were expressing solidarity to the Crimean Tatars in Ukrainian…

10 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:59 am }

Lara, your original question and my reply are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/07/disney-world-crowds-2014/#comment-483734

11 Taryn { 03.20.14 at 10:30 pm }

Hi Dave,
I don’t remember where I posted my original question so I’m asking again on the page I’ll be sure to remember! My family is taking our very first Disney vacation from October 22-27 with the 23rd being the first day for the parks. I was thinking of doing 2 days at the MK, 1 day at Epcot and 1 day at Animal Kingdom. We are leaving late on the 27th so I thought that it could be a rest day or a day to do any MK rides we may have missed. I have two children who will be 2.5 and 4.5 at the time. Is that plan too ambitious and what days do you recommed doing what park? Also since it will be close to Halloween, what do you think of the Halloween Party? Not sure if it would be worth it…Thank you! You’re website is so amazingly helpful!

12 Dave { 03.21.14 at 8:35 am }
13 Renee { 03.31.14 at 8:52 pm }

Hi Dave,
Love your site! I have a question regarding Columbus Day weekend. We are going down with our 5 year old daughter, from Oct 6 – 15. We plan to do 3 days MK, 2 days EP, 1 day HS, 1 day AK, 1 day waterpark, 1 day SeaWorld, 1 day ‘off’, with afternoon breaks on most days. We have park hopper and water park and more option. My question is regarding Sat, Sun and Mon of Columbus day weekend – do you have any recommendations on which parks would be best to visit on those days? Thanks so much!

14 Mark Wagner { 04.01.14 at 5:52 am }

Dave – I have a similar question to Renee. We will be at Disney 7th-15th October. 3 kids (boys 8 and 6 and a girl 4.5yrs). Plan is similar to Renee, except not planning to do Sea World but will do 1 waterpark and will do afternoon breaks back at hotel on some days so we can chill and use the pool. We have park hopper tickets. Because our first full day at Disney is Wednesday 7th do we follow your 4th October itinerary and do MK on Wed, AK on Thurs etc. Also advice for Columbus weekend appreciated. I was thinking of Sunday at a water park as being less busy than Sunday at a theme park?? Thanks so much

15 Dave { 04.01.14 at 7:15 am }

Hi Renee and thanks!

First, with a kid that age, I’d plan on much less time at Epcot…

Over the Columbus day weekend, the best park for Saturday is AK, Sunday AK or HS, and Monday MK or Epcot

16 Dave { 04.01.14 at 7:21 am }

Hey Mark–first I’m sorry that I dunno enough about waterpark crowds to be able to give you a strong answer on that. Second, on the itinerary, it is tuned to daily operating and crowd patterns–so that “Tuesday” is “Tuesday,” not “Day 4.” So you could simply start it where you are when you arrive, altho arrival night is always best at Epcot. So you could do “First Saturday” the 7th, then launch in to MK on Weds, HS thurs (not AK) etc as written. If you adjust based on Columbus Day, then do AK Saturday, HS Sunday, and Epcot Monday.

17 Renee { 04.01.14 at 8:57 pm }

Thanks Dave! This aligns well with our thoughts on the plan. I understand your comment on 2 days at Epcot with 5 year old – for the second EP day I have this marked as ‘EP/other’ as a flexible day, depending on how the first time at Epcot goes – we will have a stroller which will help, and dining at Akherus.

18 Dave { 04.02.14 at 8:24 am }

Got you, Renee!

19 Mark W { 04.03.14 at 5:43 am }

Thanks Dave. We don’t land on Tuesday 7th at MCO until 6pm on a transatlantic flight so we will go straight to hotel (Grand Floridian) and to bed so Epcot won’t work. On the plus side means we’ll be up early on Wednesday 8th to hit the parks. What is your view of making use of EMH in the morning at parks (I was intending to do this sometimes unless you disagree). We have park hopper tickets so can switch parks so my thoughts were first day Wed 8th MK or AK (easier park for first day given jet lag?), Thurs 9th MK (EMH) or HS , Fri 10th undecided , Sat 11th HS (EMH) or AK, Sun 12th HS, Monday 13th MK, Tues 14 EP and Wed 15th undecided (leaving after lunch). Many thanks Mark

20 Dave { 04.03.14 at 7:38 am }
21 Kevin { 04.12.14 at 10:15 pm }

Hey Dave- Great site! Have a question regarding my upcoming stay from October 22-27th….We will be starting to visit the parks on the 23rd and I was wondering if you had advice on which day to do what park or if it was too early to say? Also, what is your opinion on the Magical Express from Orlando airport to the Disney resorts. Worth it or just get a car service to avoid the hassle?

22 Dave { 04.13.14 at 12:10 pm }

Kevin–on Magical Express, it saves you money but costs you an hour or more each way. On trips as short as yours that time is valuable to claw back…I can help with the itineraries, but first tell me how old the kids are…

23 Kevin { 04.14.14 at 8:08 pm }

Thanks for the advice on the Magical Express. The kids are 3 and 5 and I was planning on doing Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. I know Epcot is not really for them but may sneak in a 1/2 day. Hollywood Studios is for older children too, right?

24 Dave { 04.15.14 at 8:53 am }

Kevin, HS and AK both have more for little kids than Epcot. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

25 Michelle { 04.15.14 at 11:07 am }

Hi Dave – are you still predicting no Free dining offers for fall?

26 Kevin { 04.15.14 at 8:15 pm }

So if we only do MK and AK which days from October 23-26 would you recommend each park? Thanks

27 Dave { 04.16.14 at 7:53 am }

Michelle, I am–though of course I hope I’m wrong! See this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/04/16/the-best-ever-free-dining-faq-in-the-history-of-the-world/

28 Dave { 04.16.14 at 8:04 am }

Hey Kevin, the most crowded MK day those dates will be–by far– the 25th, and the least crowded MK day the 24th. At AK only the 24th will be particularly bad.

29 Michelle { 04.16.14 at 10:55 am }

Do you think if you are correct about the dining that some other room/package discount will be offered? We are only planning to go if we can get a really good deal – otherwise we are going to skip this year. So i know its just a waiting game…. would really like to go during the Food & Wine and Either the MNSSHP or MVMCP – So debating either 10/18 or 11/1…… thanks!

30 Mark { 04.16.14 at 1:52 pm }

Hi Dave – We are currently planning a trip for10/6-10/14. This will be our 5th trip. On 10/10/14, we are looking at visiting Epcot. However, I notice that your crowd calendar has crowds transitioning from “Low” for our week to “Moderate minus” with the week starting 10/11/14. Being a Friday, the Food and Wine Festival, and the start of the Columbus Day weekend, how crowded is Epcot likely to get? My alternative would be to do MK on 10/10/14. We will probably only have one day at MK on this trip, so I was hoping to do MK on a day when it had longer hours. If Epcot will be miserably crowded, I may opt to change that date for MK.

31 Dave { 04.17.14 at 8:59 am }

Michelle, there’s always been a room rate deal at the same time in the past, usually announced a little later.

32 Dave { 04.17.14 at 9:15 am }

Mark, the short version is that MK is MUCH more crowded on longer-hour days this period becasue so many people avoid the 7p close days. The best way to handle MK, if you can afford it, is to buy a hopper, do it on a 7p close day, and then hop to it for the evening stuff. Epcot crowds in World Showcase will be rough Friday evening, but the early morning through afternoon should be fine at Epcot.

33 Mark { 04.17.14 at 10:35 am }

Thanks, Dave. That is what I needed to know.

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