By the co-author of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook ever -- The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

October 2015 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


October 2015 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews October 2015 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

Later 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 first half 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 kids on fall breaks, especially the week of Columbus Day.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 9/26 has a crowd rating of 4/low-plus, the week beginning 10/3 5/moderate-minus, the week beginning 10/10 6/moderate, the week beginning 10/17 3/low and the week beginning 10/24 3/low.

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

See this for more on 2015 crowds at Disney World.


October 2015 prices begin 10% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 8% higher at the moderates, and 12% higher at the deluxes.

Other than a bump over Columbus Day weekend, value and moderate prices stay this level all month. Deluxe prices see the same Columbus Day weekend bump, then drop a bit on 10/18 to 10% higher than the lowest of the year.

See this for more on 2015 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for October 2015. Details are 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.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution 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 selected dates throughout October.

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival continues through 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 2015 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

Disney World 2015 Week Rankings from (960x1280)

Click the image for a calendar view of 2015 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)


Want a second opinion?  Then check out my book lol.

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1 Michele { 04.12.15 at 9:54 am }

Hi Dave!

Your website has been beyond invaluable for planning – and I cannot thank you enough!! My siblings and I are planning a surprise trip for a parent’s milestone birthday, and since we have varying levels of WDW experience (including a first-and-likely-only-timer) it’s super easy to direct them here for the answers they need. We’re scheduled for Thursday 10/15/15 through Monday the 19th, and already have MNSSHP tickets for the day we arrive. Because it’s a short trip, I’m having an awful time trying to wedge everything in for our first-timer. I know we should avoid Epcot and the Studios on the weekends, how should I arrange the parks on the other days?

Thanks again!

2 Dave { 04.12.15 at 10:50 am }

Hi Michele and thanks!!

10/16 avoid AK and Epcot
10/17 avoid all but AK
10/18 avoid HS and Epcot
10/19 avoid MK

So for a day in each park (+ MNSSHP), the math kinda forces AK the 17th (as the only good park) and Epcot the 19th (as the only good day).
So do HS the 16th and MK the 18th.

Note also that you can get into MNSSHP beginning at 4p (despite the fact that your tix will say 7p) so you can also do some lower-wait rides at MK between 4 and 7 before the party starts.

3 Michele { 04.13.15 at 5:47 pm }

You’re awesome. You. Are. Awesome. I was thinking of scheduling the days that way, but thankyouthankyouthankyou for confirmation.

Thank you!!

4 Dave { 04.14.15 at 7:46 am }

Oh Michele you made my day!!

5 Victoria { 04.16.15 at 3:41 pm }

I am planning a trip for my husband’s 40th birthday October 2-6. We have a 2-year old and are planning to attend MNSSHP on Sunday October 4 (with no park before 4PM) I am having trouble figuring out Saturday and Monday. I want to do 1 day MK and 1 day AK…..which day should I do each park? Thank you so much for your help!

6 Dave { 04.17.15 at 8:37 am }

Victoria, Monday and Saturday are both lousy at MK, and fine at AK. I’d do AK Sat and MK Monday.

7 Jill { 04.28.15 at 10:10 pm }

Hi Dave, W’ere arriving 10/2 thru 10/9 and need help choosing parks. We want another MK day but I am stuck. Here is what we’ve got so far:
10/3 ?
10/4 Chef Mickeys then MK at 12
10/5 Epcot 815am
10/6 AK at 12 (but could we do MK?)
10/7 HS at 12 TRex 4pm
10/8 MK 815am
Thanks, Jill

8 Dave { 04.29.15 at 9:08 am }

Jill, you’ve picked great days. If your kids are a lot younger than 8, then maybe see Epcot the third (it’ll be crowded, but there’s not a lot at Epcot for young-uns) and do MK the 5th? MK will be crowded the 5th, but it’s open late so you’ll be able to see the evening parade and fireworks–which are not on your other two MK days.

9 Caroline { 05.06.15 at 4:31 pm }

Hello! I have booked a trip for the last week of October. Another site (that also interestingly enough) also shows lower crowds for the end of October) just sent me a response for best time to visit….October or November and it stated that October has become very busy with wait times of 30-60 minutes vs. first two weeks of November at 5-10 minutes. What’s your say? Thanks so much! I am wondering if it is worth trying to change!

10 Dave { 05.08.15 at 8:34 am }

Well, Caroline, I guess I would be wildly skeptical about whoever told you waits will be 5-10 minutes in the first two weeks of November. First, after 10.30a at the popular rides, they are never that low, not even close. Second, the first week of November is worse than the last two weeks of October or the second week of November. And third, the last two weeks of October are just fine!!

Now you can run into bad days any of these weeks, so see this for how to avoid them.

11 Caroline { 05.11.15 at 3:47 pm }

Thanks for your response! So we are looking at long waits after 10:30 no matter what? 😉 It has been years since I’ve been to Disney and it SURE HAS CHANGED! 😉 Thanks for all of your advice. I have learned so much! One last thing…I saw your recommendations on accommodations and with free dining my options are Beach Club or Yacht Club. Convenience and a “peaceful” atmosphere would be at the top of my list. We had booked Wilderness the week before but now have a better deal that last week of October. We will only be able to spend two nights at Magic Kingdom due to MNSSHP. Are the buses just as decent from BC/YC as Wilderness? Is driving your own car faster/easier than taking a bus to MK or AK?
Thanks again!!!! :-)

12 Dave { 05.12.15 at 9:44 am }

Caroline, on waits, some days are much worse than others, but none are ‘5 to 10 minutes.” Buses from BC/YC to MK are routinely complained about, but frankly they are about the same as other options. It’s always faster to use your own car for AK, and almost never faster to use your own car for MK.

13 steve d { 05.18.15 at 2:36 pm }

Site is great and planning our first trip and arrival on October 17th at Wilderness Lodge.
I see they are offering the free meal plan at this time and only offering discounts on rooms up to October 3rd.
Do you think they will offer additional room discounts for the balance of October?
I would think a room discount would exceed the meal plan with respect to $ saved.
Txs in advance on your feedback


14 Dave { 05.18.15 at 6:03 pm }

Steve, first, yes I do expect a room discount for then. The room discount will save more if your party is small, and with few kids between 3 and 9. The larger your group, and the more 10 and older, the better free dining will be. See this.

15 Michelle { 05.29.15 at 5:30 am }

Hi Dave, I am planning a trip in Oct 10th till 24 th and I really wanted to attend the Jedi training with my 5 yr old. I can’t see the schedule on the WDW site, is it not out yet? Are the Star Wars events only on over weekends? Will they still have Star Wars rides, entertainment, etc in October??? Thanks!

16 Dave { 05.31.15 at 7:20 am }

Michelle, Jedi Training happens every day year round. You have to arrive well before the park opens and head immediately to sign up for an opening that day. Star Tours also runs year round. All the other “Star Wars Weekends” stuff only happens in the second half of May and first half of June.

17 Michelle { 06.01.15 at 3:02 am }

Thank you so much Dave!

18 Tamara { 06.11.15 at 1:28 pm }

Hey Dave !
We have 3 girls ages 12, 8, & 2.. Were wanting to take our girls on their 1st disney trip & just need some help !! I wouldnt even know where to start. the stay, meal plans, princess greets, etc. I beleive we are wanting to go in October !!

19 Dave { 06.13.15 at 7:46 am }

Tamara, either start on the home page of this site and work your way through its topics or grab a copy of my book.

20 Amanda { 07.10.15 at 3:05 pm }

Hi! I am planning a trip to Orlando October 7-13. We are planning on visiting Legoland, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. I was thinking, to avoid crowds, we would go to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios on Thursday October 8 and Friday October 9. Then we would go to Legoland on Sunday October 11. What are your thoughts?

21 Dave { 07.11.15 at 9:48 am }

Amanda, those are good days for MK and HS. I have no opinion on Legoland.

22 russell { 07.28.15 at 5:10 pm }

we are going to be at Disney world October 7th through the 13th and staying at give kids the world. I’m sure as you know we get passed to universal for 2 days and passes to all the other places as well. what days should we go to each place and still be able to manage some time to enjoy give kids the world?

23 Dave { 07.30.15 at 8:48 am }

Russell, how old are the kids??

24 Anonymous { 08.04.15 at 10:44 pm }

Hi Dave! Your site has been so helpful! We are staying 10/16-21 and I have heard this could be a busy time to go this year.
10/17 animal kingdom
10/18 magic kingdom and MNSSHP
10/19 hollywood studios
10/20 Epcot
10/21 Magic Kingdom
I know it would be reccomended to switch the last two days but I wanted to end our trip with magic kingdom and I already made reservations at Be Our Guest for that day
How do you this plan will work out? I hope the crowds arent too bad. This will be our first trip and we are taking my daughter for her 6th birthday. Also is one day at epcot enough? I cancelled the park hopper option to afford MNSSHP.

25 Dave { 08.05.15 at 8:22 am }

This is not a busy time at WDW, but it is a period when you have to carefully pick your days. As you note, your last two days will be quite crowded, especially Epcot. For a 6 year old, I’d consider skipping Epcot altogether, and focusing on MK that day, then returning the 21st just for your BOG and FastPass+. Hoppers are usually a waste for first timers, so good call there!

26 Jessica Frost { 08.05.15 at 9:14 am }

Thanks so much! Im very excited about Epcot. I have always wanted to see the world showcase though I know my daughter my find it dull compared to the rest of the trip. Also we have character dining reserved at Akershus for the princesses of course. So I am hoping we can try to enjoy ourselves despite the crowds. Any tips on avoiding the crowds at Epcot other than avoiding it altogether?

27 Steve Cronin { 08.05.15 at 4:01 pm }


We will be at Disney the 25-31st. We will be arriving in Orlando around noon on the 25th. Here are our plans for the week: Please let me know what you think.

Sunday: Magic Kingdom to use fastpasses
Monday: Blizzard Beach followed by Epcot in the Evening
Tuesday: Hollywood Studios
Wednesday: Epcot
Thursday: Animal Kingdom
Friday Magic Kingdom
Saturday: Unsure what to do yet. We have park hoppers. Would maybe like to visit two parks this day.

Any help is appreciated.

28 Dave { 08.06.15 at 8:19 am }

Jessica, there’s three things to do: 1. show up at the turnstiles well before the park opens and then at open immediately head to one of the rides that builds lines quickly (e.g. one or the other of Test Track and Soarin) 2. focus your FastPass+ on other rides that build lines (whichever of the first two you don’t see at open, plus Spaceship Earth and Character Spot, and 3 not have your Akershus meal interfere with the first hour of opening…

29 Dave { 08.06.15 at 8:34 am }

Steve, this looks fine!

You mentioned FastPass+ only for Sunday–just double-checking to make sure you know you’ll need them every day, including Saturday…So make an assumption about which park you will want to return to Saturday–most likely MK–and book them for then accordingly.

You should know by sometime Thursday where you really want to go Saturday (as you’ll have seen all four parks by then) so can revise Saturday’s FP+ Thursday afternoon/evening as needed.

30 Steve Cronin { 08.08.15 at 11:37 am }

Dav e,
Yes we will be using them every day. I just made a note there about that as we wont be able to get there for park opening on Sunday, I figured it would probably just be best for us to book some fast passes for the afternoon and then leave since it looks as though it will be fairly busy that Sunday.
How have Crowds been at Hollywood Studios this summer? I know there are a lot of closed attractions and plenty of construction as that park prepares for a major facelift. Has this affected crowd levels? Can it be done in a half day? The main attactions our group enjoys there are the Tower of Terror and Rock N Roller Coaster. Are the wait times for these attractions doable in October without fastpasses?

31 Jessica Frost { 08.08.15 at 8:18 pm }

Dave, Thank you again for the help! I feel well prepared now because I have intended to do those things you mentioned above and the meal is after 5, so I think it will work out well!

32 Dave { 08.09.15 at 9:46 am }

Steve, yup on every day! What’s closed (so far) at HS frankly has been unpopular and/or low capacity items, so there’s still a full day of stuff to do there, despite the fussing you will find on the internet. Besides what you note Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, the Muppet Movie, the Great Movie Ride, and the shows Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones, Fantasmic, and Little Mermaid all are worth a visit to most. The closures have not affected crowds, but commonly that time of year if you show up 45 minutes before open, you’ll be able to get right on Rock N Roller and then Tower of Terror without FP+.

33 Dave { 08.09.15 at 9:52 am }

Perfect, Jessica!!

34 Danielle { 08.27.15 at 12:38 am }

were going the same week! :)
10/4 HS
10/5 Epcot
10/6 AK
10/7 MK
10/8 MK morning

35 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:44 pm }

Danielle, I’m not keen on your HS or first MK days–could you swap them?

36 Karen { 08.28.15 at 3:14 pm }

Hi Dave! My family of 5 (husband, myself, a teenager and two 10 year olds) are going the week of 10/24. So far this is what I have planned:

Sunday: Hs and Fantasmic
Monday: Epcot all day
Tuesday: MK and MNSSHP party
Wednesday: MK or Epcot again
Thursday: Ak or Universal
Friday: ak late night so maybe ak

I booked the Halloween party for Tuesday so also plan to spend the day at Mk and then change into our costumes around 4 to enjoy the party. Sound like a good plan or should we do another park during the day and then go to MK for the party later?

37 Dave { 08.30.15 at 8:41 am }

Hi Karen! I would avoid HS the 25th, and MK the 28th–each has EMH, which makes the day overall more crowded.. There’s no “late night” at AK the 30th–it has morning EMH, which will make the day overall more crowded. Overall

10/25 avoid HS and Epcot
10/26 avoid MK
10/27 avoid Epcot
10/28 avoid AK and MK
10/29 avoid Epcot
10/30 avoid AK and Epcot

38 Kathy { 08.30.15 at 4:14 pm }

We are scheduled to arrive at the villas at Polynesian Sunday October 11-16th. We have 2 sons 7&10. We want to do MK 2 days and Epcot 1 day. Can you please advise what day would be best to do what park?
Thanks so much, Kathy

39 Dave { 08.31.15 at 7:40 am }

Kathy, MK is tricky that week. There are (separately ticketed) Halloween parties multiple days, and those days the park closes to people without the separate tix at 7p. Because of that, the park is uncrowded on the 7p close days, of which for your dates the best are the 13th and 15th–so those are my recommended MK days. However, that means you won’t see the evening parade and fireworks. The two days they are on your dates will be wildly crowded, but the 11th is better than the 15th.

Epcot will be best the 12th or 14th.

40 Kathy { 08.31.15 at 9:02 am }

Hi Dave,… Thanks so much for responding!!! I wasn’t sure how this site worked!!??
We were actually due to be at Disney today however cancelled rescheduled our vaca due to the storm….
I do realize we booked during CD so hoping that isn’t going to be a huge issue as far as crowds go… Literally every other week in October, November and December were solidly booked…. So I’ve booked MK for the 13th… So I should purchase the Haloween party tickets for that evening right…(our eldest bday is actually on Haloween)!!!!
I have Epcot booked for the 12th but isn’t that CD? So do you think it might be best to do typhoon lagoon that day and Epcot on the 14th?
And one last question… The 15th?? Busy day because???
Close to wknd?
Thanks Soo much?

41 Dave { 09.01.15 at 1:36 pm }

Kathy, ummm…what do you mean by “CD”?

42 Kathy { 09.02.15 at 10:13 am }

Columbus Day:)

43 Heather { 09.05.15 at 11:32 pm }

Hi Dave! What a great resource your website is…thank you! We are planning on taking our almost 3yr old daughter to MK and AK Oct 16-23 for her birthday. We’d like to go to the parks for three days….one of those days will be the Halloween Party allowing us to enter MK at 4pm I believe. We’ve booked the Halloween party for Tues. 10/20 already. Here is what I was thinking for the other days. What are your thoughts?

Fri 10/16-arrive at the hotel in the evening (we are driving from Chicago)
Sat 10/17-swim at hotel
Sun 10/18-MK 9am-7pm
Mon 10/19-swim at hotel
Tues 10/20- MK 4pm-12am for Halloween party
Wed 10/21-swim at hotel
Thur 10/22-AK 9am-6pm
Fri 10/23-check out

I was originally planning to go to MK on Monday rather than Sunday but read that Monday’s are busy. Going on Monday though will not allow us to see all of the stuff that goes on at night. In your opinion are crowds that much smaller on Sunday to make it worth missing out on nighttime at MK? Will we get to see similar night stuff at the Halloween party?

Also, if we decide to do another day while we are there what day and what park would you recommend for us keeping in mind we have a preschooler with us. Any other tips you have for us would be great! Thanks so much!

44 Dave { 09.06.15 at 8:36 am }

Hi Heather and thanks!!

The effect of the party nights on crowding at MK swamps anything else–in particular days that don’t have the party, because they are among the few nights with no-extra-cost fireworks and evening parades, are wildly busy. So yes, your choices are wise. The parade and fireworks at the party are different than the regular ones–and frankly better. It can’t hurt you to add a third MK day and see the evening stuff then, too, but view the evening part of a third MK day as optional.

I think for a 3 year old your schedule is just fine…

45 Heather { 09.08.15 at 8:43 pm }

Thanks, Dave!

46 Karen { 09.11.15 at 3:52 pm }

Thanks! I rescheduled is for AK then for Sunday the 25th and will plan Hs for either the 29th or 30th then. I also added an additional park ticket day and we play to do Epcot food and wine festival the day we arrive until park close at Epcot. Excited about that since we have never done it!

47 Dave { 09.14.15 at 6:43 am }

Have fun, Karen!!

48 Hi Dave { 09.14.15 at 10:47 am }

Thank you for your great site.
We will be in Walt Disney Wordl from october 23rd to november 3rd. We have a 10 days ultimate tickets.
We want to see the most possible including Typhoon Lagoon. I tried to make the most efficient planning, but it’s hard with all the informations. Can you help us to make a planning please ?
We are 2 adults (no child). This will be the second time we visit WDW (the first time was so far, in 2007).
Thank you very much for all the work and stuff


49 Dave { 09.16.15 at 10:49 am }

Hi David, and thanks!!

With so many days available, use Josh’s calendars–October here, and November here.

Plan for at least 2 days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and one day each at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Also consider some extra evenings at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

50 Kevin { 09.18.15 at 6:21 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thanks for all of the helpful info on the site. I had a question about the crowds for October 25th-31st and alternatives on places to stay. I was trying to stay at a DVC villa for this time period by renting points from a DVC member. I have found out though that there are no openings available for this week or most of October. I also see very limited availability at any Disney hotels for this time period. I know that we were setting this up last minute, but I figured after reading your weekly rankings that we would be able to find a Disney hotel to stay in. Are there any off resort hotels you would suggest or should I just keep checking to see if there are any openings due to cancellations? I also was wondering how the crowd levels could be considered low to moderate if all the hotels are full. Thanks in advance, Kevin

51 Elizabeth { 09.18.15 at 9:18 pm }

Thank you for this awesome information!
We are going to Disney for 5 days Oct 4th-9th, with a day off somewhere in the mix. We are unsure which days would be best for which park. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

52 Elizabeth { 09.19.15 at 12:34 pm }

I’m thinking:
Sun 10/4 MK
Mon 10/5 Epcot
Tue 10/6 break!
Wed 10/7 HS
Thur 10/8 AK
Fri 10/9 MK
We aren’t staying onsite, so EMH would be of no benefit to us. We are considering MNSSHP. Should we do that on the “break day”?

53 Dave { 09.19.15 at 1:18 pm }

Kevin, it’s routine for points to be unavailable at such short notice, as it is for the hotels to book completely even during a slow week, especially just a month or so before. See this for why.

I don’t really track the off-site hotels, but the travel agent I work with–Kelly B–may be able to help.

54 Dave { 09.19.15 at 1:18 pm }

Elizabeth, what ages?

55 Elizabeth { 09.20.15 at 11:59 am }

The whole family is going so; 16 months, 8, 11, 13, 27, 36, 40+, 60+!

56 Dave { 09.21.15 at 7:00 am }

OK Elizabeth, got it. The park days you’ve picked are wonderful. The Halloween party, however, works best if you can stay til the end (seeing the second parade and one of the last two Hocus Pocus shows. You will thus be worn out the next morning. So what I’d do is make 10/6 your AK day, go from there to the Magic Kingdom for the party (you can get in with party tickets as early as 4p), take 10/7 off to recover from the long day and late night of the 6th, and then do HS on 10/8.

57 Elizabeth { 09.21.15 at 9:15 am }

Thank you so much! I will let you know how it turns out! :-)

58 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 09.21.15 at 10:22 am }

Kevin- I would be more than happy to help you. You can contact me at at

59 Missy { 09.23.15 at 10:02 pm }

Love your site! My family will be at DW 10/28 to 11/1. Have a 9 year old daughter. I really dont want to purchase the Mickey Halloween ticket after purchasing 3 day tickets. Will there be trick or treating anywhere else? My daughter will be performing at Disneytown on Halloween afternoon. Perhaps there?

60 Dave { 09.24.15 at 7:56 am }

Missy, the only place I know of is at the Disney hotels.

61 Becca { 10.05.15 at 1:32 pm }

After reading all your wonderful suggestions, I understand that your best recommendation to visit MK in October on a night where there will be free evening entertainment is on a Saturday. Is this correct?

62 Dave { 10.06.15 at 10:35 am }

Becca, the key is to avoid days with EMH.

63 Becca { 10.06.15 at 4:50 pm }

You have been more than kind in responding to my questions. I’m tweaking our schedule a little so we don’t end up on MK on more than one EMH day. I know your specialty is the main parks, but do you happen to know if the crowd count at Typhoon Lagoon would be much different between a Wednesday and a Sunday? I’ve thought of going to HS on Wednesday, but Indiana Jones is closed that day. It’s a favorite with my older two.

10/21-Typhoon Lagoon (TL) or HS (Indiana Jones closed this day)
10/25-MK or HS (have late FP+ at HS since we’ll have a late night the day before) or TL
10/26-whatever park kids want (right now FP+ at MK late afternoon)

64 Dave { 10.07.15 at 7:13 am }

Becca, just guessing, but I think the waterpark crowds will be about the same unless the day is cool. Out of town folk are more likely to be in a theme park Saturday then a water park, but for locals it’s the opposite.

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