By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

October 2016 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

October   November   December    January   February   March   April   May


October 2016 at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews October 2016 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.

However, effects of the Halloween Party and Food and Wine can make certain days quite crowded at certain parks.  See this for how to avoid them.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 10/1 has a crowd rating of 5/moderate-minus, the week beginning 10/8 7/moderate-plus, the week beginning 10/15 4/low plus, and the the week beginning 10/22 3/low.

See this for more on 2016 crowds at Disney World.


Prices begin the month at the values 25% higher than the lowest of the year, and at the moderates 20% higher.  For these two resort classes, prices drop to 10% higher than the lowest of the year on 10/30.

At the deluxes, prices begin the month 12% higher than the lowest of the year, and drop to 6% higher on 10/16.

All hotel rooms see and additional price kick-up over the Columbus Day weekend.

See this for more on 2016 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for October 2016. 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.


The 2016 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party continues on selected days throughout the month.

The 2016 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival continues all month long.


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 2016 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

2016 Disney World Week Rankings from

Click the image for a calendar view of 2016 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

10/1/2016. Moderate prices. Moderate-minus crowds. Crowd ranking=5. Week ranking=28. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

10/8/2016. Moderate prices. Moderate-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=7. Week ranking=19. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

10/15/2016. Moderate prices at values and moderates, low prices at deluxes. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=9. Recommended Week. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary

10/22/2016. Moderate prices at values and moderates, low prices at deluxes. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=5. Recommended Week. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary
The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!



1 Brett { 03.21.16 at 7:54 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks so much for all your help with your wonderful website. We have been planning our trip to Disney World on 10/22/16-10/29/16 with my family of 8. It will be me, my wife, daughter age 23, son 16, 2 sons age 14, and two grandmas. We have a two bedroom (Savanna View!!!) villa at AKV Kidani Village. We were eagerly waiting for the October calendar to come out and here it is. Will you be kind enough to recommend which parks are best to go to on which day? Thanks so much! Also, any advice/recommendations of fun activities for our “older” family to do? Thanks again!

2 Dave { 03.22.16 at 3:53 pm }

Hi Brett and thanks!

On the parks see this:

Older family members tend to have as much fun in the parks as anyone else!

3 Keri { 03.24.16 at 8:02 pm }

Hi Dave. We currently have a trip booked from 10/28 – 11/7 at Pop for 8 adults and 2 kids (9,6). It is a “first or first in a very long time” trip for all. While I had hoped to possibly see the MNSSHP and the MVMCP, that is not going to happen as our flight would be very early on 11/7. The other reason for picking this week was the hope that free dining would be offered. The closer we get, the more I am second guessing the dates I chose. I was wondering if you think it makes sense to change to the week prior and go Oct. 21 – 31 or if I am over-thinking? It is the level “3” crowds and the lack of the Wine and Dine Marathon that have me wondering if we should change. However, I would hate to potentially lose free dining and pay more for the rooms (we have 5) over a crowd level “5”. Help. Is a “5” vs. “3” crowd level a deal breaker? I can’t thank you enough for the work you (and Josh) do. I have used your sites exclusively to plan every aspect of our trip!

4 Dave { 03.26.16 at 10:05 am }

Keri, I would not advise picking based on free dining. It may not be available at all, it may not be available regardless of which dates you pick (September is the best bet, anything else is a crap shoot), if available your dates it may require an expensive upgrade–preferred rooms, park hoppers, photopass, etc–or it may have such limited availability that you can’t get it anyway.

Rather, I’d pick a couple of options based on their intrinsic merits (crowds, prices, parties, weather) and then select among them based on chances of free dining. The eligible arrival dates for 2015 are here.

5 laura { 03.27.16 at 7:31 pm }

My partner and I are going to Florida for 2 weeks starting on the 4th October. When would be the best time for us to go to a Mickeys not so scary Halloween party?

6 Dave { 03.28.16 at 12:49 pm }

Laura the rule of thumb is to aim for weeknights, and the earlier in October the better.

7 Tina { 03.29.16 at 5:03 pm }

We are going to WDW October 29-November 5, 2016 (Myself, son almost 8 at that time and my Mom). There are only 2 dates that MNSSHP is available (30th, and 31st) both are probably very crowded but do you think 30th is a better option? Also, trying to determine plan for the 4 day hopper pass (military salute). Know that we want to go to all parks. Know that we want 2 days in MK. Trying to decide how to split the other 3 parks. Since AK will have night hours, we want to do that in one of the evenings. Thoughts appreciated.

8 Dave { 03.30.16 at 3:43 pm }

Tina, there’s not much difference between the 2 MNSSHP dates. I can’t comment on the best parks each day until Disney’s calendar for November comes out, likely in about two weeks, so check back then?

9 Erica { 03.30.16 at 8:54 pm }

Hi Dave! My family and I are going to Disney world October 7-11th. Friday the 7th we plan on getting mnsshp tickets….. Sat, Sun, and Mon are our park days. We want to go to magic kingdom 2days and animal kingdom 1 day……. I am wondering which park should we go to on the Monday since it is Colombus day. If mnsshp is offered on that day would Magic kingdom be less crowded due to shorter park hours?

10 Dave { 04.01.16 at 2:41 pm }

Erica, yes Monday is the best MK day. Of those three days, Sunday is the best AK day.

11 Tina { 04.12.16 at 9:59 pm }

Any updates yet?

12 Dave { 04.13.16 at 9:25 am }

Tina, should be soon!

13 Tina { 04.19.16 at 9:15 am }

Ok, so now that November dates are posted what are your thoughts on my earlier post, Dave? Appreciate your thoughts.

14 Anne { 04.19.16 at 10:18 am }

I am trying to book a week vacation my husband and I with our 2 daughters, ages 1 and 4. We are planning to stay at the Polynesian in October or November. This is their first trip and probably the last for a long time! I am looking for the least crowded week.. any help is greatly appreciated!! thank you!!

15 Dave { 04.19.16 at 12:54 pm }

OK Tina:

10/29 avoid all but HS
10/30 avoid HS and Epcot
10/31 avoid AK
11/1 avoid Epcot
11/2 avoid AK
11/3 avoid Epcot
11/4 avoid all but MK
11/5 avoid MK and Epcot

16 Dave { 04.19.16 at 12:57 pm }

Hi Anne, see this.

17 Tina { 04.19.16 at 6:04 pm }

Now if you could just givevthe wimming lottery numbers! Just kidding, thank you Dave. Is Fantasmic offered everyday?

18 Tina { 04.20.16 at 4:07 pm }

Hopefully my last question, Dave. When do you think tickets for MNSSHP will go on sale? Thank you for your help!

19 Dave { 04.21.16 at 11:44 am }

Tina, now and then HS closes early for a private party, but it’s on 95%+ of the time

20 Dave { 04.21.16 at 11:52 am }

Oh Tina, I have no idea. Any day now is my best guess.

21 Joanne { 05.21.16 at 4:43 pm }

Love the overview! I’m planning a family trip for this fall, as we’ve visited in October before and weather and crowds were good. I’ve been trying to book rooms at a deluxe resort for the week of the 15th, and there isn’t really anything available. Compared to my searches last week, there are a couple more options, but I would have expected prices to be lower and many more options. When I first looked, there were barely even any moderate options – only Caribbean Beach. Wondering if you have any insight to why this might be? 🙂

22 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 05.23.16 at 10:45 am }

Hi Joanne – Disney guests can book at the beginning of summer for the following year. Because dining reservations can be made 180 days before arrival, most like to book at least by then. (For you that would have been back in April). In years past Free Dining was offered in October and many people anticipated and booked. (Unfortunately October was not included in those dates). You are also going during at time that Disney has it\’s Food and Wine Festival. 3 of the deluxe resorts are located just a boat ride away from World Showcase and can book quickly. I would be more than happy to help you look at availability and discount. You can contact me at or 980-429-4499.

23 Dave { 05.25.16 at 9:09 am }

Joanne, it’s common for the WDW rooms to book up well in advance (they run at about 90% occupancy), especially if you are looking for a long stay that includes a weekend. What dates are you looking at and what is your party size?

24 Thomas Woltz { 06.20.16 at 1:14 pm }

We are planning a trip October 3-7(mon-fri) as this is fall break for our kids. What are the typical crowds like that week?

25 Dave { 06.21.16 at 10:24 am }

Thomas, see the section of this page titled “October 2016 Crowds at Walt Disney World”

26 Toni { 06.28.16 at 3:58 pm }

First off – thank you for all the advice you give. I’ve been planning our trip for months and I tried to follow as much of your advice. This will be the first time visiting WDW for all of us.

This is what we have so far:

– October 1st – October 6 => Disney AKL for 2 grandparents, husband, myself, 6 year old daughter and two three year old boys.

Our plan:
Oct 1st – Epcot (8pm rsvn @ Garden Grill)
Oct 2nd – Park Open at Magic Kingdom until around noon. Go back to hotel for rest and then back at Magic Kingdom for the Halloween Party. (no meals booked this day)
Oct 3rd – Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom (haven’t decided) (no meals booked this day)
Oct 4th – Hollywood Studios (have lunch reservations for Vine and 1st Seating Fantasmic)
Oct 5th – Magic Kingdom (have 8:30am rsvn @ Crystal Palace, 11:15 @ BBB and 1:15 @ Royal Table)
Oct 6th – Fly back home *frown*

We also have dinner reservations on the 5th at Chef Mickey’s but I’m thinking of cancelling those – I read the food isn’t Great and I don’t feel like spending our entire day in restaurants. Any red flags? Anything you would do differently?

Thanks again!

27 Dave { 06.29.16 at 12:32 pm }

Lisa, Epcot will be busy the 1st, AK the 3rd, and MK the 5th. I’m assuming you picked MK the 5th for the evening shows and fireworks, so that is OK. I’d do AK the 1st and Epcot the 3rd, as there’s no reasons to go to HS twice.

I would not do an 8.30 breakfast on the 5th. The lower waits of the first hour of park open are too valuable. Suggest around 10.30a instead…

Chef Mickey’s is fun, and is in all my itineraries…but because kids love it and get to meet Mickey et al, not for the food quality!

28 Toni { 06.29.16 at 1:06 pm }

Thank you!

29 Heather { 09.17.16 at 9:18 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are traveling to Disney the week of October 8th-15th. We have a 6 day pass. Here is our tentative schedule:
9th – AK
10th – Hollywood studios
11th – Epcot
12th – MK
13th – MNSSHP
We have 2 more day passes. What would you suggest? Should we do another park the morning of the 13th? Or go back to magic kingdom on that day? Would you change anything?

30 Dave { 09.18.16 at 9:51 am }

Heather, are you going with kids? If so, what ages?

31 Taylor { 10.19.16 at 5:40 am }

Hi Dave,

I am planning my first trip to Disney in over 5 years and it’s a little impromptu but I’m excited to make it work. My boyfriend and I have 2-day park hoppers for Saturday and Sunday (22nd & 23rd). I was pleased to see it’s a low crowd time of the year! How would you recommend splitting up 3 or 4 parks over 2 days? We plan on visiting opening-closing on both days so we can fit in the most. Also, we have to be economical about our fast passes. If we have to split up our 3 fast passes a day over 3 or 4 parks, which rides do you anticipate to be the most crowded? Thanks for all that you do!


32 Dave { 10.19.16 at 7:46 am }

Taylor, I have to ask why bother with all four–the time you’ll spend getting back and forth will cut into your ride times. Also, are you staying in a WDW resort–as that would affect how I’d recommend you attack there two days if you are committed to all four parks.

33 Taylor { 10.19.16 at 9:36 am }


We are staying offsite near maingate east, so sadly we won’t get those extra magic hours. I know that 3 parks are doable over the course of 2 days but I was being hopeful when inquiring about all 4. We don’t plan on doing character meet and greets, parades, or most live performances besides a certain two or three. There’s a few popular attractions we can skip too (seven dwarfs mine train, frozen ever after, mission space, spaceship earth, tower of terror). I appreciate your guidance! Thank you!


34 Dave { 10.19.16 at 12:50 pm }

Taylor, you can go to all four parks over two days, but won’t remotely see all they have to offer–especially at Epcot and AK. The other trick is that your pre-scheduled FP+ must all be in one park.

If you want to do four, I’d do HS Sat am, Epcot Sat PM, MK Sun morning, and AK Sunday evening.

In the mornings arrive at the turnstiles ~ 45 minuted before open (currently 9a sat at HS, and 8a Sun at MK.)

It’s hard to advise on what to do first and what to use FP+ for because I don’t know what all you plan to skip. I’d use your Sat FP+ at Epcot, and your Sunday at MK. (There should be a fair number of short lines and available after-3rd FP+ at AK Sunday afternoon and evening.)

For my general advice on FP+ priorities, see this page

35 Kirk Hilles { 12.14.16 at 1:23 pm }

I had always heard from October how awesome Disney was in October and how the crowds were non-existent and how you didn\’t wait in line at all. So, we went to Disney during the Columbus Day week… and boy was it SLAMMED. Even with the hurricane, crowds were Summer-level crowds. It was a good thing we had excellent FPs or we wouldn\’t have been able to ride much of anything. On the WEDNESDAY we were there, the 7 Drawfs Mine Train wait never went below 210 minutes. 3.5 HOURS! Look at these actual reported levels ( for October 2016. That\’s a lot of PEAK LEVEL crowds.

10/1 – 9
10/2 – 8
10/3 – 10
10/4 – 5
10/5 – 9
10/6 – 10/7 (Hurricane)
10/8 – 8
10/9 – 10
10/10 – 9
10/11 – 8
10/12 – 10
10/13 – 7
10/14 – 8
10/15 – 10
10/16 – 6
10/17 – 10
10/18 – 6
10/19 – 10
10/20 – 6
10/21 – 7
10/22 – 10
10/23 – 7
10/24 – 9
10/25 – 5
10/26 – 8
10/27 – 4
10/28 – 5
10/29 – 9
10/30 – 5
10/31 – 6

36 Dave { 12.14.16 at 3:25 pm }

Yup, Kirk, the first half of October–especially Columbus Day weekend–is a increasingly a mess.

Complicating it more, if you go to the wrong parks on the wrong days–e.g. MK on one of the few nights when it has Wishes, or Epcot on an EMH day when MK closes at 7p–you’ll see even more of a mess.

That said, while the TP stuff is an accurate version of what it measures–standby waits during peak mid-day times on popular rides–but no one with a good plan would be riding such a ride on standby at such times…and with 70%+ of capacity on these rides going to FastPass+, standby waits are of much less relevance in evaluating experience quality than they were before FP+

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem 2017 easy Guide

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.