By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

October 2017 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


This page reviews October 2017 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 not so good, as

  • The first week is still in the peak of the hurricane season
  • Both the first and second week see extra crowds from fall breaks, and
  • The second week sees higher prices from Columbus Day.


October has average crowds–higher earlier in the month, lower later.

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

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 9/30 has a crowd rating of 5/moderate-minus, the week beginning 10/7 7/moderate-plus, and the weeks beginning 10/14 and 10/21 4/low+

See this for more on 2017 crowds at Disney World.


Prices begin the month at the values 20-25% higher than the lowest of the year, and 15-20% higher at the moderates. At the values and moderates they stay at this level until late in the month, except for a bump up over the Columbus Day weekend. On 10/29 they drop to 5-10% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, and to 10-15% higher at the moderates.

Prices at the deluxes begin the month at 5-20% higher than the lowest of the year, bump up over the Columbus Day weekend, and on 10/5 change to 5-15% higher than the lowest of the year.

See this for more on 2017 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for  October 2017. 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 typical October weather.


The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival begins 8/31 and continues into November.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party shows on select nights throughout October.


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 first draft of hours for the month is here, but expect this to be updated and filled out more.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance. Look for a major update to hours a couple of weeks before the month starts.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2017 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

2017 Weeks to Visit Disney World Ranked in Order from

Click the image for a calendar view of 2017 weeks.

9/30/2017 Moderate prices. Moderate-minus crowds. Crowd ranking=5. Week ranking=27. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary.

10/7/2017 Moderate prices. Moderate+ crowds. Crowd ranking=7. Week ranking=16. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary.

10/14/2017 Moderate prices. Low+ crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=7. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary.

10/21/2017 Moderate prices. Low+ crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=8. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary.



1 Kevin { 03.26.17 at 12:46 pm }

What was updated on this page? I’ve been following this page and this month closely, as that’s when we’ll be heading to WDW. Thank you!

2 Dave { 03.27.17 at 7:49 am }

Kevin, I posted this as a brand new post on March 25, and it has not changed in the two days since then…

3 Eric { 03.27.17 at 11:07 am }

Hi Dave,
I feel like Pandora & RoL are game changers, both with AK hours and possibly some changes to EMH (for AK or even all parks) which could totally change the suggested itinerary. Do you think any of that will change?

4 Dave { 03.28.17 at 9:06 am }

Eric, New Fantasyland was not a game changer, so I’m not convinced Pandora/ROL will be. You are right that they will make AK much more attractive, especially in the evenings, increasing AK attendance both absolutely and relative to the other three parks. It’ll be interesting to see if the daily evening EMH for Pandora is extended past July 4…

5 Eric { 03.28.17 at 10:59 am }

Great, thanks Dave! Almost crunch time. We’ve set our itinerary based on your 1st edition 2017 book, so we’re going to stick with that. Fingers crossed we get all of our reservation requests!

6 Carolyn { 04.02.17 at 1:22 pm }

I am trying to decide between the week of Oct 21st and Nov 11th. Either trip will involve parks on weekdays only, with two young kids and I would plan MK days on party days. Do you think there will be a noticeable difference between these weeks? We have been to both Halloween and Christmas parties previously and love them but will skip them either week this time.

7 Dave { 04.04.17 at 10:58 am }

Carolyn, they should be pretty close. However, October has gotten harder to predict over the past couple of years, so I have more confidence that your November week will be better.

8 Jen { 04.03.17 at 1:53 pm }

Hello! We will be arriving Disney on Saturday October 7 and leaving Friday October 13!! We will be staying at the wilderness lodge!! So that leaves 5 days of fun!!!!
HELP!!! 🙂 so much to do!!! We have two girls 7 and 10. So overwhelmed!!! Restaurants, shows , fireworks, Halloween parades, rides and fast passes. What would be a good itinerary for us??
Thank you!!!

9 Dave { 04.04.17 at 11:09 am }

Jen, I don’t have a 5 day itinerary on this site, but you can put one together from the dining recommendations in one of my longer itineraries (like this one) and the daily plans in Chapter 6 of my book.

10 Trish { 04.24.17 at 4:03 pm }

I have heard that if you arrive at wdw around oct 31 and stay for the week you get to glimpse Halloween and Christmas decor. Is there any truth to this? Trying to plan for a fall trip this year but trying to decide when…


11 Dave { 04.25.17 at 8:47 am }

Trish, in 2017 the last Halloween party date will be 11/1 and the first Christmas party date will be 11/8.

12 Jeff from NC { 05.09.17 at 2:56 pm }

Thanks for a great site. We are planning a trip arriving late Wednesday Oct 18th, and departing mid-day Tuesday Oct 24th by car. We are 2 families (4 adults, 6 children (toddler, 4, 5, 7, 7, 11))

This is a first (and possibly only) childhood trip for the family going with us (2 adults and the 3 oldest children).

We need at least 1 room that has a separate bedroom for our toddler’s napping and general sleep (and our sanity;)

1st QUESTION – where to stay? I’m considering a split stay to maximize convenience and kid appeal. But we also want to keep food costs under control, so were thinking of a villa with kitchen.

2nd QUESTION – which parks, which order?

13 Dave { 05.12.17 at 10:04 am }

Hey Jeff, for my villa rankings, see this–the reviews are listed in the order in which I recommend them. However, the only two-bedroom villa that fits 10 is those at the Villas at the Grand Floridian. One Bedroom Villas that fit five are at GF, Old Key West, Bay Lake Tower, and the two villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Less expensive options would be family suites or cabins–also with links from that page. However, the family suites don’t have full kitchens–just a microwave and toaster.

10/18 avoid MK
10/19 avoid Epcot
10/20 avoid Epcot, and avoid MK unless you are able to take advantage of morning extra magic hours
10/21 avoid all but HS
10/22 avoid HS
10/23 avoid MK and AK
10/24 avoid Epcot

My general advice is to see Epcot first and MK last.

14 Katy { 05.30.17 at 12:50 pm }

We plan on going the week of October 9-13 for fall break. I want to do a 4 day park hopper pass and then spend one day at Universal. When is the cheapest time to purchase the tickets? should I get them now or wait until closer to time? We have a family of 6 so the cheapest time is the best time. We have a free condo stay from my in-laws so we are not worried about resort included options. Also, when do tickets become available for the Halloween event? Thank you in advance.

15 Dave { 05.30.17 at 2:38 pm }

Katy, can’t speak about Universal. For Disney the only timing differences are 1. if you buy day of, you pay $20 more per ticket and 2. Buying early insulates you from price increases. You want your tix either 60 or 30 days before your first park day, depending on where you are staying, because of FastPass+. See this.

Party tickets are sale now, here.

16 Cassie { 05.30.17 at 5:41 pm }

Hi Dave! Looks like my plans 10/17-10/23 line up with your recommendations above except for 10/23 . I see you noted to avoid MK on 10/23 – we aren’t doing a park hopper this trip so I may make a change to our plans that day. Wondering what you think we will see and why? High crowds? Thanks!

17 Dave { 05.31.17 at 10:31 am }

Cassie, during the party season, nights with no parties when the park is open to non-party folk later and Happily Ever After is on will be much more crowded. The 23rd is such a day.

A good plan can make it work!!

18 Jennifer { 05.31.17 at 10:24 am }

What parks would you suggest each day starting Saturday evening with a 4:00 pm park arrival time 10/7, Sunday 10/8, Monday 10/9, Tuesday 10/10, Wednesday 10/11, Thursday 10/12.

19 Dave { 05.31.17 at 10:36 am }

Any kids, Jennifer? What ages?

20 jennifer { 05.31.17 at 10:37 am }

Yes, 9 & 6 both girls

21 Dave { 06.01.17 at 8:44 am }

Jennifer, that’s a moderately crowded time
10/7 avoid all but HS
10/8 avoid HS and MK
10/9 avoid AK
10/10 avoid Epcot
10/11 avoid MK

The ages of your kids makes all parks appropriate. You’d want a couple of days at MK and a day at the rest–which you don’t quite have time for.

The 9th and 10th should be your MK days. Fit the others in around that

22 zak lyon { 06.04.17 at 10:42 am }

we will be there 10/27 to 11/5, Still trying to pick what park what day. We have MK parties and new stuff at AK. Any recommendations on best day for MK or worst day for AK? Or even “general park to avoid” on my days?

23 Dave { 06.04.17 at 11:57 am }


10/27 avoid Epcot
10/28 avoid all but HS
10/29 avoid Epcot
10/30 avoid MK
10/31 avoid MK and AK
11/1 avoid MK
11/2 avoid Epcot
11/3 avoid HS and Epcot
11/4 avoid all but HS
11/5 avoid HS

24 Josh { 06.04.17 at 5:44 pm }

Hi Dave, my reservations are for 10/15-10/21. What parks would you recommend/avoid for these days?

25 Dave { 06.05.17 at 6:27 am }

Hi Josh,

10/15 avoid HS
10/16 avoid MK and AK
10/17 avoid Epcot
10/18 avoid MK
10/19 avoid Epcot
10/20 avoid Epcot and maybe MK (MK is ok if you are EMH eligible and can arrive at the turnstiles by 30 minutes before they start)
10/21 avoid all but HS

26 Eric { 08.08.17 at 4:44 pm }

Hi David,
At this point, do you foresee any changes to the park open/close times for mid Oct? (specifically Oct 14-21). AK might still be a wild card for obvious reasons, but what about the others? Thanks!

27 Dave { 08.09.17 at 3:50 pm }

Eric, this stuff has gotten a little unpredictable. See this for how the same week worked in 2016: Some very different MK hours, and later AK hours as well…

28 Eric { 08.09.17 at 5:02 pm }

Thanks Dave. The hours you had on the that link is what I had in my (your) spreadsheet itinerary. I just went to update and the changes are noticeable. Do you happen to remember around what time last year they sent out the changes? FP+ booking is next week, so I guess it’s moot. I’ve got a good plan (I think) regardless. But we are going to MK on Oct 16 which will be nutty. If hours change to 8-12AM it will be even more crazy but I’m mostly concerned about the RD time. It’s our first of 3 days at MK, so we’ll be ok.
PS – sorry for the “David”. Who’d have thought ‘Dave’ would be autocorrected.

29 Dave { 08.10.17 at 11:22 am }

Eric, last year the changes came out mid-September, but Disney is doing things differently this year so it is harder to predict. That said, there have been very few 8a opens this year compared to prior years so you may be safe on the rope drop front…

30 Lisa Brown { 09.01.17 at 1:55 pm }

Hey Dave! So, my family and I are attending the MNSSHP on 10/20, being so close to Halloween and on a Friday I am assuming it will be CROWDED. Sadly, it is the only date we could make work. We are taking our three children ages 2,6,9. My plan is to arrive around 5 so that we miss the initial 4pm rush to get in, is that sound? Or is there a better time to enter that is earlier than 7?
As of now, trick or treating, characters, rides, parade and fireworks is the jist of our priorities (first being the most important). I do not care what characters we meet as long as we meet a few, Mickey would be ideal. We would like to do the dance party with the Monster Inc crew but since that goes on all night, I figured we could sprinkle that in when we hit Tomorrowland??
Any thoughts or suggestions on where to start tricking or treating? Is any land less crowded in the beginning than others? Any good places on where to view the parade and fireworks?
I am probably way overthinking this but I wanted to go in with some kind of plan even if it has to be VERY flexible. Thank you!!!!

31 Dave { 09.02.17 at 9:05 am }

Lisa, my advice–ignored by many–is to make the fireworks, the (second) parade, and the rides the priorities, so I don’t have much tested experience to offer. Doing it this way frees you from having to worry about the crowds, as they are for the characters and the trick or treats. Arriving at 4 is fine, there’s not really a big crowd then.

32 Jeneen { 09.16.17 at 6:59 pm }

I will be arriving on October 14th @5, so I figure we can make a quick run to the parks for 2 hours or so.
What would be a good itemerary for
October 15-18th. I have two 6 years olds.

33 Dave { 09.17.17 at 9:25 am }

Jeneen I don’t have anything on this site for such a short visit. You are also a bit behind on booking your FastPass+. Kids that age on such a short visit should spend a couple of days in Magic Kingdom, and then sample 2 or 3 of the other parks. Take a look at the park overviews at that same link for a sense of what might most appeal to them. You can find two day MK plans and one day plans for the other parks in my book.

34 Jeneen { 09.17.17 at 7:53 pm }

Yeah, I figured we were behind. Hopefully it won’t be too busy. Thank you.

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