By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

October 2018 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


Later October has some of the best times of the year to visit Disney World, with nice weather, low-ish crowds, low-ish 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.

Note also that picking the right park to visit each day is critical at this time of the year. See this, and use the comment form below to ask me about your specific dates!


On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 9/29 has a crowd ranking of 5/moderate minus, 10/6 8/high-minus, 10/13 6/moderate, 10/20 4 low-plus, and 10/27 3/low.

However, this time of year you will see much worse crowds if you don’t carefully pick which day to see which park. See this for guidance on picking Disney World park days, or use the comment form below to ask questions about your dates.

See this for more on 2018 crowds at Disney World.


Prices begin the month  20-25% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 15-20% higher at the moderates and and 10-20% higher than lowest of the year at the deluxes.

  • Prices pop up over the Columbus Day weekend then return to the level at which they start the month
  • At the values, prices drop to 5-10% higher than the lowest of the year on 10/28
  • At the moderates, prices drop to 10-15% higher than the lowest of the year on 10/28
  • At the deluxes, prices drop to 5-15% higher than the lowest of the year on 10/14.

See this for more on 2018 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals for the general public are available for October 2018. 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.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more.


The 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues through the month.

The 2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has many dates in 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. Opening hours may change to 8a.

The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available about six months in advance. Major hours updates–often with later closes–can happen a month before.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2018 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.

Click the image for a calendar view of 2018 weeks.

9/29/2018 Moderate prices. Moderate-minus crowds, better earlier in the week, worse later. Crowd ranking=5. Week ranking=25. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

10/6/2018 Moderate prices. High-minus crowds, Crowd ranking=8. Week ranking=29. Use the Higher Crowd Itinerary

10/13/2018 Moderate-minus prices. Moderate crowds. Crowd ranking=6. Week ranking=16. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

10/20/2018 Moderate-minus prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=7. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary

10/27/2018 Moderate prices. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=   5. Recommended week. Use the Lower Crowd Itinerary


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1 Kevin { 04.28.18 at 12:56 pm }

We are going to WDW from December 1-8, 2018, with three kids – 8, 4, and 2. We are undecided about MVMCP as it is so late and have our days laid out as follows:

12-1 Hollywood Studios (1/2 day)
12-2 Animal Kingdom
12-3 Magic Kingdom
12-4 Epcot
12-5 Magic Kingdom
12-6 Hollywood Studios
12-7 Magic Kingdom
12-8 Animal Kingdom (1/2 day)

We have set aside time each day for rest for the little ones. Any advice on if we should rearrange our days? Should we push for MVMCP? We will be going back but probably not for 2-3 years and this is our kids’ first time.


2 Dave { 04.30.18 at 1:03 pm }

Hi Kevin, I won’t be able to advise until Disney publishes its schedule for then, which will be in about 6 weeks…On MVMCP, the value is not there unless you can stay late, which your youngest may prevent you from doing.

3 Kelly { 04.28.18 at 4:36 pm }

This will be our second trip to Disney with our family of 4, 2 kids ages 2.5 and 5.5 when we go. We are going 11/25-11/30 and only plan on going to AK, HS, and MK. We want it to be a pretty laid back trip. Any suggestions which parks to go to on which days?

4 Dave { 04.30.18 at 1:05 pm }

Hi Kelly, I can help, but only after Disney publishes its schedule for then, which will be in about 5 weeks. So ping me back, OK?

5 John { 05.05.18 at 2:12 pm }

So how much worse will oct15 to oct20 be with the large IT convention at swan and dolphin?

6 Dave { 05.06.18 at 9:34 am }

John, since this (the Gartner Symposium) has happened every year to little effect, I expect it to have little effect this year as well.

7 Bekah { 05.08.18 at 12:37 pm }

Hi Dave. I am planning a trip October 20-24 2018. I am planning on MK on the 21, and I will possibly go to the Halloween party that night, and MK on th 23. I am leaning towards Epcot on the 22. Is this a good plan? Thanks.

8 Dave { 05.09.18 at 6:54 am }

Hi Bekah, yes, it is!

9 Mike { 05.23.18 at 12:43 pm }

Hi Dave, I recently decided to abandon early 2019 and go with Fall of 2018. This trip will be two adults and we will have park hoppers arriving on Sunday 9/29 and leaving on Friday 10/5. Im early in the planning stages, but wanted your input on our morning choices as of now. The following is my initial list of parks to start the day off with.
Sat 9/29 – We will go to MK once we get to town. Thats just the way it is, Day one = MK
Sun 9/30 – Animal Kingdom
Mon 10/1 – Hollywood Studios
Tues 10/2 – Magic Kingdom
Wed 10/3 – Epcot
Thur 10/4 – Animal Kngdom
Again, these are my initial thoughs on parks for the mornings, we will move around later in the day. Any thoughts you have on the above list or anythoughts about the parks to visit later in the day would be much appreciated.

10 Dave { 05.24.18 at 7:12 am }

Hey Mike, your morning choices are terrific! My only caution on these depends on what you want to do at HS. If you want to see both the new rides and all the old e-ticket stuff like Tower of terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller, you may be better off doing Sunday there 1. if you have a hopper (which I assume you do) and 2. if you are eligible for, and can make, morning Extra Magic Hours.

If you want to hop to Epcot for Food & Wine, it will be most mobbed/most party-like on Saturday night, and will also see higher crowds the nights MK closes at 6p. In general, avoid hopping to an EMH park, especially on a day MK closes at 6. So 9/30 don’t hop to HS, and 10/2 and 10/4 don’t hop to Epcot

11 Candice { 06.02.18 at 5:16 pm }

What is the best week in October 2018 to go staying 5 nights?

12 Dave { 06.03.18 at 7:59 am }

Candice, weekdays are the least busy days, and the second half of the month is much less busyhan the first hall. So Sunday night-Thursday night 10/21 to 10/25, or Sun-Thurs 10/28 to 11/1, are your best bets.

13 Carol { 06.04.18 at 4:16 pm }

I have one, only one date to do a Disney day. October 13 is Universal and October 14 is Disney. Epcot won by a large margin in our party of 5 adults, only because we have never been to Food & Wine. It has been 4 years since a very short Disney weekend as well. So, I know Sunday October 14 is not the best date for Food & Wine, I have heard the crowds can be unreal, but will the ride waits be okay? Your thoughts on our Sunday?

14 Dave { 06.05.18 at 8:45 am }

Carol, while the F&W crowds can indeed be unreal, ride wait times at Epcot on 10/14 will be about average. I don’t have a one day EPcot plan on this site, but you can find one in my book.

15 Gary { 07.28.18 at 9:28 am }

I’m heading down for October 1-5, and it’s a first time visit for a 4 & 7 yr old. I’m thinking the following:
Mon Oct 1: Magic Kingdom
Wed Oct 3: Magic Kingdom
Fri Oct 5: Animal Kingdom
I imagine it will get busier as the week drags on closer to Columbus Day? These will be all single-day tickets and would like to get the most out of the visits. I figure going to MK earlier in the week is better than later, and these are the days that avoid the extra Disney Halloween events, so I’m hoping crowds will be more manageable?

16 Dave { 07.28.18 at 10:24 am }

Gary–single day tickets or a three day pass? A three day pass is MUCH less expensive.

Things at MK during the party season work the opposite of what you are thinking. Since the park closes to people who have not bought the extra cost party ticket at 6p, MK is neglected on party days and mobbed–just mobbed–on non party days. So got to MK at least one of your two days on a party day.

17 Peter Cronin { 08.10.18 at 7:12 am }

Hi Dave,
I am returning to WDW in October 2018 with a group of 20 students from the UK all aged 17. This is our third trip but our first one in October (19th to 23rd at the parks).
Your help and advice in the past two years has been invaluable so I am hoping you can help with this one.
We are visiting Hollywood Studios for the day on the Saturday 20th and were wondering if this is a good choice for that day. Also, we will not be going to the Mickey Not So Scary dates at Magic Kingdom so we can only really visit that park on the Monday 22nd to see the fireworks – do you think that will be okay as well?

18 Dave { 08.10.18 at 12:43 pm }

Hi Peter and so glad to have been able to help! 10/20 at HS is fine. 10/22 at MK will be very crowded, because most others think the same way you do. If your tickets/budgets allow, I would do two days at MK, one on Sun or Tues, then returning the evening of 10/22 for the fireworks

19 BRITTANY THOMAS { 09.10.18 at 6:36 pm }

HI Dave! I wondered if you could advise or give me any thoughts about the week of October 7-12, 2018. I am trying to pick which park to do on which days. Here are my plans so far. We have kids in our group. (ages 3, 7, 8)

Sunday 10/7-Magic Kingdom
Monday 10/8- Hollywood Studios with Character dining at Hollywood & Vine for dinner
Tuesday 10/9-Mickey’s NSSHP at Magic Kingdom ( we are planning on just doing the party)
Thu 10/11-Animal Kingdom
Fri 10/12-Epcot

Thank you so much!!

20 Dave { 09.11.18 at 7:31 am }

Hi Brittany this largely looks great! If you plan to be at EPcot Friday evening, be aware that tipsy locals will crowd World Showcase.

21 David { 09.16.18 at 2:04 pm }

Hello Dave I’m planning on visiting WDW on October. Arriving 10/14 – 10/20. My plan is:
10/14 = Disney not so scary.
10/15 = Hollywood
10/16 = U. Studios
10/17 = Magic Kingdom
10/18 = Animal Kingdom
10/19 = Island of Adventure
10/20 = Down Town
What do you think???

22 Dave { 09.17.18 at 10:58 am }

Hi David, I can’t comment on the Universal days. At WDW. 10/17 will be quite crowded at MK–I’d swap that and AK. And I’m curious why you are skipping Epcot.

23 David { 09.17.18 at 11:49 am }

Ok, I understand, so swapping M. Kingdom for Animal kindom?. I’m not a fan of Epcot.

24 Dave { 09.18.18 at 10:26 am }

Yes David, swap those two days!

25 David { 09.18.18 at 12:08 pm }

Thanks a lot Dave!

26 Jennifer Schiarizzi { 09.17.18 at 3:57 pm }

Hi Dave!
Please critique 🙂
Hotel – Grandfloridian
Going with my mom and two boys aged 2 and 4.
10/1 Epcot. First day wont arrive to park until 1pm.
10/2 Magic kingdom Be our guest 9am. Mickeys backyard BBQ 5:30pm
10/3 Hollywood studios- wont arrive until 1pm due to my sister and her 4 year old daughter joining our trip.
10/4 Mickeys not so scary Halloween party. We plan to arrive 3:45pm
10/5 last day no park

27 Dave { 09.18.18 at 10:32 am }

Hi Jennifer, the days are fine! There’s not a lot for kids that age at Epcot, even on a short day. AK would be a better choice-but Monday is not a good AK day.

28 Heather { 09.18.18 at 12:09 pm }

Arriving 10/29-11/ far our only plan is MGM on Thursday 11/1 and Mickey’s not so scary party on the 30th? what day do you recommend Animal Kingdom? 10/31 (Halloween) or Friday 11/2?

29 Dave { 09.19.18 at 9:04 am }

Heather, I see 11/2 as being better, but 31 will be OK.

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