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Everything you need to know about visiting Disney World in October

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October is a great time to visit the Disney World parks—especially if you like to get involved with the spooky season. 

With the scorching Orlando temperatures decreasing ever so slightly. And the chances of rain almost halving, October is a popular month for young families to visit the most magical place on Earth. 

Everything you need to know about visiting Disney World in October

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One of the biggest perks of visiting Disney World in October is celebrating Halloween. And with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party running on numerous nights throughout the month, Magic Kingdom is like you’ve never seen it before. 

If you’re planning to take a trip to Disney World in October, then here is everything you need to know!

Halloween at Magic Kingdom
Pumpkin Halloween at Magic Kingdom

The average temperature in Orlando in October

The average temperature in Orlando in October ranges from highs of 29°C (84°F) to lows of 20°C (68°F).

As we get closer to the winter months in Florida, temperatures—thankfully—begin to go down. Orlando has highs of 29°C throughout the month, and around midday, the sun will be at its hottest.

Come the evening however, the temperature drops to become much more manageable, making October an excellent time for young families to visit the parks.

In terms of rain, there are, on average, five days of rain throughout October, giving you a much drier experience compared to the summer months. But with that being said, there are still chances of storms and hurricanes. So that’s something to keep in mind before booking your trip.

Since 1985, there have been only nine hurricanes to close Walt Disney World. And of those, only one occurred in October—Hurricane Matthew.

As Orlando is in central Florida—quite a distance from the coast—hurricanes don’t tend to affect the parks too much. You may experience wind and rain, but Disney is equipped to deal with storms. So it could just mean a day or two cooped up in your resort. 

How busy is Disney World in October?

Crowd levels in Disney World during October vary throughout the month, with some weeks being busier than others.

Columbus Day weekend/Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October is one of the busiest weekends in the park. And toward the end of the month, crowd levels pick up as many people flock to Disney World for the Halloween celebrations. 

For a quieter October Disney World experience, then the first few weeks of the month—before Columbus Day—are your best bet. But if you don’t have the flexibility, try to avoid the parks on the weekends as that’s when locals come to enjoy the festivals and celebrations. 

Special events at Disney World in October

There are so many great events at Disney World all throughout the year—and October is no exception. Of course, October is the height of the spooky season, meaning Magic Kingdom will be dressed for Halloween.

But the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival also takes place in October, which is one not to be missed.

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

EPCOT puts on a few different festivals throughout the year. But the International Food and Wine Festival is definitely the biggest—and the most popular.

EPCOT is known for having a huge array of food options for various different cuisines. But during the festival, the options increase tenfold. 

If you’re a foodie, then the International Food and Wine Festival is the best time for you to visit the park. And even if you don’t plan on eating your way around the World Showcase, the festival has extra activities and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

One of my biggest tips for visiting EPCOT—even when the festival isn’t on—is to not schedule in lunch or dinner. Instead, fill up on snacks from all the different pavilions, as there are some seriously great options that you’ll be gutted you didn’t try. 

Halloween autumn fall decorations at Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

One of the biggest perks of visiting Disney World in October is the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. But the party actually runs from August to November 1st, so October isn’t the only time you can enjoy this extra-ticketed event. 

For the most authentic Halloween experience, you’ll want to purchase tickets for a date in October. And luckily, there is a handful of events each week.

With a ticket, you can enter the park from 4:00 PM onward. But 7:00 PM is when Magic Kingdom actually closes to those without a ticket. 

From 7:00 PM to midnight, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party guests can trick or treat around the park, watch a firework display hosted by Jack Skellington, join dance parties, and witness Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade.

On top of riding all of Magic Kingdom’s most loved rides in the process, of course. 

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween at Magic Kingdom

Early Entry for Disney Resort Guests

Disney Resort guests get the benefit of entering the parks every morning 30 minutes before regular ticketed guests. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest perks of staying on-site, as those extra 30 minutes can make a huge difference to your Disney day. 

Use this time to ride one of the most popular attractions. Take photos in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the Tree of Life, Spaceship Earth, or on Sunset Boulevard with no one around you.

Or just enjoy the parks and all the theming in—somewhat—peace and quiet. Don’t take the extra 30 minutes for granted. They really set you up for the most perfect day in the parks. 

Extra Park Hours for Deluxe Resort Guests

Deluxe Resort guests also get the chance to spend an extra two hours in either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom on select nights throughout the month. From 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM, you can experience either park with the lowest crowds you’ll ever see at Disney. And if you are into rides, then this time is ideal for smashing out the most popular attractions all in one night.

The dates and park change week by week, so it’s best to check the Walt Disney World website to see which park qualifies for your specific dates. Or ask at reception when you check into your hotel so you don’t miss this incredible experience. 

If you do have young children, then I suggest taking them back to the hotel in the late afternoon for a nap and a few hours of relaxation. That way, when you head back to the park, they may have the energy to stay awake until closing. You could also take a stroller and a blanket if all else fails.

What to wear to Disney World in October

If you’re visiting Disney World in October, you’ll want to pack light, breathable warm weather clothing as you can expect highs of 29°C (84°F) throughout the month.

In the evening, however, temperatures do drop slightly. So if you feel the cold, you may want to take along a jacket or a jumper. 

I’ve found it’s best to dress for all weather conditions, as the weather in Orlando can be extremely unpredictable. Wear shorts, T-shirts, or dresses, as well as comfortable shoes. And take along a poncho and a jumper in case the weather does decide to change. 

What should I pack for Disney in October?

When packing for Disney World in October, you’ll want to fill your suitcase with T-shirts, shorts, and dresses. Don’t forget these Disney Packing Essentials either!

I personally always like to wear a jumper and long pants on the plane, so that way you have additional layers that aren’t taking up a lot of your luggage space.

Along with all your favourite Disney-themed summer clothing items, you’ll also want to pack the following: 

  • Comfortable shoes
  • A sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable loose clothing
  • Flip flops for days in the water parks or around the pool
  • Swimwear
  • Cooling towels
  • Poncho or raincoat
  • Mist fans
  • Suncream and regular toiletries
  • Backpack

Tips for visiting Disney World in October

The more you visit Disney World, the more Disney World Tips and Tricks you pick up along the way. Some tips can really make a difference to your day in the parks.

So, to ensure you have the most magical holiday ever, here are some of my favourite tips and tricks that my family swears by. 

Rent or Take a Stroller

One of the best things you can do in Disney is rent or take a stroller. The Disney World parks are absolutely massive, and you can easily walk over 20,000 steps a day. 20,000 steps a day for adults is tiring. But for kids with little legs, it’s almost unbearable.

You can easily save yourself from tantrums, whinging, and breakdowns by renting a stroller at the entrance to all four Disney World parks. A single stroller costs $18, and a double costs $36—plus tax. 

If you don’t want to add additional costs to your holiday, then you can always take your own stroller instead. You will find, however, that strollers need to be smaller than 31” (79 cm) in width and 52” (132cm) in length to get into the parks. 

For recommendations on strollers that are suitable for Disney World, check out What is the Best Stroller for Disney?

Pack Your Own Snacks

Another budget-friendly tip is to take your own snacks and drinks to Disney World. You are allowed to take your own food and drink into the park—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 

Whenever we visit Disney, I always at least like to pack a refillable water bottle. You can refill water bottles at refill stations throughout the parks. Or you can ask a cast member at a drinks kiosk who will be happy to fill your bottle up for you. 

Florida is extremely hot all year round, and it’s important to stay hydrated. A single bottle of water in the parks costs $3.50. So as I’m sure you can imagine, the prices will soon add up over the duration of your holiday. 

If you do want to take some snack options with you, then here are the Best Snacks to Bring to Disney World.

Visit the Water Parks Early in the Morning or Late in the Afternoon

Disney World has two waterparks—Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. And during the hottest part of the day, crowd levels soar as people try to beat the Florida heat. 

One of my biggest tips for visiting the waterparks is to visit in the early morning or in the late afternoon. Mornings and late afternoons are typically the quietest times in the water parks, meaning you can enjoy the slides, wave pool and lazy river without huge crowds and queues. 

Schedule Naps for the Middle of the Day

When my daughters were younger, I always used to take them back to the hotel for a nap, a swim, and a few hours in the shade. The Florida heat really is no joke. And it’s simply just too hot for little ones—especially if you’ve come from the UK.

A few hours back in the resort, let you all recharge and rest before heading back to the parks for dinner reservations and firework displays. 

Ride Attractions with Indoor Queues in the Middle of the Day

Once your kids get older—like mine have—then you can switch the midday naps for attractions with indoor queues. You don’t want to be waiting in line under the scorching sun for 60+ minutes.

So, use the hottest part of the day to ride the attractions with indoor—or at least shaded—waiting areas. 

At the end of the day, you’re going to want to ride these rides anyway. So why not use them to your advantage? 

Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Queue Cheat Sheet
Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Queue Cheat Sheet

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes

When the parks are slightly busier than usual, Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes can really come in handy.

If you didn’t already know, the Disney Genie+ feature allows you to use the Lightning Lane entrance to bypass the standby line on select attractions. But unlike Disney’s old fast pass system, you will still have to wait in line. However, the lines will be shorter than if you were in the standby queue. 

You can also use Lightning Lanes—at an additional fee—to skip the lines on two high-demand attractions per day if there are attractions you definitely don’t want to miss. 

Whether Disney Genie+ is worth it will come down to your particular family. If you want to ride all the big attractions in the parks, then Disney Genie+ can certainly help you do that. But for more information, I put together An Easy Guide to Using Disney Genie +.

Download the Disney World App

Something I recommend everyone do before heading off to Disney World is download the Disney World app. The Disney World app has so many cool features that help you navigate the parks, book dining reservations, and join virtual queues, amongst many other things. 

Head over to your app store. Download the app. Create a login. And spend 10 minutes discovering the features and learning how the app works. Your knowledge of the app prior to entering the parks will really come in useful at various points throughout the day. 

Book Dining Reservations 60 Days in Advance

You can book Disney dining reservations 60 days before your trip. And if you want a reservation at some of the park’s most popular restaurants, you need to be ready and waiting as soon as they become available. 

Disney restaurants—especially character dining—book out fast. And if you’re not prepared at 6:00 AM (EDT), 60 days before your trip, then you could run the risk of missing out on a reservation.

My biggest tip is to have a plan, backups, and slight flexibility to ensure you get at least some of your chosen restaurants.

And don’t worry, if you don’t manage to get a table at one of your desired dining options, then you could still snag a reservation up to the day of your trip. People cancel reservations all the time, so keep checking the Disney World app, as you could get lucky!

FAQs 

How busy is Orlando in October? 

Orlando has periods of being busy and quiet throughout the month of October.

One of the busiest periods is Columbus Day Weekend/Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October. However, crowds also pick up toward the end of the month to celebrate Halloween.

What to wear to Disney in October? 

If you’re visiting Disney World in October, you’ll want to wear light, breathable clothing like shorts, t-shirts, and dresses.

Of an evening, however, temperatures can drop, so you may also want to take along a jumper or a jacket. 

Are Disney parks busy in October? 

Disney parks are busy over Columbus Day Weekend/Indigenous Peoples’ Day and toward the end of October as Disney guests celebrate Halloween.

The first week of October, however, is relatively quiet, with low crowds in all four Disney parks.

Is Disney World worth it in October?

Disney World is worth it in October as not only does Orlando cool down ever so slightly, but Disney celebrates Halloween and the International Food and Wine Festival. 

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