October 2024 at Disney World: Crowd Calendar & Info

This guide to October 2024 at Walt Disney World offers a free crowd calendar covering when to visit & avoid, best weather, new attraction openings & closures, Halloween, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, and more. We also cover what’s happening at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

October is when fall crowds start accelerating due to it being the main month of Halloween, school fall breaks, plus conventions and other group events. This makes it a stark contrast to September. Despite this, it’s still a good time to visit thanks to the weather, festivities, and new attractions, entertainment, and nighttime spectaculars all debuting.

In the not-too-distant past, October was a “best kept secret” when it came to the best months to visit Walt Disney World. Temperate weather, low crowds, value season pricing, and seasonal events all made it a good time to visit. This ceased to be the case about a decade ago, as October became a favorite month to visit for many WDW fans.

Suffice to say, October crowds have ballooned at Walt Disney World in recent years. This is due to a combination of the secret getting out, people postponing summer vacations for better pricing, more schools having longer fall breaks, Walt Disney World doing more convention business, and other factors. Now, October is one of Walt Disney World’s busier months.

We recommend utilizing our 1-Day Disney Park Itineraries & Touring Plans to make the most of your October experience at Walt Disney World. These will help you avoid the crowds, but more importantly, save you time waiting in line (since crowds and wait times are not the same).

October Weather at WDW

Weather at Walt Disney World continues to improve in October, with temperatures cooling even further from September, humidity dropping, and the tail end of hurricane and storm season concluding. Afternoon showers and torrential downpours are still possible, as is really hot and really cool weather, so remember to pack for a wide range of weather conditions.

You can view day-by-day temperature and weather forecasts plus historical averages for Walt Disney World weather in October here. As you can see, average highs are still in the 80s every day of the month, so it’s not that much cooler…although those 60 degree lows can make a big difference.

October Special Events

Walt Disney World’s anniversary is on October 1; Magic Kingdom opened on this date in 1971. Ditto EPCOT, except on October 1, 1982. In previous years, both have celebrated milestone anniversaries or celebrations starting on this date. That’s not the case in 2024–October 1 is a pretty inconsequential date the next few years.

However, Disney100 is now underway at Walt Disney World, having started in late September and continuing until the end of the year. This “celebration” will largely be confined to EPCOT, and isn’t much of an event at all. There are some photo ops, merchandise, character costumes, and entertainment at EPCOT, but that’s about it. See our Ultimate Guide to the Disney100 Anniversary Event at Walt Disney World for everything you need to know.

Also during October is the heart of the 2024 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ‘season’ at Magic Kingdom. This hard ticket event has a ton of dates in October 2024. While the schedule has not yet been released, that much is safe to predict. Likewise, we’re fairly confident that every single party during this month will sell out.

Magic Kingdom opens and closes earlier on Halloween party days. As discussed below, this causes roller coaster crowd conditions in the park that might seem counterintuitive. One of the best things you can do when planning is working around those events, as that’ll save you more time than anything else.

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival will also kick into high gear during the month of October. Check out our Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival Guide for more tips and tricks for this event.

October is one of the bigger months of the year for special events at Walt Disney World. However, aside from the ones we’ve already mentioned, most won’t be of interest to anyone reading this. While not pertinent as a ‘thing to do,’ these events (mostly major conventions hosted at the Crescent Lake Area Resorts and Coronado Springs) do have an impact on park attendance and crowds.


In terms of attractions, consult our Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule to see what’s scheduled for October. Due it being a busy month, there typically are not a lot of attraction closures during October at Walt Disney World.

The only major closure currently scheduled in the second half of 2024 is Splash Mountain…maybe. That ride is being reimagined into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The new attraction will bring guests into the world of “The Princess and the Frog” after the events of the movie. According to Disney, the reimagined ride will open at Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California in late 2024.

If recent rumors are to be believed, there’s actually an outside chance it’ll open by Summer 2024, in which case, it would be open in October (obviously). Even if it’s not ahead of schedule, the most logical opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure would be October 1, 2024 with previews prior to that. But we shall see–it could open pretty much anytime between July and December 2024!

Turning to what’s new, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind still qualifies even though it’s about 16 months old. At some point in September, it should drop its virtual queue by then, but if not: read this.

Fair warning: we’ve been saying that Cosmic Rewind should drop its VQ for over a year. Eventually, we’ll be correct. I have a really hard time imagining that it’ll still be in use by October 2024, but I probably would’ve said the same thing last year. It baffles me that it’s still in use, and really should come to an end during the winter off-season. Here’s hoping!

An alternative to the virtual queue is buying line-skipping access via the Individual Lightning Lanes. Those posts explain each option, their pros & cons, and everything else you need to know. Suffice to say, do not just show up to EPCOT expecting to join the standby line–as there isn’t one.

Then there’s the biggest addition to Magic Kingdom: TRON Lightcycle Run. This is the newest major attraction at Walt Disney World, having officially opened in April. This works very similarly to Cosmic Rewind; see our Virtual Queue Strategy Guide for TRON Lightcycle Run for details, tips & tricks for success, and more.

Bouncing back to EPCOT, there’s a bunch of other new stuff there. This includes World Celebration, CommuniCore Hall, Moana’s Journey of Water, and Luminous: Symphony of Us, all of which will only be less than one year old as of October 2024. That’s still pretty new in the grand scheme of things!

Other minor additions, including restaurants and more, have also debuted this year–with more on the horizon. See What’s New & Next at Walt Disney World in 2024 & Beyond. There’s also probably stuff about which we don’t yet know. Our expectation here is that Walt Disney World launches a promotional celebration or marketing campaign at some point in 2024, and that includes new entertainment. Our hope is that this means a new parade (day or night) and something at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, but we shall see!


There’s no color-coded crowd calendar for Walt Disney World at the top of this section because that would be reductionist and of minimal accuracy for October. It wouldn’t give you the full picture of Walt Disney World attendance trends or what to expect this fall.

Walt Disney World doesn’t release official attendance numbers, so crowd calendars use things like school schedules, airport traffic statistics, hotel pricing & occupancy, etc., as proxies for crowds. For years, this approach worked and made crowd calendars reliable. Walt Disney World attendance followed an identifiable pattern that tracked with the aforementioned proxies.

For the last few years, wait times have no longer reliably reflect actual crowds due to the aforementioned manipulation. We can still forecast attendance, but not the resulting wait times. This is like the difference between the actual temperature and the “feels like” temperature, but with crowds. The “feels like” crowds are likely what you care about most, but Walt Disney World crowd calendars don’t always get those right. With that said, here are our crowd calendar predictions for the best and worst weeks at Walt Disney World in October…

October 2024 is likely to see moderate and above crowds throughout the entirety of the month. There will be “less busy” and “more busy” times within the month, but low crowd days are unlikely. It’ll be significantly busier than September 2024, which is usually the slowest month of the entire year.

In a normal year, October would get progressively busier over the course of the month, starting at low-to-moderate levels in the first week, spiking during the second, and remaining elevated through the middle of the month. Larger crowds in October are due to conventions and other group events, fall breaks for various school districts, and other special events. In short, October 2024 will be a contrast to September.

With that said, October typically doesn’t start out too badly. In fact, it’s common for the first few days of October to be less busy than late September, which occurs due to deals expiring and higher date-based prices at the start of the month. As such, we’d expect October 1-5, 2024 being relatively slow. Roughly on par with or perhaps slightly lighter crowd levels than late September.

That won’t last long. October 6-10, 2024 still won’t be bad, but crowd levels should start to ramp up as fall breaks draw nearer. If you’re there both October 10 and 11, it’ll likely feel like an on-switch for crowds was flipped overnight. It’ll only get worse from there, as more schools are off for their breaks.

The middle of October will be very busy due to Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 14, 2024. This always catches visitors by surprise as people assume it’s not a major holiday–but it is when it comes to Walt Disney World trips. Last year, this marked the worst crowds at Walt Disney World since Easter. We’d expect a repeat of that in October 2024.

Accordingly, October 11 through October 19, 2024 will be the busiest week-plus of fall break at Walt Disney World and one of the the 10 worst ‘weeks’ of the year. Expect daily crowd levels of 7/10 to 10/10 at every park during this date range, with 8/10 and 9/10 being the most common crowd levels if last year is any indication. (It’s possible that October 17-19 won’t be quite that bad.)

In large part, this is due to that week being a common one for fall breaks. Many schools have days off during the next two weeks, leading to above average attendance in the middle of the October crowd calendar. However, the two weeks that follow typically aren’t as bad, even though major school districts (including those in South Florida) typically have breaks.

If we had to choose a time to visit in October 2024, it’d be October 20-31, 2024. In fact, that made our list of the 10 Best and 10 Worst Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World in 2024 & 2025. Those dates definitely won’t be uncrowded or even have low crowds in absolute terms, but it’s usually a good window in the month of October.

Then there’s Halloween on October 31, 2024 to end the month; this is not a terrible holiday from a crowds perspective since no one has it off work or school. But coupled with early November 2024 events, such as the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend the following weekend, it’ll likely be worse than the earlier days in that timeframe.

In a normal year, few days are 10/10 on the numerical October 2024 crowd calendar. Rather, most days are in the 7/10 or 8/10 range. However, it won’t feel like many days are “only” 7/10 on the crowd calendar if you get unlucky.

The other problem with October is that there are roller coaster crowds throughout the day and not all parks are equally busy. This is primarily due to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom and the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

On Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) nights, Magic Kingdom closes to regular ticket holders at 6 pm. Consequently, the park is less busy during the day time hours on dates when MNSSHP is held, and more busy on non-party days. This might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s because the party is separately-ticketed.

We’ve already seen this play out time and time again on the days of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. As discussed in  Least Crowded Late 2023 Days at Magic Kingdom, these are dates that we recommend doing MK for the lowest possible wait times during this time of year. (We’ll have a new list of 2024 dates once MNSSHP and MVMCP dates are announced.)

Last year, Halloween party days have ranged from 1/10 to 3/10 on the crowd calendar.

In October 2024, our expectation is that MNSSHP days will follow that same pattern, and be around 2/10 to 4/10 in Magic Kingdom. While that’s higher than in August or September, it’s worth noting that nonparty days will also be much busier in Magic Kingdom. If anything, the spread between wait times on MNSSHP days versus non-party days will grow.

Although Magic Kingdom closes earlier to regular guests on MNSSHP days, it also usually opens earlier. This is a huge advantage, as covered in Photo Report & Strategy: Magic Kingdom Early Entry at 7:30 am on Party Days.

Epcot will be significantly more busy on weekends when it comes to ‘feels like’ crowds, especially when Florida colleges like UCF have away football games. Although this does not impact attraction wait times, it does negatively impact atmosphere. There are times when World Showcase can have a frat party vibe on weekends, which is simply unpleasant.

Epcot’s attendance will be lightest on weekdays before 4 pm, with crowds growing after work as locals turn out to graze at the Food & Wine booths. Epcot is a much better experience Mondays through Thursdays. Saturday and Sunday should be avoided if at all possible.

Animal Kingdom will always be your best option for lower-crowd evenings during the fall. Thus far this Party Season, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been a great option on non-MNSSHP days. We’re also big fans of Park Hopping there for the second half of the day, catching Fantasmic or doing headliners with significantly shorter lines.

As discussed in Best & Worst Days of the Week to Do All Parks at Walt Disney World (and elsewhere), weekends have been ‘wonky’ at Walt Disney World lately, and much slower than the historical norm. However, we’ve been highly skeptical that this trend would continue for October through December.

Then there’s Disney Springs, the Crescent Lake resorts, and other high profile restaurants and bars at Walt Disney World, all of which are busier in the evenings during October. This is due to a surge in convention business, which peaks this month. Be sure to make ADRs for any fine dining outside the parks, and be aware that you’ll encounter heavier crowds in Disney Springs.

The above several paragraphs underscore why we don’t really care for traditional color-coded or numerical Walt Disney World crowd calendars. None of the above trends could be adequately conveyed by a simple graphic, and it’d be easy to become frustrated if we simply had an October 2024 crowd calendar with a ton of 7/10 or 8/10 days.

Instead, we’ve explained the how and why of October crowd flow, and now you can plan accordingly. While you’ll still encounter congestion and long waits, by zigging when others zag, you should avoid the worst of October’s crowds. This strategic park hopping advice is invaluable, and more useful than a numerical October crowd calendar.


Besides the events, October is a great month to visit in terms of what you’ll pay to visit. Single day ticket prices are entirely in the Value or Regular seasons, which means lower prices there. This doesn’t do you much good if you’re buying multi-day tickets, but those prices also tend to be average or below, as well.

There are also usually decent room-only discount offers, and we typically prefer this discount to the popular Free Disney Dining Plan promotion (which blocks out the entire month of October, anyway). If you’re booking a room-only discount, you can decide for yourself which hotel might be best by reading our Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews.

Overall, October is a mixed bag. There are great events and the weather is starting to get nicer, but there has been a surge in crowds the last few Octobers, and we’d expect that trend to continue. Still, we really like October, and if it ever returns to being a normal month crowd-wise, it’d be among our absolute favorite times to visit Walt Disney World.

In fact, if you can get past the crowds, October is still a moderately good month to visit. The weather is improving, and the seasonal events are in full swing. Because of that, October still does reasonably well on our Best and Worst Months at Walt Disney World post. Keep in mind that park hours are often short in October, which compounds the impact of those larger crowds, too.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

Are you a fan of visiting Walt Disney World in October? Are you excited for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, and everything new at Walt Disney World? Or would you prefer nothing special or new, but lower crowds? Have you experienced the heavier October crowds the last several years? Which month do you like to visit WDW? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!

189 Responses to “October 2024 at Disney World: Crowd Calendar & Info”
  1. Kathy pierce September 22, 2023
    • Honeybunnz September 24, 2023
  2. Jonathan Green September 6, 2023
  3. Imma August 27, 2023
  4. Jared S. January 31, 2023
    • Diana K January 31, 2023
    • Diana K. January 31, 2023
  5. Shoshana September 16, 2022
  6. Diana August 25, 2022
    • Tina August 26, 2022
    • Letisicia August 31, 2022
    • Aaron September 15, 2022
  7. Rhonda Brooks Moon September 25, 2021
    • Jonathan June 11, 2022
  8. María September 21, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *