October at Disney World: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Mickey and Minnie in Halloween costumes

 Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

With its warm climate and abundance of Halloween events, Walt Disney World in Orlando is a popular destination come October. Families line up to see zombies, headless horsemen, and Mickey and company dressed in costumes. But despite the festive vibes, this time of year is actually value season—discounts and deals abound.

After the summer crowd dwindles, some rides and attractions close for renovation and refurbishment, so be sure to check the specifics on your must-do list before you go. The Magic Kingdom closes at 7 p.m. on many nights in October for Mickey's Not-So-Spooky Halloween Spectacular, an event that requires a different ticket than the standard park pass.

Disney World Weather in October

Orlando is one of the warmest U.S. destinations to visit in October, with the average high being 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) and the average low being a still-mild 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). The later into the month you visit, the cooler you can expect it to be.

The summer rains start to wane, too, and with them, the humidity. October typically sees about 13 rainy days, accumulating just over 3 inches, but most of the precipitation occurs via brief afternoon showers. Mornings and evenings bring sunshine even on wet days.

In early October, Orlando gets about 12 hours of daylight, but the days get shorter by about an hour by the end of the month. Still, there is plenty of time in the day to visit a water park or lounge by your resort pool, seeing as the water at Disney World is usually heated.

What to Pack

Your suitcase should be packed with shorts and t-shirts for daytime and light jackets, sweaters, and pants for after dark. Certainly don't forget a pair of sneakers (or two)—any Disney-goer knows how much walking is involved. If you plan to participate in water rides at Disney World, bring a backpack with a change of clothes. Sunscreen is obligatory. The park allows visitors to bring in their own outside food and drink so long as it's not kept in glass containers.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

October Events at Disney World

With the Halloween festivities and culinary events happening in October, there should be plenty to entertain Disney World-goers of any age.

  • Mickey's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular: Come in costume and enjoy trick-or-treating, parades, fireworks, costume parties, and not-so-scary shows at the Magic Kingdom. This party takes place on multiple nights throughout the month, culminating on Halloween, but it requires a special ticket. In 2020, all featured parties have been canceled.
  • Disney After Hours Boo Bash: Twice nightly, beloved characters parade down the streets of Disney in Halloween costumes, joined by zombies and ghosts and other scary (but not too scary) things. The procession is led by a headless horseman. For much of 2020, the parades have been canceled.
  • Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival: This months-long event is in full swing through October. In the Global Marketplaces, you can sample an array of cuisines with gourmet small plates and exotic drinks before getting your groove on at the Eat to the Beat concert series. Expect cooking demonstrations, celebrity chef appearances, and food seminars. In 2020, the festival will be modified for social distancing. About 20 Global Marketplaces (themed around Hawaii, Hops & Barley, Islands of the Caribbean, and more) will be spaced out around the park.

October Travel Tips

  • You can make advanced dining reservations for most table-service restaurants within 180 days of your visit. There are typically first-come lounges and quick-service restaurants available, but they often take a long time.
  • Restaurants closest to the resort normally fill up quickly on Mickey's Not-So-Spooky Halloween Spectacular nights, so be sure to book ahead.
  • You can still benefit from Disney's FastPass+ system in October, so use it to cut down on longer wait times for popular attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest, which almost always have long lines.
  • Crowds during the "Columbus Day" weekend, also celebrated as Indigenous Peoples' Day in other states on the second Monday of October, rival those of the summer season and peak holiday times.
  • Weekends during Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival get very busy as many local residents attend these festivities.
  • Even without promotional rates, you can always save money by purchasing your Disney World tickets online rather than at the park's ticket windows.
  • If you're not keen on crowds, try to visit mid-week versus over a weekend. As a bonus, mid-week tickets are cheaper, too.