Walt Disney World in October – Ride closures, crowd levels, special events & promotions

September 10, 2009 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

There are some things going on at Walt Disney World in October 2009 that you need to know about:                                                                                                           

Crowd Warnings:

1.   Free Dining Promotion – Other than Columbus Day weekend, October is a moderate  crowd time at Walt Disney World – they wouldn’t offer the “free dining promotion”, if it was going to be super busy.   But you will have a lot of competition at the sit-down restaurants; especially the most popular locations like Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, LeCellier, etc.  Make your dining reservations as soon as you are eligible.   Warning: Fantasmic Dinner Packages will probably completely fill the first day that they’re offered.  At this time, dining reservations can be booked 90 days prior to your arrival.

2.     Columbus Day Weekend – three day weekends always bump the crowds up a little bit and the free dining promotion will tempt parents to pull the kids out of school for a fall family adventure.  Expect the crowds to be busier than usual on October 10 -12th.

3.  Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival ~ September 25 – November 8, 2009.   This event is included with regular theme park admission; there a few special events related to this festival that have a separate admission fee. The Epcot Food & Wine Festival is very popular as chefs and winemakers from around the world set up booths where you can savor the wonderful flavors offered offered for sale.   There will be food & wine themed demonstrations as well.  You typically can use your Disney Dining Plan meal and snack credits at this event – in fact, many people “hoard” their snack credits just for this event.  Warning: This event is very, very popular.  Expect Epcot to be busier than usual on weekends as locals and annual passholders come to enjoy the festival.  TIP: Monday is always a great day to visit Epcot.  

4.  Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) –This great show is no longer presented every night.  It will be offered October 1, 4, 8, 11, 13, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29, 30, 31.  This is a very popular show and we highly recommend it – arrive at least 60 minutes early, if you do not have a Fantasmic! Dinner package.   Warning: When there are limited performances, you know Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going to be busier on days featuring a Fantasmic! show.  Afternoons will be especially busy as those with Park Hopper tickets come over to see the show.  A good touring plan will help you manage this.   Warning:  This show  is excellent but it does feature villains for a good 8-10 minutes.  The scene is fairly intense and can be frightening to small children.

5.  SpectroMagic Parade (Magic Kingdom) – This wonderful nighttime parade is not offered every night and the Magic Kingdom will be more crowded on days featuring a SpectroMagic Parade.   The SpectroMagic Parade will be presented on October 3, 5, 7,10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 19,21, 24, 26, 28, 3o.  TIP: Avoid going to the Magic Kingdom on October 11, 19, 26 – the combination of the Evening Extra Magic Hour (the park stays open an extra 3 hours for Disney hotel guests) along with the SpectroMagic Parade will make this park disproportionately busier than the other Disney theme parks.

6.  Extra Magic Hours – (Special hours only available to Disney resort hotel guest) !  We recommend that everyone avoid the Extra Magic Hour park of the day.   Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms and no one goes to Disney alone – that means too many people are pointed in the same direction at the same time. You’ll have a much nicer time by going to a less busy park.  This is doubly important if you are not staying at a Disney resort – you don’t want to get to the theme park and find a bunch of Disney guests in line in front of you. 

7.   A good touring plan will keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.   We provide three choices for custom touring plans – our Custom Touring Plans, the 2009 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (book), or a subscription to Tour Guide Mike (online service) – at  no charge to you when you book your trip through Build A Better Mouse Trip.  For more information, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php

Special Events:

1.   Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Disney’s Magic Kingdom)- 7:00PM to Midnight – October 1, 2, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31.  This special event is a lot of fun for families, with rides, trick-or-treating, and fun party type events.   These nights require a special event ticket – you cannot enter using your Magic Your Way or Park Hopper tickets.  Ticket prices vary with an advance purchase discount offered on select nights. There are a limited  TIP: A lot of children dress up for this event but select costumes that will let your kids comfortably enjoy the rides and attractions – remember that October can still be quite warm in Orlando.     Warning:  The Magic Kingdom will close to the public at 7:00PM on party nights.  Magic Kingdom resort area restaurants (Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare, Whispering Canyon, etc.) will fill their reservations early as people look for something nearby to enjoy after the early park closing.  For more information see: https://buildabettermousetrip.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party-tickets-on-sale-now/

2.  October 11thDisney’s Race for the Taste 10K & 3 K run. (Epcot & Disney’s Hollywood Studios™)  This event begins at 7:00AM and shouldn’t have a big impact on overall crowd levels but you may prefer to visit Epcot on a weekday.  

3.  October 17thOrlando International Dragon Boat Festival (Downtown Disney) Races will run from approximately 9:00AM – 5:30PM. 4.  October 24th – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 13K & 5K run.  Nighttime race occurs after park hours and won’t affect overall crowd levels.

5.  Celebrate Tonight – Downtown Disney’s West End Plaza.  Mini Street Parties featuring a DJ and stilt walkers lead dances, the limbo, party games, and sign-alongs.  They only last about 20 minutes each but are a lot of fun.  Sunday – Thursday:  intermittently 5:00pm– 11:00pm.  Friday – Saturday:  intermittently 6:00pm– Midnight.  Check on the hour and half hour.

6.  DIANA – The People’s Princess – Downtown Disney.  A 17,500 sq. ft. special exhibit of dresses and artifacts from the life of Princess Diana.   Now through November 30th, 2009.  Tickets available at the exhibit:  Ages 10 & older – $14.50 each / ages 3- 9 – $5.00 each.  Hours:  11:00AM – 11:00PM. 

7.   Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival ~ September 25 – November 8, 2009.   This event is included with regular theme park admission; there a few special events related to this festival that have a separate admission fee. The Epcot Food & Wine Festival is very popular as chefs and winemakers from around the world set up booths where you can savor the wonderful flavors offered.     Also popular are the “Eat to the Beat” mini-concerts offered nightly at 5:15PM, 6:30PM, & 7:45PM.   Here’s a tentative list of performers (subject to change):

  • Sept. 25-27:  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Sept. 28 – 29:  Richard Marx
  • Sept. 30 – Oct. 3:  Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • Oct. 4 – 6:  En Vogue
  • Oct. 7 – 8:  Better than Ezra
  • Oct. 9-11:  Sister Hazel 
  • Oct. 12-13:  Kool & the Gang
  • Oct. 14-16:  Spyro Gyra
  • Oct. 17-18:  Jon Secada
  • Oct. 19-20:  Sister Sledge
  • Oct. 21-22:  Vanessa Carlton
  • Oct. 23-25:  Taylor Dayne
  • Oct. 26-28:  Boyz II Men
  • Oct. 29-31:  John Waite
  • Nov. 1 – 2:  Night Ranger
  • Nov. 3 – 5:  Billy Ocean
  • Nov. 6- 8:  Los Lobos

Temporary Attraction Closures and refurbishments:

  • Liberty Tree Tavern (Restaurant – Magic Kingdom) the restaurant will be open but – beginning January 5th – Liberty Tree Tavern will no longer offer character dining.
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) will be closed until November 21, 2009.
  • Tomorrowland Light & Power Co.  (Arcade – Magic Kingdom) will be closed until November 21, 2009.
  • Flights of Wonder (Bird Show – Animal Kingdom) will be closed from September 13 – October 23rd.
  • Living with the Land (Epcot) will be closed until November 1, 2009.
  • Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course – closed October 22 – 31st for aerification.
  • Disney’s Magical Express (Airport Shuttle Service) - New luggage procedure for late night arrivals.  As of March 30th, luggage service will no longer be available for arrivals to Orlando International Airport after 10:00PM.   Collect your luggage at baggage claim and take with you to the Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk. 

 Can You Save Money with the Fall Free Dining Promotion

Disney released a free dining promotion that goes into December.   This is the first time we’ve seen this offered to the general public for the fall season and it can be a tremendous savings.   Guests booking a qualifying Magic Your Way package with a stay at the Disney value resorts receive the Disney Quick-Service dining plan at no additional cost.   Guests booking a qualifying Magic Your Way package at a Disney moderate or deluxe resort receive the Standard/Plus dining plan at no additional cost.   This can easily save a family of four over $100 per night of stay.    These must be booked by September 26th and are subject to availability so contact us right away to book your package.   Use the online form at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/Ordering.php

 Free Theme Park Touring Plans 

If you find this report helpful, please consider using us to book your vacation reservations or for custom theme park touring plans.  We are authorized Walt Disney World Vacation Planners and book directly with Disney so you never pay more than if you booked the reservation yourself.  Then we provide lots of help and advice designed to take the stress out of vacation planning. 

  • Help with building a Best Days Itinerary – a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
  • Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
  • Custom touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.  Or, if you prefer to do your own plans, we will provide either a subscription to Tour Guide Mike or the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to you instead of our touring plans.  The choice is yours.

At Build A Better Mouse Trip, we are convinced that everyone can benefit with good touring plans.   During busy times, a good plan will absolutely keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the lines – our clients typically wait less than 20 minutes for rides, even thrill rides and headliners.   During less crowded times, a good plan factors in shorter park hours and fewer performance times.    But the most important benefit of a good plan is that everyone gets to ride and see the things that they are looking forward to because everyone’s priorities are included in a plan that tours the parks efficiently and effectively.  For more information see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.htm

You can purchase custom planning service from us but most of our clients get them for free.  We accept Disney and other hotel commissions as payment for our planning services. If you’ve already booked your own reservation, it may be possible to have our name added as the agent of record.  Your rate, confirmation, and benefits all stay exactly the same.  In this situation, Disney just pays us the commission they would’ve kept for themselves.  Then – free to you – we provide you with custom touring plans that let you enjoy more attractions with less lines.

If you have questions or are interested in our services:

* just call us toll free at 877-815-6515
* or use the online form

Thank you,

Stephen

Build A Better Mouse Trip
Toll Free Phone: 877-815-6515

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Entry filed under: Rides and Attractions, Special Events, vacation planning, WDW Crowd Levels, WDW Ride Closures. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

2009 Candlelight Processional Lunch & Dinner Packages Now Available Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

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