Visiting Disney in October, a big draw for Disney Vacation Club Members? 10

For many years, the received wisdom in Disney Vacation Club circles has been that early to mid December is a hugely popular time of the year for Members to visit Walt Disney World. It’s easy to see why, with lower crowds than during the Christmas holiday season itself, but you still get to experience all the decorations, and the additional events that are put on by Disney.

However, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of comments from Members on the Owning the Magic forum on the PassPorter message boards about people who were trying for waitlists for their October stay.

That set me thinking-what is it that makes Members so keen to visit during Walt Disney World during October? Firstly, let’s look at the economics, as that’s a huge issue in these tough times. The whole of October comes under the Choice Season for all the Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World. That’s the second cheapest of the five seasons to visit, so there’s your first motivating factor.

October often enjoys beautiful weather

Secondly, I’m sure the weather has something to do with it. Whenever we’ve visited in October, we’ve found the weather to be much more reliable than it is in, say, December. It’s usually reasonably hot, but not unbearably so, as it gets during the summer months. We’d certainly happily visit again in October, as we’ve found the weather to be pretty much perfect during our previous visits at that time of year.

No doubt crowds also have something to do with October visits as well. While they’re not as low as perhaps January or September, October is a pretty quiet time of year to visit, provided you avoid Columbus Day, which always sees a spike in visitor numbers, as any holiday weekend does throughout the year.

Athens, one of the cities represented at the Food and Wine Festival previously

Another draw in October has to be the Food and Wine Festival, which certainly tends to bring out the locals over Friday nights, and at the weekend. That’s one of the reasons why, if you want to stay at the Beach Club Villas or the BoardWalk Villas, and you don’t own points at either resort, you might find it tough to get a space in either at the seven month mark. Having stayed at our beloved Beach Club Villas before, and enjoyed the Food and Wine Festival, I can vouch for their popularity. There’s something very enjoyable about just being able to wander back to your home, after a pleasant evening out, enjoying snacks, and samples of wine, or perhaps beer.

The Haunted Mansion looks even more eerie during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Something else taking place in October that’s hugely popular, and perhaps with a different audience than the Food and Wine Festival draws, is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We love this party, especially the parade with the headless horseman at its helm, and the wonderous HalloWishes, with fireworks exploding everywhere you look. And where else can you find all seven dwarves out, meeting and greeting guests? That’s almost enough of a draw on its own, at least in our house, with its own fan of Grumpy!

I guess when you look at all the factors, it’s easy enough to understand why October draws a large number of Disney Vacation Club Members to enjoy their happy place. I’m hoping we’ll be heading back in October 2013 to enjoy everything I’ve just highlighted. What about you? Are you a fan of October visits, or is there a better time of year to visit Walt Disney World and enjoy your membership?

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What Do You Think?

10 thoughts on “Visiting Disney in October, a big draw for Disney Vacation Club Members?

  • Josh

    Love visiting WDW in October. The weather is great, the Food & Wine fest is amazing, and the crowds are generally low! Enjoyed your article!!

  • Rusty

    The weather, the low point cost and definitely the food and wine fest.

    We just had a horrendous March visit (3/6-3/9 then 3/12-3/15) The throngs of kids on spring break were loud and poorly behaved.

  • Shayne

    Looking forward to our very first October visit this year. We are mainly going for the Food & Wine Festival, but also plan to go to MNSSHP for the first time and run the Tower of Terror 10-miler to kick off our vacation. If you run 10 miles at the beginning, you can eat whatever you want after that, right? 😉

  • Darlene fogg

    We enjoy using our DVC membership in October. The weather is usually fantastic and we love the food and wine festival. While we haven’t yet been to the Halloween party this year we are hoping to make it. I do believe some of the increased popularity of October is related to school systems adding Fall breaks to their schedules allowing more people to travel this time of the year. I prefer this time of the year over spring break – fewer points needed for rooms and fewer crowds. So if we have to choose, we go in October.

  • Jeff

    we have not been there in 2 years , but we have always gone during Holloween week , it was alot of fun ,weather was great and crowdes were awesome , and since we are DVC memebers we always stay at Boardwalk and on Holloween night only they do alot for people of all ages, with Dj’s , meet and greet with one charecter , arts and crafts for kids , decorate a cookie , and a few other things . this is one of my most favorute times to go .

  • Sandy

    September/October is our favorite time to go for two primary reasons; one is that my company closes for a week in observance of a religious holiday and two is that since our children our grown we are not restricted to school vacations anymore so we can take advantage of the less busy times of the year. And since we discovered the Food and Wine Festival last year, we’re even more drawn to visiting Disneyworld at that time. Finally, as Cheryl stated in her article, the weather is perfect in the fall. Being a New Yorker, I can only take the Florida heat for so long.

  • Grandpa Dick

    Grandma and I visited during the Food & Wine Festival last year and loved it so much, we’re going again this year. We were actually lucky enough this year to get a studio at the Boardwalk with our Kidani Village points. It is still warm and it does get crowded on the weekends, so we adjust our schedule accordingly. We love WDW when the crowds are smaller and points are also lower. We took one of our sons and his family to AKL in February when their San Diego school was on break and it was really crowded. That reminded us why we like to visit WDW and DLR while school is in session and avoid weekends when possible. But, if we want to travel with our grandkids, we have to put up with the crowding. But, October? Heavenly.

  • Marsha

    WDW in October is the best! Last year my friend and I timed it perfectly. We were there for two weeks. We went to MNSSHP on Halloween night and then found out that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party started on November 8th, which was 3 days before out departure date! We got to go to that too! It was her first trip and now she can’t wait to go back!! Guess timing really is everything!

  • Sharon

    We are not DVC owners but we visit WDW every year in October. It’s our favorite time of year to go. Awesome weather, Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, not to mention our daughter’s birthday is in October so it’s a great way to celebrate! The crowds have gotten a little larger over the last few years, but still very manageable – not at all like summer crowds. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend an October visit to anyone thinking of visiting WDW.

  • Edward Bagnell

    We have been going to WDW June, 1972. Our favorite times are February, October, November and December. Outside of holiday weeks and weekends of course. Everyone has mentioned the Food & Wine Festival in EPCOT, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom, and the weather. Don’t forget the Haunted Wagon Ride in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Our family had a great time doing this. After we went to the Hoop-t-do dinner show. Avery nice family fun evening.