Planning first trip to DLR in October

Hello! We are planning our first trip to DLR/DCA for October 17-21. We are planning on buying 4-day Park Hopper tickets and taking a day off in the middle to rest. We do not plan on going to Mickey’s Halloween Party, and we are staying nearby with family and have preschool/early grade school aged kids, just fyi. I am feeling very overwhelmed by figuring all this out, but to start with, here’s my main question:
Which day makes sense to use the Magic Morning hours? And which days make sense to plan to start at DLR versus DCA? I had read that Mondays are usually busier at DLR and so with that plus the Halloween party, I figured we could start the 17th at DCA. However, the crowd calendar shows DCA at a 5 and DLR at a 4 on that day! Any input on how much the crowd level predictors should impact our planning? Thank you!

If I’m not staying on site (which is 95% of the time), I go to which ever park doesn’t have EE for Disney guests. I haven’t been during “party season”, so I don’t know if/how that effects daytime crowds.

I’ve only been to Disneyland once, so I can’t offer much advice about crowd levels on different days, but one thing noteworthy when compared with Disney World is how easy it is to hop between parks. Since Disneyland and DCA are directly across from one another, you can walk between the parks in however long it takes to get through the turnstiles (which can be a tad slower than in WDW). You don’t even have to go through bag check again!

I mention this, because you may wish to spend at least one day in DCA first thing in the morning to get Radiator Springs Racer’s Fastpasses and probably also to ride at rope drop. Since (for now), they still have the old FastPass system, where you can’t choose what times you want to ride, your FP for Radiator Springs might be in the afternoon, at which point you might want to hop over the Disneyland for awhile. You also might want to try to time things to get a FP for RSR in the evening, to see that attraction in the dark, too!

Other things to consider are whether parades, fireworks, or other shows are running when you’re there. These don’t always take place every night in Disneyland.