Is there really a bad time to visit the Sunshine State or more specifically, Orlando? Some people will argue that the best time to visit Orlando is during the spring so you can party with the spring break crowds while others will argue that winter break is the best time because the Orlando theme parks are not as crowded and great deals can be had.
No matter what time of year you decide to visit, there will be something fun and exciting to check out and keep you busy. Finding the best time to visit Orlando will really depend on what your expectations are when you visit.
Certain times of the year will offer better deals and hotel prices so for those hoping for a great deal, going during the off-peak season is the best choice. When you arrive in Orlando, drop your bags with Bounce luggage storage so you can strike out through the city right away and not worry about your things.
Summer in Orlando: June-August
Summer in Orlando can be quite hard to manage if you are not used to the heat and humidity. With temperatures averaging in the mid-90s (low 30sC)and the higher humidity making it feel like the low 100s (high 30sC), this subtropical climate really is fantastic for swimming in the ocean or the natural springs around the city. The heat does usually continue through mid-September.
Despite the hazy heat of summer, June sees large crowds, especially at the theme parks and the beaches. The main attractions are always packed and lines are very long to get into the parks and attractions. If you happen to be visiting Orlando for more of a cultural experience, you may want to stick with the museums and art galleries that are deliciously air conditioned.
Peak tourist time during the summer months is in July and is the busiest time for the theme parks and attractions in Orlando. Be sure to keep the kids hydrated and slathered in sunscreen when you are out and about at the theme parks. The lines for the rides will be super long unless you purchase a special pass that allows you to skip the line one time for select rides.
August is always the hottest month in Orlando. You really want to stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. The sun is at its hottest between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The water parks in Orlando are at full capacity all day long during August.
Summertime in Orlando is very pricey. Airfare, hotels, and even attractions cost more during the summer months and there are fewer deals to be had for families or large groups planning a trip. You might be able to score a few small deals if you book several months in advance but still plan on spending quite a bit more than if you visited during the less busy times.
Events that occur in the summer include Bite30 (restaurant week lasts for 30 days in Orlando and celebrates the restaurant scene’s best of the best) and the Fourth of July Fireworks (fireworks light up the sky over Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs).
Additional fun includes the Lake Nona Great American Block Party which is a free event for the whole family with activities, lots of food, and live entertainment. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is a month-long festival serving up some of the best wine and food in Orlando.
Fall in Orlando: September-November
While hurricanes do not normally cause problems in Orlando, hurricane season does go from June through October and when a hurricane is headed toward Florida, it is something to keep in the back of your mind while planning your trip during the summer and fall months. September is also still very hot and humid making it tricky to be outdoors for long periods of time. Temperatures will be around 86 (30C).
With school going back in session in September, tourism does drop off a bit and hotel rates will plummet. It is also one of the best times to visit the theme parks in Orlando because lines will be shorter and crowds thinner, making it a more enjoyable experience. You can also score some pretty good deals on theme park packages and such.
October sees the furnace that is Orlando switch off and much-needed cooler temperatures are a welcome relief for locals and tourists. It is still warm in Orlando in the fall. It is in Florida after all, but the humidity does decrease, making it bearable. Temperatures will be in the lower to mid-80s (high 20sC) but it is pleasant without the humidity.
November sees many of the snowbirds coming in to roost for the winter and hotel prices begin to rise as Orlando gears up for the holidays. Tourists also start making plans to visit during the holidays as a way to get away from the cold and snow.
Events that occur in the fall include Orlando Pride Festival. Pride month falls in October for Orlando and the city offers events throughout the city. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is held at the Disney World Resort, and is a great party for kids.
Plan to attend Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. This is not really an activity for kids, but teens and adults will love the gore and terror. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues through November at Walt Disney World Resort.
Winter in Orlando: December-February
Temps during winter in Orlando are absolutely perfect for those who detest the frigid temperatures that engulf most of the country. Balmy weather with highs in the mid-70s (mid 20sC) and lows in the low 50s (10sC) makes for a pleasant vacation in Orlando. Bring a jacket if you plan on being out and about in the evenings when the sun goes down and there is a nip in the air.
While you can get some pretty cheap hotel rates in the fall once school is back in session, the absolute best time to find the cheapest rates on hotels, airfare, and package deals for theme parks and attractions is during January and February. But you'll want to avoid certain holidays including Martin Luther King Jr Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day.
December still has high prices because of the Christmas season and New Year’s so unless you are traveling to be with family for the holidays you may want to plan on postponing your trip until January or February when things are cheaper. You will want to start searching for the best deals about six months in advance.
The theme parks are decorated for the holidays with twinkling lights, characters in Santa suits, and elves dancing around every corner; it is not your typical winter wonderland. Huge crowds descend on Orlando during Christmas and winter breaks making traffic a nightmare and all the attractions and theme parks are filled to capacity.
The first part of January is still busy since most schools are still on winter break but thankfully prices for hotels drop quickly. The crowds are still pretty dense at the more popular tourist attractions but there are a lot of non-touristy things in downtown Orlando or nearby Winter Park that will be less crowded but still super fun.
Paddleboarding in February can only happen in Florida. Many people head out to the lakes and enjoy time on the water while the rest of the country is freezing. You can see the manatees’ migration at Blue Spring State Park in February. These amazing animals are a sight to see so bring along your camera.
SeaWorld Orlando offers amazing deals during the winter season and is a wonderful place to hang out and enjoy animal encounters. If you happen to have the kids in tow, they will love seeing all the different animals housed here.
Events that occur in the winter include Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, which is the Christmas story is retold to the accompaniment of a 50-piece orchestra and choir. Citrus Bowl is a popular college football bowl game that is held at the Camping World Stadium.
Other entertaining things to do are the Epcot International Festival of the Arts (live concerts, workshops, performances, and exhibits celebrating everything related to art) and the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Thousands of runners dressed up as Disney princesses and princes converge on Orlando for this half marathon.
Lastly, consider Universal Orlando Mardi Gras. The Big Easy invades the Sunshine State as Mardi Gras is done up right in Orlando with live entertainment, delicious food, and parades every day.
Spring in Orlando: March-May
Most people will say that the best time to visit Orlando is during the spring from March to May when the weather is almost perfect. Temps climb into the upper 80s (high 20sC) and then drop back down into the upper 50s (mid10sC) at night so bring along a sweater or jacket for those chilly evenings.
Prices are still reasonable, except for holiday weekends and of course, spring break, making it one of the cheapest times to visit Orlando. You will want to book your airfare and hotels a few months in advance to take advantage of cheaper rates. Springtime is also one of the driest seasons for Orlando making it ideal for theme park visits and lounging on the beaches.
Spring breakers invade the city in March bringing huge crowds of rambunctious college students. Epcot also hosts the annual Flower & Garden Festival which is another big tourist draw. Overflow from Daytona Bike Week also affects Orlando tourism in March. If you plan on visiting during this month, your itinerary may want to include public parks, museums, malls, and breweries rather than the typical touristy things.
Easter break sees a lot of visitors to the theme parks and spring break will continue into April. Orlando is a busy place to be during April and if you are not interested in seeing the theme parks, head to the lakes and parks for some great outdoor fun with smaller crowds. The water temperatures are also starting to rise making it a good time to dive into the water.
The rainy season begins in May so make sure you have an alternative itinerary for the best things to do on a rainy day in Orlando. There are plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained when rain threatens to ruin your day at the lake or theme parks.
Events that occur in the spring include Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival. Experience the sight of breathtaking gardens and floral arrangements including some beloved Disney characters crafted out of flowers and greenery. Make time for APGD Eat Local, Sip Local Stroll. The Audubon Park Garden District is where you want to be for dishes made with Florida-grown ingredients and local craft beers.
Head to the Florida Film Festival. The Enzian Theater hosts a 10-day film festival where about 200 different films are shown. Church Street in downtown Orlando hosts a night of margaritas, tacos, guacamole, and live entertainment during Cinco de Mayo.
The best time to visit Orlando is all of the time
Summer vacation is always a great time to visit Orlando if you can take the heat and humidity. Early January offers a break from the freezing temps that most of the United States experiences. Mid-November sees holiday crowds start to gather. Really, no matter what time of year you want to visit Orlando, you will find more than enough to keep you entertained.
From Orlando's theme parks to the Epcot International Flower show, there is definitely something for everyone. The pleasant weather draws the crowds, even during Florida's rainy season. The summer heat, though, can be taxing so remember to stay hydrated and apply plenty of sunscreen. Grab your friends and plan your next vacation to Orlando!
Know what you want to do during your trip to Orlando? Check out these guides for inspiration!