The Best Time of Year to Visit Orlando and Florida

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… ok well, almost. The kids are back in school and most of the professional world is back in full swing. As a result, hotel parking lots show more vacant spaces, the highways are starting to become slightly less cluttered, and the theme parks are starting to regain breathing room.

A rare moment indeed
A rare moment indeed

I am frequently asked what time of year is the best, less busy time to visit Orlando and Florida. It’s really quite simple: are the kids in school? If your answer is yes that’s when it is not as busy in the Sunshine State. To dig a little further, the busiest times for Florida, especially Orlando, are the country’s major holidays. There is always the calm before, and right after, the storm. For example, the week before Thanksgiving is practically empty. Yet, all the parks are decorated and, for the most part, ready to go with holiday cheer.

Christmas is over the top in the theme parks
The holidays begin as early as the second week of November
  • January and February: these two months are simply glorious, but it is also luck of the draw. There is a dramatic lull in theme park attendance starting the second week of January. There are small spikes in attendance during Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend and Presidents’ Day Weekend, but otherwise all is calm. However, the weather can  be finicky. Oh sure, it can be bright, sunny, and warm, but it can also be cold, cloudy, or rainy.
  • May – I feel that May is the most underrated month in Florida. Spring break is over and the beaches become civil again. The theme parks are near empty and the weather is wonderful. The summer heat and humidity creeps in, but it is no where near the oppressive heat of summer, which makes it the perfect time to visit Florida’s beaches, state parks, and main attractions.
  • September – Seriously, the Tuesday after Labor Day the entire state of Florida breathes a huge sigh of relief. We’ve made it through the summer crowds, (I feel so bad for the people who actually think it is wise to visit Orlando and Florida in June, July, or August). The minute Labor Day is over, the state clears out.
Non peak season offers more serenity
Non peak season offers more serenity

It can be difficult to take the kids out of school, and I certainly do not recommend doing so for long periods of time or when the kiddos have big things going on in school, but it can pay off when you are able to have a more relaxing vacation. It can be difficult to take time off from work when it is not a major holiday, but it can really payoff by having a vacation that is not as hectic and allows you to truly recharge your batteries. Plus, visiting during the slower seasons is easier on your wallet. And so, now that the holiday crowds have ebbed, I will be making my return to the parks after a month long hiatus. Here’s to enjoying ThisFloridaLife!


31 thoughts on “The Best Time of Year to Visit Orlando and Florida”

  1. You have just provided the info I needed. I have been wondering when to go to Universal Studios in such a fashion as to avoid the crowds…well now i know 🙂 Thanks to you. Thank you for this most insightful post.


  2. We found this to be very true when we traveled there last January, which is why we’re going again this year in a couple of weeks. Plus, for us Fl. residents, Disney offers a phenomenal deal on 3 and 4 day park passes! It really is the best time of year to visit 🙂

    1. Fantastic! I hope you have a great time, but summer is the worse time to visit. It’s hot, humid, and crowded.
      So bring your patience and plan plenty of chill time to relax. I hope you enjoy your visit!

  3. Hi I’m From Australia, I’m contemplating what month to bring my family to Fl Orlando, My hubby hates crowds & lining up for Rides, when do you think it would be best to travel to glorious Orlando, May or September. I’m coming in 2014

    1. Hi there, any time in May before Memorial Day weekend which is the last weekend in May or if in September then after Labor Day which is the first weekend in September.
      Either month during those times is great. If I had to pick one over the other I would go with May. Not as hot and humid. And although EXTREMELY rare, September is part of hurricane season.

      1. Excellent, Many thanks for your reply & your suggestion ! I was thinking May myself …

  4. Thanks for your info. My wife and I were in Orlando for our honeymoon in October and we loved it, no queues and great weather. We told our friends how great it was and straight away booked a group holiday for May14. I worried that maybe we jumped the gun by booking May rather than holding of to October again, but your blog has put me at ease. Thanks

    1. Any time in the Summer, June – early September is busy and very hot and humid. Mid-June is better than July. But nothing beats May, September, and January – February. I hope you have a great trip!

  5. we were looking at going last week in may and first 2 weeks in june next year? is this going to be a bad move or should we do last 2 weeks in may first in june? I want it to be a funfilled holiday but also hot

  6. Oh dear I’m worried now we can only go late July 😦 as daughter will be 13 so can’t take her out of school

    1. Hi Mandy, Yes July will be quite busy, humid, and hot. But if that is the only time you can go fear not. Just be sure to plan out your trip, drinks lots of water, wear sunscreen, and plan plenty of time for breaks and relaxation. I am sure you and your daughter will have a great time!

  7. I was planning on coming September 2016 around the 7th – 21st – would this be a good idea? Before I’ve been at the end of November and it was great. Would you say it’s better in September temperature and crowd-wise?

    1. I am not sure how I missed this comment, I am so sorry. I would recommend Easter over August for weather. Though if it is late August then it will be less crowded than Easter but it will be HOT AND HUMID

  8. I was thinking about going on my first trip with my girlfriend on mid September 2017, like from 9th sept to 16th. Would you recommend us those dates?

      1. Ohhhh thank for the tip! And how shorter do the theme park hours get? And how about the weather?

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