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.
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.
- 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.
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!