When is the Best Time to Visit Orlando?

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Palm trees in Orlando Florida at Hyatt Regency in Orlando.
Source: Unsplash

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, Orlando has millions of visitors per year.

However, if you’re planning your own trip, it can be hard to decide when to go. Each part of the year has its benefits and downfalls, so it is important to determine exactly the best time to visit Orlando for you and your group.

There are a few factors you’re going to want to consider – weather, tourist volume, attractions, and seasonal pricing.

While there are several staples in Orlando that remain constant (Walt Disney World isn’t going anywhere!), aspects of the region do fluctuate. With that in mind, you want to consider the different elements (literally, the case of the weather) that could affect your trip.

We’ll help you work through them all so you can decide for yourself the best time to visit Orlando!


Table of Contents


Orlando Weather

Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Orlando Florida
Source: Unsplash

Overview

Orlando is in a subtropical area of the globe, with warm temperatures year-round. However, with the gorgeous weather of a tropical zone also comes the rains and humidity. Even though Orlando is inland, it doesn’t escape the seasons of the tropics.

Overall, the Orlando area follows a basic pattern – cooler dry season, cooler wet season, hot and humid season, hot and wet season. Even with this pattern, the weather in Orlando can sometimes be unpredictable. This is why my suitcase is always so heavy – you’ve got to prepare for all weathers!

When trying to figure out the best time to visit Orlando, you’ll want to factor in that unpredictability along with the general weather patterns.


Best Time to Visit Orlando – Looking at the Seasons

Seasonal Patterns

The general weather patterns of the seasons look like this:

Winter (December-February) – Temperatures are in the low 50s – low 70s, and it is the driest part of the year. That means minimal rain, and the most sun. Evenings can be chilly, the day times warm, so layers is the name of the game when packing.

Spring (March-May) – Temperatures range from 55-88 degrees, and the rains begin to pick up. Ironically, this is the time of year with the lowest humidity. Again, with such a temperature range, you’ll want a variety of clothes options.

Summer (June-August) – Summer hits Orlando in full force, really at the end of May. Temperatures are at lowest 50 degree, topping out at over 100 on the hottest days. This is also the maximum humidity, with levels well over 60% every day. Weather is the hardest to predict in the summer, and rain comes every day for at least an hour or two.

Fall (September-November) – This is the time of year with the most rain, and the storms can be violent. As it hurricane season, occasionally one will make its way far enough inland to affect Orlando. That is rare, but hurricanes on the coast cause storms in Orlando, sometimes to the level of tropical storms. This time of the year sees the highest humidity, largely due to the amount of rain.

Instagram: Alison Czinkota

There’s a reason the snowbirds head to Orlando in the wintertime! If you can get to Florida in the winter months, it may be your best bet for good weather. Just be sure to pack a variety of clothes! However, I’ve needed my winter coat in January before, so be checking the weather leading up to your departure.


Month-to-Month Orlando Weather

Even given the erratic nature of the weather, a general pattern can be helpful when deciding the best time to visit Orlando.

Orlando Weather in January

January tends to have the coolest temperatures, particularly in the evening, as well as one of the lowest rainfalls of the year.

Orlando Weather in February

February sees the daytime temperatures rise a bit, with the cooler nights remaining. Rain picks up a bit in February as well, starting the move out into the wetter seasons.

Orlando Weather in March

March statistically has the lowest humidity, hovering around 55%. While that may still seem high compared to other states, Orlando’s humidity can get well over 90% in the summer. Consistently ranked one of the most humid cities in the country, we’ll take the 40% decrease, thanks!

Daytime temperatures rise towards the upper 70s in March, although evenings remain cool. This is the time of year when you’ll be packing bathing suits and sweatpants all in one suitcase. If you’re wondering when you’ll actually get to wear those long-sleeved spirit jerseys, this is it. You might also see some rain in March, so just be ready.

Orlando Weather in April

April has a drop off of rain and an increase in temperatures, just in time for spring break. With the lower chance for rain comes lower humidity as well, which is perfect for a fun spring vacation.

Orlando Weather in May

May is when summer starts creeping in, with daytime temperatures starting to hit the 80s. At night, you’ll still be warm and comfortable in the mid-70s. You also have more sunshine hours during this month…and the sun starts to gain its summer strength. Sunblock, anyone?

Orlando Weather in June

June, as you might expect, has the most sunshine hours. This is also when summer comes in with a bang, beginning the hot and humid temperatures over 80 degrees almost every day. With these temperatures come the daily rains. It is common to look at your weather app and see thunderstorms every day in June, July, and August. However, those rains usually last from about 1-4pm, with the sun coming back out to steam away the wet. If you’re outside, you’ll feel like you’re in a sauna when the rains break.

All that being said, June can have some of the best weather days of the year. I’ve gone in June and not had it rain even once, so sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw.

Monthly Temperatures in Orlando
Source: Holiday-Weather

Orlando Weather in July

July ♪♫ feeling hot, hot, HOT! ♫♪ The sun is strong during July, so even if you don’t normally burn, put on sunscreen. You can really feel the tropical climate in the peak of the summer, from the humid mornings to the steamy afternoons. Even in the evening, you can still be hot and sticky with temperatures in the 80s. The upside to this is there’s never a bad time to swim! Ocean temperatures are highest during this month as well, so it may be worth the hour-long drive to the beach.

Orlando Weather in August

August is the beginning of the peak of hurricane season. While hurricane season technically starts back in June, most storms hit in the August-September range. However, remember that Orlando is rarely impacted by the direct storm, usually just the fall out along the fringes. What that means though is rain, and a lot of it. Even though July has the highest average rainfall, August is a close second.

Don’t let that discourage you from travelling in August, though. I have gone on a couple of trips in this month, and had zero rain for a five-day stay. Other times, it follows the normal rain-once-a-day pattern. Again, the most predictable part of Orlando weather is its unpredictability!

Orlando Weather in September

September in Orlando is an extension of summer, with warm temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. Rainfall typically drops off in September, although you can see some of the worst storms of the rainy season during this month.

September is the last month of warmer ocean temperatures, so if you’re go in September you may want to consider a beach day.

Orlando Weather in October

October still has warm daytime temperatures, but this is when nighttime temperatures can start to drop. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will, but closer to the end of the month, you might want a sweatshirt or long pants for your Halloween fun.

Chances for rain drop massively in October, a major advantage of travelling in this month. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t rain, so still be prepared. It will typically be warm enough for you to swim, but the pools might feel chilly.

Orlando Weather in November

November has the lowest chance of rain, which is great if you’re travelling to Orlando for Thanksgiving. Temperatures tend to still be warm, although the lows can sink into the 50s at night. I have needed a warm coat on a Thanksgiving trip, so don’t assume Orlando = hot at this time of year!

Orlando Weather in December

December is the beginning of the dry season, but also the cooler temperatures. I was once in Orlando during December, and it was 30 degrees! That is atypical, with daytime temperatures usually reaching the 70s, but you should be prepared for some chilly evenings.

Average Rainfall Patterns in Orlando
Source: Holiday Weather

How to Prepare for Your Orlando Trip

If you’re thinking Wait a minute, you’re saying that the weather really could do anything? that is somewhat true. However, there are some things you can count on – it will be hot and rainy in the summer, evenings will be cool in the winter, and it’s possible to get sunburn year round. The best way to be prepared is to follow a few simple strategies.

#1 – Check the Weather

Leading up to your trip, including the day you’re packing, check the weather for the week you will be in Orlando. That will give you the best idea of what you need to pack. You can also gauge if you will need items like a winter coat, raincoat, or umbrella.

#2 – Orlando has Seasons Too!

So many people have this false belief that it’s hot in Orlando all the time. That’s just not the case – this isn’t Hawaii. Don’t show up with just tank tops, shorts, and flip flops. Orlando winters have a chill, and you’ll want to be ready. Trust me; while that theme park jacket is a great souvenir, you’re going to be paying for it.

Even in the hot summer months, having a jacket can be nice for evening, rain, or the blast of AC in a restaurant.

#3 – Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst

You don’t want to go into your trip dreading the weather. However, you don’t want to get caught unprepared either. The best thing to do is to pack layers – shorts and t-shirts that can easily go under jackets and sweatpants. That way, you can start the day nice and warm and remove layers as you go.

In the warmer months, layers can also mean a poncho or raincoat. A poncho is a staple of summers in Orlando – everyone will have one, so don’t feel like you’re out of place. Also in the summer, you might want to bring extra clothes in case of rain. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to purchase new socks while in a theme park because of a sudden downpour.


Worst Time to Visit Orlando

Weather

Source: Unsplash

If the weather is your primary concern, the worst time to visit Orlando is the late summer. This is when you’re most likely to get not just rain, but heavy storms, bringing with it the highest levels of humidity. July, August, and even September can be nasty where weather is concerned.

These are also the highest temperatures, consistently in the upper 90s on a daily basis. With a combination of the humidity, it will feel like the swamp is floating around you in the air.

Crowds

Source: Unsplash

Summer crowds are bad, but that’s almost a given. With kids out of school, plenty of families travel to Orlando during the summer to hit the theme parks. However, the worst time of year for crowds is actually the two weeks leading up to Easter.

Surprised?

Take a minute to consider, and you’ll be a bit less startled by this news. For starters, remember that this is peak spring break season. Colleges start their spring breaks from mid-March to mid-April, which can coincide with Easter. High school also have their spring breaks in either the week before or the week after Easter, making it a prime time for parents to take their kids on vacation.

March-April are also the main months when high schools take students on trips – band, chorus, drama, you name it. As someone who travelled on these trips, I can tell you that hundreds of high schoolers definitely increase the crowds, particularly at theme parks. If you’re fine with wall-to-wall teenagers, then these festivals weeks might not bother you. If not, this would not be the best time to visit Orlando.


Best Time to Visit Orlando

Weather

Gorgeous weather day at Walt Disney World!

If your major concern were rain, then December-February would be the best time to visit Orlando. This is the dry season, statistically with the lowest rainfall and the sunniest days. Even though it is sunny, the rays aren’t quite as strong this time of year, so you also run a lower risk of sunburn.

Now, the temperatures will be a bit lower this time of year as well, as it is winter. However, that may be another tick in your pro column, depending on your views of hot weather. It can still be humid in these months, but it’s less oppressive with the lower temperatures. If you don’t mind layering up, then winter is the best time for you to visit Orlando.

For those that want it to be a bit warmer, but not quite summer hot, then October and November might be good times for you. There is a higher risk of rain, but it’s not to the levels of the summer months. October and November tend to have temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, while being in the 70s at night. My most recent trip to Orlando was in October, and it was hot without the scorch. We only had rain the night we arrived, and it fit with the typical two-hour downpour. After that, it was sunny skies!

Crowds

Rare sight – an empty walkway at Walt Disney World!

Statistically speaking, the lowest crowd point is the first week of September. Why? Schools. Even though several states in the area, including Florida itself, start school in mid-August, all schools are back by the week after Labor Day. Most parents don’t want to pull their kids out of school in the first week, or so close to the beginning of school, that most tourist locations see much lower crowds at that time.

If you have a family, obviously that doesn’t help you, but if you’re taking an adults-only trip that first week of school is your ticket. I have gone to Orlando during that week, and it was amazing. Minimal lines at the theme parks, lower traffic on the roads, even less waiting at restaurants. For those travelling without kids, the best time to visit Orlando is during this week.

Now, if you do have school-age kids, plan your trip in between MLK Day and President’s Day. Do not go during those long weekends, as they will be packed with holiday-weekenders. Pick another week (preferably, not when your kids are changing school quarters or semesters) and you’ll have lower crowds.

The theme parks, particularly Disney World, may still have traffic due to annual events around these times. At the same time, January tends to see a drop off in tourists after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Also, going between the holiday weekends should be less crowded, as people will have trips planned for those times.


Conclusion: When is the Best Time for YOU to Visit Orlando?

First, let me say this – if you’re going to Orlando at a particular time for an event like a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or other special occasion, then that is the best time for you to visit Orlando.

As someone with a summer birthday, we’ve gone at the height of the rain, heat, and humidity. And you know what? We had a great time.

With that in mind, you have to decide what is most important to you on your vacation.

If you only want sunny days, go during a time when it is less likely to rain.

If warm temperatures are the priority, then you’ll want to go during the months when you can be sure it will be balmy.

Trying to avoid the crowds? Then hit those off-season times.

Use the trends to figure out the best time to visit Orlando for your personal needs.

No matter what time of year you choose to go, we know you’re going to have a great time on your trip to Orlando!


Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer

Grace loves to travel, particularly to Florida or anywhere with a beach. Her ideal vacation is a mix of theme parks, historical sights, and local cuisine. That and a Caribbean cruise.