SD › Best Time to Visit Orlando
Updated: May 28, 2021
When is the Best Time to Visit Orlando?
The best time to visit Orlando is from mid-January through April, outside of spring break and Easter. This period before the rainy/storm season hits is when Orlando experiences the most pleasant weather for sightseeing. Theme park lines are shorter as well, as dense holiday crowds have thinned, and summer’s peak tourist season has yet to arrive.
- Best Time to Go to Orlando for Good Weather: The best time for the most comfortable weather in Orlando is between January and April, when there’s little chance of rain and afternoon temperatures that range from the low to upper 20s.
- Best Time for Beaches: The best time to take advantage of the sand, sun, and the sea for swimming is March through May. This is when there will be plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures, with chances for rain relatively minimal. Sea temperature is already at 23°C in March, increasing to 25°C in April and 26°C in May. While it continues to warm as the year moves forward, chances for rain increase significantly with the arrival of storm season in June.
- Best Time For Visiting Theme Parks: The best time for visiting Orlando’s theme parks depends on the experience you’re looking for. If you hope to avoid the biggest crowds, don’t go during school holidays like spring break, summer vacation, or around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. During those times the lines will be the longest, while accommodation and airfare will be at their steepest. This is also when the parks host many special events, however, which might make it worth coming during busier periods. For the fewest crowds, plan to go between mid-January and mid-May, except mid-March through the first week in April which is spring break for many students. Parks tend to be less busy mid-week.
- Best Time For the Lowest Prices: Budget-minded travelers can usually find the best prices from mid-January through mid-February, when tourists have gone home after the holidays. Airfare and accommodation both tend to be cheaper this time of year. The next best time for reduced prices tends to be from mid-September through early December, other than Labor Day weekend, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, which tend to bring bigger crowds.
Orlando Travel Seasons
- High Season (March and April, June through August, mid-December through early January): High season falls during several different times of the year in Orlando, mainly during times when school isn’t in session. This includes March and April due to spring break, the summer months of June through August, and winter break, from about mid-December through early January. These are the times you can expect the biggest crowds and the highest prices with many families taking advantage of schooltime off.
- Shoulder Season (February, mid-September through October): The shoulder season is a bit all over the place as well. February tends to a quieter month after the departure of the holiday crowds; spring is still weeks away yet the weather is often idyllic. While it will be much warmer and likely wetter too, mid-September through October can be another good time to visit, just after summer vacation has passed.
- Low Season (May, November through mid-December): Orlando’s low season is limited generally to the month of May and the period of November through mid-December. May’s weather will be warm but not too hot, while by November and December the rainiest part of the year begins to fade, with the weather often feeling rather balmy. This is another good time to score lower airfare and accommodation rates.
Orlando Weather by Month
- Orlando Weather in January: January is one of the coldest months of the year in Orlando, but to most visitors it will feel rather balmy, with average temperatures of 15°C and the mercury climbing to 21°C in the afternoon. During the day, it’s generally pleasantly warm while early mornings and evenings can be quite cool with low temperatures of 9°C. Plan for a variety of clothing, including some items for warmer days (dresses, shorts, and short-sleeves) along with long pants, a hoodie, sweatshirt or sweater. Layering is a good idea now, with clothing that can be easily removed or put back on as the weather changes. While rain is possible, there’s just 57mm of precipitation over 10 days this month, so it’s unlikely to get in the way of your plans. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 57mm.)
- Orlando Weather in February: Much of the rest of the country will be experiencing freezing temperatures, but February in Orlando usually feels like late spring, with plenty of sun and afternoon temperatures reaching 22°C. As with January, you’ll still need a sweatshirt or sweater for cooler mornings and evenings, but you might also want to toss in a light rain jacket as the chances for rain increase quite a bit this month to 82mm over 10 days. The good news is that when it falls it usually doesn’t stick around for long. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 82mm.)
- Orlando Weather in March: March often brings idyllic weather to Orlando, as daytime highs now climb to 25°C. You’ll still need to bring a sweater or sweatshirt for chilly mornings and evening with the lows at 12°C and you may want to pack a light rain jacket too; 82mm of precipitation falls over 11 days in March on average. With sea temperature at 23°C, bringing a bathing suit is not only a good idea for swimming in heated pools, but at the beach as well. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 92mm.)
- Orlando Weather in April: April brings even warmer weather with high temperatures now at 28°C. With precipitation decreasing quite a bit to 61mm over 10 days, you’re unlikely to need a rain jacket very often. Now it’s all about warm weather clothing, but you might still want to toss in a sweater or sweatshirt for cooler evenings and for rides like roller coasters that can make it feel chillier due to the wind. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 61mm.)
- Orlando Weather in May: May is one of the quieter months in Orlando, and both the heat and humidity are really rising now with afternoon temperatures averaging a sizzling 31°C. The possibility of rain increases as well, with 84mm on average over 11 days. As the low temperature is now rather balmy at 18°C, there’s no need to pack for cool weather, but you might need a light waterproof jacket or poncho for rainy days. Other than that, it’s all about lightweight, sweat-wicking items, including tank tops, short-sleeve shirts, shorts, dresses and the like. Also a couple of bathing suits for spending time at the pool and swimming at the beach; sea temperature is at a warm 26°C now. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 84mm.)
- Orlando Weather in June: June in Orlando will be scorching hot and quite a bit wetter as the month progresses – an average of 170mm of precipitation falls over 22 days this month. The common saying is rain ponchos and theme park fast passes will be your best friends in the summer months. The average high increases another degree to 32°C and the low is at 22°C so there’s really no escaping the warmth now – even the sea will be quite warm at 28°C. Pack your summer attire, including a wide-brimmed hat and plenty of sunscreen, along with those rain ponchos. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 170mm.)
- Orlando Weather in July: The heat and humidity rise even more in July, making it important for visitors who come now to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, such as drinking water frequently to stay hydrated, taking breaks in the shade, or swimming. The mercury climbs to 33°C in the afternoon and sometimes higher, and there’s even more rainfall now with an average of 196mm over 23 days. Bring clothing that will keep you as dry and cool as possible, along with plenty of sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 196mm.)
- Orlando Weather in August: August is not much different than July in terms of the heat, humidity, and precipitation, with the afternoon high remaining the same, and 171mm of rainfall over 24 days. The later in the month you visit, the greater the chance for a tropical storm; the peak season for storms in Florida is late summer and early fall, which includes the possibility of tropical storms and hurricanes – although these are less likely in Orlando thanks to its more central location away from the coast. You are very likely to encounter thundershowers and heavy rain, but most often it comes in the form of short downpours, making it possible to duck into cover and just wait it out. Be prepared by bringing travel umbrellas, rain ponchos and the like. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 171mm.)
- Orlando Weather in September: The daily average high decreases slightly in September to 32°C but it will still be hot and muggy. This month is also the height of hurricane season, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the weather forecast and plan accordingly. While the chances for rain decreases over the course of the month, there’s still a 50/50 chance that on any given day, especially in the afternoon, you’ll see some rain. Plan to pack as you would for July or August, with lightweight clothing and waterproof gear, including rain ponchos. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 160mm.)
- Orlando Weather in October: October brings milder weather and milder crowds, with temperatures still warm but not unbearably hot. The afternoon high is now at 29°C and rain is decreasing now, with 86mm falling on average over 13 days. Sea temperatures are still warm enough for swimming to at 27°C. You’ll still want to focus on warm-weather attire, with even the low temperature quite pleasant at 18°C, though you might want to bring a sweater, hoodie, or sweatshirt if you plan to enjoy theme park rides at night. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 86mm.)
- Orlando Weather in November: November in Orlando is typically characterized by warm, dry days with pleasant temperatures that include afternoon highs of 25°C. The odds of rain are reduced even more now, with 48mm on average over 10 days; a rain jacket and other waterproof gear are likely to be unnecessary, especially later in the month. Evenings are getting chillier now with the low temperature at 14°C so you will want some type of jacket, sweater, hoodie, or sweatshirt for nighttime. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 48mm.)
- Orlando Weather in December: Crowds return with the arrival of the holidays, especially in the latter half of December. It’s typically pleasantly warm and dry this month with average highs of 23°C and about the same amount of precipitation as last month at 52mm over 10 days. This is the time to bring a mix of long and short-sleeve shirts, shorts, and long pants, as well as a sweater or sweatshirt. Don’t forget that swimsuit either, it may still be warm enough to swim with the sea temperature at 24°C. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 52mm.)
Orlando Events and Festivals
Orlando in January
- New Year’s Day – While January 1st is a public holiday, don’t expect many closures in Orlando. The Macy’s Holiday Parade runs from January 1 through January 6 at Universal Orlando Resort and the Citrus Bowl, the country’s seventh-oldest collegiate bowl game, takes place on New Year’s Day.
- Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon – Thousands of participants attend this annual event that travels a course through the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. It also includes a Health and Fitness Expo in the Milk House at Disney’s Wild World of Sports Complex, open for 5 days.
- Mecum Auction and Collector Show – The world’s largest collector car auction, with more than 3,000 classic and collector cars, is hosted in early January at Kissimimee’s Osceola Heritage Park.
- Otronicon – For 4 days in mid-January, this premier technology event hosted at the Orlando Science Center features state-of-the-art military and medical simulators, video game experiences, workshops taught by industry pros, and more.
Orlando in February
- The Old Florida Outdoor Festival – This festival typically runs for two days starting the first Friday in February in nearby Apopka. It offers the chance to feast on American classics like championship brisket and award-winning ribs along with sides like green bean casserole, mac ‘n’ cheese and loaded tater tots.
- Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort – Enjoy the Orlando version of New Orleans’ most famous party at Universal Orlando Resort starting early to mid-February and running through early April. The festivities include live music, authentic Cajun cuisine and a nightly parade along with a recreation of the French Quarter and lots of beads.
- Winter Garden Blues & BBQ Festival – Held at the Winter Garden Downtown Pavilion & Farmers Market in early February, this event features live southern blues and award-winning BBQ.
- SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival – This long-running weekend festival starts in early to mid-February and features 20 international kitchens and markets where visitors can enjoy tasty small plates and samples along with more than 70 beers.
Orlando in March
- Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – This festival runs for 80 days from early March through early June every year, featuring all sorts of garden delights, food and drink, a concert series, as well as nearly 70,000 colorful blooms that surround the lakes in Future World while hundreds of mini-gardens will float across the water.
- Florida Strawberry Festival – This event is all about strawberries; cream-topped, chocolate-dipped and sugar-sprinkled strawberries are sold and eaten, there are carnival rides and games, and headline music acts perform. It typically takes place around the first 10 days of March.
- Arnold Palmer Invitational – A crown jewel on the PGA tour, this annual event hosted at Arnold Palmer’s Hill Bay Club & Lodge for a week in early April brings out some of the biggest names in golf. Proceeds benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winne Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.
- St. Patrick’s Day – Orlando rolls out the emerald carpet for the Irish holiday on March 17. Highlights include Disney Springs’ Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Wall St. Plaza’s St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, featuring live Irish music, green beer and Jell-O shots, and a leprechaun.
Orlando in April
- Spring Fiesta in the Park – This event hosted on the banks of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando is held annually around the first weekend of April. It features all sorts of booths selling arts, crafts, homemade items, and a wide range of treats, along with live entertainment.
- Florida Film Festival – This festival showcases the best of cutting-edge cinema along with special events, industry parties, a start-studded attendee list, and indulgent food and wine experiences. It’s held for 10 days in mid-April.
- Easter – Lots of hotels and restaurants will offer special Easter feasts for the holiday. Easter Egg Hunts for the kids are frequently hosted too, including in the city of Winter Park just a short drive from Orlando.
- Central Florida Earth Day – This annual event takes place on April 20, Earth Day, every year at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. It features special guest speakers to create awareness about how we can help the planet along with a variety of family-friendly activities and music.
Orlando in May
- Clermont Waterfront Festival – About 30 minutes outside of Orlando, this festival hosted at Waterfront Park on Lake Minneola includes a canoe race, 5K running race, dragon boat races, and more than 60 craft vendors along with plenty of food and drink.
- Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival – During the second half of May, the oldest, non-juried arts festival in the U.S. takes place featuring art, music, and theater with hundreds of shows and free experiences, including live music, the Visual Fringe, Kids Fringe shows, food vendors, and a beer tent at Loch Haven Park in Orlando.
- MEGACON Orlando – The country’s largest comic, horror, anime, sci-fi and gaming event takes place over 4 days. It brings out the stars, and the opportunity to have your photo taken or get an autograph with celebrities.
- Taste of Soul – This even hosted at Orlando Festival Park takes place on a Saturday in mid-May. It focuses on African/American culture, with mouthwatering soul food, arts and crafts vendors, DJ music, and live soul music for dancing.
Orlando in June
- The Villages Balloon Festival – This 3-day event in early June and sometimes starting in late May features a variety of entertainment and ballooning activities with 30 hot air balloons, tethered balloon rides, and a special Kids Zone with games, activities, miniature horses, and gourmet food trucks.
- Silver Spurs Rodeo – Over the first weekend in June, this impressive rodeo offers a free pre-rodeo entertainment program that includes music, inflatable games, bounce houses, and face painting before the main event.
- Summer Grape Stomp – Held at the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards in Clermont, this annual event over a weekend in early June features live music, grape stomping, wine tasting, free tours, arts and crafts and more.
Orlando in July
- Fourth of July celebrations – July 4th is Independence Day, a national holiday, with a variety of events taking place on and around the day to celebrate. Many of the theme parks offer a free fireworks extravaganza with your park admission, and the Baldwin Park Independence Bash is held along the shores of Lake Baldwin. There will be a DJ stage, vendors and fireworks just after dusk.
- Free Concerts at Lakeridge Winery – Every Saturday throughout July, Lakeridge Winery in Clermont hosts a free outdoor concert with local bands. Beer, wine, soft drinks, and food are available for purchase.
- Taste of Jazz – In mid-July every year, the Dr. Phillips Center hosts nationally-known jazz artists for a week-long jazz workshop which includes a one-of-a-kind jam session and concert.
- Bastille Day Bash – Held in mid-July each year, this celebration that takes place at various venues in the Audubon Park Garden District features wine and cheese tasting, live music, baguette fencing, and more.
Orlando in August
- Main Streets Restaurants Week – In early August every year Orlando hosts this restaurant week. Participating restaurants will provide special prix fixe menus at established price points that range from $5 to $30.
- Florida Kids and Family Expo – Over a weekend in mid-August, this expo brings an entire day of indoor fun for families with more than 150 interactive exhibits and special zones for arts and crafts, sports, bounce houses, and more.
- Anime Festival Orlando – This event, held over 3 days in mid-August, brings a weekend of fun that includes game shows, cosplay events, community panels, industry guests, an artist alley, workshops, and live music and dancing to the Wyndham Orlando Resort.
- LGBT/Gay Days Expo – One of the largest LGBTQ travel, business, and entertainment expos in the world is hosted at the Wyndham Orlando Resort over 4 days in mid-August. DJ pool parties will be hosted as well.
Orlando in September
- Central Florida Film Festival – Just 20 minutes from Orlando in Ocoee, this film festival held over 3 days in early September showcases a full roundup from locally-created student shorts to international documentaries with screenings at the West Orange Cinema.
- SeaWorld’s Craft Beer Festival – Hosted over four weekends in September, this festival brings over 100 brews on draft to various locations at Sea World along with unique foods designed to pair with the extensive selection.
- Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights – This event begins in mid-September and runs through early November. A 10-time winner of “Best Halloween Event” by Amusement Today, it features haunted houses and scare zones that allow participants to relive “mega-horror” movies.
- Global Peace Film Festival – Held in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, this festival takes place at various venues throughout Orlando, promoting the art of motion pictures to further the goal of peace on earth. It includes parties, panels, a special concert, and film programs.
Orlando in October
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – The Magic Kingdom offers this annual Halloween event that’s an ideal option for families with younger kids. It includes a parade, live shows, trick-or-treating, fireworks, and character appearances throughout the month of October and into early November.
- Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival – Over a weekend in mid-October, this juried art show showcases work by outstanding Florida artists in Winter Park’s Central Park. It includes children’s art workshops, live entertainment, and food.
- Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival – The largest dragon boat event in the state brings over 70 teams to compete. It’s free to watch and there will be a variety of international foods at the Food Truck Bazaar. The Asia Trend Cultural Expo will also host performances and displays that highlight the diverse cultures of Asia. There will be a kids’ zone too, complete with bounce houses and inflatable slides, corn hole toss, giant Jenga, and checkers games and more.
- Halloween at Cranes Roost Park – Altamonte Springs, just outside of Orlando, hosts this event on October 31st that includes local businesses which sponsor booths to hand out candy and other treats. It starts with trick-or-treating around Cranes Roost Lake, and includes live entertainment followed by games and costume contests.
Orlando in November
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – This popular event at the Magic Kingdom is held on select nights from early November through just before Christmas. It includes treats, shows, fireworks, and appearances by Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse and other characters.
- Great Day in the Country – This arts and crafts show typically takes place on the second Saturday of November. Held in Oviedo, just a short drive northeast of downtown Orlando, it includes over 300 vendors.
- FusionFest – A free event hosted in downtown Orlando, FusionFest is a 2-day festival celebrating diversity and cultural inclusion in front of the Dr. Phillips Center, typically over Thanksgiving weekend.
- Festival of Trees – The Festival of Trees is an annual 10-day event that takes place in mid-November. Hosted by the Orlando Museum of Art, it transforms Loch Haven Park into a spectacular winter wonderland with twinkling trees and holiday décor. There will be a gingerbread village, Christmas trees of all sizes, custom-designed wreaths, and more.
Orlando in December
- Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show – The Christmas Tree in Lake Eola Park comes alive with a synchronized music and light show every evening throughout December and into early July, hourly starting at 5:45 p.m. through 9:45 p.m.
- SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration – Throughout December SeaWorld hosts spectacular live shows, festive food, and entertainment, including a lakeside Christmas market with holiday treats and unique artisan-crafted gifts.
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – This fun festival that takes place throughout December, reveals how Christmas is celebrated around the world, with foods from a wealth of different countries, candlelight processions, costumes, fireworks, and laser and water shows.
- Christmas Day – While December 25th, Christmas Day, is a national holiday, the theme parks are open for what’s usually one of the busiest days of the year. There will be plenty of restaurants open for enjoying Christmas dinner as well.
- New Year’s Eve – Many of the Orlando theme parks will host special New Year’s Eve events to ring in the new year on December 31 with light shows, dance parties and fireworks, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, LEGOLAND Florida Resort and SeaWorld Orlando.
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