Orlando is home to some of the most famous theme parks in the world. Experience white-knuckle rides, fairy tale fantasies, awe-inspiring shows and incredible shopping malls all in one fun-filled holiday to Orlando. If you want to stay in the heart of the action, opt for a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Bustling International Drive is known for its bars, shops and restaurants, while scenic Kissimmee is the place to kick back after a busy day at the parks. Whether you decide to stay in a hotel or rental villa really depends on what your requirements are; either way, there is a lot of choice.
Weather & Climate
One of Orlando’s biggest draws is the year-round sunny, mild weather. In keeping with the “Sunshine State”, Central Florida maintains a comfortable average annual temperature of 72 degrees and a mostly dry climate from October to May.
- Hot and humid in the summer with afternoon showers from May to August.
- Spring and autumn are warm and sunny.
- November to February are still sunny, but evenings can be slightly chilly.
A popular question that often gets asked is, ‘When is the best time to visit Orlando?’.
Any time is a fantastic time to travel to Orlando, which is open 365 days a year. Like any favourite destination, it is busier and prices can be higher during school holidays as well as festive and special celebrations, but, unlike other top hotspots, you will always be able find your own space in this enormous fun-filled destination. Even in the hot summer months, there are places to escape the crowds, relax and cool off.
Peak vs. Off-Peak
Orlando hosts visitors year-round but certain times of the year are busier than others:
- The busiest months are from the end of May until the middle of August.
- Peak times are more expensive such as Easter and the summer. The crowds are at their highest during the summer weeks when both American and British schoolchildren are on holiday.
- The second half of August to early September offer best values of the year.
- For more flexibility at a quieter time, visit between October and December.
- After Easter, the months of May and June are also a good option.
The Americans know how to celebrate and Orlando hosts extra special events during certain holidays.
- Christmas – every park goes to town with processions, parties, trees, decorations, and, of course, Father Christmas and a touch of snow, even when the sun’s shining! Plus Christmas starts early in Orlando so you can enjoy a touch of festive season from late November.
- New Year – parks stay open to welcome in the New Year with fireworks, music, dancing, eating and drinking.
- Easter – put on your Easter bonnets to enjoy parades and egg hunts.
- Memorial Day – the last Monday in May sees parades and services to commemorate the military.
- Independence Day – fireworks light up the sky on the 4th of July.
- Labor Day – rallies, picnics and parades on the first Monday in September.
- Thanksgiving Day – parades on the streets and turkey dinners in the hotels and restaurants, on the 4th Thursday in November. Spectacular sales at the malls the day after, much the same as our Boxing Day sales.
There are hundreds of festivals throughout the year whatever your tastes including food and wine, music, sports and art. Worth catching are:
- Mardi Gras – in February or March with concerts, street performers and parades.
- Halloween – the Theme Parks stage spooky events for weeks leading up to the 31st of October.
Do You Need a Car?
You will need a car to get around Orlando if you plan on visiting multiple theme parks, shopping, and generally want to save money. Getting around Orlando is easier than you may think. Orlando is well equipped to accommodate lots of visitors so even at busy times of the year, the roads and car parks are not that busy to move around the city and there’s ample parking available.
Taking to the highways of Orlando in a hire car offers added flexibility to your holiday. You will have more freedom and will have no problem driving on the right.
- All main car hire companies are at Orlando airport. You don’t need to reserve one before you go and most of the companies are open 24/7. (To hire a car you need to be over 21, have both parts of your driving licence and a credit card).
- The roads are simple to navigate, wide and well signposted. Road names are displayed at every junction and you can’t miss directions to individual parks
- Theme Park car parks are huge so you’ll always get a space.