With sunshine-filled summer days and moderate winter weather, Orlando is a popular vacation destination throughout the year. Most visitors to this iconic city in Florida spend their days flitting from one theme park to the next. With Disney, Universal, and Sea World offering multiple amusement parks, there is no shortage of family fun. From outlet shopping centers to high-end retail malls, there are plenty of places to shop. When it comes time to chow down, many major chain restaurants have at least one location somewhere in Orlando. You can also look forward to enjoying a meal at a local family-owned eatery.

Several art museums offer a wide selection of classic and contemporary works to see on a rainy spring afternoon. Take small kids to the World of Crayola to learn more about crafting crayons and the science of color. Gatorland lets you get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles. Of course, when searching for your Orlando vacation rental, you should consider which season you plan to visit. The best time of year to take a trip to Orlando depends on what you want to do while staying in the area, especially since inclement weather may affect certain outdoor activities. Here’s a quick peek at what each season offers, so you can pack your bags accordingly.

Visiting Orlando in the Summer

The summer months find Orlando filled to capacity with visitors from all around the country and world along with hot, steamy weather. The average daily temperature hovers in the low to mid-90s with showers in the afternoon to bring a little relief. During the evening, the temperatures fall, but you won’t need a jacket. When packing for this season, plan for comfort, including shorts, light cotton tops, plenty of sunscreen, swimsuits, and flip-flops.

Beat that summer heat with a day spent at the Universal Studios Volcano Bay Water Park. The park’s wearable TapuTapu technology lets you know when it’s your turn to hit the slides. Spend an afternoon out of the rain and in the air conditioning at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, where everyone in the family can take the wheel or play their favorite arcade game. Cool off at additional indoor venues including Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando, and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

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Visiting Orlando in the Summer

As schools resume classes, the crowds in Orlando disperse, and the temperatures begin to cool off. Starting in September, the daily highs dip down into the 80s, and they drop as low as the low 70s in November, while the evenings feature cool temperatures in the mid to low 60s. Make sure to bring an umbrella if you arrive in September; as the fall progresses, there is less need for one. When deciding what to pack, put sunscreen and summer clothes in first, and then add a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.

Each fall, Disney World enjoys a retro feel on Dapper Day. Guests dress in retro and vintage clothing and roam the park looking as if they fell out of an earlier era. Get chills and thrills at Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. As you walk along the streets of the park, mutants, zombies, and monsters walk with you. For families with younger kids, check out Disney’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Take the kids in costume to the Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND, where the kids participate in scavenger hunts and costume contests to win brick packs.

Visiting Orlando in the Winter

During the winter months, crowds return to Orlando to celebrate the holiday season and enjoy the mild weather. Expect your days to bring temperatures in the low 70s and nights in the mid-50s. You won’t need an umbrella this time of year because it rarely rains. When deciding what to pack, plan to take layers to your vacation rental. Assemble jeans, long and short sleeve shirts, and sturdy walking shoes for days spent exploring Epcot or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is awash in lights and Christmas displays during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Characters bring holiday cheer to all the youngest visitors, and the shows feature a holiday theme. Keep cool at the Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld with its ice skating shows and fireworks throughout the month of December. Universal Studios Orlando is the hot spot in February with its annual celebration of Mardi Gras with nightly parades and authentic Cajun food. You can even catch beads during the parade.

Visiting Orlando in the Spring

Crowds return as spring arrives and the flowers start to bloom again. Families descend on Orlando to enjoy the warm weather after a long winter, and their kids enjoy a week of spring break. Starting in March, the temperatures rise from the high 70s into the mid-80s by the end of May with nighttime averages in the high 60s. You might experience an afternoon shower, so tuck an umbrella in your carry-on. Pack a range of clothing, including jeans, shorts, a hoodie, and heavier sweatshirts.

Avoid the crowds at the parks, and check out the annual Florida Strawberry Festival. Find a variety of exhibits, vendors, live entertainment, and good food at this small event. Raglan Road Irish Pub hosts the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival, where you can get a pint and some authentic Irish fare while tapping your toe to some Irish ballads.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Orlando

No matter what time of year you decide to holiday in Orlando, you’re sure to have a great time. The moderate weather in the fall and winter makes it a great time to visit. The amusement parks, restaurants, and shopping centers seem to have something going on throughout the year. However, winter edges the other seasons out as the best time to visit. The cooler weather and lack of rain make this season a great time to explore the theme parks. From Epcot to SeaWorld, the parks have special holiday events that bring magic and joy to the season. If you want to skip the crowds, book your vacation rental in the two to three weeks before Christmas and the New Year.

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