best time to visit theme parks in orlando?

Hi, we're looking to book a family holiday to Florida (Orlando) next year and have decided to take the kids out of school for 2 weeks. They never have time off school and apart from the obvious price difference in the school holidays, we don't want to go when the theme parks are going to be too busy. We're only going to be able to do this once and are making sacrifices to save up so we can do it right. I have read on some of the answers already given on here but have seen differing opinions on when would be a good time to go, we've been looking at March or the end of September so I wondered if anyone had been then? I've been trying to find some figures on the visitors per month etc through the parks but haven't had any luck and we need to consider the weather too, don't like it too hot or humid like it is in the peak season. ...oh, one more thing please if anyone knows - is it best to buy your park tickets there or before you go? Thanks for any help you can give me. Anne
10:11 Fri 25th Apr 2008
 
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I went about 5 years ago in February and the weather was nice and warm without being hot. We spent most of the time walking round in shorts and t shirts, although a couple of times it got into the high 70s,

Because the kids get a weeks holiday in February we just added a week on the end (with the schools agreement) and had a 2 week holiday.

February is considered a "quiet" time in Orlando so the parks were pretty quiet (except for Presidents day which is during February).

DONT go in the summer, dont go anywhere round easter, dont go in the "spring break" and dont got near Xmas.

Mind you that does not leave much time, which is why February is such a great time for UK people to go.
By the way there are LOADS of books you can buy about visting Orlando.

If you are going to spend a few thousand pounds on a holiday it is worth investing �15 or �20 on a couple of books to help you plan before you go.

These books cover where to stay, when to go, theme park advice, transportation advice, eating out advice, and much more.

You could probably easily save the cost of the books on your holiday with suggestions made in the books.

Here is one book for example, Brit Guide to Orlando, that has been updated for 2008.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brit-Guide-Orlando-Sim on-Veness/dp/0572033818/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=b ooks&qid=1209116346&sr=1-1
I found this on the web about the best/worst times to go.

Lowest Attendance: January (except New Year's Day) until just prior to Presidents' week in February. The week following Labor Day until just prior to Thanksgiving week. The week following Thanksgiving until the week prior to Christmas.

Moderate Attendance: After Presidents' week in February through early March. Late April through early June (except Memorial Day weekend). The first part of Thanksgiving week.

Highest Attendance: Presidents' week in February. Mid-March through Late April ("Spring Break"). Memorial Day weekend. Mid-June through Labor Day. Thanksgiving Day and weekend. Christmas week through New Year's Day.

I would not go in September/October. That's the "hurricane season" in that part of the world. And while you would probably not get caught up in a hurricane the weather cvan be windy and a bit wet.

I think the best time to go to Florida is in April (but after the Easter spring break when lots of students go to Florida) or May. It's not too hot then.
we went in mid-Feb several years ago and it was cold. Quiet in the parks but you need to be prepared for the cold.
I just came back last month and expected it to be really quiet but it wasn't! I would never go in Feb again, the weather was not good and Disney parks especially were absolutely heaving. I have been once in Sep and weather was ok but did have storms it wasn't too busy though but Sep is worst time to take kids out of school don't forget they will have just gone into a new school year. I have been in May twice and would really recommend that avoiding the school hols though. The last time we went then was brill, the weather was hot but not humid and the parks were quiet, we hardly had to queue for anything and if we did it was for 5-10 mins. Definitely buy your tickets before, if you google theme park tickets you will be able to get best prices. If you plan to do everything I would get a 7 day hopper pass for Disney which gives you unlimited access for 14 days to the 4 main parks and 1 visit to eachof the water parks as well as Disneyquest too. You don't have to go for the Ultimate tickets that are more expensive. Also get a flex ticket plus which includes both Universal, Seaworld, Aquatica, WetnWild and Busch Gardens which is in Tampa but well worth the visit. Hope this helps! Any further questions don't hesitate to ask where are you thinking of stopping?
Tigwig gave good advise - we usually go over the half-term holiday at end of May and the parks aren't that bad! You will have to queue for some things but if you use the Fast Pass system in Disney for example you'll avoid the worst of it (get a Fast Pass, wait for your time to come up, go and get another one, then go on the first ride and so on). The weather in May is good, fairly hot. It is the best holiday ever - you are right to save up a do it 'properly'. Don't get me started on the shopping!
Question Author
Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to give me the advice.
That was the only real worry I had about September - taking the kids out so soon into a new school year, so the beginning of the year is maybe a better idea (don't fancy the hurricanes much either!)
I have been before but on honeymoon 20 years ago so I imagine it's changed a lot since then ...and of course it's a different kettle of fish when you've got kids with you! We've waited also because we wanted them both to be able to go on all the rides, my youngest loves the roller coasters and he'd be devastated if he was too small, I've looked at the height restrictions and he's just about there now so I reckon a year from now would be perfect.
The prices we've had are around �3k for a villa for the 4 of us with pool, flights and car hire to stay in kissimmee. We were on International drive last time but I read on here that it's a bit run down now and we would prefer a villa (although that's proved a bit of a problem because they are all so big)
When we were last there(2007) we spent a lot of time asking locals and visiting americans their advice on the best time - without exception they all said May and October.

March/April tends to be busy because of Spring Break, we've been a couple of times in May and it seems perfect.

Buy "A Brits Guide to Orlando" from amazon - about �9 for the 2008 version, and I guarantee you won't be able to put it down! It has loads of helpful info about the best time to go, what to see etc.

Also, we always buy our park tickets before we go - not sure there's too much in it financially, but then you haven't any unexpected expense out there. We use orlando-ticket-deals.co.uk; seem a good price and excellent service.

We're going next year as well - might see you there!!
We've been 5 times at the end of October (to coincide with half-term) and once in July. Jings, it's hot there in July!!!! October definitely reccommended - don't worry about hurricanes; they're really not common around Orlando any time of year. A bigger problem is lightning storms, which happen almost daily in the summer. About a villa; it's not the only alternative to an I-Drive hotel. We've always stayed in self-catering apartments. Last time was just outside the entrance to WDW - literally walking distance, if there's been a pavement. Check out Travel City Direct - they've got lots on offer.
We went just before the British Easter hols here (March 2005). We took some extra days off school (permitted) since it was a holiday of a lifetime with the kids. It was quite hot & very crowded! what we hadn't realised is, that the Americans were on their spring break, so although we missed the British crowds - we hit the US ones with a vengence! We queued for min 2 hours for everything, all of us were tired, pizzed off to say the least. Go when the Americans are not on holiday!
we then went on to a Caribbean cruise & the kids enjoyed that more then America!
We did US for the kids & the cruise was more for us & we thought they'd be bored but it was fantastic! recommended to go on a cruise at least once in your life!
Question Author
Thanks again everyone, very helpful advice there :o)

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