Why Orlando is the Perfect Winter Destination

Orlando , Expert View Column
An archway topped with a sign reading 'Florida Welcomes You'
By AttractionTickets.com’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
Looking for that winter getaway? Look no further – Orlando has it all!

We’re often beguiled by those Winter Sun adverts that depict blissful beaches and sun-loungers around a scenic swimming pool under cloudless blue skies. It’s the perennial temptation when the UK weather hits January, the winds are blowing a hooley and there’s ice on the car windscreen in the morning.

We desperately need a tonic to avoid the very real and depressing rigours of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD), when it feels like the winter is going on forever. It is especially acute early in the New Year, when all the fun and glitter of the festive period has faded and the reality of winter reasserts itself. It’s also why most of the holiday companies launch their big promotions in January.

And we’re here to underline that message and add to the temptation with our own commercial for the joys of Orlando as the ideal winter destination. Of course, we do have a certain bias, as this has been our home for the past 20 years and we have a long-standing love affair with Central Florida as the place that brought us together.


A man and woman posing on a balcony in front of a shoreline lined with palm trees


But, we think we’re also dispassionate enough to point out its real benefits – and its excellent and ongoing value for money. So here are our four reasons to love Orlando in winter:


1) You can dodge (most of) the crowds

The Theme Park Capital of the World is attracting more visitors than ever before, but they continue to throng here most often from May to the end of August. That means you can avoid the worst of the hordes by visiting outside those months, and especially from January to the end of March and the weeks after Easter to mid-May (with the latter being particularly tempting for our northern friends, for whom winter can last practically until the Spring Bank Holiday!). Mid-January to the end of February is peak “low season” in Orlando these days, hence you can really benefit from booking at this time of year and spend less time in queues in the theme parks.


A boy wearing a tshirt and shorts walking along a path surrounded by greenery towards a volcano spouting water


2) It’s still beach time!

OK, so you won’t find too many locals on sun-loungers on either coast through the winter months, but that shouldn’t put off our UK visitors. Temperatures of 21C are enough to have most Floridians reaching for a jacket, but that won’t daunt the average Brit, for whom 21 can be a pleasant summer’s day. If anything, Florida’s beaches are even better from November to April than the rest of the year when the locals use them primarily as their main playground. With Cocoa Beach just an hour away to the east and the gorgeous Gulf Coast barely two hours’ drive to the west, there is guaranteed to be an inviting, open stretch of glistening white sands just waiting to welcome you. And, when you discover cute hideaways like Flagler Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Dunedin and Honeymoon Island, you’ll be in seventh heaven in winter getaway terms.


A girl wearing a yellow snorkel and pink flippers reaching into shallow water towards a pink starfish


3) Outdoor dining is idyllic.

We often judge our holiday destinations by their ‘Al fresco’ factor, i.e. by how easy it is to enjoy lunch or dinner on an outdoor patio or verandah, and Orlando really comes up trumps at this time of year. It’s true that some evenings can actually be too cool for the full al fresco experience, but many restaurants have outdoor heaters for extra comfort, as well as early-bird dining specials or happy hour deals from 4 or 5pm, which are even better for your holiday budget. And there is rarely a better time to indulge in an outdoor lunch than during the winter, when things are just about perfect, temperature-wise. As we write at the moment, the weather is a balmy 74F/23C, and it just doesn’t get any more enjoyable for dining on your villa or hotel’s pool deck, or having your mid-day meal at one of Walt Disney World Resort’s outdoor gems such as Flame Tree Barbecue or Nomad Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Spice Road Table at EPCOT or Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


An outdoor dining terrace with low tables and bar seating. In the background is a blue and pink sunset over a beach


4) That weather

We’ve repeatedly hinted at it in the build-up to this final – and clinching – factor in why Orlando is so compelling in the winter months, but this is the biggie, the one that really adds a very substantial icing to the holiday cake. Whisper it quietly but… it is actually TOO hot in the summer. Yes, we know, many people can only take their main holiday in July or August but, take it from us, that is the worst time to actually visit Orlando. Of course, there are plenty of ways to offset the heat – and we’ll give you the full lowdown in a future blog – but Florida truly lives up to its main nickname of The Sunshine State once November arrives. Rainfall is at its lowest from now until April and the number of cloudless days increases, ensuring you can get a good helping of natural Vitamin D without the sunburn to go with it. The water parks remain open, the beaches – as mentioned – are truly inviting, and there is absolutely none of the draining humidity that can make the summer a bit of a challenge. In fact, it wouldn’t be far off the truth to say that one of the main reasons we live here is for the winter weather, and that we are happiest when the calendar passes October.


A wide expanse of clear turquoise water with a shoreline in the background


We certainly can’t underline that final point strongly enough. Florida is a true delight outside the long summer months for all the factors mentioned above, but the whole outdoorsy vibe is positively sublime in winter. You’re still going to spend much of your time in the theme parks and other attractions, but you will definitely feel the benefit from the “cooler” weather while also still being able to revel in the sunshine it provides. How’s that for a Win-Win?!


What most tempts YOU about a winter holiday to Florida? Let us know on the AttractionTickets.com Community Facebook page, on Twitter or Instagram.

Orlando , Expert View Column