If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve just come back from a family holiday in Orlando.
It. Was Glorious.
I won’t lie, it was tough to come back. We left the UK while the country was in the depths of freezing temperatures and snow, and spent around two weeks basking in temperatures comparable to those we get at the height of British summer.
It’s somewhere we’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times before (I wrote about – and made videos of – our last vacation there in 2017 when we spent time at Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld and Aquatica, and Walt Disney World).
And every time we’ve been as a family we’ve chosen to go in February.
Why I think February is the best time to visit Florida
When booking a family holiday in Orlando, lots of people look at particular times of year – summer (because of the school holidays), October (because of Halloween), Easter etc. etc.
Whenever I’ve recommended February as the best time to visit Florida, I’m always met with a look that screams ‘are you out of your mind?’
But there’s a lot going for a February getaway to Florida.
1. It’s called the sunshine state for a reason
The first thing that I’m putting on my list of reasons why February is the best time to visit Florida is the most obvious one.
It’s very warm.
While temperatures in the UK struggled to rise above freezing, my family and I were struggling with temperatures that topped out at 32°C / 89°F. Wow.
I have to admit that it hasn’t been as hot as this in February before, but it’s still been around 24°C / 75°F.
2. Come for the sunshine, stay for Mardi Gras
So you think there’s not much going on in Florida during February? Then you obviously don’t know about Universal Studio’s Mardi Gras celebrations!
Not only do they have a nightly parade where they throw bead necklaces into the crowds for you to catch and collect (we have TONS!), but they also hold concerts with big name artists in the park. We’ve seen Kelly Clarkson and Bush perform in the past.
3. You avoid hurricane season
Because of its location, Florida has an annual hurricane season. It starts at the very beginning of June and runs right up until the end of November.
Although the peak of the season tends to be between mid-August and late October, why take the chance? Go in February and you won’t have to worry about it at all.
4. Out of season = fewer people
February is a perfect time to visit the Orlando theme parks because there are so few crowds. It’s out of season. People are still in school and at work.
It means queues are smaller and restaurants are less busy and shops and hotels and attractions are not as packed out.
The only time Orlando tends to get busy in February is around President’s Day – a public US holiday to honour George Washington. If you want to avoid it, remember that it’s always held on the third Monday of the month.
Mind you, as long as you plan properly, there are still ways to beat the crowds around President’s Day weekend. This year, we made sure we stayed at a Universal hotel so that we could get free unlimited Express passes for all the rides. That way, it didn’t matter to us how busy the parks got because we could skip all the queues.
5. You can save money, or make it go further
We all know how travel companies work – costs for holidays during school holidays can be eye-waveringly high while prices for holidays during ‘off peak’ times are much less.
February is not peak season, so the cost of travelling and staying there is naturally less. Considerably less.
And that means one of two thing. You can either save money on your holiday, or keep to your original budget but make it go a lot further. For example, we were able to afford an upgrade to our flights so that we could fly in a little more comfort in Premium Economy.