The year 2010 ended with a bang as Orlando theme parks reached full capacity during the last week of the year.  Disney’s Magic Kingdom has a history of reaching full capacity between Christmas and New Year’s, and for the first time in Universal Studios history, Islands of Adventure had to turn people away for a few hours because of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  People were waiting three hours just to get into the World, and another 2-3 hours to experience the rides. 

Hogwarts Castle

As much fun as it sounds to take the family to Disney, Sea World, and/or Universal Studios during the holiday season, it’s actually one of the worst times to go.  In fact, anytime the American school system is not in session is a terrible time to go.  Summers are hot and sticky in Orlando, and not only are the American schools on break, but an influx of worldwide tourism creates long lines and poor communication.  South America is on their winter break, and Europeans take July and August to burn their vacation time.  The week of Thanksgiving might have the best weather for theme parks, but it’s also the start of an extremely busy holiday season that usually lasts until January 6th.

WDW Magic Kingdom

The best time to visit Orlando’s theme parks is right when kids go back to school.  September through October can still be hot, but average waiting times are down to 15 minutes.  After the first week of January through most of February the humidity is low, but the weather can play tricks on you.  Spring Break time in March and April isn’t too hectic, but the first three weeks in May are heaven.  Crowds are low and the weather is sunny and breezy.

Sea World's Blue Horizons Dolphin Show

To experience the most out of an Orlando theme park vacation, try to travel on these off-season times.  It’s a lot less frustrating, and there’s the possibility of riding favorite attractions multiple times.

To check out what all the fuss is about at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, click here.