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Orlando’s status as a tourist mecca means that “off-season” is a relative term. It’s rare that you’ll find a Disney park that’s not crowded with visitors, after all. However, there are some ways to strategize for the least crowded, most comfortable Orlando vacation experience possible.

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Beating the Florida Heat

Summer in Florida is hot and humid, which may sound nice. But when you throw in potential hours of waiting in line and walking around a theme park with your kids, that heat and humidity can be quite uncomfortable. The heat can even be dangerous, particularly for young children, though parks tend to provide multiple ways of keeping their guests safe and comfortable. However, given that weather in Orlando tends to be pretty nice year-round, there’s no need to tough it out during the peak-heat months of June through September. Conveniently, these also tend to be the rainiest months in the area. Why not wait until fall or spring instead?

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Avoiding Peak-Season Crowds

Orlando has multiple peak seasons, and they tend to coincide with any major school breaks. Spring, summer and Christmas breaks are all popular times for families to visit. If you’re planning on traveling with kids, you may want to consider taking some time off from school to make the trip less hectic and reduce time spent waiting in line for rides.

Given both weather and crowds, the months of January (after winter break concludes) through March (before spring break starts) are a good choice, as are September and October. Special theme park events may not be as common during these off-season times, but admission, lodging and airfare prices are typically lower.

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Hitting the Beach

Florida is a thin state with miles and miles of beachy coastline, and a lot of visitors assume that they’ll be able to find a beach house rental in Orlando that lets them enjoy waves in the morning and theme park activities in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it’s not quite this simple — Orlando is located inland from the coast, and the drive from nearby oceanside resorts like Cocoa Beach isn’t exactly fast enough to allow for quick trips to the parks.

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The closest you’ll come to beach rentals in Orlando are hotels and other lodging options in the parks that are near manmade beaches by pools or lakes. Think about this as you’re considering where to stay in Orlando, and keep in mind that most hotels here have pools. Visitors hoping to find Orlando beach houses with actual ocean access should plan their trips to include a separate visit to Daytona or Cocoa Beach to the east.