My wife and I are thinking about trying to break our routine. I haven't been to Florida in 20 years and my wife has never been. We've got an open month on our calendar in December. Those of you with experience in Florida, is this a good idea or incredibly dumb? What's the weather typically like? And the tourist volume? (mid-Dec, not Xmas).
My wife really wants to see Disney World. Best hotel with easy access?
Any suggestions will help.
Hi John. I used to live in the Orlando area. Mid-December is a good time to visit tourist-wise. Also very pretty with the lights. Most crowds are when the kids are out of school. December is also the season for fresh strawberries and oranges, so perfect timing!
The temperatures average in the low 70's (f) during the day, and you'll need a sweater at night. It's been known to get quite cold occasionally, but it's not predictable, and certainly not the norm. Not cold enough where you need a winter coat, but definitely a concern for the orange-growers when the temperatures dip.
Disney has some properties onsite if you want really easy access. But, really, you're not too far from it anywhere you stay. An easy visual would be to go to Google Maps and search "Marriott near Walt Disney World". <-- Assuming you're looking for a Marriott product, of course.
Most Disney bloggers and sites agree that the very best time for avoiding crowds is to visit Disney during the period between 1st and 22nd December. Don't be there on 24 December or therafter, as its wall to wall visitors, with many bloggers refrerring to that week as 11/10 for crowds. Weather feels very warm and pleasant to Northerners from Canada, UK, Germany and Scandinavia. Those used to hotter climes may well find a jumper necessary at night. To me in Florida most December days are pool days, but then I'm wearing shorts and sandals when the Mercury hits 60!
As for accommodation, it's very low season, you'll find prices at their lowest everywhere in the Orlando area. That doesn't mean cheap though. If you're going with kids and intent only on Disney then stay onsite and get the full experience. Disney has a great transportation system between the resorts and parks, so you won't need a car. If you're with teenagers they may want to visit Universal and Seaworld in which case a car and off-site hotel becomes a good idea. Once you have a car, hotel location becomes less important than the facilities on offer. Have a good search on the Internet, avoid downtown Orlando (no nasty reason, you just don't want to be driving in and out the city centre every day to get to and from the parks) and confine your searches to the Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, Celebration and I-Drive areas and you'll be OK.
If you're an adult couple visiting then I'd recommend either the JW, or the Disney Beach club hotel. The JW is well regarded and the Beach Club resort is right next to Epcot, and walking distance to Hollywood Studios.
I think hailing from Thailand you will find the weather on the cool side in December, but with low crowds, and the lowest prices, you'll definitely get to make the most of your visit!
I'm a huge fan of the Southwest Florida area if you want lovely beaches and temps in the upper 70's to low 80's Ft. Myers, Naples and Marco Island areas are wonderful early to mid December and even though you'll have the usual seasonal snowbirds already in place the holiday travelers won't be arriving till the end of the second or even middle of the third week of December.
Take a look at the area, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) has many flights from the east coast, midwest and a couple or three times a day from Houston (IAH). From Orlando (if you visit Disney) it is a pretty easy simple drive to the southwest coast in three hours either by taking I-4and I-75 south or picking up Hwy 27 southbound then toward the coast on Hwy 31.
Great post to receive feedback from other Insiders. I see brightlybob, missgee , 702rugbyref & IAHFLYR have already stepped in with some insights for you, and hopefully others will as well. I searched the forum and found a few threads that might also help you:
Best of luck to you and your wife on your trip planning!