Orlando has three airports for travelers who are arriving by air. The city's largest airport is Orlando International Airport (MCO), which accommodates commercial air traffic from domestic and international destinations. MCO serves as a hub for several Orlando flights, the largest carrier being Southwest Airlines which provides up to one-fifth of all the budget air traffic in the area. Since MCO is located near many of the city's attractions, most flights to Orlando arrive there. However, other flights may arrive at Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB), which is located outside the city center. Corporate and business travelers who arrive on private airplanes typically land at Orlando Executive Airport (OEA), an aviation hub three miles away from the city.
The city enjoys mild winters but extremely hot summers with average high temperatures that reach into the 90s. Orlando also has an unpredictable weather pattern that commonly causes strong thunderstorms in the afternoons during July and August. If you're planning to book Orlando flights during the summer, your trip may be affected by the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins in June. Visiting Orlando in the winter months is generally a pleasant time to see many of the area's sights, since average high temperatures during December top off around 73 degrees.
Getting Around Orlando
Orlando operates its own public transportation system called the Lynx, which provides bus routes and express service around the city directly serving passengers from Orlando flights. The Lynx has several stops in popular attraction areas, making it easier for visitors to travel around without worrying about a car. However, since some of Orlando's most visited attractions are located a bit outside the city limits, you might find it easier to rent a car and learn the local roadways to get to your desired location. The biggest freeway in the area is I-4, which serves as a major transportation network to other Orlando thoroughfares such as International Drive. If you book a room at a hotel near one of the city's attractions, you may be eligible to use the hotel's free shuttle service to travel back and forth during the day.
Flights to Orlando provide fast transportation to this attraction capital of the Southeast. Home to some of the most famous family attractions in the world, the city offers plenty of entertainment for children and adults who are still children at heart. Some of the major attractions in Orlando include the following:
- Walt Disney World, the most popular amusement resort on Earth with four separate theme parks and two waterparks based on beloved characters owned by Disney
- Universal Orlando Resort, a dual theme park resort where tourists can experience thrill rides based on popular movies and television shows
- Sea World, an adventure park with performances by the famous killer whale Shamu and features aquatic-themed roller coasters and water rides
- Wet N Wild, the city's first water park located on International Drive
- Aquatica, an innovative water attraction with rides, play structures, and animal encounters
Orlando When to Go
Orlando’s tourism ebbs and flows with the school season, but conventions have evened out the highs and lows, meaning there’s never a true lull in the throngs of visitors.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, families flock to Central Florida despite summer’s oppressive temperatures, humidity, and afternoon downpours (rain ponchos are a must). July 4 competes with Christmas as the busiest day of the year at the attractions. After the relatively quiet months of September and October, the crowd swells again from Thanksgiving through Christmas, when weather is generally mild (but an occasional freeze can occur). Spring break in March is the next big surge. Expect long waits and heavy traffic, but the theme parks extend hours to accommodate.
Crowds are manageable from the end of April, after spring break, until school is out in June. This is when temperatures begin to heat up, but rain is rarely a problem.
Once school starts in the fall, crowds lighten from Labor Day until Thanksgiving. Ideal weather unfolds in October, with mild temperatures through May. Once the winter holidays are over, crowds lighten again from January through March (until spring break). Families might consider taking kids out of school for a few days this time of year for a more enjoyable visit without the crowds.
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