When to see the last rays of day at the Theme Park Capital of the world
Most people know Orlando as the location of Disney World and not much else. The city does boast theme parks galore and enough Disney-related experiences to fill every moment of your trip from morning until night. Beyond the parks, Orlando has some other sites that are worth a visit, along with a balmy climate that makes it an ideal place to watch the sunset after a full day of fun.
Best time per season
After the vernal equinox on or around March 21, the sun begins to set around 7:35 p.m., and the sunset hour continues to get later as the calendar moves toward summer. By mid-June, just after the summer solstice, the sun sets as late as 8:26. As summer turns to fall, the sunset time gets earlier. Once late September rolls around, sunset creeps closer to 7:15, and by mid-November, after daylight savings, the sun sets as early as 5:35. The late afternoon sunset trend continues through the winter. Days get slightly longer after the winter solstice on December 21, and by late January the sun begins to set closer to 6:00.
Weather and seasonal considerations
Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a good reason: Its nearly year-round sunshine is one of the reasons visiting Orlando is such a draw, particularly when the rest of the United States is buried beneath snow and ice. From November through March, Orlando's weather is sunny and warm, with fairly low humidity. In spring, the tropical rains begin. Though precipitation itself can come and go quickly, cloudy or overcast days are not uncommon, and can put a damper on sunset-watching. From June 1 to November 30, Florida experiences hurricane season. Some years see more storms than others, but be prepared for some exceptionally hot and hazy days, and storm clouds that can mar your visibility of the sunset.
Best places to view sunsets
One of the most fun places to watch the sunset in Orlando is from the spinning, multicolored wheel known as the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. This 400-foot-tall giant Ferris wheel is not a part of any theme park, but is one of the area's most popular attractions. If you prefer to take in the sunset a little closer to the ground, Lake Eola Park is a lush, verdant place with grassy expanses and benches that surround a sky-reflecting lake. It's a lovely place from which to watch the sun go down. For a little of the theme park flavor in a more grown-up setting, try the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Surrounding a small man-made canal, the hotel offers outdoor live music weather permitting. Depending on the day, you can enjoy a sunset backed by the sounds of classical orchestral music or opera as day shifts to night.