We did it once at Christmas and it was heaving- parks generally shut the gates mid morning as they were at capacity- at times I could have lifted my feet up and been carried along. I didn't enjoy it at all and didn't get on any rides really. Also wasn't thrilled at having to scrape ice of the windscreen each morning! I've been may and late August and prefer second half of August as its quieter.
If you can go in December I would avoid Christmas as parks then are mega busy. The stores are also very busy after Christmas because of the post Christmas sales. Its cheaper too to travel there at the beginning of December; its also less crowded.
If you were to do a two centre break I'd be looking at Orlando and Tampa/St Petersberg/Clearwater area rather than Orlando/Miami due to sheer distance between these two cities. Also Miami airport is a really awful dump of a place.
We have been at Christmas twice and it is the really busy. some rides were all fast passed out almost as soon as the parks opened. queues before Christmas were around 5 - 10 minutes but during it was easily 35 - 40 mins per ride. prices on flights and accom go up massively over this time as well. we try and go 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after it means kids missing school but we don't have a problem with this (neither do the schools here) Make sure you check out height requirements for rides before you go as your 4 yr old may be on the cusp of not going on some rides. Miami and Tampa also v busy as Christmas is the big thing in the US and flights much more. would suggest fly into Tampa do a bit there go to Orlando then back home from Tampa avoiding Christmas.
planning a trip to florida with a 4 year old over xmas next year. has anyone been to orlando at this time of year? will everything just be packed - restautants, malls and theme parks of course? also considering staying in miami or tampa area... any advice?
we just want a nice relaxing break but with enough activities to keep us busy!