Orlando, Florida, the city known for its theme parks and year-round sunshine, has been my home for the past 13 years. During this time, I’ve gained a deep understanding of the area and its various neighborhoods. Read on to find out everything you need to know before visiting.
Orlando is considered a relatively safe city for tourists. However, it’s always wise to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas. The city has implemented effective strategies to combat crime, resulting in a decrease in both violent and property crimes. Yet, like any urban area, there may still be isolated incidents. This post will help you determine if Orlando is a safe place to live and visit.
Is Orlando Safe For Visitors?
Many people wonder if Orlando is dangerous. Overall, Orlando is considered a relatively safe city for tourists. The city has implemented various measures to ensure the safety and security of both those who live there, and those there for travel. The Orlando Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies, work diligently to maintain a safe environment for residents and tourists alike.
Like any other major city, Orlando does have its share of crime, however, the majority of incidents occur in specific areas that aren’t typically frequented by tourists. Popular tourist areas such as International Drive, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and other theme parks have a strong security presence and are well-maintained.
Weather In Orlando
The weather in Orlando is generally warm and humid throughout the year, thanks to its location in Central Florida. Summers tend to be hot, with temperatures often reaching the high 90s°F with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. These storms can bring heavy rain and lightning, which can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken.
Hurricane season in Orlando runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the peak occurring between August and October. During this period, the city is at risk of experiencing tropical storms and hurricanes. These weather events can bring strong winds, torrential rain, and the potential for storm surges along the coast. However, while hurricanes and tropical storms can be dangerous, it’s worth noting that Orlando experiences pleasant weather for most of the year.
Hazardous Weather and Natural Disasters
When it comes to hazardous weather and natural disasters, being prepared is key. My first step is to make sure I stay informed and keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecasts. I do this by regularly checking the National Hurricane Center’s website or subscribing to local weather alerts. It’s also important to have a hurricane emergency kit ready, which should include essentials such as non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit.
From past events, I’ve learned that in the event of a hazardous weather warning, it’s crucial to secure your home and property. This can be done by boarding up windows and doors, bringing in any outdoor furniture or objects that can become projectiles, and trimming trees or branches that may pose a threat.
I also advise to have a plan in place for evacuation, should it be necessary. Identifying the nearest evacuation routes and knowing where emergency shelters are located can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety should a natural disaster strike.
Hurricane Season in Orlando
Hurricane season in Orlando typically spans from June 1st to November 30th each year and during this period, residents and visitors should be prepared for potential tropical storms and hurricanes that may impact the region. Orlando isn’t directly on the coast, but it can still be affected by the strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges associated with these weather systems. During a hurricane, strong winds and heavy rainfall can cause power outages and flooding.
Things to Know About Safety in Orlando
Orlando is a popular tourist destination that’s well-known for its attractions and bustling entertainment scene. However, amidst all the excitement, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, being aware of certain safety measures can help ensure a secure experience in this city.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the significance of personal safety. This includes being cautious and vigilant while exploring Orlando’s various neighborhoods and attractions. While many areas in the city are generally safe, it’s prudent to stay informed about specific neighborhoods that may have higher crime rates. Researching and familiarizing yourself with these areas can help you make informed decisions regarding your visit or residence.
Crime in Orlando
The crime rate in Orlando is significantly higher than both the state and national averages. According to statistics, the overall crime rate in Orlando is 116.6% higher than the state average and 98.8% higher than the national average. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of the crime in Orlando is concentrated in specific areas and these areas tend to have higher levels of gang activity.
Orlando Safety Tips
As a local resident of Orlando, I understand the importance of prioritizing safety in our bustling city. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a first-time visitor, it’s essential to be aware of some safety tips to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience. This list aims to provide valuable advice to help you navigate Orlando with confidence.
Safe Neighborhoods and Areas in Orlando
When it comes to choosing a place to visit, safety is often one of the top priorities for many individuals and families. In Orlando, Florida, there are several neighborhoods known for their low crime rates and overall safety. Whether you’re a local, are considering a move to the area, or are planning your next vacation, here are some of the safest areas in Orlando:
Windermere: The town of Windermere is known for its close-knit community and small-town charm. With a population of around 3,000 residents, it maintains a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. Windermere also boasts excellent schools, making it an ideal place for families to settle down.
One of the main attractions of Windermere is its natural beauty. The town is surrounded by lush greenery and pristine lakes, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Residents and visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and water sports on the lakes, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic pathways.
Celebration: Celebration is a safe and beautiful community that was formed by the Walt Disney Company in the 1990s. As a planned community, Celebration was designed with careful attention to detail, creating an idyllic environment for residents and visitors alike. The formation of Celebration by the Walt Disney Company in the 1990s was a result of their vision to create a community that captures the magic and spirit of Disney.
The town’s design incorporates elements of Disney’s renowned attention to detail and commitment to creating immersive experiences. From the meticulously planned layout to the charming Main Street, Celebration offers a sense of enchantment that’s reminiscent of Disney’s theme parks.
In addition to its visual appeal, Celebration also boasts an active community life. The town hosts a range of events and celebrations throughout the year, fostering a strong sense of unity among its residents. From holiday parades to art festivals, there’s always something happening in Celebration. These communal gatherings provide opportunities for residents to connect and create lasting memories.
Dr. Phillips: Dr. Phillips is known for its reputation as a safe and secure area. With its well-maintained streets and upscale homes, Dr. Phillips offers a tranquil and secure environment for residents and visitors alike.
The neighborhood’s commitment to safety is evident through its various security measures, including private security patrols, gated communities, and neighborhood watch programs. These initiatives help to ensure that residents feel protected and can enjoy peace of mind.
In addition to its safety, Dr. Phillips boasts a wide range of amenities and attractions. The area is home to numerous parks and recreational facilities, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as jogging, biking, and picnicking. Residents can also take advantage of the neighborhood’s proximity to the renowned Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year.
Common Scams in Orlando
Orlando, Florida, known for its tourism industry and popular attractions, unfortunately, attracts not only tourists but scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting visitors. Tourists and residents alike need to stay informed and vigilant to avoid falling victim to common scams. Below, are some of the most prevalent scams in Orlando, Florida.
Timeshare Scam: With numerous resorts and vacation rentals, Orlando is a hotbed for timeshare scams. Scammers often approach tourists, offering free tickets, discounted accommodations, or other incentives in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation. These presentations can be high-pressure and manipulative, to coerce visitors into purchasing a timeshare they may not want or afford.
Ticket Scam: Orlando is home to world-renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and Sea World. Scammers take advantage of the high demand for tickets by selling counterfeit or invalid tickets at inflated prices. It’s crucial to purchase tickets from authorized sellers or directly from the park’s official websites to avoid falling victim to these scams.
Street Performer Scam: Orlando’s bustling entertainment districts, such as International Drive and Church Street, attract street performers who entertain tourists for tips. However, some scammers use deceptive tactics, such as pretending to be injured, to gain sympathy and extort money from unsuspecting visitors. I advise to exercise caution when interacting with street performers and only offer tips to those who genuinely provide entertainment.
Orlando is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ community and is often considered a welcoming and inclusive destination for LGBTQ+ individuals. However, it’s important to be aware of the various safety concerns that may exist and take appropriate precautions to ensure the well-being of oneself and others.
Orlando is home to several LGBTQ+-friendly establishments, including bars, clubs, and community centers. These spaces provide a sense of community and support for LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s recommended to research and identify these safe spaces to connect with like-minded individuals and access necessary resources.
When it comes to personal safety, it’s advisable to exercise caution, just as one would in any other city. While incidents of violence targeting LGBTQ+ individuals are relatively rare, it’s always prudent to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure personal safety. This may include avoiding dimly lit areas or staying in well-populated areas during late hours.
Drinking Water Safety
The city of Orlando primarily relies on surface water as its main source of drinking water. It utilizes the St. Johns River and the Upper Floridan Aquifer, which are carefully monitored and managed to maintain water quality. These sources undergo rigorous testing and treatment processes to ensure the removal of contaminants and harmful substances.
Regular water quality testing is a crucial part of ensuring the safety of drinking water in Orlando. The city’s water utility department conducts extensive laboratory analysis to monitor and evaluate the water’s chemical composition. This testing is completed in compliance with federal and state regulations to meet the highest standards of water quality.
Prepare For Orlando’s Weather
The weather in Orlando can be unpredictable, with sudden rain showers and intense heat. To make the most of your time in Orlando, it’s essential to be prepared for the weather. Here are my top three tips to help you prepare for the weather in Orlando.
Check the Weather Forecast: Before your trip to Orlando, it’s crucial to stay informed about the weather conditions. Check the weather forecast regularly to get an idea of what to expect during your stay. Orlando experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. However, thunderstorms are common, especially during the summer months. By staying updated on the forecast, you can plan your activities accordingly and pack the right clothing and accessories.
Dress Appropriately: When preparing for the weather in Orlando, it’s essential to dress appropriately. Due to the hot and humid climate, lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended. Opt for loose-fitting clothes made of natural fabrics like cotton or linen to help you stay cool. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes as you explore the theme parks and attractions. Additionally, consider carrying a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the strong Florida sun.
Prepare for Rain: Orlando is known for its sudden rain showers, even during the sunny summer months. It’s essential to be prepared for these quick downpours. Pack a small, compact umbrella or a poncho that can easily fit in your bag. This way, you can stay dry and continue enjoying your day, regardless of the weather. Consider carrying a waterproof bag or a plastic cover for your electronics and valuables to protect them from getting wet.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When visiting Orlando, it’s essential to prioritize your safety by being aware of your surroundings at all times. Orlando is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. With such a bustling environment, it’s crucial to remain alert and attentive to your surroundings. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activities or individuals that may pose a threat to your safety.
While exploring Orlando’s attractions, it’s important to safeguard your personal belongings. Be mindful of pickpockets and keep your valuables secure at all times. Consider using a cross-body bag or a money belt to deter theft and minimize the risk of losing your belongings.
Stay Near Popular Attractions
When visiting Orlando, it’s highly recommended for safety reasons to stay near the popular attractions. By doing so, you can ensure easy access to these renowned destinations and minimize the potential risks associated with long commutes or unfamiliar areas.
One of the primary benefits of staying near popular attractions is the heightened security measures implemented in these areas. Given the large number of visitors, authorities prioritize the safety of tourists by implementing robust security infrastructure, including surveillance cameras, well-lit areas, and security personnel.
Moreover, staying near popular attractions ensures a higher visibility of law enforcement personnel. Being a renowned tourist destination, Orlando understands the importance of maintaining a safe environment for its visitors. As such, you’ll often find an increased presence of police officers and security guards in areas surrounding popular attractions.
Leave Valuables at Home
For the utmost safety and peace of mind, while visiting Orlando, it’s strongly advised to leave your valuables at home or securely store them in your hotel. By doing so, you can enjoy your time in this city without worrying about the security of your belongings.
Orlando is known for its numerous attractions which draw millions of visitors each year. With such large crowds, it’s important to exercise caution and take preventative measures to minimize the risk of theft or loss. Leaving valuables, such as expensive jewelry, large sums of cash, or important documents, at home or in a secure place at your hotel will eliminate the chances of them being lost or stolen from your person.
Before embarking on your Orlando adventure, take the time to familiarize yourself with the city’s layout. Study maps, research neighborhoods, and identify high-traffic areas to help you navigate confidently. This will also assist you in avoiding potentially unsafe or unfamiliar locations.
Risks & Warnings in Orlando
The below list is an overview of the level and kind of risk to be expected when living in or visiting Orlando, Florida:
- Overall Risk: medium
- Transport & Taxis Risk: medium
- Pickpockets Risk: medium
- Natural Disasters Risk: medium
- Mugging Risk: low
- Terrorism Risk: low
- Scams Risk: low
- Women Travelers Risk: medium
- Tap Water Risk: low
Safety Guide to Places in Orlando
Orlando, Florida, is generally considered a safe area with numerous safe places to visit. One of the factors that contribute to the overall safety of Orlando is the presence of various theme parks in the region. These popular attractions not only provide entertainment but also add an extra sense of security.
When visiting the theme parks in Orlando, visitors can feel reassured knowing that stringent security measures are in place. Before entering the parks, guests are required to pass through security checkpoints. These measures help to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone within the park premises.
Safest Places to Visit in Orlando
While Orlando is a generally safe city, certain areas are considered to be even safer than others. This list will highlight the top three safest places and places to avoid in Orlando.
Winter Park: Just a few miles north of downtown Orlando, Winter Park is a charming suburb known for its upscale shops, restaurants, and art galleries. This area has a low crime rate and is considered to be one of the safest neighborhoods in Orlando. I love to take a stroll along Park Avenue and enjoy the tree-lined streets and historic architecture.
Disney Springs: As part of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Springs offers visitors a safe and family-friendly environment. With its wide range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, this bustling outdoor complex is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Universal City Walk: Universal City Walk, located next to Universal Orlando Resort, is another safe and popular destination for visitors. This entertainment district features a variety of restaurants, clubs, and live music venues. Enjoy a meal, catch a movie, or dance the night away in a secure and lively atmosphere.
Places to Avoid in Orlando
Not all of Orlando is a Magic Kingdom! There are definitely parts of it you want to avoid if visiting the area. Here are some of the areas to steer clear of in Orlando.
Pine Hills: Located in the western part of Orlando, Pine Hills is one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Orlando. While efforts have been made to improve the safety of this neighborhood, it’s still advisable to avoid visiting Pine Hills, especially at night. Travelers should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings if they find themselves in this area.
Carver Shores: Carver Shores, situated in the southwestern part of Orlando, is another area that visitors should be cautious of due to safety concerns. This neighborhood has experienced higher crime rates in the past, making it advisable to avoid visiting this area. It’s recommended to explore other parts of Orlando that offer a more secure environment for both tourists and residents.
Mercy Drive: Another neighborhood in Orlando that’s frequently mentioned with safety concerns is Mercy Drive. I do not recommend venturing into this neighborhood, especially after dark. If you find yourself in the vicinity, ensure that your vehicle is locked and parked in well-lit areas. It’s always best to be cautious and prioritize your safety when exploring Orlando.
Frequently Asked Questions About Orlando Safety
With my extensive history of living in Orlando, I’ve compiled this list of questions and answers to address any concerns you may have. Please note that the information provided is based on my personal experience and research, and safety situations may change over time.
The crime rate in Orlando, Florida is 4,664 crimes per 100,000 people. Although the Orlando crime rate is high, there are many safe neighborhoods to choose from, making it a great place to live.
Areas to avoid in Orlando include Pine Hills, Mercy Drive, Carver Shores, New Malibu, and Washington Shores. These areas are known for their high crime rates.
It’s safe to wander around tourist destinations at night such as Disney Springs, International Drive, and City Walk at night.
Orlando is safe for solo travelers as the city is well-lit and has plenty of police presence.
Orlando is safe at night in certain areas. I recommend avoiding the high crime areas at night in Orlando.
You should avoid the areas west of downtown because of the higher crime rates.
Orlando is safe for families because of all the theme parks and added security in the area.
Orlando and Miami are relatively the same in terms of safety, although some people say Miami is slightly safer.
The safest part of Orlando is around the theme parks; Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, because of the added security in the area.
New York City is safer than Orlando since Orlando has a violent crime rate 50% higher than New York City.
Pine Hills is the most dangerous part of Orlando.
The areas near the theme parks are the safest in Orlando.
Yes, Orlando does have a high crime rate in areas away from the theme parks.
Final Thoughts – Is Orlando Truly Safe?
In conclusion, Orlando is generally considered a safe place to visit. However, like any other city, certain areas have a higher crime rate. I advise visitors to avoid these areas to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Orlando, known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” attracts millions of tourists each year. The city is home to world-renowned attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. These places provide a fun and magical experience for visitors of all ages.
While Orlando is a popular tourist destination, it’s important to be aware of certain areas that have a higher crime rate. These areas are typically found in certain neighborhoods, and it’s best to avoid them to minimize any potential risks. Local law enforcement agencies and travel guides can provide specific information on these areas to help visitors make informed decisions.