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Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2020 & 2021

by Leap on February 5, 2020 437 Orlando

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 - Wizarding World - Diagon AlleyThis is what Universal Orlando Resort trip planning sounds like around the frog pond:

"We have to do Forbidden Journey first."

"Are you crazy? Escape from Gringotts!"

"I was thinking of splashing into the pool at Cabana Bay Beach Resort right after we check in."

Yes. Even us savvy trip planners can get hung up on how to tackle a Universal Orlando vacation. One of the few things we can agree on is WHEN to visit. Crowd levels have a big impact on everyone's theme park vacation. This post outlines the very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021. It also outlines the more crowded times to visit. One quick note: With the staggered opening of rides in a certain land in a galaxy far, far away (or Just a neighboring resort down the road) most of 2019 was slower than normal, but 2020 is already busier than expected, and we expect this to continue most of this year.  (You can read more about the impact of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on crowds at Universal below.)

The Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021

As we've said before with visiting Disney World, there's never a bad time to visit Universal Orlando. The Frog Family has hopped down during every season and successfully managed the crowds. We stick with our basic plan — get to the park at opening, take breaks in the afternoon when the parks are at their busiest, make use of our park plans and wait-time app, and use Universal Express.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 - Loews Portofino Bay Resort

We highly recommend you consider staying on-site at one of Universal’s official hotels that offer Universal Express Unlimited  basically unlimited skip-the-line access on most rides at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The Universal hotels that offer the benefit are Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

Having a plan also helps manage crowds, which is why we've put all of our experience into these handy-dandy Universal Orlando park plans. There's no magic to our methods (well ... snacks and caffeine help). Simply follow our advice and you'll find the crowds manageable, even during the busy times.

We know that the word "crowds" can conjure up visions of hour-long waits for the popcorn cart. While that's a little extreme, there's no denying that there are better times to visit Universal Orlando than others. It should come as no surprise that the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021 falls along school schedules. Generally, when the tadpoles will be out of school, there will be crowds at Universal. This is as true for a one-day holiday such as Martin Luther King Day as it is for a week-long spring break or the big draw — summer vacation.

Determining the Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021

Before booking your vacation to Universal on our site, we recommend you check our Crowd Calendar. You can get a view of the crowd levels by day, month or the whole year. You'll also find individual park recommendations so you can easily see at a glance the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021.

Special events should also be a consideration in deciding the best time to visit, and they are also displayed on the crowd calendar. For example, Halloween Horror Nights can scare up a good crowd (yes, I went there).

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Opening CrowdsBig openings, like we had last June with Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, can also bring big crowds who want to be among the first to experience the magic. 

The Arrival of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Crowds

Yes, we know this is a post about Universal and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened at Disney World, but we would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that the opening of this highly anticipated land would have an impact on crowds. Many people are planning trips just to experience it, and they will also visit other parks during their vacation too. With the staggered opening of the two headlining rides, crowds were initially lower than expected. However, since the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on Dec. 5, 2019, crowds have been much higher! We expect this trend to continue for most of 2020 and perhaps even into 2021.

So When Is the Best Time to Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021?

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2020 are ...

  • Jan. 6-16, Jan. 27-Feb. 13
  • Feb. 24-March 6
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus Fridays with Halloween Horror Nights)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus Fridays with Halloween Horror Nights)
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the week of Christmas and New Year's Eve)

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 are ...

  • Jan. 4-14, Jan. 25-Feb. 12
  • Feb. 22-March 5
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus Fridays with Halloween Horror Nights)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus Fridays with Halloween Horror Nights)
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the week of Christmas and New Year's Eve)

Historically, September has been the very best month of the year to visit Universal Orlando in terms of crowds because the kids have just returned to school. It is still our pick for best month to visit; however, the popularity of Halloween Horror Nights has brought in more crowds, and the event regularly sells out (by the way, we will be selling tickets). If you're visiting the resort for that time, and specifically for that event, make sure you purchase your tickets first and book your hotel early. Those weekends could see more guests who come in for the event and spend their daytime hours inside the parks.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 - Incredible Hulk Coaster

September is also the height of Orlando's rainy season. You should prepare for daily afternoon thunderstorms and possibly more rain than that. Come prepared with ponchos. With those caveats out of the way, we still feel that fall is a good time to visit Universal Orlando.

The Most Crowded Time to Visit Universal Orlando

The worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2020 are ...

  • Jan. 1-5, Jan. 18-20
  • Feb. 14-23
  • March 7-April 19
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

The worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 are ...

  • Jan. 1-3, Jan. 15-24
  • Feb. 13-21
  • March 6-April 11
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

The big variable for spring is when Easter falls. When it's earlier in the season, there is generally a shorter, more intense "spring break" as school districts narrow down the week they give kids off. When it's later in spring, there is generally a longer but less intense "spring break" season as school districts have more variance in the week they give kids off. In 2021, Easter falls on April 4, making it a longer season than 2020, when it falls on April 12. These are still more spread out and less intense than when Easter lands in March.

Holiday Crowds at Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021

Holidays bring crowds, and for good reasons. People are off from work and want to enjoy their time in the parks. Many families make it a tradition to gather at Universal Orlando to celebrate everything from Easter to Thanksgiving. Universal Orlando Resort has festive and frightening holiday events.

We've already mentioned the impact of crowds from Halloween Horror Nights. Christmas has also become a bigger deal at Universal Orlando than in past years with the arrival of Christmas In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Muggles and wizards alike are flocking to the parks to enjoy the holiday decorations, entertainment and food in Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. We expect the 2019 holiday season to be especially hopping!

Universal Orlando's Most Crowded Holidays:

  • New Year's Day - Jan. 1
  • Easter - April 12, 2020, and April 4, 2021
  • July 4th
  • Thanksgiving - Nov. 26, 2020, and Nov. 25, 2021
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

Best Holidays to Visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021

Stock up on those precious personal days and consider visiting on these less crowded holidays. It will still be busy, but not as noticeable as Christmas.

  • Labor Day - Sept. 7, 2020, and Sept. 6, 2021
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 12, 2020, and and Oct.11, 2021
  • Veteran's Day (and Veteran's Day Observed) - Nov. 9, 2020 (observed), and Nov. 11, 2021

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2020 and 2021. Wondering how crowds will be during your trip? Check out our Crowd Calendar. You'll find more resources to help you plan your Universal Orlando vacation on our When to Visit Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline!

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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1–50 of 219 comments
Mar 1, 2020 at 4:30 a.m. Kimberly Perrotta Says...

When will Universal open up packages for 2021?

Reply
Mar 2, 2020 at 2:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kimberly!

We aren't sure, but maybe someone in the Frog Pond has heard!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 28, 2020 at 2:36 p.m. Lori Says...

Hi! When is the best time to book for Feb 2021? We just got back and are already ready to return!

Reply
Feb 28, 2020 at 11:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lori!

It's never too early to start planning if you ask us! :) Counting down the days with you!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 27, 2020 at 3:42 p.m. Christina Says...

My sons birthday is April 19th. The crowd calendar is showing busy that weekend. I was thinking maybe going on the 25th. What do you recommend. Also I heard you can get a birthday pin like at Disney. Where would I pick that up at? Thanks

Reply
Feb 27, 2020 at 4:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Christina!

The 25th looks to be a 7 in terms of crowds, but the week following (or even Sunday) should be a little less crowded. You sure can get a birthday pin - they are available at Guest Services in either park :) Hoppy birthday to your son!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 26, 2020 at 7:21 p.m. Crystal Says...

We are limited on our ability to visit, so we will be going to Universal the last week in June leading up to July 4. Granted, I know this is going to be a busy and hot time of year. We will have the Express Unlimited passes. In general, during that time of year, what can we expect with wait times in the Express Pass line?

Also, can you do a blog (or if you have point me in the direction) regarding tips for best times to try for Hagrid's?

Thank you!

Reply
Feb 28, 2020 at 9:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Crystal!

When we recently visited and used Express, every ride (except Jimmy Fallon) saved at least half of the standby queue time, if not a lot more. We waited 30 minutes in the Forbidden Journey line when going in the wait time said 60 minutes, 30 minutes for Gringotts while standby was 50 minutes. This should be similar during the summer :) We don't currently have a post for Hagrid's tips, but we are working on it, so stay tuned! :) Have a great trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 25, 2020 at 7:46 p.m. Says...

The crowd calendar says that Univ Studios and Islands of Adventure are the best parks to visit on Easter 2020, but the article says Easter has one of the biggest crowds at universal. Does that make sense or am I misunderstanding the crowd calendar? Thx!

Reply
Feb 26, 2020 at 8:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Of all the parks, these are most recommended on this day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 23, 2020 at 2:49 a.m. Larissa Says...

Hello! Thanks for your helpful page. My husband and I are going to universal for the first time for 7-8 days in the fall. We definitely want to take advantage of the water parks and pools but of course also want to enjoy the amusement parks. What would you suggest weather-wise: September (I've heard it can be too hot), October or early November?

Also, do you think we are missing out on time in the parks with the HHN? We wouldn't mind seeing it one night but it's 5 nights a week that the park closes early. Do you know when Christmas activities start in November?

Thanks so much!!

Reply
Feb 26, 2020 at 10:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Larissa!

Weather-wise, early November is probably your best bet. If you’re staying exclusively at Universal for 7-8 days, then we don’t think you’d be missing out on time because of Halloween Horror Nights (which only takes place at Universal Studios Florida; Islands of Adventure stays open a little longer on party nights.) Christmas activities usually start around mid-November; in 2019, they began on the 16th. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 19, 2020 at 10:42 p.m. Hannah Says...

We are planning 8 days at Disney and 4 days at Universal over Thanksgiving. We plan on being in Universal on Thxgvg Day and considering buying a throw away night at Loews to get Fast Pass Unlimited. We will be buying annual passes for everyone, but would it be worth buying one of them way in advance on the chance that they offer a special rate for AP holders? Are the chances slim since it's a peak week? Do they often email special hotel deals to AP holders, and if so, is there any way to keep informed of them without buying the AP way in advance? (buying up front, not on payment plan, so maybe the start date can still be held off until actual arrival while still getting email promos?)

Reply
Feb 21, 2020 at 12:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Hannah!

We don't know of any ways to know about Annual Passholder deals in advance without a pass, unfortunately, but are hoping someone in the Frog Pond can help weigh in!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 19, 2020 at 2:10 p.m. Alisha Says...

Hi! Looking to book a vacation to Universal with 2 older kids and hubby. Of course we are looking at crowded times but not sure which be better, do you have any suggestions? We will not be doing the Express Passes, too expensive in my mind. We are looking at 4/11/20 to 4/16/20 or 4/15/20 to 4/20/20 or 5/21/20 to 5/26/20. Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!

Reply
Feb 21, 2020 at 12:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alisha!

Both timeframes should be similar in terms of crowds, so we'd go with what works best with your family and schedule!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 10, 2020 at 11:43 a.m. Aisling Says...

First time traveller to Orlando!! travelling with 4 tweens/teens ( 15,13 & 2 x11 ) from Ireland . We are there for 8 days and we know the kids want to spend some time in Universal (Harry potter fans) and a water park . So we are thinking 3-4 days in Universal because this is something very different to what we have in Europe. We are struggling what to do with Disney - we have been to Disney in Paris pretty much every year which I know is smaller but there is a lot of overlap in terms of big rides, which is what the kids are interested in. The big difference is obviously Star wars - which is not in Europe - but it sounds like its highly unlikely we will get to ride the major rides cos of the queues.

I feel like its not obvious which park to do - which park will interest the kids but also pack the biggest punch in terms of what we have done previously in Europe. It likely that we will only do 1 day.

Any thoughts

Reply
Feb 11, 2020 at 4:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Aisling!

We would definitely recommend Disney's Hollywood Studios! Like you mentioned, it has Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, in addition to Toy Story Land and some "big kid" attractions such as Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. The chances of getting on Rise of the Resistance via the virtual queue are pretty good! (Both Millennium Falcon and Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, in addition to having FastPass+ options, will also have standby queues.) You can find a whole post about the park and how to manage FastPasses in it, which you can find here. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 10, 2020 at 4:28 a.m. Kelly Nickodemus Says...

Hi! Love your website so so much! I am planning two upcoming trips. I wanted to see how the wait times would be for March 3-5th and April 20th to 23rd! Thank you!

Reply
Feb 11, 2020 at 4:38 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kelly!

Wow, thank you :) We're happy you took the time to say hello! According to our Crowd Calendar, March 3-5 will have crowd levels of 5 and 6, and April 20-23 will have crowd levels of 8 each day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 8, 2020 at 5:04 a.m. RJ Says...

Hello!

My best friend, my mother, and I are planning on having some fun at the parks on April 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. It’s in celebration of my mine and my mother’s birthdays. Universal is my happy place so I’m happy to go.

Just curious, I saw an event calendar where it said all those days will be intense with crowds. Why?! Just curious. I don’t want to purchase Express tickets at this moment until I’m certain of the crowds. Hopefully it won’t be too crowded. I also hear the weather is quite nice around this time.

Reply
Feb 10, 2020 at 10:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi RJ!

We aren't seeing any events on our calendar for those exact dates, though the Star Wars Rival Half-Marathon weekend will be taking place the weekend prior to your visit at Disney World, so it's possible some runners may stay throughout the week. Overall, things look to be pretty manageable in terms of crowds, according to our Crowd Calendar! Hoppy birthday to you and Mom!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 6, 2020 at 10:28 a.m. Sandra Roney Says...

Hi again, I have one more question!

Do I have to stay in a Orlando hotel to have access to Express tickets? Or is there a way to buy them?

We are staying in a Walt Disney Resort, and not planning to go to a Orlando resort .

Thank you very much!!!

Reply
Feb 6, 2020 at 4:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sandra!

You do not need to stay in a Universal hotel to access Express Passes! They can be purchased by anyone, regardless of where they are staying :) Universal's premier hotels do offer an Unlimited Express pass with each stay, but those can be purchased separately for non-resort guests too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 6, 2020 at 10:24 a.m. Sandra Roney Says...

Hi, I love your site, is amazing and very useful!

We are planning to visit Disney World Orlando and Universal Studios next May (19th-22nd) and we well devote one day to Universal Studios.

I would like to ask you if you recommend to go both to Universal Studios and Islands Adventure, and if it is managable to do so in one day.

In this sense I've seen the One-Day-Park to Park ticket, is this the best ticket to purchase? Do you recommend the Express option?

Many thanks and regards from Spain!

Reply
Feb 6, 2020 at 4:16 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sandra!

Wow, thank you so much! We're so hoppy you stopped by - bienvenida! Doing it all in one day can be pretty tough, but you have the right thought - for the best chances of doing everything, we'd recommend park-to-park tickets and Express so that you can manage your time and get the most out of your day. Ideally, we'd recommend a day in each park if you want to do and see all that there is to offer (but we'd say keep the park-to-park so that you can take the Hogwarts Express between the parks :) ) Hope this helps - enjoy your trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 5, 2020 at 5:06 p.m. Jaynee Says...

Son and I are heading to FL for spring break 2020 - plan on hitting up Universal Studios sometime between April 6-9. We know it'll be packed because it's spring break, but is there are particular day in that range that might not be completely miserable compared to the others?

Reply
Feb 6, 2020 at 4:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jaynee!

Those days actually look pretty moderate - the 7,8 and 9 are all 6s, according to our Crowd Calendar! We'd stick with Tuesday or Wednesday to avoid any crowds that might be coming in for Easter weekend.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 4, 2020 at 4:14 p.m. AMANDA Says...

Hi great site but I'm panicking now. I checked spring break times and Easter so booked to arrive in between. 18th March to 2nd april. Is it going to be huge lines at all the parks ? Thank you for any help

Reply
Feb 4, 2020 at 1:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda!

Oh no - deep breaths! Yes, things will be a little busier than usual during that timeframe because it's spring break season (think 7s, 8s and 9s). You can see a day-by-day breakdown on our Crowd Calendar here. That said, it should still be manageable! Spring for Express if you can and arrive at park opening to get a hop on your day. You can also follow our park plan to make the most of your time. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 2, 2020 at 10:43 p.m. Martha Alvarado Says...

Hi! Love your site. We are planning on visiting universal the week of Thanksgiving 2020, and yes, i see it's the worst time to visit :) but I am purchasing 3 day park to park tickets, do you think it's necessary to purchase the express passes? And if so, do the passes work for both parks or do I need to purchase a pass for each of the parks as well for each day that I have park tickets? We are considering staying at one of the hotels that offer the unlimited express pass, just not sure if it's worth it? Thank you in advance!!

Reply
Feb 4, 2020 at 1:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Martha!

Thank you - we love that you took the time to say hello! :) We would definitely spring for Express and would recommend looking into how much it would be stay at a Premier to take advantage of Unlimited Express - it may actually be more cost effective than adding Express on and staying off-site!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 2, 2020 at 12:57 a.m. Rex Schoolcraft Says...

Planning on going Dec 7th-Dec 12th 2020. We are hoping to purchase a Harry Potter package deal. Do the prices vary with different seasons, or will it pretty much be the same price if I buy it today or wait?

Reply
Feb 4, 2020 at 1:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rex!

If you purchase before May 22, the promotion includes Volcano Bay admission for free. After May 22, the package includes the regular 3-Park, 5-Day Park-to-Pack Ticket, but the hotel rates will continually adjust, which in turn affects the overall package pricing. So we'd recommend booking sooner rather than later to lock in a lower rate! If you see that a better rate come out closer to your trip, you can always call ticketing to see what options are available to adjust your rate. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 22, 2020 at 1:35 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Thanks for all the info! A bit confused as to why saturday 25th January is expected to have such large crowds considering it's the weekend after the holiday? I thought it would have been a good time to go...

Reply
Jan 22, 2020 at 8:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca!

We expect higher crowds since it's a weekend. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 21, 2020 at 1:57 p.m. Steven Says...

Hi, when are the Orlando Premium Labour say sales this year?

Thanks,

Reply
Jan 21, 2020 at 2:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steven!

These generally take place close to Labor Day, which will be taking place on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 16, 2020 at 1:58 p.m. Stephanie Says...

Hi,

I would have thought January, post-winter break would be less crowds than usual. Why would the Universal Studios calendar show high crowds January 18-20? Something event/holiday I'm missing?

Thanks!

Reply
Jan 17, 2020 at 8:15 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephanie,

Crowds are a bit higher those days because of the MLK Day holiday weekend.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 16, 2020 at 12:33 p.m. sherman Says...

Hello! We will be visiting Disney World on April 2 and 3 and then we will go to Universal Studios-Island of Adv-Volcano Bay, on days 6.7 and 8. Will they be busy days? Is it convenient for those days to buy the express pass? thanks!

Reply
Jan 16, 2020 at 12:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sherman!

You'll see a mixed bag in terms of crowds on your trip, according to our Crowd Calendar, with 6, 7 and 8s (out of 10) throughout. We'd definitely spring for the Express Pass if you can!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 7, 2020 at 10:10 p.m. Erika Says...

Visiting from 2/14-2/16, is the express pass going to highly recommended that weekend? It doesn't have that holiday weekend listed as good or bad. Also can we do the two parks in two days?

Reply
Jan 8, 2020 at 7:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erika!

Those days look to be fairly busy according to our Crowd Calendar (7,8 and 9), so we'd definitely recommend an Express Pass if you can swing it! With Express, doing the parks in two days is definitely possible.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 6, 2020 at 1:38 a.m. Tessa Says...

Hi,

I’m bringing my daughters to Hollywood Studios on Jan. 16th and then to Universal on Jan. 17th.

We’re just doing those two days and we want to make the most of our short trip. What are crowds predicted to be during those dates and is it better to purchase tickets on line or at the gate with a 20% off code I was given from Universal Guest Services?

Reply
Jan 6, 2020 at 1 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tessa!

We'd definitely suggest purchasing your tickets online ahead of time to save you some time on the day-of! Crowds those days look to be 5/10, according to our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 2, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. Seaghan O hAllachain Says...

Hi there,

Well done on your amazing website. We are on a royal caribbean cruise and hoping to visit universal on Monday, July 27th. The ship doesn't dock until 1.00 p.m. and we will beheading to the park for aprox 7 hours. We intend on buying the express passes, may I ask,

Is there much of a waiting time for the rides with the passes, given that our time will be limited?

What time does the park remain open until in late July?

When and where are the best sites and times to purchase these tickets?

Thank you for your help with this.

Shane

Reply
Jan 3, 2020 at 2:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shane!

Thank you for the kind words! We're hoppy you stopped by! Most rides will likely have 5-10 min. waits. For the more popular rides, you may need to wait in line up to 20-30 min if it’s very crowded. Since you’re going in the middle of the summer, the parks will likely stay open until 10 p.m. We highly recommend purchasing Express Passes in advance, as on-site Express upgrades can run out on the day-of. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 30, 2019 at 2:41 p.m. James Says...

Would a fast pass be needed for universal studios from 15th September to 25th will be visiting on a weekday

Reply
Dec 30, 2019 at 12:29 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi James!

That time of year should have pretty low crowds (especially on the weekdays!) so we don't think it's necessary (though we do love Express Pass even in low-crowd times, since we can get more rides done!).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 11, 2019 at 9:53 p.m. Kim Adamczyk Says...

We are planning a trip for both Universal parks Feb 15-22, 2020. It appears from your site that this is a busy time do to Presidents Day. Do you recommend doing the parks later in week like Wed - Thursday to avoid biggest crowds instead of Sun-Mon? And should we get the express pass? We may just go to the beach for a day and enjoy our hotel pool another until mid week if you feel the crowds would be less. Thank You.

Reply
Dec 16, 2019 at 4:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim!

Yes, the weekdays following Presidents Day will be much better than Sunday and Monday. We always recommend Express Pass because we love skipping the lines, but crowds should be manageable (6/10), so that part is toadally up to you :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 11, 2019 at 1:25 p.m. Laurie Watson Says...

Visiting over the weekend (Fri and Sat) Feb 6/7 2020. Hoping to avoid major crowds by coming the weekend before Presidents Day weekend! Is it crazy not to get express passes for weekend days during that time or should we be ok? Thanks!

Reply
Dec 11, 2019 at 2:38 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laurie!

Those days are projected to be a 5 and 6 out of 10 in terms of crowds, according to our Crowd Calendar, so we don't think you need to spring for Express unless you're looking to maximize your time :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 4, 2019 at 4:43 p.m. Jerry Says...

Awesome!

Reply
Nov 27, 2019 at 11:57 p.m. Jenn Says...

This is an amazing site. I'm considering a surprise trip for 1/9/20-1/12/20 for our family of 4. One of our daughters has some mobility challenges so we're not the most intense theme park visitors but they sooooooooo love Harry Potter. What is the difference between the 2Day Park to Park with Extra Day and the 3Day Park to Park? We'd stay on site but would welcome any advice on which location has easiest access (not a wheelchair need, just tires sooner). Would expect to come back for break mid-day. Access to swimming would be a plus. We've done Disney years ago, but not Universal. Food plans? Sorry for so many questions, but I know nothing about Universal. Thank you for anything you can offer!

Reply
Dec 5, 2019 at 11:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenn!

We’ve found that while all rooms and amenities at the Universal Orlando hotels are ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible, some are more convenient and accommodating than others. Staying on Universal property is an ideal first step, thanks to the built-in Express Pass that comes with certain hotel stays. Beyond that, we’ve been very happy at the Loews Portofino Bay. Distances between amenities are short and there is a lot to do in a space with a relatively small footprint, making it easier to get around. Don’t overlook the medical parking lots at both Universal and Disney World. Even if you do not have a handicap placard for regular parking, you can access these lots to drop off guests who can’t walk as far in the parking areas. Let the parking attendant at the special needs lot know you need this, and you will either be able to park in the lot (in a close, but not-handicapped spot) or drop off part of your group in a closer, easier to traverse spot. Others in the Frog Pond may be able to weigh in with their favorites, too!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 24, 2019 at 11:10 p.m. Amanda Says...

Hey, thank you for all the info on your website, it’s been extremely helpful in our trip planning. Do you have an idea of what kind of wait times & crowds we would be looking at April 20/21/22/23?

Reply
Nov 25, 2019 at 10:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda!

Those dates look to be 8/10. We'd spring fort Express Pass if you can! You can see the breakdown by day on our Crowd Calendar here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 13, 2019 at 3:13 p.m. ROSHNI THOMAS Says...

Why is Feb 21-23 one of the worst weeks in 2020 to visit Universal? It shows fair crowds on your calender.

Reply
Nov 22, 2019 at 7:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Roshni!

That is the week of Presidents Day, so we expect elevated crowds to linger throughout the week/weekend.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 4, 2019 at 5:37 a.m. Amy Says...

I see that the week of Christmas is not a good time for Universal but does that include the weekend before (December 21st and 22nd)? We have just a couple of days that we could fit that in our schedule but don't want to go if it's going to be terribly crowded then. Thank you!

Reply
Nov 4, 2019 at 5:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy!

Those dates are forecast to be a 9 according to our Crowd Calendar. It may be worth thinking about Express Pass!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 1, 2019 at 4:04 a.m. Sweetpea626 Says...

My family and I are going to Universal for the first time next week (Nov 6-8). It looks like it shouldn't be too crowded, but we have been considering getting the express passes bc we really don't want to spend our time there waiting in lines! However, the passes are so expensive, we don't want to buy them unnecessarily - do you think we would be fine without them? Are we able to buy them there if needed or do they have to be purchased in advance? Thanks so much for your help, have a blessed day! :)

Reply
Nov 4, 2019 at 5:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

We think you should be fine without them, but if you arrive and find that you'd like to upgrade, you can also upgrade in-park :) Have a great trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 26, 2019 at 12:52 a.m. Cindygnh Says...

Just got back from Disney and Universal and we had a fantastic time. Busy but a great time was had by the family. Enjoyed Universal Halloween Horry Nights.

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Oct 25, 2019 at 6:36 p.m. cindy Says...

can't wait to visit

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Oct 25, 2019 at 6:26 p.m. Chris Says...

I'm planning on going to Universal Studios and Island of Adventure in October (9th - 23rd 2020) plus with a horror night experience (looks cool) should I expect alot of crowds or during the week it shouldn't be that bad. FIrst time going. Thanks :-)

Reply
Oct 29, 2019 at 3:04 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris!

October is such a fun time to visit, with lots of frightfully fun activities going on! Weekdays look to be manageable in terms of crowds, with weekends a little busier. You'll notice things get busier as the month goes on, with more and more people flocking to HHN as it gets closer to Halloween. You can check out details about specific dates on our Crowd Calendar. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 25, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. Debbie Says...

would love to go to Universal!!!!!

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Oct 24, 2019 at 5:45 p.m. Nicolaj Says...

Oh my god, I just realised that we have booked our trip to Florida in the Thanksgiving vacation. Our only choice for visiting Universal Studios parks is on the 22nd of November. I now realise that it's a busy day. So what can I expect???? DO we talk hours of waiting in lines even with the Express pass.

Best Greetings from Denmark

Reply
Oct 25, 2019 at 9:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nicolaj!

While we think it could be busy, since it’s the Friday before Thanksgiving, we think it won't be nearly as busy as it will be the following week for Thanksgiving. The longest waits on the Friday before Thanksgiving last year were about 60 minutes, with the wide majority at 30-45 minutes. We think it'll be manageable for you! :) Enjoy!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 23, 2019 at 8:23 p.m. Jason Says...

Hello

My family is traveling to Universal for the first time for Thanksgiving. I see this is the most busy time at Universal. We are staying at Portofino so will have the Unlimited Express Passes. With that in mind, can you tell me on average what this will mean for wait times? I see that avg times during those periods are 45-120 minutes depending on the ride so I'm wondering what kind of time savings we are looking at being it is peak time.

Thanks

Reply
Oct 25, 2019 at 9:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason!

Those Unlimited Express Passes will help you out a ton! They should cut your wait in half compared to the standby line, if not more.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 21, 2019 at 10:43 p.m. Dena Says...

Hi. Coming to Universal soon and it is during a slower crowd time. How have the crowds been during the slower crowd times currently with Star Wars at Disney? Can we do just Universal in one day? Not doing Island of Adventure. Thanks.

Reply
Oct 23, 2019 at 10:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dena!

We think only going to USF one day would be toadally possible. The crowds seemed to be about medium-level on our visit last Friday! You can see projections for specific dates on our Crowd Calendar if you'd like more information!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 14, 2019 at 7:16 p.m. Lisa A. Says...

We're taking our kids and grandchildren (ages 5 & 7) to Disney World 1/17-1/25/20. We're kind of looking at this as a once-in-a-lifetime trip and want to see and do as much as possible. I'm thinking we'll get the Hopper Pass so that we can go to some parks in the mornings, rest/veg/play in the afternoons, and see shows in the evening. Do you have any recommendations on must-sees?

Thank you!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 9:15 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa!

What an amazing trip - we're sure you're excited for all of that time with the grands! We have some park plans that you can check out here, but overall, we think your plan sounds great. We'd also suggest checking out some ride videos and staring conversations now with your grandkiddos to see what they'd like to prioritize. You should be able to get a good amount done during your trip! If they are Star Wars fans, we'd definitely suggest spending time in Galaxy's Edge, as well as Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. We tend to watch Magic Kingdom's nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After, a few times - finding a good vantage point directly in front of the castle to see the projections can take some finagling, so we find that going more than once allows us to see things we may have missed the first time around! The Festival of the Arts will be going on at Epcot, so be sure to have some time set aside to take in all of the special activities for the kids (and you!). A couple of hours should be plenty. Be sure to talk about which characters are priorities, too - if you have princess-lovers, we love starting our day with the princesses at a big breakfast at Akershus in Epcot!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 11, 2019 at 5:36 p.m. Teri Ruffino Says...

The Crowd Calendar is crucial for those of us who aren't familiar with the crowd flow of these popular theme parks. I love the look, feel and user-friendliness of this valuable tool!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 3:07 p.m. Tina Patey Says...

Disney Springs is the most amazing place outside of the parks.

Reply
Oct 3, 2019 at 9:51 p.m. Jenna Says...

I’m arriving the weekend of December 28-January 4. I know in general it’s a bad time for crowds because of the holiday but is there one day during that week that it won’t be quite as bad at universal?

Reply
Oct 4, 2019 at 3:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenna!

Things will be busy throughout Orlando, so we'd just pick the day that works best for you and spring for Express if you can :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Sep 23, 2019 at 7:52 p.m. Stacey Says...

I notice you mentioned the benefit of staying at The Universal hotels that offer Universal Express Unlimited Passes (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort). We are planning a trip in March and are planning to stay at a Universal Hotel. Have you found there is more benefit of staying at the hotels you list to get these passes versus stay at a different Universal hotel and buying the passes separately? Also, in your experiences with rides at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure, are these rides fairly smooth or are they jerky/rough?

Reply
Sep 25, 2019 at 12:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stacey!

If you’re going to stay at a Universal hotel and definitely want Express passes, it is more beneficial, depending how many people are staying in the hotel room, to spring for a Premier hotel. Express passes start at $69.99 per person (one park) or $79.99 per person (for two) — and that’s just the single-use Express Pass (there’s an unlimited Express Pass that lets you go on one ride as many times as you want, which is what you'd get from staying at a Premier). If the difference in savings is greater (which it often is!), we’d go with a Premier hotel. We have a whole blog post dedicated to these benefits in case you'd like to read more, which you can find here. Most of the motion simulators can be a little jerky at times, with The Hulk being the roughest coaster. Hagrid's, however, is one of the smoothest, as is Rip Ride Rockit! Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Sep 22, 2019 at 8:13 a.m. Rikke Says...

Hi

Traveling from Europe this is our second stay in Florida and Orlando, but havent visited any of The parks yet besides Discovery Cove.

Both my daughter and I are huge Harry fans, so Im trying to research how to go about it, if we should visit Harry Potter World...it Can be quite tricky to find out just by google :)

We have been to Disney in Paris but it still seems there are Way more different tickets and options here..

As I understand it at this point.. Harrys place is not a park in it self but are areas within The two Universal Studios parks, which you have to buy atleast a 2 Day 2 park ticket to get The full expirience with The Hogwats Express ?

We have The option to visit on weekdays in mid october, is Express pass needed ?

Thx in advance!

Reply
Sep 23, 2019 at 3:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rikke!

Yes, the Harry Potter areas are not parks by themselves, but are each a section within the two parks. We usually recommend a 2-day park-to-park ticket, just so you can get the full experience (1 park for each day). But since you’re going mid-week in October, we think you can do without Express (and you can always once you're in the park if you need to). Enjoy!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Sep 13, 2019 at 4:54 p.m. Tanisha Says...

Hello, My family and I are planning a vaction Oct 3 - Oct 6 2019. Would you reccommend going to Universal Studios and IOA in 1 day. No wel will not do the Harry Potter train ride.

Reply
Sep 13, 2019 at 1:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tanisha!

We generally recommend two days to take in all of the fun that Universal Orlando has to offer. If you're skipping the Wizarding World altogether (not just the Hogwarts Express), you may be able to tackle it in one. Have fun!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Sep 10, 2019 at 1:57 a.m. Pam Says...

We want to do all Harry Potter. They are in 2 different parks, correct? We are going with our 21 & 24 year old - thinking of getting them 3 day park to park pass and my husband and I 2 day park to park. Can ride Hogwart's Express with both, correct? Any need for us to do 3 day park? We won't ride rides. Mainly to look around and see it all. Thanks.

Reply
Sep 10, 2019 at 9:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pam!

That's correct; there are two sections of the Wizarding World, one in each park. You'd need park to park to ride the Hogwarts Express from one to the other, so your plan sounds perfect! If you and your husband aren't interested in riding the rides, we'd stick with two day. If you find that you're having so much fun that you want to add a day on, you can always visit the ticketing office to see about an upgrade :) Enjoy!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 2, 2019 at 6:20 p.m. Confusedmom Says...

We are looking at going to Universal Jan 27 and 28. We are staying in Disney Vacation Club. Is it possible to do Harry Potter and Jurassic World in two days? We have never been to universal. How are they with a child with disabilities. Thank you.

Reply
Sep 3, 2019 at 1:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Yes, it is definitely possible to do both in two days! Are you hopping to Universal Studios Hollywood (with Jurassic World) or Universal Orlando (with Jurassic Park)? In either park, there are options for your son. You can find out a little more about the Attraction Assistance Pass, which we highly recommend looking into for your tadpole, here. Have a wonderful time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Sep 23, 2019 at 10:33 p.m. Confused mom Says...

We will be at Universal Studios Orlando. We have a condo over on Disney so we figured 2 days at Universal and 4 at Disney. Is the last week of January a good time to go.

Reply
Sep 24, 2019 at 8:15 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Confused Mom!

The very last week of January looks to be a great time to visit according to our Crowd Calendars, with crowds as low as 4s that week. Have fun!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 31, 2019 at 5:33 a.m. Mike Says...

We will be in Orlando from Jan 13-17, 2020. We purposely chose a time when kids are back in school. Looks like it's a good slow time per your lists. Should it be slow enough that we don't need to spend on the express passes? I am HOPING that we can do one full long day and do all of the wizarding world in both parks. we don't really care to do anything outside of the potter stuff. shouldn't be bad if it's slow right?

Reply
Sep 3, 2019 at 8:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike!

These dates look to be pretty moderate, as you noted - 5s and 4s. As such, we don't think you'll need Express Pass. Have fun!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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