Enter for a chance to win a 3-night hotel stay and theme park tickets to Universal Orlando Resort!

Enter Now!

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 & 2020

by Leap on June 24, 2019 361 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 2019 and 2020. It also outlines the more crowded times to visit. One quick note: With the opening of a certain land in a galaxy far, far away (or Just a neighboring resort down the road) set for August, summer 2019 has so far been slower than normal. This is good news for those of you hoppin' for a quick visit to the parks during what is traditionally the busiest season. (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 2019 and 2020

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 2019 and 2020 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 2019 and 2020

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 2019 and 2020.

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, such as Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in June, 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 is headed to 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. Once it opens, many people will plan trips to experience it, but they will also still see other parks during their vacation, too. The land is set to open in Aug. 29, 2019, and we have adjusted fall crowd levels in anticipation of this opening. The best dates to visit likely won't change (nor will the worst dates), but we expect all crowds will be more elevated.

So When Is the Best Time to Universal Orlando in 2019 and 2020?

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2019 are ...

  • Jan. 6-10, Jan. 23-Feb. 14
  • Feb. 25-March 8
  • 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)*

*Probably busier than normal this 2019 because of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

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)

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 2019 are ...

  • Jan. 1-6, Jan. 17-21
  • Feb. 15-24
  • March 21-April 7, April 20-27 (elevated crowds March 16-April 27)
  • Weekends in May
  • June*
  • July*
  • The first half of August*
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

*Slower than normal

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 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 2019, Easter falls on April 21, making it a longer season than 2020, when it falls on April 12. That is still relatively late and therefore will be slightly more intense in 2020, but still not as bad as it is when Easter lands in March.

Holiday Crowds at Universal Orlando in 2019 and 2020

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 21, 2019, and April 12, 2020
  • July 4th
  • Thanksgiving - Nov. 28, 2019, and Nov. 26, 2020
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

Best Holidays to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 and 2020

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. 2, 2019, and Sept. 7, 2020
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 14, 2019*, and October 12, 2020
  • Veteran's Day (and Veteran's Day Observed) - Nov. 11, 2019, and Nov. 9, 2020 (observed)

*Busier than normal

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2019 and 2020. 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!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
1–50 of 179 comments
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
Aug 13, 2019 at 3:29 a.m. Lori Says...

We are thinking about bringing our son for his golden birthday on June 13, 2020-June 17, 2020. Do you have recommendations on where to stay and if express passes are recommended? We’ve been to Disney many times, but this would be our first family trip to Universal. Thank you so much!

Reply
Aug 13, 2019 at 1:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lori!

If you stay at a Premier Resort Hotel, your stay will come with Unlimited Express Passes! While the Premier hotels are a little more, sometimes the cost of adding on an Express Pass actually makes the Premier choice a "frugal" one :) Have a wonderful time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 5, 2019 at 11 a.m. Denise Sinclair Says...

Hi, we are travelling in November 2019 & wondering if I should book a Universal hotel for 1 night? Arriving 12 Nov - 20 Nov & staying at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek for the trip. Was thinking of booking a Universal hotel (Cabana Bay) for first night (12 Nov) to get the hour early pass for Harry Potter. Do you think this is worthwhile OR is the express pass a better option OR am I ok for not worrying about it & do the whole stay at Wyndham? Thanks Denise

Reply
Aug 5, 2019 at 3:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Denise!

That time is definitely a less busy period. You may run into some Veteran’s Day weekend crowds, but it still should not be super busy since the 12th is a Tuesday. That said, we don’t think Express Passes would be necessary, and you could probably do without the early admission. Since Wyndham Bonnet Creek is closer to Disney, you should still arrive early to get there when the park opens. If you don’t want to deal with that driving distance, Cabana Bay Beach for one night may be a good idea.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 23, 2019 at 9 p.m. Deedee Says...

Would like to visit middle of April 2020. I visited Universal about ten yrs ago around that time frame. While we were there on two different days we were told to leave the park early because there was a private party reserving the park. Do you have a schedule letting people know when parks are closing early for private parties? I would be upset if I paid for tickets and have to leave early

Reply
Jul 24, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deedee!

We understand! We'd recommend checking the park hours schedule on Universal's website; unfortunately, only park hours through October are showing as of today.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 19, 2019 at 3:39 p.m. Lucia Zulueta Nizarala Says...

I'm planning to go to Universal Studio in March 2020 and I'm wondering if the PROMO (extra days) happens every year? Starting that month?

Thanks!

Reply
Jul 22, 2019 at 2:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lucia!

This can vary from year to year, so be sure to hop back!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 16, 2019 at 7:17 p.m. Claiborne Says...

We are planning on coming the Sunday after Thanksgiving, December 1st. We are solely interested in Harry Potter rides and experiences. We plan to get the Express Pass and the pass that allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express from one park to the other.

Here are my two questions:

1. How critical is a Smart Phone for Express passes? I feel like we needed one at Disney (we do not have Smart phones but traveled with someone who did). If we do need one, would a tablet work/ is there a Wifi to dial into at the park?

2. Which park would be best to start at that day? We would like to start at the less crowded of the two and finish with the other (my thinking is crowds may die down as people return from Thanksgiving holidays)?

Reply
Jul 16, 2019 at 4:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Claiborne!

The Express Pass at Universal doesn’t have to rely on a smartphone (although you can link park tickets and Express Passes to the UOR app). It’s a separate ticket with a barcode that you scan at each ride. Since there are no return times (like FastPasses) to keep track of, you can use the Express Pass whenever you want. Depending on which Express Pass, you can go on each ride only once, or an unlimited amount of times. There is free Wi-Fi at the parks. I like using the app mainly for wait times (but they also have large signs near the entrances of each park that scroll through all wait times and show times.) If you'd like to use mobile ordering, you’d need the app. Only 3 rides use a Virtual Line, but if you have an Express Pass, you can skip the virtual line and avoid using the app.

Universal Studios is the busier park in the mornings because people like to take the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley/USF to Hogsmeade/IOA. Currently, that’s also the park that has Early Park Admission (not Islands Of Adventure) – you may want to check which parks have Early Park Admission closer to November and plan according to that. On the other hand, something else to keep in mind is that Islands Of Adventure has all 3 water rides, so if you’re planning on going on any of those, you may want to end the day with them (so you’re not walking around in wet clothes).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 5:05 p.m. Diego Elizondo Says...

Hello, thank you for all the information, it is very useful. We plan to go to Orlando during the second week of January 2020 (12 to 19). We are going to buy the 2 park 1 day to be able to use the Hogwarts Express; since we are going to be a single day in both parks, we thought to go on Saturday as I understand that the schedule is until 8, but as I saw that weekend is not so recommended, I do not know if it is better to go on a weekday, even if we do not have that extra hour. Thanks!

Reply
Jul 11, 2019 at 9:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Diego!

Will you have Express Passes? If so, we'd recommend heading to the park on a Saturday so that you have the extra hour AND can skip the lines. If you don't, we'd stick to a weekday in hopes of beating some of the crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 4, 2019 at 12:12 a.m. vballanne Says...

We can't wait to visit in October!

Reply
Jul 3, 2019 at 2:06 p.m. glenna Says...

Can't wait to take the grandkids!!!!

Reply
Jun 28, 2019 at 5:53 p.m. Lieke Says...

What a beautiful theme park. I hope that I can visit it in the future. When is the best time to plan a trip to Universal?

Reply
Jun 25, 2019 at 3:08 p.m. Ruth Doege Says...

Interesting...Thanks for the information

Reply
Jun 20, 2019 at 10:09 p.m. Jackie Says...

We want to take our daughter to magic kingdom as well as universal she is a huge harry potter fan. We have a fall break from school buy I was wondering if it's better to book a package deal or will it be cheaper for me to find my own hotels. Also where is the best place to go to find the best deal on park tickets? Love your website very informative

Reply
Jun 21, 2019 at 1:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jackie!

That's so exciting! You're going to have so much fun at both of the parks. We offer discounted park tickets to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Additionally, we have hotel deals available that you can find here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 20, 2019 at 11:57 a.m. Robin Says...

When will 2020 park tickets be offered?

Reply
Jun 26, 2019 at 9:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robin!

You can find 2020 tickets both through Undercover Tourist and Universal; just be sure to check the details since some tickets involve blockout dates. Let us know if we can help!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 23, 2019 at 9:08 p.m. Grammy Says...

Wonderful breakdown of what to do and when. Looking on Groupon at a buy two days get three free (park to park). Would that be the best bang for our buck? Arriving in Orlando Sunday morning and staying for six nights. Will have a not yet two year and four adults that are crazy about Harry Potter. Any recommendations??

Reply
May 11, 2019 at 1:17 a.m. Sheila Says...

Hi!! First trip super excited planning for late February 2020 or first of March. Any advice

Reply
Apr 28, 2019 at 10:15 p.m. erica Says...

Hi! Super helpful post and site -- thanks! We are going to try to go Sept 26-Oct 1 and do 2 days at orlando and 2 days at disney. Is this a busy time or less busy because of the rainy season? Also do you recommend doing disney before or after? Our kids are most excited for everything harry potter so not sure if we want to do it first or end with it. Would love any input. THANK YOU!!

Reply
May 1, 2019 at 1:07 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erica,

This season is likely to be busier because of the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Ordinarily it's a good time to visit, although because of the special fall events, it's become a more popular time to visit. You're probably slightly better off doing Disney on the weekdays and Universal on the weekends.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 23, 2019 at 9:14 p.m. Amanda Bates Says...

Hi, this was really helpful thank you. I'm trying to do universal studios and islands of adventure in one day which I know will be a struggle but I can only afford a one day park to park ticket without express pass. We're just going to pick our favourite rides and plan a military style operation to get around as many of them as we can. I'd like advice whether to go on Saturday 2nd November when we'll get 2 more hours in the parks or either Monday 4th or Tuesday 5th when we'll get 2 hours less but I presume the parks will be quieter so lines will be shorter? Thanks

Reply
Apr 24, 2019 at 5:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda!

It's our pleasure - thanks for taking the time to read and say hello!

November 2nd is the last night of Halloween Horror Nights, so that’s something to keep in mind since Studios will close early for guests not attending the party. If you’re prioritizing rides, you should have no problem park hopping on Monday/Tuesday (and the crowds look to be similar according to our Crowd Calendar, so feel free to pick the day that works best for you!)

Have a frogtastic time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 22, 2019 at 11:33 a.m. Randy Smith Says...

You wrote that Easter Sunday 2019 was one of the worse days to visit Universal Studios. I can attest that this was/is wrong as we were there yesterday and the longest we waited in line was 75 minutes. The park seemed crowded but the lines for all the rides were averaging 45 minutes. Just thought I would let you know.

Reply
Apr 27, 2019 at 3:23 a.m. Marshall Says...

I will say that my family of 6 was there Saturday and Sunday with Park to Park tickets for both days. Saturday was absolute Bananalands all day with park associates having to part crowds in Hogsmeade because there was so many people. Sunday was a completely different story. We waited no longer than 30 minutes for every ride. We were able to hit The Mummy ride back to back to back without waiting starting at 6pm. Longest we had to wait was for Gringotts, and that was no longer than 30 minutes. Next time we go, we’re going to try and plan to do the park Easter Sunday-Mon/Tuesday.

Reply
Apr 21, 2019 at 6:59 a.m. Poul Says...

What about easter monday? Are schools closed? It is nit a publuc holiday, so why should ut be so crowded? Thanks.

Reply
Apr 22, 2019 at 9:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Poul!

Some schools will be closed, and while others won't be, some families do take some extra time off to vacation (since many school districts have Good Friday off).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 17, 2019 at 7:59 p.m. Erika Says...

My proposed dates are Sunday, May 17, 2020 until Friday, May 22, 2020. A good week before Memorial Day and the start of most summer vacays and avoiding weekends. I am not too terribly concerned about crowds at this time, but am still wondering if it is worth our money to stay at the Royal Pacific and get express passes. My goal on this trip (as opposed to a not so relaxing Disney trip) is to do NO planning whatsoever, no arrival times, order of rides, restaurants picked in advance, NOTHING. What do you think?

Reply
Apr 22, 2019 at 12:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erika,

If you really want to do no planning whatsoever, staying on-sites makes the most sense!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 8, 2019 at 2:37 p.m. Lee Says...

Our family is going to be visiting Orlando and we are considering doing a few days at Universal. The problem is we are limited to visiting in July. Any suggestions on the best days to visit to avoid crowds or anything we can do to make it more "doable"? We know it will be crowded, but its the only time we can go.

Reply
Apr 8, 2019 at 11:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lee!

We toadally understand! It is certainly do-able. We recommend getting an Express Pass while you're there. It allows you to skip the lines, either one time for each ride, or if you spring for the Unlimited Express pass, as many times as you'd like. Check out our Crowd Calendar to see what we anticipate in terms of crowds in July.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 27, 2019 at 6:59 p.m. Megan Says...

1st timer to Universal and my 12yr old daughter is HP obsessed! Looking to go Nov 3-8 nervous about ride closures, can I find out ahead of time? I will change if need to. Also we were going to stay at Loews Pacific, anyway to save? better time for discounted rate? I am getting a great ticket price from Sams Club B2G3 Free :) Any other tips or suggestions for 1st timer appreciated.

Reply
Mar 28, 2019 at 8:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan!

You can check out Refurbishments here prior to your visit. While these aren't announced very far in advance, you can keep an eye out to see what may be closed during your trip.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 23, 2019 at 5:11 p.m. NSP Says...

Hi,

We are planning to go to Disney and Universal Orlando between May 1 to May 9th, 2019. We are going to Magic Kingdom on one day, EPCOT on one day and planning to cover Universal Studios and Universal Island of Adventure in 2 to 3 days. Do you need to purchase Express pass at Universal Orlando?

Reply
Mar 25, 2019 at 10:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi NSP!

That will depend on the day you are visiting; you can check out expected Crowd Levels for your trip here. Once you've determined the crowd level on the day you'd like to visit Universal, you can either opt to see how things go, with the option to upgrade in-park if you need it, or to purchase the Express Pass ahead of time. That time period, with the exception of the weekend, looks to be pretty mild in terms of crowds, so we don't think it will be necessary, but may be a nice bonus not to have to wait in any lines :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 19, 2019 at 10:40 p.m. Lisa Says...

We are planning a trip to Universal in September, but I don't see tickets or park hours available past June. When do fall tickets / hours usually become available?

Reply
Mar 20, 2019 at 2:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa!

Unfortunately, they only release operating hours a few months out (and even those can change sometimes during the month)! Our best recommendation is just to continue checking back. Operating hours pretty much always begin at 9 a.m. - it's closing time that may vary a bit. You can, however, purchase tickets from now through the end of the year on Universal's website!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 7, 2019 at 4:19 p.m. B Rich Says...

Hi there,

We would like to take our kids to Volcano Bay between the end of March and the end of May. What weekends or weekdays are best, in terms of crowds? We would like to get out there before school gets out, but wondered if it's already busy with tourists. Thank you in advance!

Reply
Mar 9, 2019 at 7:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi B,

We'd recommend the second half of April and the first half of May. Check out our Crowd Calendar. It's a great indicator of crowd levels.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 28, 2019 at 5:50 p.m. Shannon Says...

Hello! I was wondering if there was a specific event/reason that IOA is listed as busy the last 2 Tuesdays in August? Thanks!

Reply
Mar 4, 2019 at 12:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon!

The second half of August, especially weekdays, should be a pretty safe bet in terms of crowds. The indication on the Crowd Calendar just means that we expect those days to be busier at that particular park than the others - but at that time of year, the crowds should still be minimal :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 23, 2019 at 12:34 a.m. Bobbie Says...

We are planning a trip Oct 22-25 to go to the Universal parks. According to your calendar, it looks like crowds will be moderate those days. I am trying to decide if it is worth staying in one of the hotels that issues Express passes to their guests, or if the lines will be manageable enough that we can stay at a less expensive hotel. Would love to hear you opinion. Thanks!

Reply
Feb 26, 2019 at 9:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bobbie,

If you can afford the hotels with the Express benefit, we would recommend them at this time. The parks do have more guests coming in for Halloween Horror Nights, especially as Halloween gets closer. While your dates are mid-week and therefore not the most crowded, it's your call, but we'd spring for them if we could.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 22, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Auden Saylor Says...

My Husband and I are taking our Kids to Universal for the first time Sept 21-25th and staying at the new Endless Summer Resort. Any information on the accessibility for that Universal hotel and how the crowds will be for that time ? Still warm? Think we should need fast passes? My husband and I have been but this is the first for the kids ( 10 & 5)

Reply
Feb 22, 2019 at 1:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Auden!

Crowds look to be pretty mild at that time (3s and 4s), weekends being the exception at a level 6, according to our Crowd Calendar. You may consider the Express Pass for the weekend, or can always check things out and assess your comfort level once you get to the park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 22, 2019 at 8:09 a.m. Mark Says...

Now that the opening date for Hagrids ride has been announced how much will crowds at Universal generally, and the Wizarding World specifically, before and after the opening, be affected?

Reply
Feb 26, 2019 at 9:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mark,

This is already the start of summer, and largely families will have already set their dates or be locked into dates because of school schedules, so it won't be as big of a lift on crowds as say a highly anticipated new land. But keep in mind, that it will likely bring some additional people who were already planning trips but might not have been 100% set on a visit to Universal.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 20, 2019 at 4:38 p.m. Michelle Says...

Looking to plan a Florida trip March 27-April 1 2021. Easter falls on Sunday, April 4, 2021. We were planning on spending one day at a Disney park, two days at Universal, one day at Sea World and one day at Discovery Cove. Everything I read says to stay away from Disney around Easter. Is this a bad choice? We went to DIsney in 2015 in the summer and had crowds and we don't want to have that same experience again. Thank you.

Reply
Feb 21, 2019 at 3 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

It would be a busy time based on Easter being earlier in the season plus spring break! Ultimately it's your call on whether you can handle the crowds. Perhaps the 29th-31st would be slightly better than that Thursday or Friday for Disney. The good news is Discovery Cove has a smaller limit on how many people it lets in, so it would not feel as crowded.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 13, 2019 at 5:52 a.m. Alex Says...

Hi! We are coming to see the Harry Potter worlds and can either be there Wed - Sat March 13-16 or Sun-Wed March 17-20. I would have thought the 13-16 would be less crowded but it's slightly more expensive then so maybe I am wrong?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Reply
Feb 21, 2019 at 2:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alex,

That's interesting! We would think so too, but in general crowds will be elevated during either dates for spring break.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 13, 2019 at 12:20 a.m. Pat R Says...

Coming June 2019. Is there any advantage to 10-14 as opposed to 17-21

Thanks

Reply
Feb 13, 2019 at 9:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pat!

Those weeks look to be almost identical in terms of crowds, so I'd go with whatever works best for your family.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 7, 2019 at 1:11 a.m. christi Says...

what time do people have to leave universal if they are not attending halloween horror

Reply
Feb 8, 2019 at 7:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Christi,

When the park closes for the day, typically this is around 5 p.m. Keep in mind that Universal's Islands of Adventure typically stays open later on nights HHN are held.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 4, 2019 at 8:27 p.m. Jason Says...

Thinking of going midweek from June 3rd to June 7th. Would it be really crowded and warrant an express pass even if it's midweek?

Reply
Feb 4, 2019 at 2:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason,

This is still a pretty good time to go. I don't think you have to have it at this time, although it's always nice when you do!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 28, 2019 at 6:39 p.m. Cinthya Says...

OHH man we are going February 16th- to the 20th. Mostly for just Universal and one day at Magic Kingdom. After reading this im wondering if we should spend extra money and do the hopper between the 2 parks and add the fast lane too. so we can do both park in one day. Is this doable in your opinion? Unless you think both parks with just the hopper ticket is enough? it looks like we are going during a busy time. AHHHH!!!

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

Hi Cinthya,

Magic Kingdom and Universal are not associated, so you will not be able to "hop" between those two. But you could purchase the Park-to-Park ticket for Universal that includes Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida and allows you to hop (these parks are connected). This is a busy time to visit, so it would be a good time to consider purchasing Express Passes for your Universal visit. While we do not sell Express Passes, you can purchase them online or when you arrive at Universal. You can see all of our discount Orlando ticket options here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 14, 2019 at 5:18 a.m. Greg Says...

Why is this time in February particularly busy? Thank you for all the information.

Reply
Jan 27, 2019 at 9:40 p.m. Angie Says...

We are visiting in late May of this year. Do you know when the publish the special graduation dates the park closes early for middle schoolers?

Reply
Jan 29, 2019 at 11:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Angie,

The dates for Gradventure are May 3, 10 and 17, 2019.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 26, 2019 at 1:52 a.m. Tom Dypko Says...

Planning a visit March 31st to April 4th. What are the expected crowds? Thank you!

Reply
Jan 28, 2019 at 9:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tom!

Both Mardi Gras at Universal and the Star Wars Marathon are going on around that time, so crowds are slightly elevated during that time, based on our Crowd Calendar, due to Mardi Gras and the Star Wars Marathon crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 24, 2019 at 10:48 p.m. Allison Says...

When will the Holiday Schedule be available? I'm going the 1st week of December and trying to plan for the parades and Christmas events.

Reply
Jan 25, 2019 at 8:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Allison,

We are anxiously awaiting any news about the holiday schedule, too -- we'll keep our eyes and ears open!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 23, 2019 at 12:26 a.m. LaRod Says...

Planning on a trip April 13-17 2019. How long will waits potentially be if we have unlimited pass?

Thanks LaRod

Reply
Jan 23, 2019 at 3:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi LaRod!

With a Universal Express pass, you'll hop to the front of the line, so your wait should be minimal (10-15 minutes).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 19, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. Mel Says...

Hi, Thinking of going to Universal March 7-11, 2019. How will the crowds be and do you recommend the unlimited express pass? Thanks

Reply
Jan 22, 2019 at 1:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mel,

Crowds look moderate at that time, so it's just a matter of whether or not you'd like to hop ahead in line!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 14, 2019 at 2:27 p.m. TJ Says...

Planning on visiting Universal on Saturday April 13, 2019 thru Wednesday April 17, 2019 with the unlimited express pass. Will this be ok with Spring Break crowds? Not sure exactly when it the most crowded.

Reply
Jan 16, 2019 at 6:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi TJ,

It will be busy, but with Unlimited Express you will definitely have a (frog)leg up on the rest of the vacationers!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 18, 2019 at 9:11 p.m. TJ Says...

Do you happen to have any idea of potential wait times with fast pass at this time?

Thanks so much

Reply
Leave a comment
Name is required. Email is required. Please input a comment.
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando ResortTM, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!
Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address
Now Offering
donaldduck

disneyland® resort california

Theme Park Tickets!
footer grass

Contact:  1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)  |  1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)

Sign up for Our Newsletter Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation

monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

Contact Us

Send Feedback

Or call 1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)

1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)


©2000–2019 Undercover Tourist. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions
As to Disney photos, logos, properties: ©Disney
lilypad
Newsletter logo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

monthly news, planning tips and special deals from the Frog Family

Please enter your Name Please enter your Email address
×

Thank you for joining our email list!

Joined email list logo

You should be receiving your first email soon!
Thanks for being a part of the family.

×

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account.
Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No thanks ×
Planning an upcoming vacation?

Sign up to receive our newsletter with free printable park plans, FastPass+ recommendations and more!

Error. Please try again.


Nope, I'm not going on a trip.