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The Very Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023

by Leap on June 20, 2022 1755 Orlando

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Summary

This is what Universal Orlando Resort trip planning sounds like around the Frog Pond: "We have to do Hagrid's 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 time to visit Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023, as well as some factors to keep in mind when planning your awesome Universal Orlando vacation.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Marilyn Monroe in front of marquee

Planning When to Visit Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023

While we have no crystal ball (we wish we did!), we do have historical trends available to pull from when making predictions. But there's one important caveat in 2022 (and 2023): as more families are hopping back into action, we expect that crowds will be heavier than usual throughout the year. That said, there will still be some times when crowds are lower. We're here to give you our best guesses on crowd levels based on our years of data collection and insights. And, action!

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Gringotts

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 Orlando park plans app, and use Universal Express. For those of you who can, we highly recommend visiting the parks on weekdays, especially during peak times such as the week of Thanksgiving and the end of December into early January, as well as spring and summer breaks.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2022 - Loews Portofino Bay Resort

We also 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. This skip-the-regular line benefit is a big help for saving time in the parks, especially if you're visiting on weekends. All Universal Orlando Resort hotels offer Early Park Admission, which is also a super hopful tool to get a jump on your day.

Keep in mind that the parks have and do hit capacity during peak times, even though a reservation system is not in place. We cannot emphasize enough just how much we recommend getting to the parks early! For even more tips for visiting Universal during peak times, hop over to our full post.

In addition to hitting capacity in the parks themselves, there were several days in summer 2021 where ticket sales hit capacity — meaning Universal sold out for specific dates. The sooner you can purchase your tickets, the better chance you'll have at selecting your desired dates (and the more hotel availability you'll find!). Planning ahead is the name of the game — and you've already taken the first step by reading this post :)

Other Factors to Consider When Determining the Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando

Best Time to Visit Universal - People on RipRide Rockit Coaster

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 times to visit, as well as Universal Orlando hours.

There's no denying there are better times to visit Universal Orlando than others. It should come as no surprise that the best time to visit Universal Orlando usually falls along with school schedules. Generally, when the tadpoles are out of school, there are higher crowds at Universal. This applies to one-day holidays such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a weeklong spring break or the big draw — summer vacation. The week of Thanksgiving and from Christmas into the new year are notably busy, as well.

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.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - VelociCoaster

Big openings can also bring big crowds who want to be among the first to experience the thrills. Even openings and events at other resorts, such as Disney World's 50th-anniversary celebration, have some trickle-over effect. I mean, if you're already coming to Orlando, why not experience the Wizarding World too? In 2022, this ripple effect may be felt with the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, opening May 27 at EPCOT.

So When Is the Best Time to Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023?

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2022 are ...

  • Jan. 10-14
  • Jan 24 - Feb. 17
  • Feb. 28 - March 4
  • The last week of April
  • Weekdays in the first half of May
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus Labor Day)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus Columbus Day)
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the weeks of Christmas and New Year's Eve)

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2023 are ...

  • Jan. 9-12
  • Jan. 23 - Feb. 15
  • Feb. 27 - March 8
  • The last week of April
  • Weekdays in the first half of May
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus Labor Day)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus Columbus Day)
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the weeks 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 the best month to visit. The popularity of Halloween Horror Nights, however, has brought in more crowds, and the event regularly sells out. 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 2022 - Incredible Hulk Coaster

Keep in mind that September is 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 2022 are ...

  • Jan. 1-4, Jan. 15-18
  • Feb. 18-27
  • March 5 - April 24*
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The first week of December**
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

The worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2023 are ...

  • Jan. 1-8, Jan. 13-16
  • Feb. 17-20
  • March 11 - April 17*
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The first week of December**
  • 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 2023, Easter falls on April 9, making it a slightly shorter season than 2022, when it falls on April 17. These are still more spread out and less intense than when Easter lands in March.

**The Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships used to take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, but as of 2021, Universal Orlando Resort is the new home for the national championship week in early December.

Holiday Crowds at Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Hogwarts Castle

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, but there are a few other details of note if you'll be visiting Universal Orlando while this eerie (but epic) event is going on. While daytime crowds are typically not impacted too severely by HHN, know that Universal Studios Florida closes early on evenings when the event is taking place (Universal's Islands of Adventure, however, remains open!). So while you shouldn't worry about event crowds terrorizing your day, you'll want to plan accordingly if you want to maximize your time by either visiting Universal's Islands of Adventure, or opting for a park-to-park ticket to hop over once Universal Studios Florida closes for the event. Wanna know more about the best time to visit Halloween Horror Nights? We've got all of the details in our full post. For more information on Universal Orlando hours, and which nights HHN will be taking place, check out our Crowd Calendar.

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. Plus, Universal is home to the green meanie himself — The Grinch!

Universal Orlando's Most Crowded Holidays

  • New Year's Day - Jan. 1
  • Easter - April 17, 2022, and April 9, 2023
  • Independence Day - July 4
  • Thanksgiving - Nov. 24, 2022, and Nov. 23, 2023
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

Best Holidays to Visit Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023

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. Do keep in mind that for 2022, we expect these dates to be busier than normal because of pent-up travel demand.

  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) - Nov. 11
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Jan. 17, 2022, and Jan. 16, 2023
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 21, 2022, and Feb. 20, 2023
  • Labor Day - Sept. 5, 2022, and Sept. 4, 2023
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 10, 2022, and Oct. 9, 2023

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2022 and 2023. 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!

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1–50 of 1444 comments
Jun 21, 2022 at 2:59 p.m. Rita Says...

Please can you tell me do you have book days you want to go at universal like you do at Disney

Reply
Jun 21, 2022 at 12:26 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rita!

Tickets are date-based, so in a way, you'll still need to know the date of your first day at the parks at the very least, but otherwise, no — a separate theme park reservation is not required.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 19, 2022 at 5:44 p.m. Jena Says...

Is an express pass worth it in a Wednesday in October?

Reply
May 23, 2022 at 11:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jena!

If it's your only day in the parks and you are wanting to max your time and hit most of the attractions in both parks, we think Express is toadally worth it!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 5, 2022 at 3:06 p.m. Hope Monk Says...

We are planning for Nov. 27- Dec 2. There are 7 of us going and I can't decide if I need to get us the express passes or not.

Reply
May 6, 2022 at 9:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Hope!

If you're wanting to have Express for your entire trip, then we'd consider looking into staying in a suite (large enough to fit your party) at a Universal Premier hotel, which includes the free Unlimited Express benefit. Purchasing Express separately (note: the cost is per person, per day) can potentially turn out to be pricier, though since the prices are variable for both the hotel room rates and individual Express passes, you'd need to crunch the numbers to see which makes the most sense. If you only want to use Express for some days during your trip to save money (and are staying off-site or at a non-Premier hotel), then we'd look into purchasing separately. While we've never regretted having Express, we also know that six days gives you a lot of time to explore the parks (as opposed to a one or two day visit with more of a time crunch) so it may not be a necessity.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 18, 2022 at 6:52 p.m. Amber Says...

We (our family of 5, 3 teenagers) are trying to decide which week would be better to visit Universal Orlando...Dec. 24-30 or Jan. 1-6? The Christmas week will have all the beautiful decorations and shows but will be even more crowded. The following week may be less crowded but won't be the same experience. What should we do? We are planning on getting express passes for both weeks. Thanks for your advice!

Reply
Apr 18, 2022 at 3:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amber!

The holiday festivities usually last through the first few days into January. (Last year, the holiday festivities ran from Nov. 13, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022 — and it's even lasted for as long as Jan. 6 in the past.) So while we don't know the exact dates for the 2022 holiday season, you likely won't miss out entirely, at least for one day (though it's not 100-percent guaranteed until dates are officially announced). Since you'll be getting Universal Express passes no matter which week you decide, we think it ultimately just comes down to personal preference — would you rather have your entire week filled with holiday festivities and tough out the crowds, or would you be fine with one day (maybe more, or none at all) out of your trip being filled with holiday festivities with potentially more time to work with since it wouldn't be as crowded as the week before?

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 13, 2022 at 1:43 p.m. Michelle Says...

We will be going on April 23, will it be busy? It looks like the ticket prices are higher that day, does that mean it will be busier than usual?

Thanks!

Reply
Apr 13, 2022 at 9:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle!

Since April 23 is the last Saturday of the (unofficial) spring break season, it will likely be busier compared to other days during the week. It's also the last weekend of Mardi Gras. The ticket prices can reflect what Universal predicts crowd levels will be like. According to our Crowd Calendar, April 23 is a crowd level 7.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 28, 2022 at 5:09 p.m. Cinda Lee Says...

We are considering a short trip midweek beginning of May. Is it possible to see most of both parks by doing the first VIP experience of the day and then staying until closing? We will have one first-timer with us. Due to various circumstances that limit our time, thinking of flying in the night before and doing a 2 park, one day VIP. Would we be better off to find a way for a 2 day, one night with just the Unlimited Express?

Reply
Mar 28, 2022 at 12:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cinda!

It's definitely possible to see most of both parks during a VIP tour. So if you're leaning toward it and can swing it, we'd recommend the VIP tour to maximize your time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 24, 2022 at 4:58 p.m. Heather Metcalf Says...

Hello, we will be at Universal 3/30/22 & 3/31/22 then headed to Disney for a week. Are these dates also going to be extremely busy with spring breakers and if so any advice for the us?

Reply
Mar 27, 2022 at 7:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather!

Since it's in the middle of the unofficial spring break season, we'd suggest that you prepare for higher crowds. We have a post all about going to Universal during a busy time, plus specific spring break guides for both Universal and Disney World (they have similar tips).

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 24, 2022 at 4:48 p.m. Anne Says...

We are going May 3rd-6th. Do you think 4 days without express passes, we will be able to ride everything? Thank you!

Reply
Mar 25, 2022 at 2:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anne!

We think two days in each park during that timeframe would allow enough time to ride everything that you want. If you get there and decide you want Express passes after all, you would be able to purchase Express passes inside the parks (subject to availability).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 6, 2022 at 12:29 p.m. Craig Says...

Good afternoon, we are going to get universal the week 12th March and can see on the universal website express passes are sold out, do you no of any other way to purchase these or can you still buy them on the day at the park?

Reply
Mar 7, 2022 at 8:19 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Craig!

We frogs also offer Universal Express tickets! However, most of the dates are also sold out (there are a few dates such as the 12th, 18th, 19th and 20th available). If Universal Express passes are sold out, they would not be sold in the parks (that is only an option when there is availability).

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 4, 2022 at 12:30 a.m. Shane Says...

Going on March 7th or 8th is there a better day of the week, is it worth purchasing the express pass?

Reply
Mar 4, 2022 at 8:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shane!

Generally, any weekday is better than the weekend. If you're interested in getting an Express Pass, we'd choose Tuesday the 8th over Monday the 7th, as it's slightly cheaper since the price varies by day (and it can be a good indicator when Universal expects crowds). Tuesday's price is also the same for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week. While the decision is ultimately up to each frog, we think Express passes can be well worth it!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 1, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. Carole Srsic Says...

Have a trip booked for the week of 4-11 thru 4-15. We are staying at the Hard Rock, so we will have Universal Fast Pass. Just wondering how we will be with the crowd predictions? I know Florida Spring Break I don't think is this time. Sorry for repeated question I forgot where I posted yesterday.

Carole

Reply
Mar 1, 2022 at 9:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

No worries, Carole!

Since schools around the country have varying spring breaks, we anticipate that it will be busy since it’s the week leading up to Easter and still falls during the unofficial “spring break season” (which typically ends the week following Easter Sunday). But you are correct that the local public schools will have already been on spring break so it likely won’t be peak spring break crowds. We should also note that it’s been harder to predict crowds based on past trends in general, now that people are becoming more comfortable with traveling and the pent-up demand is high. Staying at the Hard Rock Hotel and having the Universal Express Unlimited benefit will certainly be beneficial!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 26, 2022 at 10:28 p.m. D Long Says...

Just left during holiday weekend in Feb22…..hoping to get back after SB crowds and before weather is too hot. Is mid April or late April best? Hoping to do a Sunday and Monday.

Reply
Feb 28, 2022 at 8:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi D!

Late April would be best since Easter is later this year (April 17), which prolongs the spring break season as some families may choose to visit the week following Easter. But by April 24, the "spring break season" should be starting to come to an end. That said, crowds have been unpredictable lately, due to pent-up demand and more and more families becoming comfortable with traveling.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 13, 2022 at 2:09 a.m. Samantha Says...

Love your blog!! I am wanting to take my, will be 6 year old, the week before Christmas. Whats your opinion on the crowds and weather around then? We do plan to stay in a hotel with express passes included. Thanks so much in advance for your time! :)

Reply
Feb 16, 2022 at 9:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Samantha!

Thanks for hopping by! For crowds, we'd expect the parks to be busy (Crowd Level 8), but it won't be peak holiday crowds (the busiest time is usually the week between Christmas and New Year's). As for the weather, it really mostly depends on if a cold front comes through. It has the potential to reach low temps around 50 degrees F, but it can be very pleasant (or even hot) too! This past December, the high temperatures stayed between 66 and 86 degrees F, while the low temps stayed between 49 and 67 degrees F. We'd plan for warm days and cool nights.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 9, 2022 at 4:48 p.m. Mark H Richards Says...

Several years ago we ended up visiting the parks on super bowl Sunday and found it to be a great time with very low crowds . What are your thoughts about how supper bowl will effect the crowd level . I am currently in FL and considering a visit on Sunday the 13th . Not a football fan

Reply
Feb 9, 2022 at 12:46 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mark!

You're toadally right — in past years, Super Bowl Sunday hasn’t greatly affected crowds at Universal over the weekend. That said, past trends have been a bit more unreliable these days due to pent-up demand for traveling, so it’s harder to say for sure what crowds will be like. It will also be the second week of Mardi Gras (however, there isn't a concert scheduled for Feb. 13). Overall, we'd recommend preparing for the possibility of elevated crowds if you decide to go.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 7, 2022 at 8:45 a.m. Michelle hindman Says...

How are the crowds during Feb 9-13 I noticed alot of the restaurants are booked for most days.

Reply
Feb 7, 2022 at 11:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle!

In the past, early February has been one of the best times to visit. However, with travel picking up more and more, crowds have been harder to predict this year due to pent-up demand so we'd expect it to be busier than it typically is.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 6, 2022 at 7:58 p.m. Kristi Says...

Hello we are very excited about our upcoming trip. We are visiting March 2-6. How do you expect crowds to be? From what I am reading that week is a good time to come.

Reply
Feb 7, 2022 at 2:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristi!

We'd expect moderate to high crowds since that falls right as the "spring break season" starts. Generally, it's just elevated crowds during the first week or two of March, but the peak spring break crowds start mid-March (this year, we'd expect the peak period to start with the week of March 12-20). That said, crowd levels have been harder to predict as travel continues to open up and we see the effects of pent-up demand, which we've already seen has increased crowds in slower periods than what off-peak crowds have been like in the past.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 4, 2022 at 3:14 a.m. Nicold Says...

Hello. We plan to visit between April 2-5, 2022. How are the crowds and would it be best to go on that Sunday or Monday to Universal Studios Florida. Thank you!

Reply
Feb 4, 2022 at 6:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nicold!

Generally, weekdays are less crowded than weekends. Early April does fall within the spring break season this year, so higher crowds are expected as well.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 3, 2022 at 5:31 p.m. Cherry A. Says...

Planning to visit March 15-17, 2022 Universal Orlando, how is the crowd during this time? Is there cheerleading / dance competition or other events during this time? Thank you.

Reply
Feb 3, 2022 at 1:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cherry!

Those dates will fall during spring break season (and more specifically, that week is when local public schools will be out for break) so we'd expect Level 8 crowds, according to our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 31, 2022 at 3:51 a.m. Troy Says...

We are thinking about visiting in September. It looks like a great time to go because crowds are low but weather might be an issue. We are not afraid of the rain and it can somtimes be refreshing in the heat but can you say a bit more about the rainy season? Do they shut the park down in the rain? Specifically things like The Hulk, Velocicoster, Rip Ride Rocket etc..? Thanks, Troy

Reply
Jan 31, 2022 at 8:23 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Troy!

Universal Orlando does not typically close the parks ahead of time for average rainy or stormy weather (only for extreme inclement weather, which is rare). If it's lightly raining without the threat of lightning, then rides should continue to operate. However, if there is lightning & thunder within 10 miles of property (even when it's not raining at the park), all outdoor rides will temporarily close, but indoor rides stay open. The general pattern during the wet season is that storms usually pass through quickly in the afternoons/early evenings, so we'd recommend riding the outdoor attractions earlier in the day, if possible. Let us know if you have any more questions (you can also check out our post about rainy days at Universal)!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 30, 2022 at 4:02 a.m. Krista Says...

We are only able to visit Universal in Summer due to different schedules. Knowing this is not an ideal time to visit, what are the ride wait times going to be like? Would you recommend skipping Volcano Bay in summer and maybe upgrading to one of the higher end onsite hotels for the pool features? We are thinking 4 full days onsite, maybe a trip to SeaWorld built in. Thank you!

Reply
Feb 1, 2022 at 10:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Krista!

Overall, summer will be busy with high wait times - though if you aim for the first week of June or mid-August, you may have luck with slightly lower crowds as it's right at the beginning and end of the summer season. Peak summer crowds will be from late June to early August, though note that it has become harder to predict crowds and wait times based on past trends because of the pandemic. As people feel more comfortable with traveling, we'd expect that the pent-up demand could certainly play a factor with crowd levels as well.

If you decide to stay at one of Universal's premier hotels, keep in mind that you would get the Universal Express Unlimited benefit included with your stay. Also, you would be able to pool hop to other resorts (not including Universal's Endless Summer Resorts - Dockside and Surfside — and vice versa if you stay at either of those resorts). If you stay for four days and stick with the two Universal parks, then we think you'll get enough time to explore (especially if you end up with the Universal Express benefit). And if you add in SeaWorld, then we think a one-day trip would be fine, and you could do one full day at each Universal park and use the third to park hop and do anything you missed.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 28, 2022 at 2:47 p.m. Daniel Says...

Visiting Sat Feb 12th(superbowl weekend) only have the one day but we do have fast pass. Any chance this will be a slower Saturday or do I need to splurge and get tickets for Friday as well? Mon-Thur we will be at Disney so I considered Friday a pool break day.

Reply
Jan 28, 2022 at 1:26 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daniel!

In past years, Super Bowl Sunday hasn't greatly affected crowds at Universal over the weekend. Since you'll have Universal Express passes, we think you should be fine for the day (and we'd also recommend arriving before the park opens so you can enter when the park opens and get a hop ahead of the crowds). That said, keep in mind that past trends have been a bit more unreliable these days due to pent-up demand for traveling, so it's harder to say for sure what crowds will be like. Take your touring style into consideration — if you don't want to feel rushed and would prefer to have more time to get everything you want to get done, then it may be nice to splurge for a second day. But if you plan ahead, maximize your time and wouldn't mind the possibility of missing out on some attractions, then stick to one day so you can have a restful pool day :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 22, 2022 at 2:43 a.m. Colleen Says...

Hi - we only have one day (Feb 18, 2022) to visit Universal. We plan to go early in the day how crowded do you think it will be ? Thx

Reply
Jan 23, 2022 at 7:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Colleen!

We'd expect about average crowds, with the possibility of slightly elevated crowds. Some people may arrive early for the three-day weekend, but the bigger crowds will be on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (19-21). Arriving early should give you a good head start!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 21, 2022 at 2:59 a.m. Sharon Says...

Planning on coming Sunday Feb. 20th and leaving on 24th… how do you think the crowds , if any will be?

Reply
Jan 21, 2022 at 8:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon!

Presidents Day weekend can bring in crowds like any other holiday weekend, so we'd expect high crowds on that Sunday and Monday. Tuesday might see some leftover crowds but should start to lessen from the weekend, and we'd expect average crowds Wednesday and Thursday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 9, 2022 at 3:33 p.m. ashley cellio Says...

Hi there! Late planner here ;P

I've already bought our DW tickets, but I'm trying to decide which parks to visit on what days. We will spend 3 days at DW (MK, Ep, HS) and 1 day at Universal Studios. Our dates will be Feb 14 - 17th. Any advice as to which park to do on each of the 4 days? TIA!!

p.s. Your crowd calendar and blog have been immensely helpful

Reply
Jan 10, 2022 at 12:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ashley!

Since you'll be visiting on weekdays during a typical non-peak time, you really can't go wrong with whatever you choose! For traveling between resorts, it may be easier to go to Universal either Monday or Thursday, but it likely depends on where you're staying. For instance, if you're staying somewhere right in between Universal and Disney, it may not make much of a difference if you stick to one resort at a time. Neither resort does a whole lot for Valentine's Day, but if you're looking for anything special on that day, we'd probably suggest Magic Kingdom (usually Cinderella's carriage is out for a special photo-op). Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 27, 2021 at 6:16 p.m. Liane Layman Says...

We are playing to go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure oct. 11 and 12 2022. How will the crowds be?

Reply
Nov 29, 2021 at 12:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Liane!

Generally, most weekdays in October have average crowd levels (for those dates specifically, they're expected to be around levels 4 and 5, according to our Crowd Calendar).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 25, 2021 at 11:10 p.m. Dan Says...

How busy is the week after Thanksgiving?

Thank you,

Dan

Reply
Nov 26, 2021 at 8:19 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dan!

Things tend to quiet down for the last week of November/first week of December (minus weekends). Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 24, 2021 at 2:11 a.m. ALY Says...

Hello,

We are planning to celebrate a birthday at Universal Studios and IOA on January 13th, 2022. Would this be too close to the long weekend and make for long wait times and big crowns?

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Nov 24, 2021 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Aly!

Crowds should still be relatively low mid-week. We think Thursday will be fine (it gets a little more crowded on Friday but it's mainly the weekend that draws in the crowds).

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 23, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. Rebecca Davenport Says...

Frog Family,

If you had the choice to visit Universal both parks, would you choose thanksgiving day, or the day after thanksgiving?

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Nov 23, 2021 at 2:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca!

Both days will be busy, but we'd go with Thanksgiving Day if we had to choose!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 17, 2021 at 12:25 a.m. Kerri Says...

Hi, We will be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary August 30, 2022 and would like to know if there are any discounts on tickets as we plan on bringing our sons 15 and 11 as it was Disney's 25th when we went on our honeymoon and they haven't been there. We have been to Universal and love it and plan to go either 2 or 3 weeks mid August to first week in September and would like to know roughly if it will be crowded?

Reply
Nov 17, 2021 at 9:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kerri!

Generally, the second half of August/beginning of September is a good time to go because the summer breaks for local schools are over by then. You may run into crowds during the Labor Day Weekend, but otherwise, that time period is when the summer crowds start to die down as more kids are going back to school.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 15, 2021 at 8:29 p.m. Oliver Dickinson Says...

Hi.

Change of plans. We are thinking early October 2022 for our honeymoon. I seen that the parks were very busy this October… I’ve checked the crowd calendar and it doesn’t seem that busy. So would you say 1st-17th October 2022 will fine and less busier? What about Columbus Day? Does that make that week very busy?

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Nov 16, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Oliver!

Crowds have been harder to predict because of COVID, but this past October was busier (likely because of many people going to Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration as well). As things return even closer to "back to normal," we'd expect 2022 to be a busy year in general as more travel restrictions are lifted and comfort levels change. Historically though, most weekdays in October have seen low to average crowds, but the weekends can be busy, particularly Columbus Day Weekend (any holiday weekend can bring in crowds). Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 16, 2021 at 8:20 p.m. Oliver Dickinson Says...

Thanks for your reply!!

So we are going to do universal the week before colombus day. We are planning 2 days Islands of adventure, 1 day volcano bay and 1 day Studios. The week after (from 10th Oct 2022 (Colombus day) Aquatica, 2 days SeaWorld and 2 days Busch gardens.

Do you think with this planning we will have enough time to do everything (all major rides) even if it’s busier - and we will be getting express passes for 1 day at Islands of Ad. And SeaWorld and bush gardens…. We really want to do this Orlando October 2022 (been waiting 15 months) but would you say it’ll be ok then? Or would you recommend Jan/Feb 2023? Apologies, I just want this trip to be amazing as it can be

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Nov 17, 2021 at 10:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Oliver!

January/February would have shorter park hours but less crowds, giving you the best odds of getting everything done. However, October is not a bad time to go, especially with Express, but crowd levels will be higher at that time (compared to January/February). Also, weather is another factor to take into consideration. Since you're planning to visit a couple of the water parks, it would be better to go in October while it's still guaranteed to be warmer, but Florida can be warm year-round so you may still be able to visit the water parks during January/February (it's just more unpredictable if/when a cold front will come through). Both are good options!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 10, 2021 at 3:27 p.m. Oliver Dickinson Says...

Quick question.

Honeymoon to Orlando 2023, will be booking in next few moths… I know January / early February are normally pretty quiet.

I’ve had a. Look at this year and next year calendar … what days during January / Early Feb are best to avoid? We are thinking from 20th Jan to 6th Feb…

Reply
Nov 12, 2021 at 1:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Oliver!

Congratulations! That should be a great time to visit - enjoy your honeymoon!

Keep hopping!

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Nov 15, 2021 at 7:41 p.m. Oliver Dickinson Says...

Hi! Change of plans!! We are going to book 1st - 18th October. Is that still a good time for theme parks. I do note it can still rain but it’s more afternoon showers that can clear up quickly. Is that correct?

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Nov 16, 2021 at 9:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Oliver!

Generally, yes - October is the end of the rainy season which usually brings brief afternoon/early evening showers. The first half of the month is more likely to have rain than the second half of the month.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 6, 2021 at 4:20 p.m. LORI Says...

Is it busy at universal studios on super bowl Sunday?

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Nov 9, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lori!

We usually don't expect Super Bowl Sunday to have a large impact on crowds. Weekends in general are busy, and next year in particular, it will fall on the second weekend of Mardi Gras. Also keep in mind that weekend Mardi Gras concerts are returning, so depending on the performing act, the concert could draw in more crowds as well.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 26, 2021 at 11:32 p.m. Lexi Says...

Hello! I am looking into going to Universal in Orlando the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15th-17th). Is that a busy holiday to visit?

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Oct 27, 2021 at 8:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lexi!

Any holiday weekend can bring in crowds — specifically, we'd expect the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend to bring in level 7 crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 22, 2021 at 4:40 p.m. Amber Says...

How’s it during the day during Halloween weekend? We have season passes for day admission but aren’t going to horror nights. Will it be super crowded? Thanks

Reply
Oct 26, 2021 at 3:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amber!

We'd expect about average to medium high crowds this year — the parks have not been very busy this past week but could pick up over the weekend. Last year, Universal Studios was unusually crowded, but the Beetlejuice house was only open during the day for that one weekend, so it's hard to compare the crowds from last year. In other previous years, Halloween day has had moderate crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 18, 2021 at 3:03 p.m. Miha Says...

Hi and thanks for the great guide! A question - we will be in Florida from Feb 17th to Feb 26th and would like to visit Universal Studios. Would it be better to visit it before Presidents' day weekend or during this week?

One more thing - the older daughter had an eye surgery recently so it's not allowed to go to any rides with high G or fast stop/go action. Are there any rides that would be suitable for here?

Thank you for the answers!

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Oct 18, 2021 at 5:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Miha!

We'd suggest visiting before Presidents Day Weekend if you have the flexibility, as some families decide to linger for the remainder of the week after the long weekend. If she would be fine with motion simulator rides, then there are several options at Universal Studios Florida, including Despicable Me, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Simpsons Ride and Fast & Furious. We also suggest checking out some of the shows, especially Horror Make-Up Show and The Bourne Stuntacular! Plus, Mardi Gras festivities will be going on during that time. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Aug 30, 2021 at 3:46 p.m. Lisa Says...

What days of the week are least crowded in the summer?

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Aug 30, 2021 at 4:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa!

Since summer is busy overall, there really isn't too much of a difference between certain days of the week, other than generally weekdays are less busier than weekends. But we'd suggest mid-week as most families plan and travel around weekends.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Aug 17, 2021 at 4:38 p.m. Devin Says...

We are planning on visiting in early February. What is the best time to book hotels and get tickets for the Orlando Studios parks? Also is there a better Universal hotel for couples without kids? Thanks!

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Aug 17, 2021 at 4:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Devin!

We recommend booking in advance the earlier, the better for the best availability! While all of Universal's hotels are family-friendly, we'd suggest Portofino Bay, which has a more relaxed and romantic atmosphere (and includes the Unlimited Universal Express benefit!). Aventura is another great option — it's modern and sleek, with floor-to-ceiling windows in the guest rooms and a rooftop bar, at a lower rate.

Keep hopping!

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Jul 1, 2021 at 4:10 p.m. Savannah Lawrence Says...

As a family of 6 (quadruplets) we are looking for the best deals on 2 day park ticket/universal hotels packages. I'm worried about getting scammed though so of you can point me in a direction for any trusted booking tools, that would be great.

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Jul 2, 2021 at 11:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Savannah!

We have some brand-new Universal Orlando hotel and ticket bundles available, which you can see here: https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/universal-orlando-resort/#category_147 Let us know if we can help with any questions!

Keep hopping!

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Jun 17, 2021 at 2:30 a.m. Jennifer Says...

Hi, we are traveling to Florida from the 4th-12th. We are planning on going to Universal on the 5th and 6th. Are those good times to go? It's our first time going to Universal Orlando. There will be 7 of us. What do you recommend we do first?

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Jun 17, 2021 at 1:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

You can take a peek at our Crowd Calendar to see expected crowd levels during your visit. It depends on your interests, but we usually recommend hitting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (at either park wherever you start) before it gets too crowded. If you like roller coasters and you arrive early, then hop in line to be one of the first to ride VelociCoaster or Hagrid's.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jun 8, 2021 at 7:43 p.m. Conner coleman Says...

Hi I am visiting next year at the end of June into the first week of May I am wondering how busy will it be I.E. Will I get on all of the major rides if not all of them? Also I have been thier before but it was in November and was not that busy.

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Jun 9, 2021 at 1:05 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Conner,

If you're visiting at the end of June, then you will run into the summer crowds. Average wait times can be as low as one hour and as high as three hours, depending on the ride. It may be difficult to hit all of the major rides in one day, so we'd recommend looking into Universal Express passes or staying at a premier Universal hotel (which gives you the free Universal Express Unlimited benefit), if you can swing it! July is just as busy; however, the first week of May will be less busy, particularly during the week.

Keep hopping!

Mommy Frog

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May 17, 2021 at 10:42 p.m. Matt Says...

What months of the year allow for riding the rides in the dark? I’m not native to the States so unsure on park closing and sunset times.

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May 19, 2021 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Matt,

In winter, the sun can set as early as 5:30 p.m., and in the summer, the sun can set as late as 8:30 p.m. As far as park hours go, it varies month-to-month, but generally Universal has extended hours during peak periods (such as summer and any holiday) and can close as late as 10 p.m., while it has shorter hours during the off-season and can close as early as 5 or 6 p.m. We'd also recommend weekends over weeknights, as hours may be longer on weekends in any given month.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 15, 2021 at 2:05 a.m. Jenn Says...

HI!! Planning on going to Universal at the end of July....express pass or regular pass??

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May 17, 2021 at 10:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenn,

If you can swing it, we'd recommend Express passes as crowds are generally high in July (take a look at our Crowd Calendar for our expected crowd levels). However, we do have some tips for going to Universal Orlando during a busy time if you choose not to get Express passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 12, 2021 at 5:24 p.m. Natalia Says...

We are planning to travel the weekend of may 21, 2021, do you think is worth it to buy express passes in advanced? thanks

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May 12, 2021 at 3:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Natalia,

Weekends are generally bring in more crowds, so if you can spring for Express passes, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have them! One thing you can do before your trip is to download the Universal Orlando app and check out the wait times (particularly this upcoming weekend for a better comparison). If they seem too high to you, then go ahead and purchase the Express passes. If not, you can also wait until you're inside the parks and can scope out the crowds yourself (though you do run the risk of the passes not being available).

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 12, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. Christina Says...

We will be traveling to Universal with my mom who is almost 70. We want to arrive early so we can try to hit the rides before the lines are crazy. She will ride everything. Which rides should we hit first and what time should we arrive to ensure we can get in before the cut off? We are visiting one park each day. Thank you

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May 12, 2021 at 9:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Christina,

We'd recommend starting at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter sections of both parks. Since both are located at the back of the parks, they're generally a little less crowded in the early mornings before those who start in the front of the park are able to make their way around to them. At Islands of Adventure, we'd get in Hagrid's line first (especially if you're planning to arrive before (or right at) park opening, and then hit Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. At Universal Studios Florida, it's Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. As far as the best time to arrive, if you're planning to visit during a busy period, then we'd suggest an hour before park opening, if possible, which will allow plenty of time to park, get through security and wait in line at the gates. (If you're staying at a Universal Orlando hotel, then we'd recommend taking advantage of Early Park Admission which gives you access to the parks an hour early!). The absolute latest we'd arrive would be 10 a.m., as lately the parks have been usually reaching capacity around 11 a.m. (though it does vary, so the earlier, the better!), and you need enough time to make it through the lines at parking, security and park entrances.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 4, 2021 at 12:34 p.m. Says...

Are love bugs at universal on Mat 4, 2021. Will they be tghete 5/9-5/15 2021

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May 4, 2021 at 8:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

The love bugs have not arrived quite yet, but we're expecting them soon, as they usually emerge in late April/May (and late August/September).

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 3, 2021 at 11:26 p.m. Chantel Says...

Hello me and my family are traveling May 21st- May 27th. We want to possibly do Universal Studios May 25th which falls on a Tuesday. Do you think the crowds will be high on that day? Or will the crowds be high this week period? Thank you

Reply
May 5, 2021 at 8:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chantel,

Since it's the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, there may be elevated crowds (according to our Crowd Calendar, we're expecting a crowd level 6), but the bulk of the crowds will likely arrive closer to the weekend.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 17, 2021 at 10:54 p.m. Laurel C Says...

We are staying at Cabana Bay May 8-12. We are only planning on staying at the hotel and using the pools. Do you think the crowds from SB will die down by then?

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Apr 19, 2021 at 10:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laurel,

Yes, early May is generally a good time to go, especially during the weekdays, as most spring breaks have passed but it's still before summer vacations start.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 29, 2021 at 6:47 p.m. tara kendrick Says...

I am going June 9-11 to Universal Studios parks this year. Do you think the crowd calendar is accurate, or do you think it will be worse based on everyone wanting to travel right now?

Reply
Mar 29, 2021 at 3:04 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tara!

We think level 6 for weekdays and more like a 7 on the weekend for that timeframe is accurate - just after that, we think things will pick up for summer break. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 28, 2021 at 10:34 p.m. April Says...

Hi there! We want to visit universal in May but I'm torn as to whether or not we should buy the express pass. If they are still limiting capacity, do you think the express pass is worth it right now? It's more expensive than our actual tickets!

Reply
Mar 29, 2021 at 3:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi April!

If you can swing it, especially if you'll be visiting in the last two weeks of the month or on a weekend, we'd swing for Express. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 2, 2021 at 10:39 a.m. StevePaigeHaz Says...

Hi. We welcoming at booking 29th April through to 13th May, universal sea world and busch gardens.

What can I expect the crowds to be like at this time?

We are staying on international drive so won't have express passes.

TYIA for the reply :)

Reply
Mar 2, 2021 at 9:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Crowds should be manageable for most of your trip, especially on weekdays, which are at 4s and 5s mostly. If possible, we'd plan your downtime days on the weekends, when things will be at their busiest. You can see a day by day projection on our Crowd Calendar here (including our recommended parks and park hours!). Hope this helps - enjoy your vacation! :)

Keep hopping!

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