Close Banner
Breaking News

EXTRA $5 OFF SELECT CA & FL TICKETS

2 DAYS ONLY!

GET MY TICKETS

The Very Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024

by Leap on November 4, 2022 3652 Orlando

Inside This Post Inside This Post

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 2023 and 2024, as well as some factors to keep in mind when planning your awesome Universal Orlando vacation.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Universal Globe

Planning When to Visit Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024

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 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 in 2023 - Dates by Season

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 - 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.

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 Orlando - Family in Jurassic Park Area

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.

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Velocioaster

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.

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 2023, this ripple effect may be felt with the opening of TRON Lightcycle / Run, opening spring 2023 at Magic Kingdom.

So When Is the Best Time to Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024?

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

  • Jan. 18 – Feb. 15
  • March 1-10
  • April 17-30
  • Weekdays in the first half of May
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus the days around Labor Day)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus the days around 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 2024 are ...

  • Jan. 17 – Feb. 16
  • March 1-8
  • April 15-30
  • Weekdays in the first half of May
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus the days around Labor Day)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus the days around 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 - Hogwarts Castle

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

  • Jan. 1-8, Jan. 13-17
  • Feb. 16-27
  • March 11 - April 16*
  • 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 very worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2024 are ...

  • Jan. 1-9, Jan. 13-16
  • Feb. 17-28
  • March 9 - April 14*
  • 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, and in 2024, Easter falls on March 31. That means we should expect two spring break seasons that are more compressed, making things feel a little extra crowded.

**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 a week in early December. While we wait for exact dates for 2023 and 2024, know that the championship is taking place Dec. 5-8, 2022.

Holiday Crowds at Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - The Grinch

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 9, 2023, and March 31, 2024
  • Independence Day - July 4
  • Thanksgiving - Nov. 23, 2023, and Nov. 28, 2024
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

Best Holidays to Visit Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Adventure Sign Islands of Adventure

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 2023, 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. 16, 2023, and Jan. 15, 2024
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 20, 2023, and Feb. 19, 2024
  • Labor Day - Sept. 4, 2023, and Sept. 2, 2024
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 9, 2023, and Oct. 14, 2024

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024. 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  >>
451–500 of 3290 comments
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:14 p.m. Allison Says...

I wonder if it's fun to visit in the winter.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:10 p.m. Tony N Says...

For me the best time is in the Fall or Winter. Celebrating the holidays at Universal is amazing, weather is nice and the lines seem shorter than in the summer months

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:09 p.m. Morgan Says...

Thanks for the helpful info. For our upcoming visit, we are deciding between Jan 27-29 (Rock the Universe weekend) or Mar 4-6 (just before spring break season). Which dates do you think will be less crowded?

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Morgan!

If not attending Rock the Universe, we'd recommend March 4-6 because the event closes Universal Studios Florida a bit early (around 6 p.m.) to day guests.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:09 p.m. GnomesOnVaca Says...

I live a late fall visit when attendance is low.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:08 p.m. Leslie Says...

We've been to US in Hollywood, excited to visit Orlando for the first time

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:08 p.m. Dave Johnson Says...

We really enjoy going to week before or the week after Thanksgiving

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:07 p.m. Marco Says...

Beautiful!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:07 p.m. Pat Says...

These are excellent tips! Nicely written.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:06 p.m. Steve Says...

We like October season. Weather and off peak work best

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:03 p.m. GaGirly Says...

Would love to visit in late May!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:01 p.m. Ryann Taylor Says...

universal orlando is so fun all the time and a place everyone needs to visit at least once!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:57 p.m. Jennifer gorman Says...

Great info! Saving these dates for future reference

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:56 p.m. julie Says...

best time to visit april 17 to the 30th somewhere in there

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:52 p.m. A.bling74 Says...

I love universal although I have never been during the holidays

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:39 p.m. Joy Marish Says...

Would love to win this great giveaway. I've never been before.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:38 p.m. Aislynn Says...

The grinch looks like the best fun lol

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:37 p.m. Thomas P Berschback Says...

thank you i will consider your info

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:37 p.m. Kaela Says...

Would love to visit again sometime! It's been years since I've been to universal. Thanks for the helpful information!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:36 p.m. Yanik Maheu Says...

Best park ever! You can visit anytime during the year for an extrordinary expericence

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:33 p.m. Henry HallJr Says...

Informative but we'll done article!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:59 p.m. Vicky Viner Says...

Very informative...thanks

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:31 p.m. CJ Says...

Nice tips! Thanks for laying out the holiday dates into 2023 and 2024! Makes planning a lot easier in advance :).

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:26 p.m. Sara Dysinger Says...

Thanks great info

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:24 p.m. KG Idaho Says...

Just went there for a business trip. Would love

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:22 p.m. Sherness Says...

I love visiting the parks on colder/rainy days, as the crowds thin out and we come prepared. December, January, February are our favorites. Appreciate the holiday crowd points. Thank you!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:19 p.m. Ale Barona Says...

This is so true this is the best times to go to Universal.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:18 p.m. rustgeun Says...

Looking forward to my next trip to Universal and having some Butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:17 p.m. Joe G. Says...

Is there ever a bad time? For me, I prefer Fall or Spring, but I'm game year round!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:16 p.m. Destanie Says...

Can't wait to go to universal sometime soon. I haven't been since I was a kid. :)

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:16 p.m. Dawna Says...

I don't make any plans for Orlando without checking the crowd calendar on Undercover Tourist. Thank you for the information!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:15 p.m. Michelle Mullady Says...

Would love to visit end of August!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:14 p.m. Nicole Joseph Says...

I’d love to win a WDW trip!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:12 p.m. mac7attack Says...

I would like to visit universal during October. Fall weather is the best

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:11 p.m. Tracy Says...

Love how the parks are all decked out for the Holidays!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:08 p.m. Silvia Salinas Says...

I’ve been during August , September and December. My favorite time is during December. Love the decorations, the cooler weather, lower humidity and rain, and The Grinch.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:07 p.m. Kristen Says...

January or February would be these best time to visit!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:06 p.m. Kelly C Says...

We visited the second week of November and loved it. It was cool at night but warm during the day. Crowds were pretty low.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:06 p.m. Craig Jossart Says...

March or April before it gets to hot

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:05 p.m. Arika Manapat Says...

I believe the best time to visit is during the winter, with cooler temperatures.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4:04 p.m. Merriweather3 Says...

My favorite time to visit is mid February - its so sunny and warm and I like to get away from the gloomy skies in the Midwest.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 4 p.m. KC Ellis Says...

Mid Jan to mid Feb

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:59 p.m. Lee Says...

Can't wait to take my grandkids.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:57 p.m. Brittany VanMaele Says...

Thanks for these tips! Just finished our trip and am already planning when we could return!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:55 p.m. Dana Says...

Crowds or no crowds, I can't wait for Halloween Horror Nights!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:52 p.m. Jessica E Says...

Haven’t been to Universal in years. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and can’t wait to return! Want to take my kids either spring break or around fall.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:49 p.m. jammie Says...

Looking forward to visiting Universal one day!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:44 p.m. Sbw Says...

Best time to visit is May when it's warm but not too hot

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. Hstandifer Says...

We have been before at the beginning of March and it was LOVELY. Not too hot or cold and it’s before spring break chaos begins!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. Melissa Says...

Jan/Feb, but not during holidays where kids may have school off. Weather isn't so hot, but can be cool in morning and evening; crowds are lower, and resort prices are typically lower.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. TJ Says...

The fun never ends in Florida's sun! So much to do!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. TravelBel Says...

We visited during the Halloween events and it was tolerable!

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 Resort™, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

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