Disneyland® save $23
Yay

Disneyland® Resort Tickets Now On Sale!

The Very Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

by Leap on February 1, 2021 1657 Orlando

This 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 2021 and 2022. It also outlines the more crowded times to visit. The year 2020 brought more challenges than most with COVID-19, and now there is even more criteria when deciding the best time to visit Universal Orlando.

Universal is limiting park attendance and has introduced health and safety measures to help keep everyone safe. You can read more about what to expect if you visit Universal Orlando now. We understand that visiting the parks now isn't for everyone, and you have to make the call on what is best for your family. While some of you are waiting for a return to "normal" times, those of you who are OK with a modified experience and a mask requirement may actually find it's a better time to visit. While we have no crystal ball on when things will return to normal, we expect there won't be a full return to normal until at least the second half of 2021 and probably 2022. We can at least give you our best guesses on crowd levels based on our years of data collection and insights. We'll dive into the trends for the rest of this year below.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Gringotts

The Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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 over the next few months.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 - 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 are visiting on weekends.

While crowds are currently lower, largely because of caps on attendance to better maintain social distancing, they have picked up considerably since the early days of reopening. Keep in mind that the parks have and do hit capacity during peak times, usually around the holidays.

Since we're still in the early rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and many domestic and international travel restrictions are currently in place, we expect the first half of 2021 to be one of the best times to visit Universal Orlando in years. That said, the parks have been hitting capacity during holidays, and they are busier on weekends, and we expect this trend will continue. For most of March through mid-April, expect elevated crowds with spring break hoppening.

Determining the Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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 time to visit Universal Orlando.

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 school schedules. Generally, when the tadpoles are out of school, there are higher crowds at Universal. This usually applies to one-day holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, weeklong spring break or the big draw — summer vacation.

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). Even Universal's scaled-back Halloween event last year, featuring two haunted houses, was enough to bring out more visitors. 

VelociCoaster Ride Vehicles

Big openings, like we had in June 2019 with Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, can also bring big crowds who want to be among the first to experience the magic. Even openings at other resorts, such as Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World, have some trickle-over effect. The opening of this new land in a galaxy (and resort), OK, not so far, far away no doubt has brought additional visitors to Universal. I mean, if you are already coming to Orlando for Star Wars, why not experience the Wizarding World too?

While understandably there are still reasons for more uncertainty this year, know that ride and land openings do influence crowds. The big opening for 2021 is Universal's Jurassic World VelociCoaster. It doesn't have an exact opening date yet but is scheduled to open summer 2021. 

So When Is the Best Time to Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022?

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

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

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

  • Jan. 5-13
  • Jan 24-Feb. 17
  • Feb. 28-March 4
  • The second half of April
  • Weekdays in the first half of May
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September
  • Most weekdays in October
  • 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 2019 - 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 2021 are ...

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

The worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2022 are ...

  • Jan. 1-4, Jan. 15-18
  • Feb. 19-27
  • March 5-April 24*
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

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

Holiday Crowds at Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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.

Universal Orlando's Most Crowded Holidays:

  • New Year's Day - Jan. 1
  • Easter - April 4, 2021, and April 17, 2022
  • July 4th
  • Thanksgiving -  Nov. 25, 2021, and Nov. 24, 2022
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

Best Holidays to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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 2021 we expect these dates to be busier than normal because of pent-up travel demand after COVID-19, especially if the vaccine rollout remains on schedule.

  • Labor Day - Sept. 6, 2021, and Sept. 5, 2022
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 11, 2021, and Oct. 10, 2022
  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) - Nov. 11, 2021, and Nov. 11, 2022

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022. 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

Add Products Related to This Post

<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
701–750 of 1397 comments
Oct 13, 2020 at 3:26 a.m. Jennifer Fellabaum-Toston Says...

We were so happy to have found Undercover Tourist when planning our trip to Universal last year. We cannot wait to travel again!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 3:24 a.m. Kerri1207 Says...

I’ll pack my bags and go!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 3:19 a.m. Nancy Klein Says...

Great tips!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 3:15 a.m. Tracy Z Says...

I cannot go this year, but will definitely try for Sept 2021! Thanks for the heads up!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 3:08 a.m. Dawn Says...

Have used UnderCovertourist in the past and had an excellent experience particularly with customer service. It was smooth, hassle-free.

Will definitely use again!!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 3:06 a.m. Melissa Says...

Sounds frogtastic! I would love to take my kids someday. Definitely on our list.

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:32 a.m. Erin McCullough Says...

Love Harry Potter at Universal! Looking forward to visiting again someday!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:23 a.m. Mary Rodowicz Says...

Thank you sooo much for all the info and all the best dates to go !! My family has never been and would go bonkers if I won the trip ! Thank you for having the giveaway and thank you so much for the chance !

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:15 a.m. Debora Hess Says...

We visited UOR in August and used your website and APP for planning and while we were there. They were a huge help!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:11 a.m. Michael Says...

Do you know when the new Jurassic World Velocicoaster coaster will be completed?

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:07 a.m. Barry Wallace Says...

I can’t wait to go back. It’s been several years since I’ve been there. The Kong ride wasn’t even open yet 5 years ago :)

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 1:58 a.m. Says...

Love me some Orlando! Can’t wait to plan a return visit for our family!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 1:47 a.m. Ethel Turkowski Says...

Can’t wait to be able to revisit WWOHP!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 1:37 a.m. Heather Says...

I hope my family can make it there in 2021

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 1:13 a.m. Jaime Zielinski Says...

Great post

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 1:12 a.m. Jarod Munoz Says...

Ever since I discovered Undercover Tourist I am constantly on here looking for my next vacation! Universal Studios, here I come!!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 1:01 a.m. Lkirk21 Says...

LOVE Disney! We won’t do Disney again without meal plans...we are big fans of the meal plans.

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:59 a.m. Lynn Says...

These Best Time to Visit posts are really helpful. Thank you!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:56 a.m. Leigh Law Says...

GREAT info! I am ready, ready to get back to Orlando for a few days!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:55 a.m. D Wayles Says...

We can't wait to visit Universal Orlando to celebrate our daughter's Sweet 16 birthday!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:46 a.m. Tammy Says...

Thank you for the tips. I do hope things get back to a more “normal” soon.

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:28 a.m. Kim Says...

Why is Feb 19-22 the worst but the very next weekend the best time to visit?

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim!

There's generally a lot of visitors for Presidents Day Weekend (and through the following week), which falls on Feb. 15.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:25 a.m. Janjet R Says...

Thank you for posting the Crowd Calendar! We are now figuring out the dates that we need.

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 12:03 a.m. stlMary Says...

I can't wait to get back to Florida... trying to figure out if we can sneak away for a long weekend in January.....

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at midnight Charlotte Sims Says...

I always buy tickets from Undercover tourist and recommend them to others. Looking back at this worst time to visit 2020, I wish I could have gone early March before everything got chaotic.

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at midnight Paula A Says...

Definitely avoid March!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:51 p.m. Julianne Says...

We're planning to visit Universal Orlando right before Christmas. Wish us luck with the crowds!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:50 p.m. sweepermom Says...

Great blog with lots of info! We enjoy Universal Orlando! Harry Potter was a fun experience!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:40 p.m. Nancy Evens Says...

I'm not a huge fan of visiting during holidays as I don't like the extra crowds. We prefer to visit during the middle of summer, when most people stay away due to the heat.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:36 p.m. Justateacup Says...

Thank you, I always enjoy your posts!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:36 p.m. Dennis Westrick Says...

Love this site!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:35 p.m. jim karas Says...

We visit Universal several times a year. Annually for Rock the Universe and Halloween Horror Nights.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:33 p.m. Shauna K Says...

I want to go to USO to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter very badly. It's on my bucket list. :)

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:29 p.m. Minta Boggs Says...

An express pass sounds awesome especially trying to get into Harry Potters rides.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:28 p.m. RICARDO Says...

Wish we could visit the parks soon

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:26 p.m. Ben D. Says...

What a great post! Always such helpful and detailed information. My Orlando theme park trips each year would not be complete without regularly consulting Undercover Tourist.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:25 p.m. JMartinson Says...

I enjoy getting emails from Undercovertourist!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:15 p.m. Mary Jo Says...

Thank you for all the great information. I can't wait to go!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:14 p.m. Eva M Macias Says...

Best prices and easy to book!! Love you guys!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 11:11 p.m. Nancy Van Ert Says...

Anytime is a good time to visit!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:58 p.m. Liz Kilcher Says...

thanks for the great info!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:56 p.m. TraceyBax Says...

Great tips! Planning a surprise trip for my family!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:56 p.m. Nicole Says...

We loved going to Universal! We would love to go back some day! Thanks to undercovertourist for getting us cheap tickets.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:55 p.m. Susan T Says...

We've never been to Universal, but I'm hoping to plan a trip in 2021. Your guides are the best at helping plan an approach for the day!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:52 p.m. Michelle Says...

Thanks for the great post, it will be very helpful in planning the 2021 vacation we are hoping to take to Florida. Keep up the good work

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:52 p.m. Jessi Housel Says...

Wow! I would have thought that the end of May, early June would have been still a good time to go as many schools are still in session. Crowd knowledge is key to making a trip go smoother and be less stressful

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:51 p.m. Steph H Says...

I have never been to Universal during christmas season and the photos look magical! We will be at disney mid december so i’m thinking of staying a few extra days and checking our universal too!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:46 p.m. Tami R Says...

I’d love to get back!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:45 p.m. Jennifer Goldberg Says...

I would sure love to win this prize for my family. Last week, I bought tickets from you, for our trip to Disney World the last week in December.

Yeah!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 10:44 p.m. geom6682 Says...

I haven't ever been to Universal Orlando but would love to go someday!

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

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

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

Monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

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

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. ×