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  >>
701–750 of 3290 comments
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:31 a.m. Andrea K Says...

We loved visiting the first week in November. Great weather and fewer crowds.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:31 a.m. Kellie Gleason Says...

Universal Orlando is an amazing vacation destination! The hotels, food, transportation, holiday events, thrill rides, and shows are the best in Orlando! Awesome value!! Awesome fun!!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:31 a.m. Katie Satko Says...

Comment for sweepstakes!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:30 a.m. Alan E. Says...

Great info!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:30 a.m. Allison Says...

The best time in Orlando is October crowds are low weather is great

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:30 a.m. Rangersmjs Says...

Very helpful!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:26 a.m. Luvmy2boyz03 Says...

Thanks for all the great information. Every little bit helps when trying to plan our family vacations.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:25 a.m. Leslie Says...

I’m soooo glad I discovered this page!!! Thank you for everything ????

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:24 a.m. Inna Tsypan Says...

I would choose Jan. 18 – Feb. 15!!! Seems like the perfect weather too! ????

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 11:42 a.m. she Says...

I think so too.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 5:50 a.m. Jessica Weaver Says...

My husband and I went to Universal on a weekday in the first half of May this past year, and the wait times were not terrible. Caught it before kids got out of school!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:23 a.m. Jennifer D Says...

Planning our first trip. Thanks for the info!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:19 a.m. Kim Says...

I agree with October. Great time to go

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:16 a.m. Cheryl Dulog Says...

Wow! I learned a lot about the times to visit. Planning to adjust my April schedule for the Last Week in April in both 2023 & 2024. Thanks!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:16 a.m. Jessica Galati Says...

My birthday is March 3, which is a Friday this coming year and to see that march 1-10 is a great time to go makes going for my birthday make even more sense to me for this upcoming year!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:14 a.m. Erica Says...

Awesome information

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:12 a.m. Adam Wingo Cordell Says...

The Pugh Two just did a video on crowd levels following Black Friday. I’ve always wanted to go then, but work won’t let me.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:10 a.m. Julie Vargas Says...

Excellent info, Thanks!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:10 a.m. Heather Says...

Late September and early October have been great times to visit!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:09 a.m. Richelle G Says...

We like to go around President's day weekend or just before spring break. Love Disney!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:07 a.m. Gabby ec Says...

The best time always end of october, so I can enjoy Halloween and Christmas

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:07 a.m. Shelly Says...

Would love to see Hogwarts at Christmas time!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:07 a.m. Annette Says...

Good info

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:02 a.m. Corissa Says...

October is my favorite time!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3:01 a.m. Carson Putman Says...

Went one July for our anniversary and it was so crowded it was almost impossible to do anything. Would definitely try going in the off seasons when everyone is in school.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 3 a.m. Jenny Says...

No matter when you go, it’s always loads of fun!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:59 a.m. HBAmanda Says...

I’ve never been to Universal Orlando. I’m waiting for Super Nintendo World to open!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:58 a.m. Marissa Gurney Says...

February! (ESP if you live in the northeast ????)

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:57 a.m. Suebee lin Says...

Great info!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:57 a.m. moises gomez Says...

Weekdays in October!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:54 a.m. Nicole M Says...

Most of our breaks are during the expected busiest times. Good planning should help us manage!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:51 a.m. Cheryl Says...

Figures I picked the most busy week too go next year.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:50 a.m. Becky Says...

Would love to go

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:47 a.m. Michelle Tickle Says...

I’ve been wanting to go back since the Harry Potter parts have been added!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:45 a.m. Jamie S. Says...

Great info for our first Orlando visit!! Thank you!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:43 a.m. Kim Says...

It really is busy during Christmas but so much fun

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:42 a.m. Amanda p Says...

Anytime is a great time to visit because no matter what you won’t regret it.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:41 a.m. Reannah Says...

???????? I’ll be able to go for the first time to universal next year!!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:41 a.m. Kelly K Says...

Hoping for our first ever visit to Universal in 2023!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:40 a.m. Sharon Harding Says...

How did you know that this was exactly what I was looking for?

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:40 a.m. Omahamy Says...

Thanks for the tips!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:36 a.m. B. Harris Says...

Second week of September

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:36 a.m. Jay Anderson Says...

Take this for what it is but....

My wife and I went on our honeymoon (September 4th 2017) during hurricane season. The park was just crowded enough to be lively and just crowded enough to spend almost no time in line. We did EVERYTHING. Saw both parks in two very fun days. The next day, Hurricane Irma shut everything down.

I'd roll the dice on that again but you should make your own decision.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:36 a.m. Rebecca Johnson Says...

September is my favorite time to go. Crowds are always low.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:35 a.m. Kim Says...

Can't wait to take my kids to Universal some day soon.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:35 a.m. Cindy O Says...

We went to WDW the week after Thanksgiving. Great time to go. Nice weather and Christmas decorations.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:33 a.m. Cassie Putman Says...

The week after thanksgiving has been my favorite trip there so far! The weather is wonderful and the Christmas lights and things to do were great!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:33 a.m. Dana Lynch Says...

The best time is the second half of Aug! So much fun!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:32 a.m. Juhu1213 Says...

we like to visit in the spring!

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:31 a.m. Samantha Says...

Unfortunately have to visit during one of the 'worst' times to go next year... spring break! Hoping for the best.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:30 a.m. Shayna Says...

We visited the first week of October and the first part of the week was great! Toward the end of the week, the crowds did get bigger but not unbearable.

Reply
Dec 6, 2022 at 2:29 a.m. Jessica Benson Says...

This is all great information!

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