Genie+ Tickets

Undercover Tourist Now Offers Refundable Walt Disney World® Theme Park Tickets!

Walt Disney World® Theme Park Tickets with Genie+ Service Now Available

Get My Tickets

See ticket details for full refund policy.

Get My Tickets

See ticket details for full refund policy.

Florida

Walt Disney World® Resort
Universal Orlando Resort
SeaWorld® Orlando
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort

California

Disneyland® Resort
Universal Studios Hollywood™
SeaWorld® San Diego
LEGOLAND® California Resort

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

by Leap on November 10, 2021 1707 Orlando

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Crowd Calendar

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 are even more criteria when deciding the best time to visit Universal Orlando. Universal 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.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Marilyn Monroe

While we have no crystal ball on when things will return to normal, as vaccination rollouts continue across the US, more and more guests are making their way back to the action. After a strong spring break season, where the parks hit capacity most days, we saw a busy summer, too, especially with the launch of the epic new VelociCoaster. After the long-awaited return of Halloween Horror Nights this fall, we expect the momentum to swing all the way through the new year. While we think things will continue to pick up, 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. 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 during peak times such as the week of Thanksgiving and the end of December into early January.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 - 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. 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 a peak time, hop over to our full post.

In addition to hitting capacity in the parks themselves, there have been several days this summer where ticket sales have hit capacity — meaning Universal has 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 :)

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

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 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 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 (yes, I went there). 2021 was especially busy to commemorate the event's 30th year.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - VelociCoaster Ride Vehicles

Big openings can also bring big crowds who want to be among the first to experience the thrills. 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're already coming to Orlando for Star Wars, why not experience the Wizarding World too? This same trickle may happen with Disney World's 50th-anniversary celebration, which kicked off Oct. 1, 2021, and will run for 18 months.

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 was Universal's Jurassic World VelociCoaster, which launched June 10, 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 last week 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 2021 - 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 fell 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

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. 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 17, 2022
  • Independence Day - July 4
  • 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.

  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) - Nov. 11, 2021, and Nov. 11, 2022
  • MLK Day - Jan. 17, 2022
  • Presidents' Day - Feb. 21, 2022
  • Labor Day - Sept. 5, 2022
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 10, 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
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
801–850 of 1420 comments
Oct 12, 2020 at 9:09 p.m. EMC Says...

Can't wait!

Will be my first visit to Universal!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 9:09 p.m. Bill Carson Says...

Looking forward to visiting this December!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 9:07 p.m. Stephanie Says...

Hi,

Do you think it will be better to visit Universal in 2021 or 2022. Is there anything new opening in Universal next year?

Thanks

Stephanie

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 11:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephanie!

You can see a full list of what's coming to Universal Orlando Resort in our post here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 9:03 p.m. MissaLS Says...

So ready for a vacation! Thank you Frog Family!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 9:01 p.m. Cheryl Lee Says...

How is Universal handling Covid safety guidelines?

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 11:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cheryl!

Great question - we have a full post detailing Universal's health and safety procedures here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:50 p.m. Robert Says...

Best park ever

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:49 p.m. Brittany Marie Says...

I NEVER plan a trip to the parks without using your crowd calendar! I can’t wait to get back to Universal. My fiancé and I haven’t been there since we met there 5 years ago!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:48 p.m. Maria Says...

A definite magical and adventurous experience!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:47 p.m. BFF STEPH Says...

The crowd calendar is awesome, seems to be pretty accurate! Will def use in the future!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:41 p.m. Lisa Daddazio Says...

I love Undercover Tourist I have gotten my tickets throw you and you have great information.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:40 p.m. Bobbie Says...

Great article! Undercover tourist is such a amazing resource for Universal and Disney World!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:40 p.m. linda battiparano Says...

love disney contests!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:39 p.m. Monique Y Cox Says...

I love your site/blog. Thanks for all of your travel tips. The Crowd Calendar is important when to visit. I hate long lines and it's nice to know when the best time to go so we can use our time wisely.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:38 p.m. joe dunne Says...

lot of good info, but i'm not travelling any time soon

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:37 p.m. Debbie Dietz Says...

I can’t wait until I am allowed to travel to Florida again.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:37 p.m. Kimberly A Kline Says...

I love visiting the second week in December and mid January! Weather is great and crowds easily manageable!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:36 p.m. Ken Cosco Says...

Universal is great when it's slower. I hope it will get back to normal soon.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:35 p.m. Micah Roberts Says...

We loved universal so much and can’t wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:33 p.m. bn100 Says...

helpful info

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:31 p.m. Julie Says...

Undercover Tourist is a great resource for discounts and crowd projections. It’s my go to source when planning a theme park trip.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:26 p.m. Aj Says...

Can’t wait to explore all things Harry Potter again....

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:25 p.m. Catherine R Says...

Undercover Tourist knows their stuff! We miss Disney and Universal: it's been a couple of years since we've been. We can't wait to get our little girl back to the magic!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:24 p.m. Kyle Says...

Never been to Universal before. I just can't justify going there instead of Disney. Unless I win a contest or something......

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:19 p.m. Chet Says...

Never been to Universal Orlando, looking forward to it in November.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:13 p.m. Anony-mouse Says...

You have some of the most interesting contests

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:10 p.m. Tiffany Richter Says...

I would love to win a trip to Universal! We go to Disney often, but never Universal. My question, would my 4 year old enjoy it, or would it be better to wait a few years. The biggest problem we have, our oldest is 16! We don't want her to miss out on the fun and that may happen if we wait. Thanks!

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tiffany!

We'd go now - there are several rides for little ones, and your older tadpole will have a blast!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:04 p.m. David Says...

Super helpful! Would love to avoid crowds if we can!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 8:03 p.m. Salina L. Says...

Such great information!! Can't wait to take my daughter on her graduation trip that got cancelled!! Please pick us!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:57 p.m. Amanda Wylie Says...

We use you guys every time we buy tickets to the Florida Theme Parks. I really appreciate you and all you do!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:53 p.m. Amelia S Says...

Weekdays are the best! We are homeschoolers and have always gone in late April/early May. It’s after spring break and before summer crowds. There is usually little to no waits. This year we are going November 11 for a few days as they were closed for our April trip. My daughter is 12 and has FINALLY decided that she loves roller coasters. Normally I ride alone (my daughter is a big weenie and my husband is disabled). I’m really exited to have a ride buddy this year!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:52 p.m. Kelly Gallagher Says...

Great post! Can’t wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:50 p.m. samina Says...

Hi.. i've heard a new rollercoaster coming in 2021 .. what are any other new attractions coming up in winter and next year 2021? thanks

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 11:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Samina!

You can see a full list of what's coming to Universal Orlando Resort in our post here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:49 p.m. abby Says...

hope i'll be there next sept! thanks for the tips.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:49 p.m. Shirley Says...

I would love to visit Orlando again, it has been years since I been there.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:45 p.m. SaraP Says...

Universal is such a fun place to visit! And if you are any sort of Harry Potter fan, you HAVE to go!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:45 p.m. PedsNursePatt Says...

Can't wait to go in January. Perfect for my birthday on January 11th!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:41 p.m. Jennifer Sansom Says...

We love Disney!!????

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:41 p.m. Nd814 Says...

Loved World of Harry Potter

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:40 p.m. GBH Hornswoggler Says...

I like to off-season as much as possible -- November and February are both great months to visit.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:39 p.m. Cheryl Akers Says...

I bought my Disney World tickets and Disney hotel through you last year. Heading back to Magic Kingdom in two weeks!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:36 p.m. Tina Sharp Says...

We LOVE Universal Orlando!! Harry Potter is THE best!! :)

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:33 p.m. Burtonelli123 Says...

We had planned a family trip in April, and then moved it to September, but had to cancel as my oldest left for Basic in the Air Force. We will not get to see him in person again until after he finishes tech school, so we are really appreciate these blogs to help us figure the beat time to go and get the most of our brief time with our son. Thank so much for sharing all this info!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:31 p.m. Lisa P. Says...

Nice job guys! As always!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:31 p.m. Heather Says...

was hoping to get to Orlando in 2021 just not sure I'm ready for all that yet

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:29 p.m. Selda Says...

Love your tips and advice on theme parks even when we are locals...we always love the help. Thanks guys

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:26 p.m. Sonia K Says...

I’ve never been to Universal and have heard great things. Would love to take my kids someday!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:24 p.m. WhooHoo Says...

Thank you for the info. Great post!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:23 p.m. Sheena Jones Says...

Would love to visit the parks during the holidays!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:22 p.m. delrahim69 Says...

ive always wanted to visit orlando universal

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 7:22 p.m. Tammy Jenanyan Says...

We have never been to any theme park in Florida but would love to go one of these summers, especially after all this Covid junk is gone. Universal looks like a great place to take our teenagers!

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
Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary Celebration

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

Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation

Monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address
Destination

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
Destination (optional)

×

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. ×
Back to top Back to top Back to top