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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!
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1001–1050 of 3290 comments
Dec 5, 2022 at 11:27 p.m. R.K. Says...

Early May is always a good time

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:27 p.m. DJ Says...

Thank you!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:27 p.m. Sande P Says...

I have never been but would love to go. Great information!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:26 p.m. KarenJ Says...

Had the best time the first time I came to this park. Hope to win!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:26 p.m. Dsz Says...

In between Christmas and New Year’s seems busiest

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:25 p.m. Millie Collado Says...

Love reading all the info. Thanks for all the work that is done to give it out.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:24 p.m. Angela W Says...

This is helpful! We haven’t been to Universal yet but hoping to go in the next year or so.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:23 p.m. Kelsy Says...

All really good information, the park is so much more enjoyable when it's not crowded.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:23 p.m. Olivier Says...

Never been there yet, will eventually try with the kids.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:22 p.m. Britt J. Says...

I do absolutely anything to avoid crowds and this is super helpful!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:22 p.m. Rich Says...

????

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:22 p.m. Sara Blase Says...

I agree these are best times

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:22 p.m. Holly Says...

We went in early November and I highly recommend it. Weather was lovely and crowds were minimal

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:21 p.m. Jenny Says...

We are going over Spring Break!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:21 p.m. Mike P Says...

Late winter or early spring seems like a great time to visit.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:20 p.m. DFin Says...

This information is so helpful!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:19 p.m. Terra S Says...

Super useful!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:18 p.m. C.Ayers Says...

Really hoping to go in the beginning of March at some point to experience Spring time in FL!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:18 p.m. Yvette D. Says...

We would love to go off school vacation times, but since we can't. February and April have great weather but big crowds. Summer weather is hot and rainy.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:18 p.m. TMST Says...

April 2013

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:17 p.m. Kesha Says...

Hope to return soon.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:17 p.m. Bribri Says...

I’ll be going to Universal summer 2023. Specifically in August!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:15 p.m. ANGSWIN Says...

I have found that the week after MLK Jr. day in Jan is a fantastic time to visit. Moderate temps in day, cool temps at night, and low crowds!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:15 p.m. Brooke Says...

We love going in mid/late January or early December

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:14 p.m. Ketsy Says...

This is very helpful when visiting Universal!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:14 p.m. Candace Barefoot Says...

Any time is a great time.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:13 p.m. Gabriella H. Says...

We love to go the first weekend in December!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:13 p.m. Ryan's Dad Says...

I like anytime there is not a school vacation!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:12 p.m. Candace Barefoot Says...

Any time is a great time!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:12 p.m. Andrea Sis Says...

Top this on my bucket list!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:11 p.m. Cindy Bradford Says...

We’ve always had success visiting the first week of December before the crowds come during Christmas break. September would be a nice time to come also, we just would be sad to miss out on all of the Christmas decorations.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:11 p.m. irene Says...

best time to visit

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:11 p.m. Doreen Clanton Says...

This blog has very informative information about th the best months to visit Disneyland. I sure hope I can be a winner!

Thank you

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:11 p.m. Tara Says...

My family enjoys going to USO the first week of March!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:10 p.m. Curt Says...

Late January is a good time for us. Started with our Honeymoon 38 years ago !

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:09 p.m. Kerry Says...

Thank you Undercover Tourist for tickets to Disneyland. Will be visiting Christmas day.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:09 p.m. Larry D Says...

Definitely enjoy the fall/winter weekday visits for avoiding crowds!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:07 p.m. Angela Whritenour Says...

Great information! I totally agree with Labor Day being one of the best holidays to visit and because it's in September when kids just go back to school!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:07 p.m. Alison F Says...

August, although hot, is a great time to visit!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:07 p.m. Erika Says...

The crowd really thins out near the end of the evening after first showing on Hogsmead

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:07 p.m. Rhett Says...

Living in a colder climate, I would say the best time to visit would be any day between Nov and Feb, just to get out of the cold for a while!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:06 p.m. Brian K. Says...

Havent been to Universal in ages, looking forward to getting back there!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:06 p.m. Anne Dowler Says...

This was a lot of GREAT information. I really appreciate. It will help when we plan our visit~!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:06 p.m. Diane Says...

It's so hard when you have to work around school!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:06 p.m. Louise Says...

This February we will be there celebrating my marriage

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:05 p.m. Lauren Mathew Says...

The last time I went to Universal, other than for Halloween horror nights, was when I was 15 years old. Me and my little brother ( not so little now I. The military) want to go at some point together and he has never been!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:05 p.m. Leslie Says...

Anytime is a great time to visit!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:04 p.m. Gigi Says...

I think I might be visiting in February!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:03 p.m. Brooke Says...

Love this post! Super helpful w/ the holidays and trip and planning. :)

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Dec 5, 2022 at 11:03 p.m. Fariba Roshak Says...

The week of Thanksgiving or right after is our favorite time to visit parks. It’s always nice and chill!!

Reply
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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.

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