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  >>
1051–1100 of 1420 comments
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:59 p.m. Says...

So many tips I have to take notes!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:59 p.m. Dawn Says...

I’ve always had good luck with crowds in late January and the weeks between Easter and mid-May.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:59 p.m. Tia Says...

February is a great time to go.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:59 p.m. VJ Davis Says...

Hoping to come in Fall 2021! First time without kids.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:58 p.m. CASSIE VAN WINKLE Says...

Thank you Undercover Tourist for always making ticket buying so easy and giving me a discount!! I am hoping I could win that trip to Universal my daughter is a HUGE harry potter fan and has always wanted to go!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:57 p.m. Libby Barrett Says...

We love undercover tourist. We have bought tickets through them and it was so seamless and easy. They have such a great price and no hidden fees which I appreciate. I love using their crow calendars and reading the blogs for tips. I highly recommend them. They sure helped me plan two trips to universal studios orlando and 2 trips to disney world for our family of 6. I will be using them for our family reunion trip next year for our family of 13.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:57 p.m. Candace Says...

Super helpful info! Thanks!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:56 p.m. Jeri Ann Munoz Says...

I went a couple of years ago for the first time. I really want to go back soon.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:56 p.m. Cindy binks Says...

Thanks for a great post! I love this company and the discounted theme park tickets. Finding this blog is an added perk.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:56 p.m. Jenny Jung Says...

These tips are great to refer back to when going to the parks! I’ve only been to Universal Studios Hollywood, so going to Universal Orlando would be an amazing opportunity ???? Thank you Undercover Tourist for this fantastic chance!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. Janice Kossman Says...

If you have children, Orlando is a must.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. MrsPharoah Says...

Great deals on Orlando parks!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. Peggy Says...

I have always wanted to see Universal Florida. It would be lovely to win the contest and get the opportunity. I so enjoy seeing all of the fun things this sight shares.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. Mark W Says...

Would love to win. Never been there.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. KariLorr Says...

My family likes to go in February. That seems to be a slower time, and the lines are much shorter than during the holidays.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. Debbie Says...

this site has great info!!!????❤

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. Ginacr Says...

We love universal and we love undercover tourist!! Thank you for being the go to for information when we travel to Orlando!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. BoonaTheTuna Says...

Visiting my friends in Orlando in November! We most likely won't go on the weekday which you guys said is a better time, but we are still so excited! ❤

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. Shelia Says...

I am looking to go in 2021 for my 50th birthday/graduation trip. My husband is graduating also and we could celebrate our anniversary there. Is September or the first week of December a better time to go?

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 2:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shelia!

Both are comparable in terms of crowds, but we'd recommend December from a weather standpoint - it'll be much cooler! :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:52 p.m. Karolyn Says...

Miss traveling and can't wait to get back to FLA and visit Disney and Universal!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:52 p.m. TRACY MULLIGAN Says...

Would love to visit Orlando! Do they have any special accommodations for special needs children? We have a child that is partially blind and autistic.

Reply
Oct 13, 2020 at 8:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tracy!

They sure do - you can find more information about the Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:51 p.m. Aurie Jenkins Says...

We love universal. I take my kids when they turn 11 (hello Harry Potter nerd here ????????‍♀️) And we want to take the whole family for Christmas. I’d love to see it all decorated for the holidays since I haven’t seen that yet.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:51 p.m. JS Says...

I just can’t wait to get back to Orlando!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:51 p.m. Scott Says...

I hope my family and I can finally get to see universal in 2021 we have been watching HHN videos from years past and have never been to universal yet but we'll see

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. CaptainLando Says...

My wife and I have been to Universal three times, but never stayed on-site. The experience at Disney hotels is incredible (we've stayed at Coronado Springs and Art of Animation), so we're hoping to stay at a Universal resort next time we go!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. BRIAN Says...

Thanks for all the great info!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Del Says...

We haven't been to Universal since the early 2000s, pre-Harry Potter. Hoping to plan a trip in 2021!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Ashley Says...

I haven’t been to universal in years!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Natalie Says...

It’s the most magical place on earth ????

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Patty F Says...

We pandemic eloped this August - so we're thinking of taking a trip down as a one year anniversary trip, August 2021 - it looks like the later half of August will be good for visiting! Hopefully travel will be a bit safer by then!! ????????

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:49 p.m. Rebecca Simons Says...

We visited last year and would love to return. We used undercover tourist to help us make the most of our trip.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:49 p.m. Matt Says...

I can’t wait to visit Universal in 2021, since it has been a couple years since we last went. The times we have gone in early February and early May the crowds were low. The weather was perfect in May.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:48 p.m. Kylie Says...

I'm so excited to visit ! It all looks like a dream!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:48 p.m. Jerzchris Says...

Thank you so much for this info. Covid has pushed back my planned trip to Orlando/Disney/Universal 3 times, so currently planning on maybe early in the new year and this info helps me greatly.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:48 p.m. MariaB Says...

Looking forward to our trip!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:48 p.m. Kevin Poindexter Says...

Can’t wait to bring my kids to Universal now that they are tall enough to ride most of the rides!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:48 p.m. Patricia Piek Says...

We’d love to visit the parks again in 2021 with our family (four teenage sons). Let’s hope that the Covid situation will be better so we can travel from the Netherlands ????????

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. Alicia Garcia Says...

I love Disney ????

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. Amanda C. Says...

Love knowing when the best times to visit the parks are! Great article thanks for keeping us up to date with this information.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. Kerry Klatt Says...

❤ Universal Studios and HP World!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. Pedro Yánez Says...

Excellent!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. JG Says...

I hope wait times are not horrible for our visit in 2021!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. Heather T. Says...

Would absolutely love to be able to visit sometime early next year. I miss Florida & Orlando in general and haven’t been able to visit in years due to money, loss of my job and other reasons. The theme parks have also gotten too expensive, so it’s been really tough making a trip happen from NJ.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:46 p.m. CarrieVictoria Says...

I was there in January and I can’t wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:46 p.m. Jamie Smith Says...

We visited this year in late January. It was freezing cold! Many of the roller coasters didn't even start running until after lunch due to the extreme cold.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:46 p.m. Robin Taylor Says...

This would be a great contest to win!! It’s hard to go to Universal when I’m such a Disney fan!!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. Doug Says...

Great post, can't wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. Oscar Navarro Says...

Got to visit Orlando and the theme parks 3 days before the pandemic, scored great deals with undercovertourist. Hope everything is back to “normal” for us to go again next year.

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. FunRuss47 Says...

We visited Universal Studios the 2nd week of January in 2020 and thought that was a fantastic week to go. Crowds were medium to light most days.

Have fun!

Reply
Oct 12, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. Jessie Says...

We missed the opening of Hagrid’s motorbike adventure by 3 days when we went last summer :( I can’t wait to go back!!!

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