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  >>
1451–1500 of 3290 comments
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:17 p.m. Kara Tucker Balun Says...

Thank you so much for the information. I could not agree more with your recommendations on times to visit!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:17 p.m. Amanda Says...

Good info!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:16 p.m. Diane Peeks Says...

This is great information to know.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:16 p.m. Alicia Love Says...

We went in April and it was the perfect weather!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:16 p.m. Elizabeth S Says...

Great info! We would love to go back at a time it isn’t too crowded.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:16 p.m. Mel Says...

Best time to go ... when you know you're not going to be stressed out by whatever you have to do before and after the trip. Go when you can travel with the people you want to spend time with and can stop and enjoy the people you're with and all things you're spending money on

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:15 p.m. Christie Says...

Looks like my birthday is a good time ????

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:15 p.m. J. Ford Says...

Hmmm trying to decide between this and Hollywood studios

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. Trish Tuthill Says...

We purchased our tickets from you recently! Can't wait - thank you so much!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. CynthiaMCO Says...

Christmas!!!!!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. Lacey J Says...

If you can go in the of season these dates really are the best time.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. Veronica Says...

I’m excited for my trip Feb. 12th! Thank you for the great information and fingers crossed it’s not too busy!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. Sacorra Young Says...

Love this blog, super interesting and useful information!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. LilyG Says...

Late February or early March would be perfect time to go.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:14 p.m. LindaT Says...

Great information, thanks!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:13 p.m. Gabrielle Raymer Says...

I love this. It gives me a better understanding of the times that are most crowded which is very helpful. It’s less stressful when there’s not as many people although I would love to be there for the holidays❤️

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:12 p.m. Says...

Can’t wait to visit in 2023!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:12 p.m. Jenny Says...

THis is my happy place!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:11 p.m. Eric V Says...

Jan/Feb are the best months to go

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:11 p.m. Shavon H. Says...

Years ago, we went in the height of summer. It was fun, yet HOT! Nowadays, I’m considering visiting during the fall when the weather is milder but warm enough to enjoy the pools & water rides. Great information here to help us narrow down on the best time for our needs!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:11 p.m. Heather pierson Says...

Love Universal Orlando!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:11 p.m. Jessie DeBord Says...

Anytime! Honestly, even during the “busy season,” it’s still toad-aly worth a trip!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:11 p.m. Tiffani Dean Says...

I need me some Universal Orlando time!!! Thank you Undercover Tourist for all your hard work to ensure our maximum fun. Keep up the good work!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Christy Palmer Says...

Your blogs always help us in planning the best trips!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Kathy Smith Says...

I absolutely LOVED Universal when I visited in June 2022! I went with my sons and his family and friends♥️ There was 12 of us and everyone was so helpful with larger groups like ours. Can’t wait to visit again.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Says...

I love going in October!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Sheryl Says...

Agree with these dates. We love early March for Mardi Gras and late April for great weather and Volcano Bay!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Leigh B Says...

Feb or Mar is our favorite time for fun in Orlando.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Lori Says...

Unfortunately we will be going at the worst time.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Bridget Antak Says...

Is there ever a bad time to visit?

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. Brooke Says...

My husband and I both teach so we always have to go during busy seasons or in the heat of summer ????

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:09 p.m. Mk Says...

Awesome tips!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:09 p.m. Diane W Says...

Great site for all the parks info and tickets!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:09 p.m. Patricia Rainaldi Says...

Visited Universal last year and their were attractions for each of us In my family Great time had by all

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:08 p.m. Jessica Jenkins Says...

For me and my two boys, the best time to visit Universal is in early June. We love the warm weather and it was ideal since school was out for them and I was off work.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:07 p.m. BAK Says...

I agree!! September and January are perfect time to go!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:07 p.m. Vkearns Says...

The week before or after Thanksgiving!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:07 p.m. Michelle Shook Says...

The Best time to go to any park is Anytime!! Always fun for the whole family!!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:06 p.m. Lauren R.R Says...

I have never been but plan to take my kiddos there this year... our spring break starts right at the cutoff of the best time to come... go figure!! But hopefully will still be decent! I will come back to comment right after we get back. I love the information provided by this website and the insight into everything. Can't wait to use the park planner and put the tips and tricks provided by undercover tourist to action. More to come!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:06 p.m. jam Says...

Great info! Never been so very helpful!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:05 p.m. Shannon Says...

Best time to go is January (watch that weather app) or September. Find the joy anytime you go ❤️

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:04 p.m. Ahab71 Says...

Great! We always plan a Orlando vacation the beginning of November

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:03 p.m. Rochelle Willms Says...

I want to see it during Christmas.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:03 p.m. LulyinDisney Says...

Best times to visit is March and October when there are no holidays and the weather in Florida is still bearable. :)

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:03 p.m. Adriana Says...

I have gone for Halloween Horror Nights and is very crowded. Next time I’ll try visiting during non peak times! Thank you for providing all this useful information.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:03 p.m. Erin B Says...

Great article with really helpful tips! Thanks for sharing your insights and expert opinions!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:03 p.m. Jan R from MI Says...

The 1st 2 weeks of May are good for those that like warmer weather + water rides. My favorite is during December before the holidays - the parks + hotels are decorated SO beautifully!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:02 p.m. Mandy K. Says...

I always check your crowd calendars when I’m planning a trip to the amusements parks in Florida! They are usually spot on! Thanks Undercover Tourist!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:02 p.m. Dorothy M Says...

As a die hard Disneyland fan, I've always shied away from Disney World. But the more I read about it, the more interested I am.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 9:02 p.m. Teilor D. Says...

Great information ! I think Jan/Feb is the best time to visit because the weather is nice and the holiday crazyiness is over. Can’t wait to return!

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