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  >>
1601–1650 of 3290 comments
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:49 p.m. Christina Says...

We hope to go as a family soon! Thx for the info

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:49 p.m. Faith Daley Says...

Great article. Thanks for all the useful information.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Debbie Says...

Always great info! Thanks

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Lorna Says...

I like going in March or Oct. Love Mickey Not So Scary

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Nicole Says...

November was great. Lovely weather and crowds not too heavy.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Jacki C Says...

Thanks! We always use your tips to plan our trips!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Natalie Macke Says...

I'd love to bring my husband for Veterans Day!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Tonya Says...

We have never been to Universal but would love to visit one day soon!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Jilliannicolern Says...

Thank you for the info! We have been to Orlando twice in late September early October. I’d say mid to end September is a perfect time. Weather is great, lines are short, but October 1st that all changes and the parks are packed! As far as Disney world. We have never been to universal.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. AdamC Says...

Crucial to go at best times if you expect to do any park in Orlando in just one day.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Jolene Says...

This was super helpful thank you for all the info and I can't wait to go with my family they have never been hope to be able to go after we save some money

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Julie Tavares Says...

Definitely the best time for any theme park would be when the kids are in school, during the week.

We went on our first (hopefully of many) in July and it was a blast! Hot and crowded, but we had the best time.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Kimber Carlon Says...

Awesome

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Kim Says...

We aim for the end of January! Weather can be unpredictable though!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Shara Gibson Says...

Thank you for all of this information! My family is planning a trip soon and all of this was so helpful!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48 p.m. Jim Sellnow Says...

We went to Orlando the week before Halloween this past year and it was awesome… Great weather, manageable crowds, food and wine festival. Mickey’s not so spooky Halloween parade… ????????

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Tabatha E Says...

We love end of October to visit!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Trey Johnson Says...

I haven't been to Disney/universal since I was a young lad, but I’d imagine that middle of February would be the best time to go because of the heat!

Thanks undercover tourist!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Cassie Says...

These are very helpful tips and info. We have never been to Universal and hope to go in the future!!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Lara Franklin Says...

Yay! Just read the dates we want to visit are some of the best!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Dawn P Says...

Thanks for the great tips! I’ll definitely utilize them for my next trip!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Jennifer WIlliford Says...

Love University Studios!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Kimmy Staber Says...

Great info!! Can’t wait to plan a trip!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Andy Tarasuk Says...

Loved going mid-late august

Hot, but less crowds, manageable

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Danielle Behn Says...

Great advice! Thank you! Universal is definitely on my to do list one of these trips to Florida.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Kimmy Staber Says...

Great info!! Can’t wait to plan a trip!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Andrea Parker Says...

Thanks for the information! All this is a big help!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Theresa Says...

Great info!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Mindee b Says...

We used them a few years ago, worked great!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. B. Gentry Says...

Good info. I wish it was possible to visit during these low crowd times, but with school and work we had to go Thanksgiving week. We were able to hit Disney the Thurs-Sun before and it wasn’t bad at all. Universal got really busy on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but we left Friday. I didn’t think Monday and Tuesday were that bad, but we had fast passes. The Wizarding world was walk to wall people from 10-6 every day.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Asia Says...

Soooo, beginning of February! First week. Sounds perfect! Thx

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Dawn Says...

We love Universal and have had pretty good luck with lower crowds the start of Nov.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Molly Says...

Always love visiting in the cooler months. Thanks for a great post!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Dezladadragon Says...

I never thought of the best times to visit USO. I only go to USH. It's time for a change...

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Lucinda Reeves Says...

Would love to go during our spring break at the end of March. Teachers have a hard time planning travel because we can only go during busy times!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. C Jones Says...

This was really interesting, and helpful.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Candyce Says...

Christmas is the best!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:47 p.m. Ramon Says...

End of April/first week of May has it all for me. Longer hours. Warmer but not humid weather. Most rides and shows are operational. And crowds are usually smaller.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Elaine Says...

Great info!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Allison Love Says...

I love going in the off season! February is a really good time to go.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Raquel P Says...

Great tips!!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Baeth Says...

Thanks for all the great information.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Kyle Silvernail Says...

I love to visit during mardi gra season loads of fun and love the parade.

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Vali Jo Says...

Enjoy all the information!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Shauna Moriarty Says...

Went the last week of April/beginning of may and it wasn’t crowded!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Andrea Murat Says...

Thanks for the wonderful article!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Laila Says...

Thank you so much for the info! I think Jan/Feb is the best time to visit because the weather is nice and the holiday bustle is over. We are excited to start planning for a trip to WDW!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Beth B Says...

We visited Oct 21-23 2022 and we felt that it was more crowded then past pre-Covid visits made during the first week of June

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Austin Says...

Im going in two weeks! I cant wait!

Reply
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:46 p.m. Susan Conway Says...

I’ve never been. Info has helped me decide to go!

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