The Very Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024

by Leap on November 4, 2022 3652 Orlando

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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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1701–1750 of 3290 comments
Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Tina Felton Says...

Good info!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Karina Manzo Says...

I'm always well prepare on my trips thanks to all the advice and tips!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Brittany Bell Says...

Best time to go is the beginning of March! Comfortable temperatures and less busy crowds!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Chris Says...

Of all the places I've wanted to take my kids to, Disney World is it!!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Holly Wilson Says...

End of nov beginning of December has always been my fav

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Kathy Says...

I really want to go back I wish it was not so expensive

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Andrew D Says...

We’re going in February 2023!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Olya D. Says...

Great info!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Karol Says...

Thanks for the information!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:43 p.m. Laurakazam Says...

Can’t wait to head back soon!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. Mario R. Says...

It's a sign, it's time to visit!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. W Greene Says...

Sounds like so much fun!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. Brandy Says...

Thanks for all the info!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. Jace Holmes Says...

This is such an amazing tips for the holiday thank you so much!!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. Holly Wilson Says...

Best times

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:42 p.m. CarlyF Says...

You guys are the most helpful when planning trips!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:39 p.m. Lailapak Says...

Awesome!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:38 p.m. Lisa Says...

Thanks for the tips. I have found the 1st of May getting more crowded each year. Used to be our favorite time to avoid crowds and hot temperatures. But now we are considering recalculation to late January.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:35 p.m. Holly Harper Says...

We went to FL in April and thought the weather was perfect!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:32 p.m. Coley Says...

I love going in January and February, but will go someday when it is dressed for Christmas!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:30 p.m. Beth Says...

This is so helpful! I always look for this when planning!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:25 p.m. LauraVal Says...

Thank you for the information! I really want to be back :)

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:20 p.m. Laura Says...

We went mid November and it wasn’t crowded. Great weather too!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:16 p.m. Hedia Gonzales Says...

This is so helpful….thank you!!!!!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:16 p.m. Shelley Says...

We love Universal Orlando! It has something for everyone!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:14 p.m. Dana J Says...

Those are great suggestions! I’m so bummed I won’t be able to go at these suggestible times due to my nieces school breaks. Thank you for the info!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:10 p.m. Raoul K Says...

Awesome post you guys. Keep it going! Thanks as always for the information. Also just love reading about this while waiting for the next opportunity to be able to visit Orlando.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 8:02 p.m. Karl S Says...

Appreciate the great information. Keep it up! (As if you wouldn't keep it up!)

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:55 p.m. Simon Says...

Very useful!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:54 p.m. Kiska Says...

Thank you for this! It really helps us to plan exactly when to visit, especially when the destination is so far away!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:49 p.m. Sindary Says...

Thanks for all the updates! And your crowd calendar so useful! ????

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:46 p.m. Rachel7 Says...

Thank you for all the information! You make going to the parks so much easier!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:43 p.m. Amanda S. Says...

We had an amazing time in Orlando last November!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:43 p.m. Romy Meijer Says...

This post is very enjoyable to read and has so much valuable information! Thank you guys! We love undercover tourist and have used your services multiple times. Holiday greetings from the Netherlands! Xoxo

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:42 p.m. Emily McKinney Says...

Headed there in March! So excited!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:39 p.m. Nechelle Villegas Says...

Thank you for all of this great information. It will help me to decide what is the best time for me and my family to visit.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:36 p.m. Audrey Says...

I've been in the summer and fall, but would love to visit for the holidays. I'm just worried about the crowds.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:35 p.m. Cassandra Says...

I love all of the information given! This definitely gives me a plan when planning to visit the parks! I have younger impatient baby’s so this helps so much!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:32 p.m. Wendy mendoza Says...

I looked this up before I went on my trip to make sure that it wouldn’t be as packed when I went and it was mostly helpful! There weren’t as many people but there was a lot of people from Europe on vacation so it was something I didn’t think was going to happen but it did. Loved reading when the best and worst times would be to visit and how others also struggle with what to do first

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:20 p.m. Kwebb Says...

Thank you as always for your advice.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:19 p.m. Aimee Says...

Looking forward to heading down to the sunshine state in January! Always a good time with low crowds.

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:16 p.m. Ashley Hartman Says...

Very helpful! Thank you!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:13 p.m. Patricia Jackson Says...

I’ve never been to Universal, so this helps with planning. Thank you!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:11 p.m. Deepa Rajwani Says...

Good tipss for planning a trip!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:10 p.m. Katie S. Says...

Universal is definitely a different sphere of planning, compared to Disney. So this is nice to have!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:08 p.m. Brittney Says...

Even as a Florida resident I still feel like I need some guidance when visiting the parks and this blog post is so helpful! :)

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:08 p.m. Tracy Says...

Love fall in Florida…just wish I had more days than a busy school fall break!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:05 p.m. Linda Says...

Hoping to visit during the holidays next year! Thansk for this valuable info!

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7:04 p.m. chris king Says...

whoa now i need a vacation

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Dec 5, 2022 at 7 p.m. Jessica Says...

This was supper helpful. My sister has been bothering me for a Universal trip so now I know the best days to take her

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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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