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  >>
1901–1950 of 3290 comments
Jan 15, 2021 at 10:07 p.m. Larod Says...

Planning a universal trip April of 2022. I saw what you said about shorter and more spread out spring break. Planning to stay at the Hard Rock April 12-16. With the unlimited fast pass will we be ok crowd wise seeing that Easter is a little later in 2022?

Thanks Larod

Reply
Jan 19, 2021 at 9:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Larod!

Spring Break for Orange & Osceola County schools in 2022 will be March 14-18, so you won’t have to worry about your trip coinciding with local schools’ spring breaks. Florida college spring breaks are also usually at the beginning of March. However, since it's close to Easter, you may run into some crowds (some schools may also have Holy Thursday and/or Good Friday off prior to Easter Sunday). Even so, we think that having Express Unlimited, plus Early Park Admission, should help you manage!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 4, 2020 at 2:48 a.m. Steve Lebo Says...

I am torn… I booked a trip to universal staying at the hard rock for December 20 through the 26th. I initially thought not many people would want to go during Covid. I am seeing large crowds… Can anyone give me some insight into what they think the crowds will be like in a few weeks? I have a 10-year-old and a 12 year old and I’m concerned about social distancing and people wearing masks. Also general safety of myself… I am in a high-risk category thank you for any and all feedback and input.

Reply
Dec 2, 2020 at 5:23 p.m. GIJoey11 Says...

Thank you guys so much for keeping us informed and updated. Although we are anxious to visit Universal Orlando as a family for the first time, we are patient and can wait :) :) :) We will be able to plan much better thx to your blog :)

Reply
Nov 1, 2020 at 2:31 a.m. Shane M Says...

We’re just wrapping up an Orlando trip, and you can definitely tell the difference between weekend and weekday visits. I normally come down around this time anyways, but given with everything going on, this has been an extremely easy trip in terms of crowd levels at both Universal and Disney.

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 8:11 p.m. Jessica Rademacher Says...

Thank you for all your wonderful information and tips and tricks!!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 5:56 p.m. Lucchox Says...

My best travel was in 2012, I get for free the meet plan for all my family and 1 night free only getting 3 and 2 days tickets

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 4:18 p.m. Renee T Says...

We always check your blog when planning a visit to universal Orlando to plan a great family vacation. Thanks for sharing all the tips.

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 4:14 p.m. Pam Says...

Can’t wait to visit!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 1:24 p.m. SuzEpp Says...

Undercover Tourist has great info and prices. Thank you.

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 1:12 p.m. Kimberly Anderson Says...

I have bought tickets from you in the past and will certainly do so again but it would be nice to win a free trip so thank you for the opportunity

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 12:49 p.m. Terri Bollin Says...

Thanks for the chance. I would love to win an go on a great family vacation because 2020 has been a horrible year for everyone!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 6:50 a.m. BW Says...

Mardi Gras!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 4:36 a.m. Alicia T. Says...

Great resource for planning my trip. Love undercovertourist.com!!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 4:04 a.m. kathleen m hummitsch Says...

have had to postpone our universal vaca two years in a row now! have to go in 2021 if it kills us!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 2:45 a.m. Luanne Says...

I'm hoping the fact that a number of Universal hotels staying closed until 2021 makes the crowds more manageable. That's a lot fewer guests being able to advantage of early access right? Or is this wishful thinking?

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 2:44 a.m. Lisa Boggess Says...

I would love to go back to Universal. We just went to Disney and Universal in August (bought through undercover tourist and would again), first time for universal, 2nd time for Disney. First trip was 11 years ago. Loved it even with all the restrictions.

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 2:42 a.m. Annemarie Says...

Love Universal and Undercover Tourist! ❤️

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 1:18 a.m. Ashley Ocasio Says...

Loved Orlando Parks!!

Reply
Oct 31, 2020 at 1:01 a.m. Alster Says...

Love this!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 10:52 p.m. Jbark Says...

Any time is the best time!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 8:11 p.m. Rocío Duharte Says...

Hope we win this!!!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 7:54 p.m. Nidhi C Says...

Visiting universal Orlando makes perfect family vacation. Thanks for sharing all the tips.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 6:21 p.m. karen mead Says...

This is such a great resource, thank you.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 6:19 p.m. Julia Chambers Says...

Great company, easy to work with.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 6:06 p.m. Doug_16 Says...

Thank you Underground Tourist for the Vance to win a trip to Universal Orlando. We love Universal and We love Underground Tourist!!!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 5:54 p.m. Piper Lang Says...

Pick me! pick me! I LOVE all things Disney and Universal Orlando ❤️

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 5:42 p.m. PattiL Says...

I haven’t been to Universal Orlando. I would LOVE to see, hear, ride, eat and experience everything!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 4:29 p.m. Marissa Says...

I stayed at the Portafino Hotel and loved it!! Highly recommend!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 3:52 p.m. Carissa Says...

Your information is always helpful.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 3:42 p.m. Pearly Says...

Week days in December is. Perfect ????

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 3:14 p.m. Desirae Says...

Hoping to use these helpful tips soon!!!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 3:13 p.m. BekkyK Says...

I am dying to take my family to Orlando parks, we have been saving for my whole life to be able to visit Disney and Universal theme parks as a family.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 3:04 p.m. Nichole Wagner Says...

So bummed that I didn't go right when they opened!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 2:58 p.m. Jackie R Says...

LOVE Visiting in October over our kid's fall break! We are pretty much a walk on most rides during the week but just as the article said, Fridays and Saturdays are much busier so we save those days for lollygaggin' :P

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 2:41 p.m. Melissa G Says...

Is there ever a bad time to visit Universal?

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 1:36 p.m. Ashley Pelletier Says...

Going next year 2021!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. Says...

Can't wait to visit again!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 7:37 a.m. Josan Says...

Best time is mid sept, great weather and affordable lines

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 7:32 a.m. Michelle Bush Says...

Lot's of great info here. Can't wait to get back to the Parks.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 6:50 a.m. djazgirl Says...

We used your site last year to go to Universal. So VERY helpful! Thank you so much.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 6:41 a.m. C Bow Says...

Will be using your calendar on our next visit! Thank you.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 5:11 a.m. kimberly forrester Says...

We have bought tickets from Undercover several times. We're Universal/WDW junkies. This sight has endless info! Love it

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 4:06 a.m. Alexander Pliscofsky Says...

Can't wait to go back to Florida!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 3:03 a.m. Irasutex Says...

Love your posts and helpful tips. Thank you!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 2:25 a.m. Caterina Levato Says...

FYI~ One of the best times I think to visit the parks are the week end right after Thanksgiving~

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 2:18 a.m. leeny Says...

this blog is so informative and fun to read. thank you

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 2:12 a.m. Sanaz S Says...

We do Disney every year in January. We are excited to try Universal now that our boys are a little bit older. Thank you for the helpful information!

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 2:08 a.m. JS Says...

Most years, right after labor day

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 1:31 a.m. Brandy Says...

We would love to go. We haven’t been there yet.

Reply
Oct 30, 2020 at 1:18 a.m. Alicia Says...

Thank you so much for the chance! A trip here would be amazing!!

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