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The Very Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando in 2024 and 2025

by Leap on March 29, 2024 8325 Orlando

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This is what Universal Orlando Resort trip planning sounds like around the Frog Pond: "We have to do Hagrid's first." "No way ... Escape from Gringotts!" "I was thinking of splashing into the pool at Cabana Bay Beach Resort right after we check in." Yes. Even we (the 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. But crowds are only one part of the equation when it comes to considering the best time to visit Universal Orlando! This post outlines some factors to keep in mind when planning your awesome Universal Orlando vacation (and of course, our top recs on when to visit).

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Universal Globe

Planning When to Visit Universal Orlando in 2024 and 2025

While we have no crystal ball (we wish we did!), we do have historical trends available to pull from when making predictions. We're here to give you our best guesses on crowd levels based on our years of data collection and insights. And, action!

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 tips to maximize time — get to the park at opening, take breaks in the afternoon when the parks are at their busiest, make use of our Jump Start guide, 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 Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Ice Cream Treats Universal - Minion Freeze Ray Pop

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 Islands of Adventure. (We can't emphasize this enough! The value of getting your Express Pass for the duration of your stay is huge!) The Universal hotels that offer the benefit are Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal 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.

Not staying at a Premier hotel? Not to worry! All Universal Orlando Resort hotels offer Early Park Admission, which is also a super hopful tool to get a jump on your day. 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 :) Just looking for the short answer on the least crowded times to visit Universal Orlando? Check out the infographic below!

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Infographic

Other Factors to Consider When Determining the Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando

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 estimated crowd levels, special events, weather and Universal 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. In 2024, we can expect the opening of DreamWorks Land — a family-friendly themed land dedicated to characters and stories from DreamWorks Animation, replacing the former Woody Woodpecker's KidZone. But what's even more epic? We're already eyeing the grand opening of Universal Epic Universe in 2025! The brand-new theme park — complete with its own Super Nintendo World (plus four other immersive worlds!), an entertainment center, dining, shopping and hotels — will undoubtedly draw high crowds for its debut, the remainder of the year and possibly beyond.

In the past years, we've found that more theme park-goers are planning their trip by specific season (rather than around crowds in years past). So, we've broken this post up by season, making it easy to find considerations, highlights and even the cheapest days to go for each one. Let's jump in!

Spring — February, March, April

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Universal Mardi Gras Jester Girls

Highlights

In February, Universal Studios Florida hosts the biggest party of the spring — Mardi Gras! The New Orleans-inspired celebration is complete with Cajun and Carnaval flavors from all over the world, a lively Mardi Gras parade with bead throwing from the detailed floats, an impressive concert lineup and more. The jubilation continues all the way through April 7 in 2024 — perfect timing for anyone on spring break.

Things to Consider

Speaking of spring break, the biggest variable for spring crowds 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 2024, Easter falls on March 31, and in 2025, Easter falls on April 20. That means we should expect a shorter, more intense spring break season in 2024, but a longer, drawn-out season in 2025.

There's also a smaller holiday weekend around Presidents Day, which can see elevated crowds. On select Friday and Saturday nights in April, high school seniors from all over the state and beyond come to celebrate Grad Bash. These dates are important to watch out for because both parks typically close early, as they have exclusive access.

February can still dip into cooler temps, especially during early mornings and evenings. But it starts to warm up (but is still not too hot and humid) in March and April, making it one of the best times to visit in terms of weather.

Our Overall Pick: The first half of February, prior to Presidents Day, tends to see the lowest crowds. The first week of March is best if you're aiming for warmer weather before the spring break crowds arrive. In 2024, since the spring break season is shorter, mid to late April will also be a great pick!

Least Busy

  • Weekdays in February (minus Presidents Day weekend)
    • Feb. 1-8, 12-13, 26-29, 2024
  • The first week of March before spring break season
    • March 4-8, 2024
    • March 3-7, 10-13, 2025
  • Post-Easter/spring break season
    • April 15-30, 2024
    • April 1-2, 22-25, 28-30, 2025

Busiest

  • Presidents Day weekend
    • Feb. 9-11, 14-25, 2024
    • Feb. 14-17, 2025
  • Spring break season
    • March 9-31, 2024
    • March 14-31, 2025
  • First half of April
    • April 5-21, 2025

Cheapest

  • Feb. 1, 4-8, 11-13 and 26-28, 2024
  • March 1-7, 2024
  • April 21-25 and 28-30, 2024

*prices based on a 2-Day Park-to-Park ticket from Undercover Tourist and are subject to change

Summer — May, June, July

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Volcano Bay - Wave Village

Scream and shout — school's out! The summer crowds are pretty steady as soon as Memorial Day weekend hits, all the way through back-to-school season. The Orlando weather also stays consistent with higher temperatures and afternoon showers.

But what better way to beat the heat than spending a day at Universal Volcano Bay or lounging by the pool at your resort?

Highlights

While there aren't any major events going on at Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida usually hosts a low-key Fourth of July celebration. Expect DJ dance parties with SpongeBob, King Julien and other characters and a pyrotechnic display at night.

Things to Consider

May starts out fairly quiet, but can be busier on the weekends. Particularly, on select Friday and Saturday nights, eighth graders are celebrating Gradventure nights. Similar to Grad Bash for high school seniors, they get exclusive party hours at both theme parks, which may cause shorter park hours.

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer, which is when you'll see the first uptick in crowds. Most schools are out of session by the second week of June, meaning crowd patterns will stay consistent until mid-August. Fourth of July tends to see peak summer crowds.

Our Overall Pick: Weekdays in May are our favorite pick during this timeframe! You could also go with the first week of June before all schools are out, though May is only slightly cooler than June.

Least Busy

  • Monday through Thursday in the first half of May
  • First week of June 2024

Busiest

  • Weekends in May (plus Memorial Day weekend)
    • May 2-5, 10-12, 14, 24-31, 2024
  • Elevated crowds in June
  • Elevated crowds in July, especially around July 4

Cheapest

  • May 1-2, 5-9 and 12-16, 2024
  • June 3-6, 9-13 and 16-20, 2024
  • Same price throughout July 2024, excluding July 3-7

*prices based on a 2-Day Park-to-Park dated ticket from Undercover Tourist and are subject to change

Fall — August, September, October

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Halloween Horror Nights 2023 - Archway Medallion

You may be wondering why August is lumped with fall — well, August is unique because the first half of the month typically sees the last of the summer crowds before schools start to jump back into session.

But the second half? It starts to slow down as more and more tadpoles begin the new school year, making it a good time to visit if you want lower crowds (especially if you're planning an adults-only trip!). On the flip side, busier holiday weekends include Labor Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day during this timeframe.

Highlights

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.

Things to Consider

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 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 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.

Also, 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 rain gear such as rain jackets, ponchos or umbrellas. With those caveats out of the way, we still feel that fall is a good time to visit Universal Orlando.

Our Overall Pick: 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 overall best month to visit.

Least Busy

  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus the days around Labor Day)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus the days around Rosh Hashanah, Diwali and Indigenous Peoples' Day)

Busiest

  • The first half of August
  • Days around Labor Day (Sept. 2, 2024, and Sept. 1, 2025)
    • Aug. 28 - Sept. 2, 2024
    • Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 2025
  • Days around Rosh Hashanah, Diwali and Indigenous Peoples' Day
    • Oct. 3-6, 11-14, 25, 2024
    • Oct. 2-5, 10-13, 31, 2025

Cheapest

  • Aug. 18-22 and 25-28, 2024
  • Sept. 3-4 and 9-11, 2024
  • Oct. 1-3, 7-9, 21-24 and 28-31, 2024

*prices based on a 2-Day Park-to-Park dated ticket from Undercover Tourist and are subject to change

Winter — November, December, January

From fearful frights to festive lights, Universal Orlando quickly transitions from Halloween horror to holiday galore in November. Orlando weather also cools down, along with lower humidity levels (believe it or not, it can get into the 40s in January!).

However, the pools at the resorts and Universal Volcano Bay are heated, so you can still take a dip if you wish (excluding inclement weather). It's the perfect time for a cup of Hot Butterbeer! These months see some of the busiest times of the year, including the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Grinchmas Show

Highlights

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!

Things to Consider

Aside from the major holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve — there are a few other small holidays and events to keep in mind:

  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11 — a Monday in 2024 and a Tuesday in 2025)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15, 2024, and Jan. 20, 2025)
  • Rock the Universe (a Christian music festival usually at the end of January; Jan. 26-27, 2024)

The off-season in January and February can also see annual ride refurbishments (particularly for water rides) and shorter park hours until spring break season.

Our Overall Pick: If the holiday festivities are a must-do, we'd recommend the first week or two of December, before schools are let out for Christmas break — or the week before or after Thanksgiving. Mid to late January is another great alternative if you want some of the lowest crowds of the year.

Least Busy

  • Weekdays in November (minus the days around Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Week)
    • Nov. 6-7, 12-15, 18-22, 2024
    • Nov. 5-7, 12-14, 17-20, 2025
  • Weekdays in December (minus the weeks of Christmas and New Year's Eve)
  • Weekdays in January (minus Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend)
    • Jan. 8-11, 22-25, 30-31, 2024

Busiest

  • Days around Veterans' Day and the week of Thanksgiving
    • Nov. 1-5, 9-11, 25-30, 2024
    • Nov. 1-4, 11, 22-30, 2025
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year
    • Dec. 20-31, 2024
    • Dec. 20-31, 2025
  • The week following the holidays and Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend
    • Jan. 1-7, 12-15, 26-29, 2024
    • Jan. 1-7, 17-20, 2025

Cheapest

  • Nov. 4-6 and 18-20, 2024
  • Dec. 2-4 and 9-11, 2024
  • Jan. 16, 22-23 and 29-30, 2024

*prices based on a 2-Day Park-to-Park dated ticket from Undercover Tourist and are subject to change

What If I Can Only Go During a Busy Time?

Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando - Adults at Universal - Hagrid's

We get comments all the time from families and teachers who can only go during busy times that overlap with school breaks. Don't panic! Ultimately, the best time to visit Universal Orlando is when you can go.

We've visited during every season and can manage the crowds with our own tips and park plans. Setting realistic expectations is the most important thing you can do!

During busier times, consider purchasing Universal Express passes or staying at a Universal premier hotel (which provides the free Universal Express Unlimited benefit). And if it's not in the budget, then be sure to take advantage of Early Park Admission if you're staying at any of the Universal Orlando hotels. Regardless of where you're staying, show up early to get a hop on the crowds.

In the summer, take a midday break when it's the most crowded and hottest, whether it's a long lunch at a table-service restaurant or going back to your hotel for a power nap or swim. In the winter when hours are reduced, plan for more park time and explore the resorts or CityWalk in the evenings — play mini-golf, watch a movie or try your hand at an escape room!

There you have it! Are you ready to hop to Universal Orlando? Let the trip countdown begin! Let us know in the comments below when you're visiting next.

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2024 and 2025. 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 in our Jump Start guide!

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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Dec 8, 2023 at 4:16 p.m. Amanda G Says...

I would love to take the kids during the Christmas season. The Grinch is amazing!!!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 4:14 p.m. Jay Sweeney Says...

We have had the best times during the last 10 days in January in multiple years.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 4 p.m. Cathy Says...

We love Mardi gras time

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Dec 8, 2023 at 3:41 p.m. Joselyn bastidas Says...

Universal is my favorite! Harry potter world is my favorite place

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Dec 8, 2023 at 3:22 p.m. Kathryn Says...

Great info! Thanks!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:56 p.m. Bj Says...

Universal was my all time family adventure! Very different since I been and this was so informative thank u!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:51 p.m. Jen Mounts Says...

This is great info. Thank you.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:50 p.m. Jennifer Nguyen says Says...

I definitely want to be comfortable, therefore, I think April has the best temperatures to visit Universal Studios!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:48 p.m. Sil S Says...

This information is super helpful, thanks!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:47 p.m. Jennifer Nguyen Says...

I definitely want to be comfortable, therefore, I think April has the best temperatures to visit Universal Studios!

Reply
Dec 8, 2023 at 2:34 p.m. Hollys Says...

What days of week are least crowded in end of May/beginning of August?

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Dec 8, 2023 at 8:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Hollys!

You can check out our Crowd Calendar for crowd levels by day for any specific dates that you're looking into. Overall, May 20-23 would be the least crowded at the end of May, and in August, crowd levels start to drop to level 5 starting Aug. 11. (Before then, Aug. 1-4 would be busiest at levels 7-8, with Aug. 5-10 at level 6).

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:32 p.m. Shannon Peterson Says...

Definitely a place I've always wanted to visit and our 8 year old keeps asking , a girl can dream I guess

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:11 p.m. Marianne P Says...

Great tips, as always!!! Universal is top of my bucket list!!!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 2:10 p.m. McKinley Says...

I have loved using the undercover tourist to plan our Disney trips. I can’t wait to use these tips for a Universal vacation next.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:51 p.m. Ms Frankie Says...

As a native Floridian, I've got to say that Universal Studios has such a variety of open dates to visit and plenty of exciting things to do.

#Familyiseverything

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:46 p.m. jessica ace Says...

aww this would be awesome fingers crossed

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:42 p.m. Elisha Hartman Says...

Amazing Universal Orlando guide! The absolute best vacation!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:38 p.m. Julie Tyler Says...

I love being able to travel when it’s not as busy at the parks. Thanks for the help in choosing my travel time.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:32 p.m. April Vinson Says...

I’m a new follower of undercover tourist and have really enjoyed seeing what y’all have to offer. Our family would love to be able to take a trip to Orlando ????

Reply
Dec 8, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. Renee Smason Says...

I like how you also posted the cheapest days to visit the park

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:05 p.m. Adam Cohen Says...

Definitely want to visit in the next two years!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 1:05 p.m. BMAN Says...

Thank you for the great info! Looking forward to visiting in the near future.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:45 p.m. Cher Says...

Thank you so much for always giving the important details we need to make the most of our vacations in Orlando!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:43 p.m. Tara Colligan Says...

The best time is anytime! My favorite has been around Halloween. I’m hoping to go at Christmas time, one year. ????

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:37 p.m. Jessica Caruso Says...

Super detailed info! The crowd calendar is very helpful.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:36 p.m. Ana McAllister Says...

This helps planning a trip so much easier! Thank you!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:35 p.m. Ebony N Says...

Love Universal! Great post!!!!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:32 p.m. Tabitha Hernandez Says...

We use undercovertourist everytime to visit Disney. I love the app & how it helps us determine the best times to visit what parks!! We have yet to been able to go to Universal, for sure on our bucket list!!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:31 p.m. Katie Goble Says...

October

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:28 p.m. Craayfish Says...

We've been here once and staying on site at Portofino Bay was the best! The free express pass, travel by boat made it all very relaxing!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:14 p.m. Christa D Says...

Universal is the best! My husband and I got engaged right behind Honeydukes in 2011. It hold a special place in our hearts!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 12:13 p.m. Avery Says...

These are all great tips! I usually go at the end of August and the crowds are no biggie!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. Andreina Says...

Good morning! I really love being able to describe my experience regarding my visits to Orlando. The article is super! I'm always looking for related information, it's always needed! Orlando in a city that offers many attractions for both children and adults. We have been to Orlando 4 times (always with the intention of visiting another state hehehe and we always ended up in Florida), the last time in August of this year we did it without any planning and we also had a great time!!!! Now we are looking forward to the 20th of this month to go again and spend Christmas away from home for the first time. We are happy to see and enjoy what Orlando has to offer during these times of so much joy. I'm still looking for options for what we can do on these dates. But we return to Magic Kingdom!! Thank you for this window to describe our experience. Orlando has a lot to give!!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 11:29 a.m. Minda Mccracken Says...

This is very good information. Good luck everyone. I hope to be able to take my family to one of these amazing parks

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Dec 8, 2023 at 11:12 a.m. Natalie Lyons Says...

I love Universal but not the crowds

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Dec 8, 2023 at 11:08 a.m. Steph Says...

Thank you!!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 10:52 a.m. Kimberly Anderson Says...

Great tips. Thank you for the information

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Dec 8, 2023 at 9:49 a.m. dani Says...

Would love this!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 9:45 a.m. brit Says...

Looks fun

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Dec 8, 2023 at 9:41 a.m. CMB Says...

Thanks!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 9:34 a.m. Rebecca T Says...

Would Love this!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 8:44 a.m. Kris Says...

Super helpful post. I’ll be referring to it often.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 8:37 a.m. Lauren Bullis Says...

I enjoy coming when the weather is mild and the kiddos are in school!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 7:53 a.m. Mindy Liu Says...

Great tips for my vacation。

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Dec 8, 2023 at 7:33 a.m. lindsaymom Says...

I really enjoyed visiting in mid March. Though the weather was a bit cooler. we were still able to visit all of the parks, including the water parks, and the crowds were much lower than at other times of the year.

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Dec 8, 2023 at 7:23 a.m. Amanda Lee Says...

Yellow outdoor making dreams come true for the holiday season could you be more pure and wonderful than that!?

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Dec 8, 2023 at 6:17 a.m. Jennyrc Says...

I’ve never been, thanks for all the great info!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 6:16 a.m. Manda Says...

Great information for planning a vacation especially with kids!

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Dec 8, 2023 at 6:04 a.m. Lindsey Rolph Says...

This site was extremely helpful in planning our trip!!

Reply
Dec 8, 2023 at 6:04 a.m. SK Says...

Great planning advice thank you!

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