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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


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


  • 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


  • 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?


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


  • 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


  • 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.


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)


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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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Sep 3, 2023 at 6:08 p.m. Emily Yount Says...

We usually love coming in September or March! Always a fun time

Sep 3, 2023 at 6:08 p.m. Taylor Says...

Good advice

Sep 3, 2023 at 6:07 p.m. Catie-lou Says...


Sep 3, 2023 at 6:03 p.m. Sarah Pilbin Says...

This is perfect. I'm looking to take my oldest to Universal next year and will definitely be using this as a guide.

Sep 3, 2023 at 6:01 p.m. Hope Gilmore Says...

My husband and I did early October last year and it was the perfect timing! Crowds were manageable but I will say weekends are just busy no matter what ????????‍♀️

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:58 p.m. Andrea Odom Says...

My daughter and I went in April one year for her Spring Break. It wasn’t horrible weather wise, but I’d like to try the fall when it’s just a tad cooler or maybe even February or January. This post is helpful. Thanks!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:58 p.m. Avery Stone Says...

I just went during the second half of August and it was perfect!! Other than it being pretty hot, the crowds were so manageable and we had a great time! You are right on target with this one!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:57 p.m. Selena K Says...

Great info!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:49 p.m. Sarah S Says...

???????? Sounds spooktacular

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:47 p.m. Loc Vu Says...

It's been a while since we visited. Thank you for the tips.

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:42 p.m. Natalie Stover Says...

I have always heard that September is a good time & also February. But also, November can be depending on when you go! Thank you for this kind of calendar that we can have to go by. I would absolutely love for my baby girl to experience Christmas time there one year, she is obsessed with the Grinch! It can be overwhelming deciding what to do first when there is literally so much to do as well.

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:27 p.m. Steven R Says...

Always a good time to visit!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:23 p.m. Sara G Says...

Husband and I have gone during the weekday in October for the past three years - it’s been great!! Weather has been good, and crowds have been manageable!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:22 p.m. Melisa Woosley Says...

Glad to see times for 2024 already listed! Thanks!!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:17 p.m. monicak Says...

We love to visit at the end of April/beginning of May. Nice temperatures and usually lower crowds!

Sep 3, 2023 at 5:08 p.m. Alisha Zapata Says...

For 2024 we plan to go the week before Columbus Day! Can’t wait!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:59 p.m. Candace Stevenson Says...

My kids and I love universal. We’ve never been to universal Orlando

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:53 p.m. Cara McDonnell Says...

Every time we’ve visited it’s been in the second half of august. Way less crowds, but very very hot!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:51 p.m. Amanda G Says...

Our family went for the first time in September 2 years ago, and we had such an amazing time! The crowds were great! Can't wait to go back!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:50 p.m. Janet Says...

We love visiting in the fall. Cooler weather, less crowds & HHN.

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:45 p.m. Justin A. Says...

Gunna use this to plan my next trip ????

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:40 p.m. Jessica Jones Says...

Thanks for this!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:37 p.m. Cpoole2 Says...

Fall is my favorite!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:37 p.m. SH Says...

I feel like Fall is a great time to go, but worry about the weather. How are they about moving reservations? We rescheduled a Disney trip last year, as there was a hurricaine when we were supposed to go. Disney was amazing, plane fare (even with insurance) was a bust.

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:36 p.m. Savannah Montijo Says...

Thanks for the blog post! Never been to universal in Orlando but I do know that this is very Helpful!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:35 p.m. Courtney M Says...

Such a helpful post as my fiancé and I are planning on going to Disneyworld and Universal Orlando for our honeymoon next year!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:31 p.m. LMH Says...

Thanks for the helpful info!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:27 p.m. DSied Says...

Our schools are supposed to convert to year-round school within the next couple of years. Can’t wait! Hopefully we’ll be able to take vacations at different times and avoid the biggest crowds.

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:27 p.m. Sharlene Mohlman Says...

I want to gooooo!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:24 p.m. Laura Says...

Can’t wait to visit!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:22 p.m. StacyB Says...

Favorite time of year for me to visit is November

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:21 p.m. Michelle Kuk Says...

Even though it’s crowded Wednesday+ , we love going the week of Thanksgiving. You see all the Christmas parades and shows. Plus it is so much less crowded than Disney.

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:20 p.m. Tiara Says...

Thanks for the info!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:19 p.m. IR Says...

This is a great overview of when to visit! I have never been to Universal, so this is really helpful!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:18 p.m. Ashley Zaborowski Says...

My family went in September last year and the crowds were very low!

Sep 3, 2023 at 4:14 p.m. Stephanie Says...

Love going over the holidays

Aug 10, 2023 at 9:27 a.m. Mike Says...

We are coming on the 7th April - 16th in 2024. Are we likely to miss the peak crowds of spring break or will it still be very busy in that time?

Aug 10, 2023 at 9:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike!

Easter will fall on March 31, so we'd expect the spring break season to be more concentrated and busier in March (compared to Easter falling in April). However, since spring breaks vary greatly by school over here, it's possible that some schools may still have breaks in early April. Majority of local public schools are out from March 11-15 and 18-22, so you'll miss those breaks at least.

Keep hopping!


Jun 29, 2023 at 5:23 p.m. Lisa Says...

We unfortunately have no choice but to go during one of the busiest times in March 2024. What can we expect? Any advice? Thank you!

Jul 3, 2023 at 12:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa!

We actually have a separate blog post about what to expect when visiting during a busy time. Overall, our best advice is to arrive early (either rope drop or utilize Early Park Admission, if staying at a Universal hotel), prioritize your must-dos, eat during off-peak times and consider Express Passes if it's within budget.

Keep hopping!


Jun 17, 2023 at 2:33 a.m. AnnW Says...

An adjustment to the worst times, Pop Warner just announced (6/15/2023) that they are partnering with SeaWorld for the 2023 championship. They are saying they have over 50 hotels in the area that are going to be available. You can see some of the hotels, etc. here:

Jun 20, 2023 at 1:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for sharing, Ann!

Keep hopping!


Jun 15, 2023 at 2:40 a.m. Jaci Says...

For the 2day + 3 day promo on your website…it says park-to-park. Does the park-to-park apply to all 5 days?

Jun 16, 2023 at 2 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jaci!

Yes, if it's a park-to-park ticket, the park-to-park benefit will apply to all ticketed days. Have fun!

Keep hopping!


May 11, 2023 at 9:55 p.m. Olivia Says...

Wanting to go on a weekend in May but very conflicting info, guess we’ll find out lol

May 15, 2023 at 11:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hey Olivia!

Which weekend are you looking at?

Keep hopping!


Apr 2, 2023 at 4:52 p.m. Jeanny Gomez Says...

Last visit to Universal was February 2022 and we experienced minimal waits in line and none at Volcano Bay. Heading back from April 30- May 6... will check back with an update on crowds.

Apr 3, 2023 at 8:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for sharing with the Frog Pond, Jeanny! Have fun on your next trip :)

Keep hopping!


Mar 13, 2023 at 5:51 a.m. Rosario Klein Says...

We love weekdays in December. The decorations are great & it isn't hot out

Mar 13, 2023 at 5:26 a.m. Mike Mendez Says...

Great to know the times. The very best was during covid when Universal first opened back up. Had the park to ourselves! Missed opportunity for all who did not go! No lines and got to ride all the rides in all the parks.

Mar 13, 2023 at 4:44 a.m. Betty Curran Says...

Last visit was in October and crowds were not overwhelming

Mar 13, 2023 at 4:19 a.m. Rachael DeBates Says...

Never been but I'd go in April because it's my sister's birthday!!

Mar 13, 2023 at 4:11 a.m. Marlys buchta Says...

I always do prefer to travel ???? during off-peak days.

Mar 13, 2023 at 3:54 a.m. Boymom2 Says...

Thank you for all the great tips on when to visit the park. My family and I have only been once for 2 days and definitely agree to get to the park early. We regretting getting to the park late morning the first day due to crowds.

Mar 13, 2023 at 3:44 a.m. Aileen Baughman Says...

Your crowd calendar is a life saver !

Mar 13, 2023 at 3:42 a.m. Heather M Says...

Looking forward to going here on vacation w/ my family this June 2023!!!

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