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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2851–2900 of 3290 comments
Oct 12, 2020 at 5:31 p.m. Renee Says...

Excellent article! It all still looks amazing and magical to me. If it were possible for us to visit now we certainly would!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:31 p.m. Mandy W. Says...

We are looking at taking our son on a combined WDW/US trip next Spring for his third birthday. Do you think he will be too young for US. He's been to WDW a few times already & loves it.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. Hailey Collins Says...

I have two trips booked one in December and one in January. I hope I am able to go and seriously cant wait! I originally bought tickets from undercover tourist in march so I am excited to put them to use soon!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:29 p.m. deadkid14 Says...

Cool blog post thanks for the info

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:29 p.m. WillTN Says...

Would love to get back to Universal Orlando.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:27 p.m. Irma Z Says...

I want to ride Hagrids Motorbike Adventure again so bad!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:26 p.m. Vivian Says...

Late October-before Thanksgiving is best time to visit!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:26 p.m. Maya Says...

So excited to visit with my friends!!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:25 p.m. Jenifer Says...

I love this website for info!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:25 p.m. SHSCHAUMBURG Says...

I need to visit soon!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:25 p.m. Linda Ramos Says...

Thank you for such great information. There is so much to do in the Orlando area and when planning a trip it is easy to feel lost. Undercover Tourist helps so much with not only ticket discounts but planning ideas and recommendations.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:25 p.m. Erin P Says...

Great info - thanks!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:25 p.m. Melissa Heiser Says...

My family has never been to universal we could definitely use a vacation

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:24 p.m. Gail Whitworth Says...

exciting and definitely a dream to visit!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:24 p.m. Erika J Says...

Great info! This is needed since this virus has thrown many plans and quite frankly the whole year off. Looking forward to getting away

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:24 p.m. Shannon Says...

Definitely hoping to visit in Sept... thanks for breaking this down!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:23 p.m. Andrea Synyshyn Says...

Thank you for the info, I am planning to go if finances will allow.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:23 p.m. Kate Johnston Says...

Planning a trip in 2021! Can't wait!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:23 p.m. Izzy I. Says...

A must-visit site for any Orlando vacation! Thanks for all the info, keep up the great work.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:22 p.m. Rachel L Says...

Great post! We haven’t visited Universal yet but when we do, we’ll be ready!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:22 p.m. JenLee Says...

We just got back from Universal and it was amazing! The Harry Potter World in both parks was incredible. We only had one day there since we visited the Disney Parks as well. Our only regret was that we wish we would have done at least another day there.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:22 p.m. Mickey Says...

If you're not a thrill seeker (no roller coasters or high heights), which attractions and shows are best for me? Will there be any Christmas events this year?

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Oct 13, 2020 at 2:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mickey!

If you’re OK with the simulation rides, then we’d recommend: Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, any ride in Seuss Landing (except for the trolley train) in Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios Florida has a lot more to offer: Minion Mayhem, Shrek 4-D, Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, Transformers: The Ride 3D, Men in Black Alien Attack, The Simpsons Ride, Animal Actors, Universal Horror Make-Up Show, the Bourne Stuntacular and the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone (which includes the ET ride). We are still waiting on details for Christmas events, but you can see all of the details on the Holidays at Universal in our full post here. We expect that the event, with modifications, will still happen this year.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:21 p.m. Lori B Says...

Went to Universal and Disney in Jan 2020 and had the best time. Gringott's and Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, was awesome! Visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World, Flying the Millennium Falcon, riding Rise of the Resistance, and getting a lightsaber from Savi's workshop were just a few highlights of our trip. Weather was perfect! Purchased our tickets from Undercover Tourist and they were able to help us get a refund for ticket to Universal when someone in our party had to cancel due to illness.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. KIM HOFFMASTER Says...

WOW... I didn't know there was a blog!!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. Crystal Green Says...

I love going on your website and reading everything you can do, and all the fantastic deals! I am a family of 7 who needs all the help we can get to plan a trip. I'm so glad you guys exist ☺️

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. Natalie Says...

I cannot wait for things to be back to normal. Really hoping to visit in January, but we’ll see how it works out!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. Shannon Says...

Thanks for the information! Looking forward to getting back in 2021 and trying to pick dates.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:19 p.m. Romy Says...

Love the post! Thank you for the information. We've always bought our tickets on your site. This year we were planning on going to Disney and universal in California but it got cancelled. When it's safe to travel again we will definitely get our tickets at undercover tourist again! We love your service! Thanks so much.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:18 p.m. Ashley Y Says...

I loved visiting at the special UC night at Universal in March. Hope it returns for 2020.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:18 p.m. Elizabeth MarcBeth Says...

Love the information! Thanks Undercover Tourist you’ve done it again! We definitely will be continuing to use your services for our future family vacations! ❤️❤️

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:18 p.m. Pam Says...

Never been. Looks like fun!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:18 p.m. Mara Vergon Says...

Great tips, thank you!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:17 p.m. Elizabeth Smock Says...

We grabbed the wonderful "play the rest of 2020" passes and we can't wait for the holidays in the Wizarding World!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:17 p.m. Rebecca D Says...

If I can ever leave the state, I can’t wait to ride Hagrid and go back to Universal. We have had to cancel twice already.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:17 p.m. Wendy de Gomez Says...

Universal is amazing in every single way!!!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:16 p.m. Alicia O'Neal Says...

Ready for a Christmas trip to celebrate the END OF 2020!!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:16 p.m. Michelle Says...

Love UC Tourist! Thanks for all the great info!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:15 p.m. Noah T Says...

Thanks for the info!!! very helpful for my next trip.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:12 p.m. Rob F. Says...

Thanks for the post! We have been using Undercover Tourist for years to plan our Orlando visits. Great info on crowd levels and touring plans.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:12 p.m. Runningwthsizors@yahoo.com Says...

Thank you for your info..!! Love this post

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:12 p.m. Carol Trainor Says...

Undercover tourist is my go to site for theme park tickets. Always professional, prompt, and cost effective!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:11 p.m. Roetutu Says...

I was just thinking of looking at a trip in late February or wait until early December. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:11 p.m. akela_415 Says...

I'd love to live in Orlando and be able to visit theme parks every month

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:10 p.m. Karlee Says...

Love UCT! ❤️????

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:10 p.m. TIM STARNES Says...

Knowing when to go to Universal is crucial for our fam. We have limited time therefore need to make the most of it THis helps alot.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:08 p.m. Larissa Says...

You do such a nice job compiling and conveying the info we need to visit the parks. Thank you for all your attention to detail!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:08 p.m. Pink8 Says...

I always check for the best time to go on This site! Great info! Thanks!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:08 p.m. SUSAN ROPER KENNEDY Says...

Never been to Universal! Hope I win this trip!

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:08 p.m. lynn m miller Says...

I am looking forward to a visit later this year.

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Oct 12, 2020 at 5:07 p.m. Teresa Moore Says...

Like everyone else, we had to cancel all travel this year. We are beyond ready to get back on the road and start having fun again!

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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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