Disneyland® save $23
Yay

Disneyland® Resort Tickets Now On Sale!

The Very Best Times to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

by Leap on February 1, 2021 1657 Orlando

This is what Universal Orlando Resort trip planning sounds like around the frog pond:

"We have to do Forbidden Journey 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 times to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022. It also outlines the more crowded times to visit. The year 2020 brought more challenges than most with COVID-19, and now there is even more criteria when deciding the best time to visit Universal Orlando.

Universal is limiting park attendance and has introduced health and safety measures to help keep everyone safe. You can read more about what to expect if you visit Universal Orlando now. We understand that visiting the parks now isn't for everyone, and you have to make the call on what is best for your family. While some of you are waiting for a return to "normal" times, those of you who are OK with a modified experience and a mask requirement may actually find it's a better time to visit. While we have no crystal ball on when things will return to normal, we expect there won't be a full return to normal until at least the second half of 2021 and probably 2022. We can at least give you our best guesses on crowd levels based on our years of data collection and insights. We'll dive into the trends for the rest of this year below.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando - Gringotts

The Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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 over the next few months.

Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2019 - 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 are visiting on weekends.

While crowds are currently lower, largely because of caps on attendance to better maintain social distancing, they have picked up considerably since the early days of reopening. Keep in mind that the parks have and do hit capacity during peak times, usually around the holidays.

Since we're still in the early rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and many domestic and international travel restrictions are currently in place, we expect the first half of 2021 to be one of the best times to visit Universal Orlando in years. That said, the parks have been hitting capacity during holidays, and they are busier on weekends, and we expect this trend will continue. For most of March through mid-April, expect elevated crowds with spring break hoppening.

Determining the Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

People on RipRide Rockit Coaster

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 time to visit Universal Orlando.

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 school schedules. Generally, when the tadpoles are out of school, there are higher crowds at Universal. This usually applies to one-day holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, weeklong spring break or the big draw — summer vacation.

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 (yes, I went there). Even Universal's scaled-back Halloween event last year, featuring two haunted houses, was enough to bring out more visitors. 

VelociCoaster Ride Vehicles

Big openings, like we had in June 2019 with Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, can also bring big crowds who want to be among the first to experience the magic. Even openings at other resorts, such as Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World, have some trickle-over effect. The opening of this new land in a galaxy (and resort), OK, not so far, far away no doubt has brought additional visitors to Universal. I mean, if you are already coming to Orlando for Star Wars, why not experience the Wizarding World too?

While understandably there are still reasons for more uncertainty this year, know that ride and land openings do influence crowds. The big opening for 2021 is Universal's Jurassic World VelociCoaster. It doesn't have an exact opening date yet but is scheduled to open summer 2021. 

So When Is the Best Time to Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022?

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 are ...

  • Jan. 4-14, Jan. 25-Feb. 12
  • Feb. 22-March 5
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September (minus Fridays with Halloween Horror Nights)
  • Most weekdays in October (minus Fridays with Halloween Horror Nights)
  • Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the week of Christmas and New Year's Eve)

The very best times to visit Universal Orlando in 2022 are ...

  • Jan. 5-13
  • Jan 24-Feb. 17
  • Feb. 28-March 4
  • The second half of April
  • Weekdays in the first half of May
  • The second half of August
  • Most days in September
  • Most weekdays in October
  • 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 in 2019 - Incredible Hulk Coaster

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 worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 are ...

  • Jan. 1-3, Jan. 15-24
  • Feb. 13-21
  • March 6-April 11*
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • The week of Christmas through the week of New Year

The worst times to visit Universal Orlando in 2022 are ...

  • Jan. 1-4, Jan. 15-18
  • Feb. 19-27
  • March 5-April 24*
  • Weekends in May
  • June
  • July
  • The first half of August
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • 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 2021, Easter falls on April 4, making it a shorter season than 2022, when it falls on April 17. These are still more spread out and less intense than when Easter lands in March.

Holiday Crowds at Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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. 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.

Universal Orlando's Most Crowded Holidays:

  • New Year's Day - Jan. 1
  • Easter - April 4, 2021, and April 17, 2022
  • July 4th
  • Thanksgiving -  Nov. 25, 2021, and Nov. 24, 2022
  • Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
  • Christmas - Dec. 25
  • New Year's Eve - Dec. 31

Best Holidays to Visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022

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 2021 we expect these dates to be busier than normal because of pent-up travel demand after COVID-19, especially if the vaccine rollout remains on schedule.

  • Labor Day - Sept. 6, 2021, and Sept. 5, 2022
  • Columbus Day - Oct. 11, 2021, and Oct. 10, 2022
  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) - Nov. 11, 2021, and Nov. 11, 2022

Now you know the best time to visit Universal Orlando in 2021 and 2022. 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

Add Products Related to This Post

<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
351–400 of 1397 comments
Oct 24, 2020 at 1:31 p.m. Shelby Thompson Says...

Just found out about this site while searching for Disney pricing and what a gem. Entered their contest to win tickets which I think is set up super cool because not only am I entering for a chance to win but each entry reveals more useful information. My 5 year old daughter would be ecstatic

Reply
Oct 24, 2020 at 7:17 a.m. Cambria Says...

Love yall

Reply
Oct 24, 2020 at 6:16 a.m. Jessica Hodges Says...

I'm still counting on February. :D

Reply
Oct 24, 2020 at 5:28 a.m. Grace Cotton Says...

Would Love the opportunity to take the family and visit Universal Studios Harry Potter's world.

Reply
Oct 24, 2020 at 3:33 a.m. Lucinda Pedroza Says...

Love your blogs and you guys give great information! I have used your blogs for every trip I’ve made with my family. It has made a HUGE difference for our vacations. Thank you!

Reply
Oct 24, 2020 at 2:55 a.m. Kaylah Treanor Says...

I have not gone to the parks yet but I want to do bad and this post is so helpful!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 11:09 p.m. Cecile vu Says...

I can't wait for the day I can ride the Hogwarts Express and sip on butterbeer, when will that come true???

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 7:03 p.m. Kelly Scott Says...

I love that you give the best and the worst weeks to visit!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. tddcurtiss Says...

What a great site to find exceptional ways to save money while traveling.

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 5:18 p.m. Jesus Says...

Undercover Tourist stays helping me prep for my Universal Trips!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 2:54 p.m. Lori E. Says...

I would love to visit during February or March - it gets so cold and gray in the midwest, that is when we are craving the sun!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 2:43 p.m. Janice Myers Says...

Thanks for all the tips! We are excited to return this Veteran's Day!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 1:53 p.m. Dana Says...

Love the Wizarding world of Harry Potter! Can’t wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 1:05 p.m. Kelly Robertson Says...

Would love to take my family! We love universal!!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 1:04 p.m. nicmc515 Says...

I can't wait to go back for a visit. thanks for the tips on the best time to go!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 12:46 p.m. Beth Says...

I just want my niece to see the dragon breathe fire...she has gone 2 times and still hasn’t seen it!!!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 11:45 a.m. BR Says...

Our trip to Universal was our family’s favorite vacation! We can not wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 9:57 a.m. Rebecca Pazsint Says...

I hope to WDW again someday, it's been about 8 years? Since I been there last & I have never been to Universal Studios which I would love it

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 9:42 a.m. Paul Says...

I didn't get a chance to ride Hangrid's motorbike during my visit. I wish it stopped malfunctioning every time. I hope to visit the park again soon.

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 9:42 a.m. Vanessa Bruland Says...

From experience usually late January, late April, and October are pretty good in October. :)

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 4:45 a.m. Beckyblalock326 Says...

We haven’t done Universal yet, and I’d love to go for my oldest son’s birthday in January! It’s listed as one of the best times to visit!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 4:38 a.m. Jasmine Says...

My best friend really wants to go for her 30th birthday and winning a trip there For her would be icing on the cake!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 4:08 a.m. Mikinna Mc Says...

This would be so fun!!! I've only ever been to the one in California and I've heard the one in Orlando is SO much better!! What a great trip this would be!!

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 2:15 a.m. Jennifer S Says...

Thanks for explaining how where Easter falls affects spring crowds. We’ve gone during spring break before and it was busy! I’d really like to go back to Universal next spring. Maybe we can take a long weekend a week or two after Easter.

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 1:37 a.m. Yvonne Says...

Can't wait for a chance to visit

Reply
Oct 23, 2020 at 1:16 a.m. Lien Says...

Thanks for the info. Very useful.

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 11:48 p.m. Patricia Girouard Says...

Looking forward to our first trip to Universal.

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 9:55 p.m. Jaz Says...

Hope to go one day!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 9 p.m. Jenna Says...

We can’t wait for our girls to experience Universal!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 7:02 p.m. Emily Allen Says...

My family hasn't had a vacation together in over 13 years, they deserve a vacation more than anything! My mom and dad work so hard and have always been there for me no matter what. I can't help but wish that I'd be able to tell them I won them a trip of a lifetime. Thanks for the opportunity!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 4:43 p.m. Josh Says...

Can't wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 4:24 p.m. Carrie Boyd Says...

We are dying to take our little boy to Universal Studios! Thanks for all of the great information!!!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 2:55 p.m. Amber Says...

This is just simply the best place on earth ????

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 2:51 p.m. Heather Says...

Great info!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 2:46 p.m. John R Says...

Great info. Need to give Universal a try! We're usually "all ears" for a vacation, but this looks great!!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 2:38 p.m. Jessica Gutierrez Says...

Thank you so much for the great info! I can’t wait to make it back to universal!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 1:45 p.m. Courtney A Rockwell Says...

Looks like so much fun!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 12:54 p.m. Sharon Pipp Says...

great commentary

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 11:23 a.m. Todd J Says...

Can't wait to visit!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 4:07 a.m. Nancy H Says...

Visited a few years back & loved it! Can’t wait to go again sometime.

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 3:07 a.m. camille Says...

We're going in December and cannot wait to go to Hogwarts!!

Reply
Oct 22, 2020 at 12:52 a.m. Connie B Says...

I love visiting places during the holidays. I wish we could visit Universal during the holidays!

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 9:24 p.m. Yolie Says...

I want everyone to be safe and respectful. I can't wait until we are fully prepared so everything can open up

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 8:11 p.m. BethO Says...

Several years ago, I went there with my boyfriend and a couple of friends right around New Year’s. We did IoA on Dec. 30, and it was crowded, but not horrible. On Dec. 31, one friend decided to stay back at the resort, because she’d heard that the parks would be way too crowded on NYE, but US really wasn’t bad at all. (This was before Diagon Alley was built, though!) So my recommendation is to use the guides, but don’t let a prediction scare you away from attending! ????

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 7:15 p.m. Erika Orourke Says...

I love your blog and all the things that come along with it! Truly a good business you have going on here. You've helped multiple members of my family go on vacation extra cheap and we all greatly appreciate it. I'm hoping to win the sweepstakes so I can treat my sister and my amazing boyfriend to a trip they've been wanting to take for years now! Thanks for all your help! Keep up the great work froggies!

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 5:24 p.m. Michelle Riebeek Says...

Dying to take my two Harry Potter kids!

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 3:47 p.m. Laura Says...

Just booked for next Aug - can't wait to get back to it!

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 3:39 p.m. Valeriya Says...

Thank you for the awesome intel!! I've never been but hopefully I'll go soon. I'll keep this page bookmarked!

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 3:08 p.m. Ari Says...

We’re planning our first trip here in a couple of weeks! We’re excited!!

Reply
Oct 21, 2020 at 3:08 p.m. Rebecca S Says...

My very best time in Orlando was the weekdays before Thanksgiving. Kids were still in school, crowds were low, the weather was perfect and fall decor was plentiful! I'd love to go back someday!

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

Contact:  1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)  |  
1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)

Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation Sign up for Our Newsletter

Monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

Newsletter logo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

monthly news, planning tips and special deals from the Frog Family

Please enter your Name Please enter your Email address
×

Thank you for joining our email list!

Joined email list logo

You should be receiving your first email soon!
Thanks for being a part of the family.

×
Create an account

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account. Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No, thanks. ×