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Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2022 and 2023

by Leap on May 1, 2022 635 Los Angeles

You long-time frog fans know Tad as our official frog family videographer. While he toadally enjoys making ride videos for our YouTube channel, he really has set his sights on becoming the next Spielberg. For him, it doesn't get any better than Universal Studios Hollywood. It's a thrill for him to be "on location" inside the theme park that just so hoppens to be where "Back to the Future" and "Psycho" were filmed. And we know he's not the only one who's excited to visit! With the addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and more family-friendly attractions, this theme park/working studio sure is more hopping than ever!

Whether you have a filmmaker in your family or you're just a bunch of fun-seekers, it helps to know not only what to expect when visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, but also, when to plan your trip. And, action!

When to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2022 and 2023

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Family in Front of Globe

First things first: It's important to note that Universal Studios Hollywood has some important health and safety guidelines in place, which you can read all about in our full reopening post.

While there is no reservation system in place at Universal Studios Hollywood, tickets are date-based, effectively limiting capacity each day through the number of tickets sold. That means it's more important than ever to purchase your tickets ahead of time so that your preferred dates aren't sold out. And one other piece of advice: During our recent trips, Express Passes have become more useful than ever in maximizing our time at the parks. Much like admission, it's best to purchase your Express Passes in advance (they can sell out, and more so, the advance, online price is usually the lowest).

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Mystery Machine

Our Los Angeles Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get a day-by-day look at expected crowds a full year in advance. If your particular dates are not listed, jump down to the comments below and ask. We frogs will be hoppy to answer. We've got a similar post devoted to the best and worst times to visit Disneyland if you hoppen to be planning visits to both. (Now, if only we could predict travel times on those SoCal highways!)

How Locals Influence the Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2022 and 2023

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Secret Life of Pets

If you’re used to visiting Universal Orlando Resort rather than the Hollywood original, know that there are some differences. The best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2022 and 2023 aren't necessarily the same ones at Universal Orlando. The biggest difference is the locals. Universal Orlando has locals, but not nearly as many as those in the Los Angeles regional area. More and more of these locals are annual passholders, who think nothing of popping in for a pint of Butterbeer after the end of a long week. A lot of passholders visit on Saturdays, so that may influence you to visit during the week if you can.

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Minion Cafe

While the regional passholders have a large influence on crowds, it's not all doom and gloom. Many passholders have blackout times during the times most popular with tourists — mostly summer, spring break and the holidays, but also a few weekends here and there. Looking at Universal's Silver Annual Pass available days calendar gives you a fairly good idea of the very busiest dates of the year. This is because these are the times when most of the passholders are not allowed to enter.

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Hogwarts Express Conductor

Now let's hop into the key topic at hand — the dates of the best and worst times for crowds at Universal Studios Hollywood. We'll start with the bad news first (depending on how you look at it).

Expected Busiest Days at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2022

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Guests in House Robes in Front of Hogwarts Castle

  • Jan. 1-9, 2022
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 14-17, 2022
  • Presidents' Day - Feb. 18-21, 2022
  • Spring break and Easter - March 12 to April 18, 2022 (elevated crowds March 5 to April 24, 2022)
  • Weekends and Grad Nite dates in May
  • June 4 - Aug. 21, 2022
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 19-28, 2022
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 17, 2022 - Jan. 8, 2023

Expected Busiest Days at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023

  • Jan. 1-8, 2023
  • MLK Jr. Day - Jan. 13-16, 2023
  • Presidents Day - Feb. 17-20, 2023
  • Spring break and Easter - March 10 to April 16, 2023 (elevated crowds March 4 to April 21, 2023)
  • Weekends and Grad Nite dates in May
  • June 3 - Aug. 21, 2023
  • Oct. 1-14, 2022
  • The week of Thanksgiving - Nov. 20-26, 2023
  • Christmas week through the second week of the New Year - Dec. 18, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024

*The fall of Easter impacts Universal crowds in the spring. Some school districts base their spring break around Easter; others do not. When Easter falls earlier in the season, March or early April, it has the effect of making a more intense, but shorter spring break season. When Easter falls later, as it does in 2022, the effect is a longer but less intense spring break season. Many California universities consistently have spring break at the end of March, which can affect crowds then. That being said, spring break is pretty spread out, so it's generally not nearly as busy as Christmas or summer.

Other Dates That Might See Higher Crowds

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Jurassic World

We've pulled together other days that see higher crowds, but not as high as the absolute worst days. Some of the dates listed are isolated, with the days around them generally fine. These dates do bring in more locals. Anyone out there in La-La-Land aware of other dates that are popular with locals? Share in the comments below!

  • Labor Day - Sept. 5, 2022, and Sept. 4, 2023
  • Yom Kippur (when it falls on a weekday) - Oct. 5, 2022, and Sept. 24, 2023
  • Columbus Day (elevated crowds that week) - Oct. 10, 2022, and Oct. 9, 2023
  • Utah and Arizona fall breaks from late September through mid-October
  • Veterans Day (and Veterans Day Observed) -  Nov. 11
  • Memorial Day - May 30, 2022, and May 29, 2023

Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2022

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood - Studio Tour with Dino

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around Presidents' Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 5, 2022)
  • April 25-29, 2022
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August
  • The first half of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and the second half of October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December, although the weekends are not too crowded and offer more holiday entertainment to enjoy

Best Time to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023

  • Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year's Day and the days around MLK Day)
  • Weekdays in February (minus the days around Presidents Day)
  • The first few days in March (until March 3, 2023)
  • April 21-28, 2023
  • Weekdays in May
  • Weekends during the last two weeks of August
  • The first half of September; Tuesdays through Thursdays for the remainder of September and the second half of October
  • Mondays through Thursdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)
  • Mondays through Thursdays during the first half of December, although the weekends are not too crowded and have more holiday entertainment to enjoy.

Something to keep in mind if you visit weekends in September and October is Halloween Horror Nights. This separately ticketed event takes place after park hours on select nights. If you visit during the day those days, you'll see more crowds coming in starting at 2 p.m. The parks may close earlier than usual by about 6 pm. Hop over to our guide to Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood to learn more.

So there you have it — the best and worst times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood! If you can't avoid visiting during a busy time, don't sweat it! We have a ton more hopful tips and resources to help you save time waiting in line and plan a great trip.

Related: Tips to Maximize Your Time at Universal Studios Hollywood

Related: Tips for Maximizing the Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
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301–313 of 313 comments
Mar 28, 2017 at 12:07 p.m. Desiree Says...

We were thinking of visiting April 5 or April 6. We will purchase it online for one of those days. Which day do you predict being better as far as crowds?

Reply
Mar 28, 2017 at 8:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Desiree,

On our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting Heavy crowds on both days. Pick the day that's convenient for you!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 24, 2017 at 12:10 p.m. Dharti Patel Says...

Hello,

we are planning to visit either Friday 12th may or Saturday 13th may. Please recommend which is better?

and which areas to cover first? IS front line needed for Friday?

Reply
Mar 24, 2017 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dharti,

We're forecasting average crowds on May 12, and heavy crowds on the 13th. If you can afford the expense, we recommend Front of Line. Consider visiting the Lower Lot or Wizarding World of Harry Potter first.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 21, 2017 at 9:59 p.m. Jade Says...

Hello, we are planning to go to universal studios Hollywood Thursday, 10/5/17 and being that it's the week leading up to Columbus Day would you recommend us getting front of the line passes instead of the regular admission tickets? In our group we have 4 adults and 4 children ages 15, 8, 6 and 1. Appreciate your help!

Reply
Mar 22, 2017 at 8:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jade,

We're forecasting Oct 5th to see Average crowds at Universal Studios Hollywood, so you should be fine without FOL. If you get there and it's busy, you can purchase FOL at the park!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 19, 2017 at 12:46 p.m. Birgit Says...

Hi, Does the Front of line tickets also include admission 1 hour prior to opening hours?

Plan to visit April 10th or 11th and I assume we should get the "non-peak front of the line" ticket? We do not need a date specific ticket?

Thank you in advance for reply :)

Reply
Mar 20, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Birgit,

Our Front of Line tickets do not include the early admission. The Non-Peak FOL is valid during those days, and you don't need a date-specific ticket.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 15, 2017 at 7:45 p.m. marc Says...

We are coming April 21st, should we expect large crowds? Front of line pass doesnt work on harry potter? So we should do that first? How many shows are there?

Reply
Mar 15, 2017 at 2:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marc,

April 21st will be crowded, so consider riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey first. There are great shows like Waterworld, Universal's Animal Actors and the Special Effects show. Don't forget about the Studio Tour!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 15, 2017 at midnight Etav Says...

Hi,

I am planning to visit universal studios hollywood on Mar 18 2017. Should I expect high crowds on this day?

Reply
Mar 15, 2017 at 7:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Etav,

We're forecasting high crowds at Universal Studios Hollywood on Mar 18 due to Spring Break.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 13, 2017 at 10:38 p.m. RavenclawMama Says...

My oldest turns 11 on Oct 14 and we want to surprise her with a Hogwarts letter. :) I see that her actual birthday falls on a Saturday, so we'll avoid that. We plan to go two days, but see on your crowd calendar that the 12th has high crowds. We'd like to go on a Wed and Thurs - why is that Thurs so high? Should we be ok if we go the 11th and 13th, or would it be better to wait until the following week on the 18th and 19th instead? And do you know when they'll post the dates for Halloween Horror Hollywood, because we absolutely want to avoid that.

Reply
Mar 13, 2017 at 6:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

Last year, Halloween Horror Nights ran Thurs-Sun. That would make Mon-Wed your best bet to avoid HHN. We're expecting to know the dates before the end of April, so you might want to wait until then to get the trip booked.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 8, 2017 at 8:53 p.m. Candace Says...

Thanks for this post! We visited last September towards the end of the month on a Tuesday and it was fantastic. SUPER low crowds. We are now planning another trip this coming September and will be there on September 11. In looking for hotels, it looms like the Hilton is completely booked already from September 8-11. Do you think this is cause for concern? I can't find any events specifically that would already have an entire hotel booked and I'd hate to accidentally plan a trip for a terribly busy day!

Reply
Mar 9, 2017 at 8:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Candace,

It's possible there is a convention/meeting or other event taking place at the Hilton, or we don't have an allotment of rooms available. Crowd-wise we're forecasting low to average crowds. There are plenty of other great hotels in the Universal area!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 8, 2017 at 4:49 a.m. Cindy Says...

Hi, my family and I are planning to visit this Friday, March 10, 2017. Do u think we will see big crowds? We will definitely not be buying the front of line pass. Wonder if its worth even going if the crowds are huge. Thanks

Reply
Mar 8, 2017 at 8:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cindy,

We're forecasting for average crowds this Friday at Universal.The crowds may be higher if families are starting their vacations early. Use our Universal Studios Park Plan to help with getting the most out of the day.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 20, 2017 at 8:56 a.m. Jen Says...

we're visiting on april 17,2017 - will it be crowded? is there a shuttle from la brea station / sunset blvd to universal?

Reply
Feb 20, 2017 at 5:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

We're forecasting heavy crowds on April 17th at Universal Studios.

You can take LA Metrorail to Universal Studios. Here's an article to help you plan.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 17, 2017 at 3:03 p.m. Mark Says...

Your best days include only weekdays. If I can only visit during a weekend, which would be the best weekends to attend?

Reply
Feb 17, 2017 at 9:11 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mark,

The best weekends usually fall near the best days, but weekends are generally better than weekends. Check out our Crowd Calendar to see the weekend crowd forecasts for the days you're considering visiting.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 15, 2017 at 4:31 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Hello and thanks so much for your wonderfully informative resources! My family (2 adults, 2 boys 7, 10) will be visiting Disneyland in early Sept and my 10 year old is dying to visit Universal Hollywood for Harry Potter and the Minions. We'll spend 2-3 days at DL and 1 day at Universal. Given traffic/travel times would you recommend changing hotels for the visit to Universal? Thank you!

Reply
Feb 15, 2017 at 10:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

Yes, it's always a good idea to stay off the Southern California freeways! There are convenient hotels around the Universal Studios area. It's well worth the stay in the area then try the 2+ morning rush hour from Anaheim to LA.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 5, 2017 at 10:38 p.m. Crispin Mapula Says...

Hi! My family of four plan to tour Universal Studios Hollywood on Feb.27, 2017 during our Anaheim-Disneyland stay. We'll probably depart early morning from Anaheim and spend more or less 8 hours in the Studio and head back. Kindly give us a ticket cost estimate. Thanks

Please disregard the previous email, date was Feb. 2 instead of Feb. 27, 2017. Thanks again

Reply
May 26, 2017 at 9:19 p.m. Jasmine Tran Says...

We went to Disneyland 2016 memorial day weekend that saturday and found that it was great because it was not to crowded at all thanks to your website. We are planning to go to Universal Studios May 27, 2017 this Saturday for MDW. Do you think we will have the same luck?

Reply
Feb 6, 2017 at 8 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Crispin,

All of our ticket options are available here. You would purchase the NON-PEAK General Admission ticket, or upgrade to Front of the Line if you want to "hop" the lines.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 12, 2017 at 4:04 a.m. Stephanie Says...

Hi-

Our only two options are Sunday 4/9 or Monday 4/10. Sunday look slightly better on the crowd calendar even though it's a weekend day. I'm assuming we'd need peek tickets, but I couldn't find an explanation of peek vs non-peek. Harry Potter is our #1 priority and then the Studio Tour. I'm considering splurging on the VIP tickets. Given the crowd size and only having 1 day, do you think it would be worth the money? Thanks so much!

Reply
Feb 12, 2017 at 7:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephanie,

Your visits would both fall on NON-Peak ( peek :) ) days. If you can afford the extra expense, we recommend the Front of the Line passes, but know they are not valid for any Wizarding World of Harry Potter experiences. We're expecting Spring Break crowds during that time, so be prepared!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 13, 2017 at 2:23 a.m. Stephanie Says...

Thank you so much! I didn't know they weren't good for Harry Potter.

Reply
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