Discover the best time to visit Universal Orlando with this handy guide to crowd levels, ticket prices, and unmissable festivals.

Whether you want to attend the coolest events or are attempting to plan a trip that won’t break the bank, here’s what you need to know before booking your vacation.

Best Time to Go to Universal Orlando: What to Consider

Season and Crowd Levels

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The Hulk is one of the more popular rides in the theme park. Universal.

If planning a crowd-free trip is high on your list of priorities, you’ll be happy to hear that Universal Orlando does have periods of quiet throughout the year. In general, January to March are quieter (minus Presidents' Day in February.) 

The busiest times of year at Universal Orlando are as follows:

  • The week around Presidents' Day
  • Easter and Spring Break
  • November and December, in the run-up to Christmas

If you can only visit during a busier season, it could be worth purchasing a Universal Orlando Express Pass. This is an expensive add-on, but it can save you plenty of time waiting in queues when the park is busy.

One thing to note if you’re visiting during the quieter season is that some of the restaurants operate seasonally and will be closed. The months of January and February are often used for undertaking major ride maintenance, too. 

Budget and Costs

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at night. Universal.

While a trip to Universal is often significantly cheaper than Walt Disney World, we understand that most people are on a strict budget. And there are plenty of ways to make your trip as wallet-friendly as possible.

One-day park tickets to Universal Orlando start at $134 (£106) for adults and $129 (£102) for kids. It’s worth noting that pricing is dynamic, so you’ll pay more for park entry in December than you would in January.

When considering the best time to visit Universal Orlando, choosing a hotel can be crucial. Dockside Inn and Suites is the Universal Value resort with the cheapest rates. The Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Loews Portofino Bay are significantly more expensive, however, it’s worth noting that the higher room rates often come with perks such as early park entry and complimentary Universal Express Passes for every guest.

Generally, the cheapest time to visit Universal Orlando is January and February after the festive season and in September when the kids go back to school.

Festivals and Events

universal orlando halloween
Halloween Horror Nights is one of the most popular events at Universal Orlando. Universal.

Universal Orlando’s event calendar is jam-packed, with new events added each year. The more popular events, like Halloween Horror Nights, can draw huge crowds and sell out quickly so it’s worth planning your trip around these dates.

Here’s a general guide to some of the top festivals and events at Universal Orlando, though bear in mind that this can vary each year:

  • Mardi Gras, February
  • Butterbeer Season, March to April
  • Halloween Horror Nights, end of August to November
  • Grinchmas, mid-November to January
  • Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, mid-November to January


Florida’s weather can be unpredictable, with the summer months reaching high temperatures of around 28°C (82°F) in July. On the other hand, it can get fairly cold in Florida, with January temperatures around 15°C (59°F). 

The Atlantic Hurricane Season hits Florida between June and November, which can bring some adverse weather to the State. Though this very rarely results in park closure, so don’t let this put you off planning your trip for these months.

Florida also has its Love Bug season in May and September. These critters don’t bite or sting but they are very annoying.

So… When Should You Visit?

hogsmeade harry potter, universal
Hogsmeade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal.

While you can visit Universal Orlando year-round and enjoy an epic trip, we think that the best time to visit is late September. This is also the best time to visit Disney World so it ties in very nicely for a bumper vacation.

February is another great time to visit Universal Orlando because of its Mardi Gras celebration, just make sure to avoid Presidents' Weekend as it gets incredibly busy.