With over 20 million visitors visiting the wonderful Universal Studios Orlando each year there is no surprise that crowding becomes an issue. While many people will go in the school holidays, that only allocates a small percentage of the year. Not to mention that everyone in the world has different holidays, time off and different school calendars. With that in mind here is the 2018 Orlando Crowd Calendar.
Moderate – Short waiting times for most lines, 30 minutes for big rides.
Heavy – 30 minutes wait on all rides, 1-2 hours on big rides and arrive 30 minutes prior to shows.
Busy – 1 hour + wait for rides, 1-2 hours on big rides and 30 min+ for fast food.
Crazy – There are people everywhere, long waits for all rides and only standing room available for shows and a long wait for fast food and toilets.
No Chance – Too many people around there is no chance of moving.
January is a moderate month all together with everyone back at work and school. It is also one of the least popular times to visit as there are no scheduled holidays. There are still some events happening for a few of the days in January but otherwise a quiet month. The whole month is moderate meaning wait times are low and crowds are in low numbers.
A Celebration of Harry Potter 2018 from the 26th to the 28th January. This has happened for the last couple of years and dates are to be confirmed for 2019.
February starts off the first half of the month as moderate. The crowds are still quite low and wait times are low. There is a spike in visitors around the 16th into busy and from the 17th to the 19th we see it get crazy. This could be due to a holiday for American families and time off school so many come away then. From the 20th to the 28th the crowds calm down from crazy but are still busy. Other than the break and valentines day I can’t see Universal Studios hosting any special events.
Remember for UK residents that there is a February half term that is from the 12th to the 23rd, depending on your area. These may affect the 2018 Orlando Crowd Calendar or holiday prices.
Again in March, we see a dramatic increase in the number of visitors on our Orlando Crowd Calendar. This can be caused by the UK school holidays for Easter or Springtime holidays in America. I can’t find any specific cause of the number of people visiting and no specific events going on.
Remember there are a number of events happening in Walt Disney World and so many people who visit there will also visit Universal. If you want to check out Walt Disney World events check out our Orlando Crowd Calendar here.
Remember for UK residents that the Easter Holidays are from the 26th March to 13th April, depending on your local area. These may cause some increase in the 2018 Orlando Crowd Calendar and in holiday prices.
In April we see quite a change in crowds and numbers. Many of the visitors are at Universal Studios for spring break. I know for us April is one of the best times to visit as the weather is good and the prices aren’t bad for accommodation. Some UK tourists also use April as our Easter Holidays change year on year so double check when they are with your school before booking.
The 1st, 2nd and 7th are all crazy days, moving into busy days from the 3rd until the 15th. With the exception of the 13th which is a heavy day, not sure why this particular day. From the 16th to the 22nd are heavy days again with the exception of the 20th which is moderate. From the 23rd to the 28th is moderate and back to heavy on the 29th and 30th.
May is quite surprising in the Orlando Crowd Calendar as we see the majority of the month is heavy. With the exceptions of the 5th, 12th, 19th and 20th which are busy days. The 21st to the 23rd are back to heavy days and the 24th and 25th are both busy again. Moving to crazy days from the 26th to the 28th and back to busy from the 29th to the 31st.
May sees the start of the Universal Summer Concert Series, this is a collection of artists performing on the stage at weekends. The tickets aren’t specifically extra price than usual but will only permit entrance to the park after a certain time period. If you are wanting to get into the park earlier to get a better view of the stage you would need to buy a general admission for the day. The concerts last up until the 20th June.
The UK has some time off in May so some people will take the time off for a holiday.
June is a very busy month due it being the start of the summer holidays for America. The only day that is moderate is the 13th. Though I have scoured the calendars I can’t find out why.
July again is a very busy month and so the wait times will be longer and have more crowds. We see the numbers possibly increase due to people holidaying and it is a peak time for people to go away. The whole month is busy due to the UK and American holidays at the same time.
From 16th July to 5th September is the UK Summer holidays, which will create a peak in visitors from the UK to Walt Disney World. That is a small fraction of the world to consider.
August starts out as a busy month due to the main bulk of visitors are on summer break. This applies for both American holidays and UK holidays. Later on, in the month from 12th, the Orlando Crowd Calendar seems to calm down to moderate. The main bulk of visitors leave around the 12th as this is in preparation for returning back to school. The American schools return back roughly around the 19th August whereas the UK return at the beginning of September.
On our Orlando Crowd Calendar, we see that September is a moderate month. This can be due to the majority of schools throughout the UK and USA being back and no special holidays are at that time. Starting in September is the Halloween Horror Nights, starting on the 14th. This event carries on through until the 3rd November.
September is usually hosting a special event at Universal Studios called ‘Rock The Universe’. This is a live musical event and brings in acts from the Christian Rock scene. The dates are confirmed for September 7 and Saturday, September 8. Tickets are extra at $68.99 which is for one night and you can choose which one you want or $108.99 for both nights. If you are an annual pass holder you can get discount on the ticket prices.
October is busier around the weekends and later on in the month near Halloween. Otherwise, the month is moderate. The increase towards the end of the month is due to Halloween where we see Universal Studios are having Halloween Horror Nights. This event is on from the 14th September until the 3rd November. Most people will want to visit as close to Halloween as possible for the event making the last couple of days a heavy day.
The Halloween Horror Nights do cost extra to enter. This can cost you anything from $67 to $100, depending on what you are looking for. The $100 ticket gives you multiple access times and dates meaning you can visit more than once. Whereas the $67 ticket is a one time pass, you can only visit for that night.
November starts to see the magic of Universal Studios with their line up of festivities. The park is transformed and is host to events in and out of the muggle world. Celebrate with the Magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Enjoy a parade with Macy’s and check out the Grinchmas Who-liday spectacular. This season of events are running from the 17th November until the 6th of January. Looking at the Universal Studios website I can’t see that this event requires an additional ticket like the Halloween Horror Nights.
The month starts out as moderate, this is due to no school holidays scheduled for either the UK or USA. Again there is a rise in the heavy period over the weekend of the 10th and 11th. The 12th and 13th are back to moderate and we jump up to heavy again on the 14th – 16th. Again from the 18th to the 20th we see the Orlando Crowd Calendar rise to heavy.
The 21st of November until the 24th are busy days. This could be due to Thanks Giving on the 22nd, people will take time off and be with family. After the 25th we see the month return to moderate before the festive rush.
Following on from November is the delights of the Macy’s parade, Grinchmas and the Magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The month starts out moderate as most people are still in school and work. Moving on to the 21st and 22nd the Orlando Crowd Calendar rises to busy. From the 23rd to the 30th is crazy. Majority of people are away for the festive period and schools have broken up for holiday. Many people will want to see the park and events at this time of year so crowd numbers rocket.
These are just some of the events and activities going on at Universal Studios this year and I am sure that 2018 Orlando Crowd Calendar will be updated and have much more information once dates are released. There is also an event that happens on New Year’s Eve on City walk.
If you are looking for any other helpful tips towards planning for your trip to Universal Studios check out our review of the Universal Studios Express pass and why we think the refillable cup is worth getting.
If you have found this post helpful or know of any events and dates I may have missed let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to add them in. Don’t forget to reference back to the 2018 Orlando Crowd Calendar when planning your trip.