How important is choosing the right day?

Worrying about the day of the week before you have a good touring plan is like ordering two triple cheeseburgers with fries, then wondering whether the restaurant has Diet Coke. Things like the predicted crowd level, the time of day, and the attractions that you wish to visit will all affect how long you have to stand in line, and in general how crowded a park will be. Other factors, such as day of the week and whether it's a holiday can affect the crowd levels too. Our research team measures all of these factors to develop a model that will predict the amount of time you'll spend waiting in line. The following table shows how important these factors are in determining how long you wait. An importance level of 10 means that a variable has a huge effect; while a level of 1 means that it has virtually no effect at all.

Crowd Calendar Factors
Variable Importance
Attractions 10
Time of Day 10
Crowd Level Index 9
Holiday 8
Extra Magic Hour Morning 5
Day of the Week 2
Weather 1

So what does this tell us? According to our data, the attractions you visit and the time of day at which you visit them will have the greatest influence on how long you wait. On the other hand, the day of week and the weather will play only a small role. Statistically speaking, the time of day is 5 times more important than the day of the week.

Put another way, a good touring plan is much more important than choosing the right day to visit the parks. If you followed the Unofficial Guide's Universal Studios One-Day Touring Plan for Adults on a typical slow Tuesday and a typical busy Thursday, you'd only wait in line about 20 more minutes on Thursday - a little less than one incremental minute of wait time per attraction. In contrast, that same touring plan can save up to two hours of standing in line when compared to not following a plan.

Why have the crowd estimates for my trip have changed?

We collect wait times at both Universal theme parks every day. When the data warrants a change to the calendar, we do it. Our philosophy is that it is better to have accurate information than to keep things the same purely for consistency's sake.

Does your calendar take into account special events?

We have dozens of direct and indirect factors that have always been included in our crowd estimates. Special events are an important piece of the puzzle when predicting crowds. However, our predictions are based on wait times in the parks so events that don't affect wait times are not included.

I've got a question about a specific day!

We're happy to help! Please Contact Us. We also routinely answer the top questions on our blog.