Universal Crowd Calendar Update – August 2020

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Universally Crowded

Crowds are picking up at Universal Orlando Resort. Last weekend we saw Universal Studios hit a crowd level ‘9’ on both days while Islands of Adventure went ‘7’ then ‘8’. These are, by far, the highest crowd levels we have seen at any park since the reopening, so it is time another Crowd Calendar update!

These recent crowd levels are in-line with historical averages for August at Universal Orlando theme parks. It may be that the recent Florida Resident Discount is appealing enough to draw local guests. The discount is significant, giving Florida residents unlimited admission to both parks between now and December 24 for the price of a single day.

Park Operations and Social Distancing

Our previous update for Universal crowd levels included adjustments for reduced capacity. Since crowd levels are up, we are reducing those adjustments. Crowd predictions on this update will look a lot like normal predictions for Universal. Social distancing is still in effect at the parks, so attendance is not likely as high as normal, but wait times are high. The Universal Crowd Calendar is based on posted wait times at the attractions.

Posted Times May Be Inflated

Our staff in the parks today (Saturday, August 14) noticed that actual wait times were significantly lower than the posted times, much lower than what we normally see. We recorded actual wait times of 15 minutes for attractions that had a posted time of 65 minutes or more. This is odd. It is difficult to know why posted wait times would be so inflated, but it’s good news for anyone planning on heading to the parks. The wait time estimates used for a touring plan take into account this gap between posted time and actual time.

As always, we will continue to monitor the wait times at Universal Orlando Resort and make adjustments to the calendar as needed.

Have any questions about the Universal Crowd Calendar update? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Fred Hazelton

Fred Hazelton maintains the crowd calendar, theme park wait time models and does hotel rate analysis for the Unofficial Guides. He's also done the models for the new mobile wait times product Lines. Fred Hazelton is a professional statistician living in Ontario, Canada. His email address is fred@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @DisneyStatsWhiz.

4 thoughts on “Universal Crowd Calendar Update – August 2020

  • August 16, 2020 at 10:26 am
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    After being at WDW for 5 ngts we moved to Universal for 3 ngts (Cabana Bay) I was very disappointed! It felt like there was no more limited capacity. More people were without masks than were with. Wait times at the parks were definitely high (posted). Lack of team members around the parks enforcing proper mask wearing and social distancing. So bummed because I really wanted to believe it would run as smoothly as Disney parks.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2020 at 2:02 pm
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    So am I reading this correctly that the increase in the CL is due to more people being in the park and not because the lines are longer due to the closures of some attractions and reduced ride capacity of those that are open?

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  • August 26, 2020 at 12:23 pm
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    There were definitely more people at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure than at Disney. We went on 8/6/20 (Thursday) and the crowds weren’t that bad. Totally different experience on 8/8/20 (Saturday). It seemed like a regular summer crowd. There was no social distancing, people without masks, and no staff enforcing rules like at Disney. Complete disappointment. People were walking while eating and drinking, yelling, laughing with masks off. We left Island of Adventure side and went on Universal Studios side where there were less people, although still more than expected. I was under the impression that capacity was reduced…it didn’t seem like it. The lines were long for rides, and not just because of social distancing in lines. 30 – 40 min waits minimum for the good rides on 8/8 at Islands of Adventure compared to 10-15 min maximum waits on 8/6. I wouldn’t be surprised if the virus spread there. Luckily, we wore face shields and face masks. Don’t go on the weekend!

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  • August 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm
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    How were the express lines?

    Reply

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