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Universal Crowd Calendar Update

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After a three month examination of crowds at Universal Orlando Resort an update to the Universal Crowd Calendar has been posted. Over the past twelve months wait times at Universal Studios have skewed slightly higher than history would suggest and wait times at Islands of Adventure have skewed lower. These new calendar figures adjust for this ongoing trend.

If the crowd levels have changed for your travel dates, don’t panic. A touring plan is still, by far, your best defence against a crowded Universal park. Follow it and you won’t notice a difference between a crowd level ‘5’ and a crowd level ‘8’. If you want to be notified when a crowd level has changed, check out the Crowd Tracker. For a description of how we come up with the numbers, see our Crowd Levels page.

Here is a quick look at how this new update affects the crowd level predictions over the past twelve months.

November 2016

Islands of Adventure will see a two point drop on many days throughout the rest of November while Universal Studios sees mostly slight changes except for increases of three points on the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day. Islands of Adventure now shows a crowd level at or below that of its sister park most days. We expect this to continue for much of the 2017 calendar since Universal Studios hosts most of Universal’s latest and greatest attractions while Islands of Adventure remains pretty much as it was after the Harry Potter expansion.

December 2016

New Year’s Eve at Universal Studios will not be as crowded as previously predicted but the crowd level at Islands of Adventure gets a bump up to the same level as The Studios. The rest of December sees some minor changes to crowd levels at both Universal parks but only two days (both at Islands of Adventure) see jumps of more than two index levels.

January 2017

January will see some major changes to crowd levels at both Universal parks. On average, Universal Studios drops three points during the month and Islands of Adventure drops two points, compared to what was previously predicted. Most of those changes occur in the second half of the month when we expect wait times to be down drastically compared to what we have seen in years past, especially at Islands of Adventure. What were previously days in the middle part of our scale are now in the bottom third.

February 2017

February looks a lot less crowded that the previous version of the crowd calendar as well. Other than Presidents Week when we expect the crowd levels to be near the top of our scale, February should be a quiet month for the Universal Parks. Universal Studios will continue to be the busier of the two parks with crowd levels dropping to ‘3’s, ‘4’s, ‘5’s and ‘6’s most days while Islands of Adventure will see mostly ‘2’s and ‘3’s with the occasional ‘4’, especially in the first part of the month.

March 2017

The Universal Crowd Calendar expects the low crowds to continue through the first part of March with significant drops in crowd level at Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios sees some drops in crowds as well but not as significantly as the other park. Crowds during the second part of the math are pretty much unchanged.

April 2017

Crowds during the first part of April will continue to be busy on this new update of the Universal Crowd Calendar. Although the changes in April are minimal the general trend is to see small dips in crowd level at Islands of Adventure and small increases (one or two levels) at Universal Studios.

May 2017

Good news for Universal visitors in May, crowd levels have dropped for most of the month on this new update, especially at Islands of Adventure. Crowd levels at Universal Studios in May are one to three points lower than previously predicted. Early May looks better for crowds than late May, especially if you can avoid the rush around Memorial Day weekend at the end of the month.

June 2017

June’s crowd levels are edged down slightly at Universal Studios, dropping by one point on average. Meanwhile, crowd levels at Islands of Adventure dipped by two points or more most days during the month. Crowds are still expected to be above average however with most days at a ‘6’ or ‘7’ at both parks. As the month ends and we head into the busy summer season we see crowd levels creeping up to ‘7’s and ‘8’s at Universal Studios.

July 2017

Universal Studios crowd levels remain in the top third of our Universal Crowd Calendar scale throughout much of July with busier parks on weekends. Islands of Adventure is now projected to be a couple points lower than its sister park in the early part of the month catching up by the end of the month.

August 2017

Changes in August are minimal. On average, Universal Studios park sees a drop of a half an index point. At Islands of Adventure we see drops in the daily crowd level such that it falls in line with the crowd levels at Universal Studios, especially at the end of the month when we expect the parks to be fairly quiet.

September 2017

Expect to see a lot of ‘2’s and ‘3’s in September as we have seen in the last few years. September continues to be even less crowded than we have predicted recently so this update reflects that ongoing trend.

October 2017

Completing the trend from the rest of this update, October sees a drop in crowd level most days at Islands of Adventure while Universal Studios stays basically flat, with some days going up a point or two and about the same number of days going down a point or two.


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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 You can also follow him on Twitter: @DisneyStatsWhiz.

One thought on “Universal Crowd Calendar Update

  • I saw wait times at the Harry Potter attractions in IOA and USF and Reign of Kong much higher than predicted when I was at the parks on 11/11. It seemed like the predictions didn’t account for the holiday.

    Also, I’ve found that the wait for the Seuss Trolley is consistently 5 minutes longer than Lines predicts. It doesn’t seem like much, but the music in there is maddening – even 5 extra minutes is nerve-wracking.


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