It is time for a Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar update.
Hagrid’s Motorcycle Adventure is an interesting case study. It opened on June 13, 2019, and immediately saw record-breaking lines every day. It also has been one of the least-reliable attractions we’ve ever seen, with unscheduled closures on 60% of days. As I write, this attraction shows a 210 minute wait on a Friday in mid-August while the very popular Forbidden Journey shows only a 50 minute wait. The rush to experience this new ride doesn’t seem to be impacting the rest of the park however. Despite the extreme lines at Hagrid, the crowd levels are in line with what the Universal Crowd Calendar has predicted on most days.
Crowd levels are trending downward in this update but not by much. Let’s take a look at what you can expect.
The remainder of August will see some days drop a point or two on the calendar. Late August is historically a good time to avoid crowds at Universal and this year seems to be no different. Islands of Adventure does see a few days drop in August but most days remain the same as a result of this update.
September is the best month of the year to visit Universal Orlando if you are looking for light crowds – and it’s not even close. We predict both Universal parks will see below-average crowds all month.
Early October will see most days drop a point or two as a result of this update. Guests should still watch out for large crowds on dates around Columbus Day and on weekends in the second half of the month. If crowds in September end up being larger than expected, we may see these lower October numbers adjusted at a later date.
November doesn’t have as many changes on this update as we had for September and October but there are some days that have a drop of a point or two. However, some Saturdays in November went up. This update pushes some Thanksgiving dates up to a level ’10’ even though some years we see those dates only hit a level ‘8’ or ‘9’ at Universal parks.
December is trending down as well, especially in the first half of the month. The entire fall in general looks like a great time to visit Universal Orlando. It may that the hype of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will draw so many Orlando visitors to Disney’s Hollywood Studios that Universal sees a lighter than usual fall season.
January 2020 and beyond
Dates in 2020 may change a lot on this update depending on which day you are looking at. Some go up a point or two and some go down. There are a handful of days that see jumps (or drops) of 3 or more points. This is in response to our complete review of school schedules for the 2019-2020 season. We have a better picture now of how the school calendar will impact visitors to Universal in 2020.
Remember that the Crowd Calendar is subject to change at any time. Updates usually come monthly. If you are using the calendar to plan your Universal Orlando Resort trip we strongly suggest that you use a touring plan and optimize it several times while in the park. That is, by far, your best way to beat the crowds.