Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar Update For March 2019

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March is here and it is time for an update to the Universal Crowd Calendar. Followers of the calendar will see some changes in projected crowd level for both Universal parks between today and the end of 2019. Crowds are up at Universal so far in 2019, especially in the last several weeks. This is causing some dates in March to see an increase of 2 or more points as a result of this update.

The rest of 2019 will see a variety of changes, both up and down. Most days either don’t change or change by only a point. On June 13, 2019 Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens at Islands of Adventure park. Any new attraction that expands the Harry Potter theme at Universal parks draws a large number of guests and we think Hagrid’s new coaster will be no different.

The new ride is not on the list of attractions that we use to calculate the Universal Crowd Calendar however. We need to see at least one year of wait times before we can add it. So be aware that Hagrid’s Coaster will likely be very popular for several weeks (or maybe months) after it opens, even though you may not see a corresponding increase in the park’s crowd level.

Let’s take a month-to-month look at what this update means for Universal Crowds:

March

Universal Studios park will see some increases of 3 points for some days through mid-March. This is in response to some rather large crowd levels observed in February. We now think Universal parks may actually hit a level ’10’ between March 12 and March 14. This is not a significant jump up from the ‘8’s and ‘9’s that were previously predicted but still, it is good to be aware of the crowd you are likely up against if you visit that week. Islands of Adventure sees some increases as well in the middle of the month but nothing more than 2 points higher than previously predicted.

April

In early April this update will bring down some crowd levels at the two parks. However, the dates leading up to the Easter holiday are going up a point or two. Between April 15 and April 20 the crowd calendar now has both parks predicted to be a level ’10’. Last year we saw ‘9’s and ’10’s on the days leading up to Easter but the holiday fell a few weeks earlier in 2018. Given the recent trends in wait times, a solid week of ’10’s seems more likely. The good news is that once Easter is over we expect crowd levels to subside quite quickly, down to the manageable ‘6’s and ‘5’s that are on the calendar now.

May

Early May is dropping significantly on this update. The post Easter lull now looks even slower than previously predicted. The remainder of the month looks pretty close to what was on the calendar previously. Personally, I really like May as a month to visit the Orlando parks. Crowds are light, the weather is pleasant and park hours are generous.

June

Changes in June are minimal. A lot will depend on what happens with Hagrid’s Coaster. If it becomes very popular we may see extra crowds at Islands of Adventure during the last half of June. For now, I think we will see moderately high wait times at Hagrid’s with normal crowds at the rest of the park.

July

Across town at Disney World┬ásummertime has become much less popular than in years past. At Universal summer seems to be as crowded as ever. This update increases the number of crowd level ’10’s predicted during summer, especially at Universal Studios park. In summer 2018 we saw mostly ‘9’s and ’10’s at the Universal parks, especially in late July. This summer should be similar.

August

August crowd levels are going up as well but never by more than two points. Most days will stay the same or increase by one. At the end of August, some days are actually decreasing by a point.

September – December

Fall 2019 is generally down on this update. September looks especially slow on this update with many days dropping to a crowd level ‘2’ or ‘3’ on our scale. This matches what we observed in most of September 2018. Early November sees some drops in crowd level as well. With Thanksgiving 2019 falling as late as it can in November I think it is reasonable to expect slower crowds in mid-November than we usually see. December changes are minimal.

 

 

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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.

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