Universal Studios Hollywood neon sign

Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

Planning a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood? As one of Los Angeles’ most popular theme parks, knowing the best times to visit can greatly improve your experience. Avoiding peak crowds and long lines will allow you to maximize your time to enjoy more rides, shows, and attractions. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, from the least busy months and days, to tips on getting the most out of your visit during slower periods. Read on for insights from a theme park expert to help make your Universal Studios vacation smooth, stress-free, and fun!


Least Busy Months

Crowd levels fluctuate significantly throughout the year at Universal Studios Hollywood. Planning your visit during less busy months will mean shorter lines and more time enjoying the park’s top attractions.

September – October

Once school is back in session after the summer vacation months, September and October see noticeable dips in attendance. Weekdays during this period are some of the best times to visit Universal Studios, though weekends around Halloween Horror Nights still draw larger crowds.

January – February

January and February are typically the least crowded months. Aside from around the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the park is fairly empty after the New Year’s rush. There’s also fun Lunar New Year festivities in January and February.

November – Early December

Before the holiday vacation crowds arrive, November and early December have manageable attendance during the week. However, the weekends around Thanksgiving can get busy.

Super Nintendo World

Best Days of the Week

In addition to planning around peak seasons, choosing the right day of the week is also key to avoiding crowds:

  • Tuesday – Thursday: Weekdays almost always have lower attendance than Friday – Sunday. And mid-week days tend to be least crowded.
  • Fridays: While not as busy as Saturdays or Sundays, Fridays attract more locals and weekend travelers.
  • Mondays & Sundays: Mondays can still be popular with 3-4 day weekend visitors. Sundays also draw bigger crowds with locals before the workweek starts.
  • Saturdays: Far and away the busiest day of the week year-round. Expect peak attendance and longest lines, especially during popular seasons.

Tram Tour

Tips to Maximize Your Time

When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood during slower periods, you can take advantage of the lower crowds. Here are handy ways to experience more attractions and make the most of your day:

Arrive Early

Be at the front gates 30–60 minutes before official opening time to be among the first inside. Ride wait times will be shortest first thing in the morning.

Get There by Opening

On less crowded days, popular rides like The Simpsons and Transformers can still hit 60+ minute waits by mid-morning. Arriving by opening lets you knock out top attractions faster.

Do the Studio Tour Early

The iconic Studio Tour around the backlot can reach waits of 60–90 minutes by the afternoon. Try to take the tour earlier when waits are usually under 30 minutes.

Use Single Rider Lines

Several rides like Jurassic World and Transformers have single rider queues that keep moving even when standby reaches an hour+. Take advantage of slower days.

Mobile Order Meals

Avoid long lines at dining locations by mobile ordering on the Universal Studios Hollywood app. Then grab your food without waiting.

See Shows

Take time to enjoy shows like WaterWorld, Special Effects, and Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle without missing rides when crowds are lower.

Jurassic World Ride

Crowd Level Resources

Wondering if a specific date will be busy? There are great crowd level resources to help predict and track attendance:

Monitoring these crowd data sources will help you determine the least busy days and times during your visit.

Harry Potter Journey

Themed Lands

There’s lots to do at this amazing theme park, so plan your day carefully! Here’s a list of all the themed lands you can visit!

  1. Upper Lot
    • Features family-oriented rides and attractions like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Super Silly Fun Land, Transformers: The Ride 3D, etc.
  2. Lower Lot
    • Home to more thrilling rides like Jurassic World, Revenge of the Mummy, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  3. Springfield
    • Immersive Simpsons themed area with restaurants like Krusty Burger and Moe’s Tavern
  4. Wizarding World of Harry Potter
    • Highly detailed recreation of Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts castle from the Harry Potter films
  5. Jurassic World
    • Land themed around the Jurassic Park/World franchise anchored by the Jurassic World water ride
  6. Minion Park
    • Colorful carnival-style area inspired by Illumination’s Despicable Me movies
  7. Super Nintendo World 
    • An incredible video game themed land featuring a Mario Kart ride

Universal Studios Hollywood Entrance


  1. Avoid weekends and peak times like holidays or school breaks when crowds are highest. Weekdays like Tuesday-Thursday tend to be less busy.
  2. Arrive early, at least 30 minutes before park opening, to experience popular rides quickly with shorter wait times. Ride Lower Lot thrill rides first before crowds build up.
  3. Check online crowd calendars and apps to see predicted wait times and plan less crowded days. Use Universal’s app to view real-time ride waits.
  4. Purchase tickets online in advance to skip ticket booth lines. Also consider Express Passes or VIP tours to bypass regular standby queues.
  5. Take the Studio Tour earlier in the day when wait times tend to be shorter, under 30 minutes.
  6. Use single rider lines at rides like Transformers and Jurassic World to keep moving even when standby lines are over an hour.
  7. Mobile order meals on the app to avoid long lines at dining locations.
  8. Build in time for shows like WaterWorld and Special Effects stage when crowds are lighter.

Universal Studios globe at the park


Avoiding peak attendance by planning your Universal Studios Hollywood vacation around slower months like September and February can make your trip much more enjoyable. Following tips like arriving early, using single rider lines, and checking real-time crowd trackers will also help you experience more with less waiting. Use this guide to determine the best times to visit and maximize your day at one of Los Angeles’ most popular theme parks!