April 1, 2 and 8: Early Universal Studios Florida park closure for "Grad Bash"

I just saw this: “The Mardi Gras parade will not run on April 1, 2 and 8 due to an early Universal Studios Florida park closure for the Grad Bash special event. Guests can enjoy the Mardi Gras parade on all other event dates.”

April 2 is our one day in the park! Does anybody know how early USF closes to the public during these events? And when that happens, does everybody just run over to Islands of Adventure and make it unbearable?

I’m very nervous! Seems like something we should’ve been told before we purchased our tickets!

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A little googling makes it sounds like the entire park closes at 6! Do they kick everybody out? This is really upsetting. I was expecting an additional four hours… Not even sure I would’ve booked this had I realized it was going to close at SIX!

Only USF closes at 6pm. IOA should be open until 9pm. So, still plenty to do. (VeloiCoaster, Hagrid’s, Hogsmeade & so much more!)

It will be busy because locals come out on the weekend. I have been there during this time and if you only have one day, you can still have a good time with a park-to-park ticket.

You’ll need to figure out what your “must do” rides / shows are in USF, (Don’t miss Bourne Spectacular!)

Hop to IOA by 4pm and you’ll get ahead of most people, Hagrid’s queue is always 60 minutes. Try to get in a ride at close. They’ll let you on still with about 10 minutes before close. It’s so cool in the dark too!


Thank you so much! I really hope you’re right about only USF closing!

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Universal will publish their “tentative” park hours for May at the start of April. However, there are Grad nights the last week of that month. You’ll get to see what I mean that was Friday 4/29/22. I’ll actually be there then and am making plans to be in IOA after 7pm close on that Grad night

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Over in the Lines app, folks are says it’s both parks and it’s pretty much a mess from 4pm on. Trying to keep a good attitude but I’m so bummed.

Well at least Hagrid’s has been added for early entry. That makes me feel a lot better.

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If you google grad bash and go to their webpage it says it is both parks. We are there later in the month when they are holding it. I totally agree that its not great that they do not tell you when you are buying your tickets. Who wants to go when the park is overrun with teens in big groups and closes early!?!

Both parks close early those days, at 6:00pm.

Do you think earlier-in-the-day crowd levels will be lower than normal because people will be deterred by the shortened hours?

The hours I had seen posted are no longer valid. It does appear that both parks will close at 6pm. I have been there during Grad Bash in previous years and this wasn’t always the case. They would close down one side as they do for HHN. I guess they’ve decided to expand this year.

I’ll be there the last week of April during GB. That Friday, I’m planning on going to Volcano Bay instead and then a fancy meal in CityWalk (VIVO) and exploring (or maybe even a round of mini-golf!)

Going to Universal is great, but it’s best during the work week. The local APs flood the place on the weekends year round.

Take advantage of Early Park Entry, if you are on-site. Be on the first buses, 1 hour before park EPA starts, and you’ll get to knock out a couple of the big rides before most ppl even get to the parks.

Hours on April 2 are 08:00 AM - 06:00 PM. So with early entry, that’s 7am. It’s going to be very difficult to get my family out the door by 6am! But I’m going to try. And we will run straight to Hagrid’s, which has been added for early entry and then to VelociCoaster and hopefully we can knock out both of those before the park opens to everybody else…

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We did it. Made it through the gate at 7. Was in line for Hagrid’s at 7:10. About a 20 minute wait. Ride was awesome. Next we activated our old Coke cup and walked over to Velocicoaster. My wife sat that one out but my 15yo and I loved it. Line was about 30 minutes. I would say it’s the most intense coaster I’ve ever ridden and I’ve done everything at Cedar Point. It’s so fast and flippy that I pretty much had tunnel vision the whole time and couldn’t look around. But it was smooth and awesome.

Did a bunch more fun stuff before it was obvious that the oncoming storm was not going to miss us. Rode Velocicoaster one more time before leaving the park at 2pm. Made it back to Sapphire Falls as the rain started pouring. And lightning. Weather Channel app said it might blow over by 4. It did not. All the fun rides were closed. Stayed like that until 6 when the park officially closed for Grad Bash. Not sure if those kids got to ride anything because it looked pretty dark over there.

Overall we had 7 hours in the park which isn’t so bad. But the weather was definitely a bummer.