I have 2 days at UOR planned before a week as Disney in April. I thought it was strange that all the other days in the week the parks are open until 10pm but Fri and Sat they close at 6pm. so I did some googling and see that there is a “Grad Bash” event from 7pm-2am. I wonder if any of you know how this will affect the crowds at the park?
I don’t have experience with this exactly but the general advice (for Disney) is that if there’s a nighttime event that makes park hours short it will be a lighter park day than it would have been with later hours. This happens a lot during Disney party season for example. I would think the same principle might apply to Universal.
I have never been, but I seem to recall Liners who have said that the students are allowed in earlier in the day, perhaps around 3, so the place becomes extremely crowded in the afternoon. I would wait to see if someone with experience can confirm this, but that seems to be my recollection of what I have heard.
We come to UOR often during spring break. The last few trips we have changed dates (flip dates with WDW parks) in order to avoid them. It isn’t because of the huge number of teens roaming the parks, it is due to the early close which messes with the way we like to tour during the hot months (of which Late March and April are to us). The parks are most crowded, not to mention hot from noon-4 so we prefer to come to parks fairly early and then leave midday for a break at the hotel. Evening hours are our favorite, the parks are fairly empty as the evening goes on which we love. The teens won’t bother you if you stick with your dates, but if you can tweak your dates to avoid them (and give you longer park hours), I would. If you can’t maybe just plan on starting early and leaving for good in the late afternoon. Planning dinner in Citywalk and enjoying your hotel are good options for the evening .
There was one day last year when we went that the parks closed at 6:00 because of Grad Bash. I did not notice a difference in the daytime attendance to be honest.