Help me decide when to go!

First time going to Universal! We were thinking of going early October, but then I realized we would likely not be able to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (main reason for going) at NIGHT, which we really want to see, because it closes either before or right after sundown.

Then, I was looking at early/mid December, before crowds get larger, but I’m not sure I want it all decorated for Christmas. It’s harder to find sometime in between that is also low crowds (though my kids are homeschooled so I could probably make it work).

So, wondering mostly I guess about having it decorated for Christmas. Is it really over the top and distracting? Since we’ve never been before, I would like to see it not decorated, but it might not be an option. Opinions? Thoughts?

A lot of the Christmas theming happens in Seuss Landing and WWOHP. In Seuss Landing this area becomes "Grinchmas"and I thinks it’s way better than normal.

At WWOHP, Hogsmeade is already a “winter” theme year-round so adding Christmas to it makes it even better - IMHO.

I don’t think you’d be “missing” out on the typical experience by going during this time. Besides, typically, the first week of December is one of the slowest times in the Orlando calendar. Plus, the weather is so much nicer than late Spring and Summer. So… low crowds + great weather!

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If you don’t want to go in early December, the first week of February is a great option. The weather is great, the lines are short and no holiday decorations or music. If you stay until park close, you will get a chance to see it in the dark, and one or two lights shows if they have it.

A bonus of going in February is if you get an annual pass you could go back next December and see it in holiday mode, on the same year.

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I can attest to the truth of this. We were there first week of February in 2018, and it was beautiful weather, light crowds. We went four days, and we ended up finishing up everything we wanted each day and out of the parks by 3:00, no Express Passes. We could have stayed later if we wanted to.

One bit of advice…try to go on Monday through Wednesday. We had CLs of 2 those days. TP listed the CL as 2 for Thursday as well, but it was really a CL 4 (consistent with UT’s crowd predictions). It felt like a 4 on Thursday, but it felt like a 2 on M-W.

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So, I think we are going Dec 7,8,9. We want to go before Dec 20 so we can get that buy 2 days, get 3 more days free deal. We won’t be going the whole day on the 7th as we’ll be arriving around 10ish, then we’ll go. It’s listed as a CL 4, despite being a Saturday, but we’ll have fastpasses from staying at Royal Pacific and then the 8th and 9th are listed as CL 2, so should be ok. We won’t be going to Universal again anytime soon as the next park visit will be for Galaxy’s Edge.

What do you mean by “UT’s crowd predictions”? What is UT?

Thanks!

Undercover Tourist
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/December-2019/

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OOHHH! So, is the UT crowd calendar more reliable/accurate that the TP one? For example, he UT one lists Dec 7 as a 7/10 when TP lists it only as 4/10.

But, on Dec 10 the UT calendar lists both US and IOA as a 4/10 but lists IOA with a “!” as a “busy day for this park”. This makes no sense to me if it’s a 4/10. This day is listed as a 2/10 for both parks on TP.

Advice on that? Thanks!

I just looked at Orlando Informer’s crowd calendar, which is different again. Geez. So confusing.

The UT crowd calendar does not assign a CL for each individual park - not that I can tell. It looks like they assign a number to a day, and have it cover many parks in Orlando - WDW, Universal, Sea World, Discovery Cove. Then they mark the individual parks as busy, neutral, or recommended. Seems pretty broad to me, not as specific at TP. Seems similar to Kenny the Pirate’s scheme.

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I will be there December 6-10! It will be my first time seeing the Christmas decorations and I’m super excited!

I know this is an old topic but just wanted to chime in that our family of 5 will be visiting UO for the 1st time during the same time-frame. Booked at Endless Summer from 12/3-12/11…I’m hoping that’s not too many days for our 3 boys. 15, 13, 7…we have the buy 2 days p2p get 3 free…figured if we are really enjoying things then we’ll upgrade to seasonal passes and try to come back next fall.