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Universal Orlando – Best Time of Day To Visit

Though it's hard to guess which day of the week is best, it is easy to advise on what time of day to come to the parks, regardless of the day of the week or the time of year: as early as humanly possible.

The parking garage opens at least 90 minutes before the parks' official opening time, and the park gates may open 60 minutes early (for "early entry" guests) and 15 to 30 minutes early for the general public. During peak periods, optimum touring requires being among the first through the turnstiles, which means arriving with tickets in hand up to an hour before opening. If you are visiting during a slow season you can probably afford to arrive 15 minutes early.

Arriving crowds peak at about 11:00 a.m. and then level off. Many families and the faint of heart start leaving at about 4:00 p.m. Thus, your best shot at the more popular rides is before 11 and after 4. During the heat of the day you can catch the shows in the large theaters that offer posted starting times and shorter lines. You may also find that in the hour before closing many rides have no lines at all.

Of course, CityWalk is another matter. Things don't start hopping there until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. and the place stays open until 2:00 a.m. Factor that in to your planning. You might find that a day that starts at 7 and ends at 2 the next morning isn't much of a vacation.

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