Crowds: Disney vs Universal

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Mandy's picture
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Crowds: Disney vs Universal

My SO and I are going to get Universal Annual Passes. When the crowds at Disney are high, are the crowds at Universal also high? I don't want to go at a time that I will be waiting for ever for rides.

crazycatperson's picture
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The one time I took a trip involving both Universal and Disney, the crowds were similar at both locations.

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The last time we went to Universal/Island of Adventure was in April or early May 2009. Massive amounts of school/class trips at Universal. The lines and crowds were absolutely horrible.

I think there are probably similar massive amounts that came to Disney at the same time, based on the number of busses we saw, but with 4 parks there's more room to spread them all out. I think HS is probably more comparable because it's smaller. That probably felt similar to how we felt at Universal. At least at Disney we could park hop away from the worst of it. We felt they were just everywhere at Universal and IoA.

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JeffC wrote:
The last time we went to Universal/Island of Adventure was in April or early May 2009. Massive amounts of school/class trips at Universal. The lines and crowds were absolutely horrible.

I think there are probably similar massive amounts that came to Disney at the same time, based on the number of busses we saw, but with 4 parks there's more room to spread them all out. I think HS is probably more comparable because it's smaller. That probably felt similar to how we felt at Universal. At least at Disney we could park hop away from the worst of it. We felt they were just everywhere at Universal and IoA.

This ^^^

When we were at Disney in October of last year we had almost no wait on anything. 15 minutes I think is the longest we ever waited for any ride. When we went over to Universal, even though the crowd predictor was low for those days, it felt packed compared to Disney and most of the rides, even some of the smaller ones, had 45 min+ waits.

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The last time I was at Universal was January 2012 and the crowds seemed pretty small.....until you hit Harry Potter World. It was packed (although it is a small area to begin with). The rest of the park seemed empty compared to that. We started our day pretty early and were done by mid afternoon so I'm not sure what the later crowds were like.

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I'm sure that there is some seasonality to it as far as when most families take vacations, but Universal also has some great festivals that draw crowds there when Disney is quiet. Mardi Gras being the one just off the top of my head. You should just talk to some of the employees there and get their vies of when it's best/quickest to go - being local with an AP you can risk one or two slower trips.

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We went to IOA and Universal on our May 2011 Disney trip. We visited those parks on a Monday and Tuesday. The longest we waited was about 15 minutes and that was for HP. It was also the beginning of May so school was still in session. I think they are similar though. We had the same experience at Disney that week too.

Mandy's picture
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So the crowds are generally the same then at both areas.

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muchlove This post is so great and nice muchlove

We went to IOA and Universal on our May 2011 Disney trip. We visited those parks on a Monday and Tuesday. The longest we waited was about 15 minutes and that was for HP. It was also the beginning of May so school was still in session. I think they are similar though. We had the same experience at Disney that week too

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