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Universal Studios On July 4th: Is It Open and How Crowded?

If you are thinking of spending the Fourth of July at Universal Studios in Orlando, you will have lots of company! The big summer holiday in the U.S. is one of the busiest times of the year for Florida’s theme parks.

If you are planning on visiting the parks during Fourth of July, or the weekends before and after the holiday, you really need this helpful Guide for Visiting Universal Studios on Fourth of July.

Is Universal Studios Open on Fourth of July?

Yes, Universal Orlando Resort is open on July 4th.

The Orlando theme parks do not close for any day of the year, except for severe weather such as hurricane threats.

Universal Studios Theme Park Globe Sign

What Hours Is Universal Open for Fourth of July?

Universal Orlando Resort has three theme parks that are open during the holiday. Expect extended opening times during the holiday to accommodate larger crowds.

Universal Orlando’s official opening hours for Fourth of July 2023 are:

Universal Studios Theme Park

  • July 1: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • July 2: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • July 3: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • July 4: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Islands of Adventure Theme Park

  • July 1: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • July 2: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • July 3: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • July 4: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Volcano Bay Water Park

  • July 1: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • July 2: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • July 3: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • July 4: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Check their Theme Park Hours calendar to see dates and confirm operating hours.

How Crowded is Universal on Fourth of July?

Fourth of July is one of the most crowded times of the year in Universal Studios. Expect crowds that are similar to Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Major holidays are the busiest times at Universal Studios. Even Labor Day at Universal Studios and Memorial Day weekend at Universal Orlando is crowded, even though there are not fireworks like on the Fourth of July.

While rare, the theme parks could reach capacity, which means they cannot allow anyone else to enter the parks until someone leaves.

Once you are inside a theme park, you can stay all day until closing, even if the parks reach capacity levels. However, if maximum capacity levels have been reached, expect very long lines for attractions, food and shopping.

While wait times are often 1-2 hours for the most popular attractions at Universal theme parks normally, you might encounter wait times of 2-4 hours for one attraction on the holiday.

We suggest bringing your own snacks into Universal Studios on days like this so that you can eat while waiting in line and not waste time ordering foods. Here are some great snack ideas for theme parks.

Avoiding crowds on the holidays is just one of the 40 Best Universal Studios Tips and Tricks that we share. Be sure to see all of the tips!

Fourth of July Crowds at Universal Studios: What to Expect

Fourth of July and the surrounding days will have unusually high crowds and longer wait times. As the holiday is on a Tuesday in 2023, you can expect the weekend before starting on Saturday, July 1 to be especially crowded, too.

Even though this is a summer holiday, and most kids are out of school, anyway, the holiday is still more crowded than normal. Why?

Many adults get the federal holiday off from work and therefore take that time to visit the theme parks, rather than using up vacation days.

How to Guarantee Getting into Universal Studios on Fourth of July

The only way to guarantee to get into Universal Studios on any holiday or during a holiday weekend is to get to the theme parks very early. Do not arrive at opening time.

You must arrive at least 30-45 minutes before official opening opening to get parked, get in line, and potentially be allowed early entry.

This is when staying at an official Universal Orlando Resort hotel can pay off. You will be given early entry as a hotel guest (when available), which helps you beat the crowds and get inside the park.

Be advised that hotel shuttles and shuttle boats from Universal Studios hotels will be very busy as everyone is trying to get in early. Expect longer than normal lines.

You can also expect more traffic driving into parking at Universal Studios.

While there is no guarantee that a theme park will definitely reach maximum capacity, it is a possibility for July 4th. It is best to plan your day accordingly.

If you leave the theme parks during the day, you may not be able to re-enter Universal Studios if the parks are at capacity.

Does Universal Cost More on Fourth of July?

Your Universal Studios tickets might cost more on Fourth of July depending on the type of ticket you purchase.

During a recent search, the one-park ticket prices were higher for Fourth of July than other days in June or July. A one-day ticket on July 4th weekend was $164, while many other days in June and July are $149, as seen in the screenshot below.

However, a three-park, park-to-park ticket price was generally the same cost as other days in June and July, as seen in the screenshot below.

However, the cost for Express Pass at Universal does increase with the expected crowds. You do not need to purchase an Express Pass to enter the theme park. However, if you are worried about standing in long lines, an Express Pass will allow you to skip the line.

With the theme parks being so busy, you can understand how everyone will want to use this benefit. Therefore, the cost of Express Pass is more expensive during the holiday.

Express Passes often increase in price as it gets closer to the date of your visit. It is smart to buy an Express Pass as soon as you know for sure when you are visiting Universal Studios.

In early January 2023, the cost of an Express Pass started at $119 each person. In May 2023, the cost of an Express Pass for the same days starts at $229.99.

So, for the exact same days, the cost increased over $110 per day when buying the Express Pass in May rather than in January.

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Does Universal Do Anything for the Fourth of July?

Yes, Universal Studios does have festivities for Fourth of July.

These special events are included in the cost of your standard theme park ticket.

Special events for 2023 include:

  • Festivities and activities starting at 5 p.m. at both Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios Florida
  • DJs
  • Live Music
  • Character meet and greets, including Universal characters as well as patriotic characters
  • Pyrotechnics display at 9 p.m. (keep in mind this is not a huge fireworks show at Universal Studios, so manage your expectations)

Are the Theme Parks Decorated for Fourth of July?

You will find patriotic decorations displayed for the holiday.

However, it won’t be as many as you would find for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What is the Weather Like During Fourth of July?

It will be hot!

Summer in Orlando is always hot, humid and muggy. Expect temperatures in the 90 degrees and high humidity levels. You will also probably get afternoon rain showers every day so be prepared for rain at Universal Studios.

Be sure to stay hydrated, as well! There are plenty of places to get free water at Universal Studios to beat the heat.

Hurricanes are always a possibility in July, though not common.

The hot weather is a perfect excuse to enjoy Universal Studio’s water rides.

Harry Potter World on Fourth of July: What Are the Crowds Like?

The crowds in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be larger than normal during the Fourth of July holiday. Just like the rest of the theme parks and the Universal Orlando Resort, expect longer lines for everything and more people.