While most of my colleagues were staked out waiting near The Revenge of the Mummy attraction today, an interesting thing appeared online. We now have the operating hours and early park admission schedule for Universal Orlando through the end of October 2022. Getting the hours/procedures to that date was expected since Halloween Horror Nights dictates park schedules in September and October.
Regarding theme park operating hours, the expected pattern that once Halloween Horror Nights starts will be followed. In September/October, Universal Studios Florida opens at 8am for everyone not the usual 9am. The only exception to that in September and October falls on September 1st. September 1st is the day before Halloween Horror Nights starts so both land-based theme parks open at 9am.
For Universal Studios Florida theme park, early park admission will start one hour before the official park opening. This means early park admission starts at 7am on September 2nd. This makes a great time to rope drop Universal Studios Florida. However, please be advised that the CityWalk quick service options generally do not open until at least 7am even when early park admission starts at 7am. I suggest you bring your Starbucks with you.
Universal Studios Florida theme park will close at 5pm on all Halloween Horror Night evenings. On most other evenings, the park will close around 7pm. Since these hours are subject to change, please continue to check as your trip to Universal Orlando gets closer.
Over at Islands of Adventure, the spooky season means the end of early park admission for this park. Starting September 1st, no early park admission at Islands of Adventure through the end of October. Logic dictates that early park admission will return to Islands of Adventure in November. Yet, we need to wait to confirm that.
The operating hours at Islands of Adventure tend to match historical patterns for this time of year. The park will open at 9am. Park closing hours vary but mostly close around 8pm.
What does all this mean for you? Some of that depends on when you visit. Yet, if visiting in September and October, early park admission access will not help you with enjoying Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure or Jurassic World Velocicoaster. If those attractions rank as your rope drop priorities, expect way more friends doing the same thing.
Though attractions open for early park admission vary, Universal Studios Florida generally only offers two attractions open during early park admission. Those are Escape from Gringotts and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. Both of those attractions offer express queue access once the official park opening starts. If you have express, early park admission looks less valuable to you during September and October now. However, the least amount of people you will ever see in Diagon Alley during the day will be a Thursday through Monday morning after a Halloween Horror Nights evening in September and October. If you want to enjoy the wand spots, photo ops, less crowded shopping, and actual space, your best opportunity would be during early park admission on those dates.
I will be updating how these changes during September and October influence guest experience at Universal Orlando once September arrives. I will also be testing this a few times in person in September for more hard data.
Last thing, Universal Orlando has not posted these hours/procedures on their website yet. These could change so check their website often if going in September or October. Universal Orlando tends to be good about adjusting hours/procedures based on crowds though. If going in September and October, enjoy the spooky and get some coffee for early park admission.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.