Potential Early Morning Issue for Universal Studios Florida Visitors


All good theme park sources encourage you to watch closely the park hours and operation procedures. Things might change without little or no notice. Guests visiting Universal Orlando have needed to do this often in recent months. Earlier this year, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure was not included in early park admission at Islands of Adventure. That procedure changed in March. Currently, that attraction opens during early park admission time though.

Early park admission at Universal Orlando allows resort guests, some annual passholders, and a few other guests to enter a full hour early to at least one land park each day. For some time now, Islands of Adventure has been the primary park open for early park admission. In fact, Islands of Adventure opened every day this year for early park admission.

However, I anticipate that changing when we reach September. During September and October, Universal Studios Florida often closes at 5pm due to Halloween Horror Nights happening on those evenings. Historically, Universal Studios Florida officially opens at 8am during that time of year. Also, early park admission happens at Universal Studios Florida theme park at 7am then. This change of original procedure this summer leads me to believe maybe that might not happen this year. I guess I will need to wait and see about that.

I shall attempt to explain. Way back in early April, Universal Orlando published park operating hours and early park admission procedures for June. During that time, they posted that Universal Studios Florida would also be open for early park admission starting June 13th. Now, they added a few “unplanned” days of early park admission in April and May. However, I have been noticing that the Universal Orlando app and website have been indicating no early park admission at Universal Studios Florida for any of June and July. For June and July only Islands of Adventure had early park admission scheduled

That change surprised me. I messaged several contacts at Universal Orlando to make sure it as not a glitch. Glitches commonly happen with Universal Orlando. However, they commonly fix them quickly. Yet, all those replies and the official one I got via twitter confirmed no early park admission to Universal Studios Florida in June or July this year. Early park admission to the land-based parks at Universal Orlando will only be to Islands of Adventure.

So, what does this mean for you if you visit Universal Orlando between now and the end of July?

  1. Universal Orlando might deem crowd levels too low to need to open two land-based parks. Thus, you should plan to only visit Islands of Adventure for early park admission.
  2. Universal Orlando might still be having staffing issues so cutting an hour out of the park operation could lead to this decision. If so, bring your patience in the hot summer months.
  3. Even after reading this blog, check park operating hours and early park admission schedule often to avoid issues. You do not want to expect certain hours and operation only to find out things change. Things could change even as I write this.
  4. If you do not have early park admission access, “rope-drop” Universal Studios Florida to enjoy low crowds. Being behind early park admission crowds at Islands of Adventure will lead to long attractions queues in Jurassic Park and Wizarding World area. If you must visit Islands of Adventure, start in Marvel Super Hero Island for lower attractions queues
  5. Related to this, Universal Orlando may have seen too low of crowd level for early park admission to warrant using it this summer. This seems plausible to me since a vast majority of guests with early park admission access race to Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure each morning.

Thanks for reading about early park admission. I will strive to keep updating if changes happen.


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.