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Why Does Universal Orlando Close So Early?

Discovering Universal Orlando closes early on the day of your visit can be surprising and a bit disappointing, especially if you’ve traveled in from out of town.

It’s important to consider operating hours when booking a trip to Universal Orlando, as guests want to maximize their time in the parks.

Universal Orlando typically closes early in the low season to maximize profits when fewer people visit the parks. Conversely, Universal stays open later during the peak season to take advantage of the large crowds.

Why Does Universal Orlando Close Early?

Universal Orlando closes early during the off-season to ensure they remain profitable when fewer people visit the parks.

Theme parks are expensive to run. Between the salaries of the 25,000 employees, the cost of equipment maintenance, and the lower ticket, merchandise, parking, and dining sales, it’s not surprising that the park hours at Universal Orlando vary by season.

When Does Universal Orlando Close?

View across the lake of the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Hard Rock Hotel, Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando’s closing times differ depending on the time of year.

However, closing times don’t always match up year to year because they largely revolve around school holidays, some of which change slightly in different years.

Closing times also differ across Universal’s three parks.

For example, Islands of Adventure usually stays open an hour or two later than Universal Studios Florida and Volcano Bay.

To make things even more complicated, Universal typically closes later on the weekends.

It’s always best to confirm operating hours via Universal Orlando’s website before purchasing park passes, but here are some rough guidelines for each park.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida generally closes at 5 pm during the slowest times of the year.

However, even during the slow season, it stays open on select days until 6 or 7 pm.

Meanwhile, on moderately crowded days, Universal Studios Florida generally closes at 8 pm.

On the busiest days, it can close at 9 or 10 pm.

Volcano Bay

Bird's eye view of Volcano Bay at Universal Studios Orlando Florida

Volcano Bay typically closes between 5 pm and 10 pm, depending on the month and the crowd levels.

During the lowest point of the off-season, Volcano Bay almost always closes at 5 pm but may stay open until 6 pm on the weekend.

During the busiest times of the year, it generally closes between 8 pm and 10 pm.

Islands of Adventure

No matter the time of year, Islands of Adventure almost always stays open later than Universal Studios Florida and Volcano Bay.

When things are at their slowest, Islands of Adventure typically closes between 6 pm and 8 pm, occasionally staying open until 9 or 10 pm.

Yet, when the park is very busy, Islands of Adventure almost always stays open until 10 pm.

When Are the Earliest and Latest Closing Times at Universal Orlando?

Since Universal Orlando’s closing times are all over the place, it can be challenging to pin down when they close the earliest.

However, the earliest closing times tend to come when the park is at its least busy, usually right before or after major US holidays during the following months:

  • Late January
  • February (there are sometimes later hours during President’s Day weekend)
  • Early March
  • Late April
  • May (except Memorial Day weekend)
  • September
  • October (except Halloween events)
  • Early November
  • Early December

The park tends to stay open the latest during major US school holidays, including:

  • Christmas Break (mid-December to mid-January)
  • Spring Break (mid-March to mid-April)
  • Memorial Day weekend (the last weekend of May)
  • Summer Break (early June to mid-August)
  • Thanksgiving Break (the last two weeks of November)

Keep in mind that Universal Orlando sets its operating hours a few months in advance, and they often change from year to year.

You can confirm opening and closing times on the Universal website when you reserve your tickets.

When Does Universal Orlando Open?

Panoramic view of an area in Universal Orlando where hotels are located

For the most part, all three parks at Universal Orlando open at 9 am, but there are always exceptions.

Universal Orlando parks can open as early as 8 am during peak season and as late as 10 am during the low season.

The parks don’t necessarily open at the same time, so confirm the operating hours of the park you’re attending to ensure you get the most out of your visit.

Can I Get Into Universal Orlando Early?

Select park visitors can receive Early Park Admission, including guests staying at one of the on-site hotels; however, not all rides will be open.

To find out which attractions are available with Early Park Admission, check out Universal Orlando’s website.

What Are the Hours for Universal’s CityWalk?

Universal’s CityWalk opens at 8 am and closes at either 12 am or 2 am.


Universal Orlando closes early during the off-season to maintain profits when there are fewer park visitors.

That said, even during the low seasons, some days have extended hours.

Each park has different operating hours, so it’s best to confirm the current schedule before planning your trip.

When visiting Universal Orlando during the off-season, you might consider a hotel that offers Early Park Admission to maximize your time.