Is Universal Studios On Memorial Day Busy? CA and FL

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that gives all government employees the day off work. Most schools, churches, and businesses close too. It’s a solemn holiday meant to remember fallen soldiers. But also being at the end of Spring, people tend to take advantage of the pairing of warm weather and time off to do festive activities. That being said, some may wonder, ‘is Universal Studios on Memorial Day busy?’

Universal Studios on Memorial Day tends to be quite busy being that people have time off and the weather is warm. As well, with Memorial Day always falling on a Monday, it extends the weekend for people, making Memorial Day another good reason to go to theme parks like Universal Studios.

Below I’ve addressed attending Universal Studios theme parks, Orlando and Hollywood on Memorial Day and whether it’s busy, as well as some other related tidbits. As someone who’s visited both, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned from my experiences.

Special Consideration: A Day for Rememberin: Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day by Leah Henderson is about the history of Memorial Day in the US, starting with the first.

Is Universal Studios busy on Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is one of the most awaited federal holidays in the entire United States; this is because it’s considered an opening of summer for many people, with schools closing or near closing in most of the country for summer break. It happens to be busy for Universal Studios and other theme parks too.

Universal Studios is busy on Memorial Day, including the weekend leading up to it. Because Memorial Day is a Monday, it extends the weekend for people with the day off, making the entire weekend popular for theme parks.

Since many have Memorial Day Monday off work, it’s warm, kids are out of school, and it’s like the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day, though a solemn holiday, tends to be popular for attending theme parks like Universal Studios. As well, Universal Studios are located in touristy areas that see even more visitors at holidays.

Universal Studios at both Orlando and Los Angeles are particularly popular places to visit during warm weather. People see both spots as vacation areas with lots to do besides theme parks. Families travel to both areas for beaches, good shopping and dining, and other sight-seeing interests. When you add in popular theme parks like Universal (as well as Disney, which is close by in both cities), it’s bound to be popular on Memorial Day, too.

Some of the biggest time to visit theme parks like Universal Studios are holidays because people have time off.

The truth about Memorial Day is that this is actually a holiday established to commemorate the fallen people who served for the armed forces. However, because of the fact that Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May, people have been taking advantage of the holiday not only to commemorate the fallen soldiers but also to rest and unwind or have fun, family-filled vacations.

And the fact that Memorial Day falls on a Monday allows people to have an extra day to enjoy the entire weekend. As such, there will be more people who are inclined to take trips to Hollywood or Orlando, especially if they live far away or out of state because the extra day gives them more than enough time to drive to Universal Studios.

And even those who live quite near Hollywood or Orlando may still want to use the time for a full getaway weekend in Universal Studios.

When we lived in Southern California, we were season pass holders for Universal Studios Hollywood. It was a quick and easy drive to the park for our family. As such, having the day off on Memorial Day gave us an excuse to go to the park for a few hours of fun. So in addition to people traveling distances to Universal Studios on holidays like Memorial Day, you’ll have local people (with season passes or not) take a few hours to enjoy the park, too.

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Keep in mind that often theme parks do special events on holidays too. While this is fun for visitors, giving them an ‘extra’ for their ticket price, it also makes attendance even more popular when more is added. To plan ahead, check with the park you might visit to see if anything special is on the calendar.

Some popular ‘extras’ for holidays include fireworks, parades, concerts, and give-aways like buttons or flags to commemorate the event.

Many enjoy attending Universal Studios on holidays like Memorial Day because they already have the day off work.

All that said, the Memorial Day weekend will always be a busy time for Universal Studios and for any of the other park and tourist destinations all over the country. As such, it is important that you plan your Memorial Day weekend ahead of time, especially if you want to go to Universal Studios, if you want to go on Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend. That way, you don’t have to struggle to find tickets or even a good hotel in time for Memorial Day.

And if you really want to avoid having to manage your way through different crowds during the Memorial Day weekend, it should be best for you to schedule a visit to Universal Studios before or after the weekend itself (or during the week) because that is when the crowd will begin to mellow out and become more manageable.

Things to consider for Memorial Day at Universal Studios

  • Longer ticket times so maybe purchase online in advance
  • Longer wait times at lines so plan ahead your rides
  • More people at restrooms, food establishments, and souvenir shops equals less time playing and more time ‘waiting’
  • It may be harder to find suitable parking so you might consider Uber/Lyft/Taxi (or using the metro at Universal Hollywood)

How many Universal Studios Are There?

So, if you’re someone who is looking to schedule a trip to Universal Studios during Memorial Day or on any other day that you are free, you may want to know how many Universal Studios are in the entire country and out, this way you can select your preferred location.

There are two Universal Studios in North America. The first is in Hollywood, California, known as ‘Universal City’. The second is in Orlando, Florida. Both of these parks are located on opposite coasts but in desirable US vacation spots due to proximity to beaches and year-round warm weather.

The two North American locations are highly desirable and have huge tourist draws all year. Let’s look at each briefly on their own.

Universal Studios in Hollywood is smaller than the one in Orlando, Florida. However, it’s quite popular since it’s in Hollywood, with lots of sightseeing other than Universal to do. People come from all over the world to visit Hollywood and Universal Studios capitalizes on that.

Things to do in Hollywood In Addition to Universal Studios:

  • Go to Citywalk which is a walkable outdoors area next to Universal Studios. It has Hard Rock, a large movie cineplex, multiple eateries, and lots of shopping.
  • See the ‘Walk of Fame’ and look for the stars of your favorite celebrities.
  • Go see a show at any of the famous landmark theaters such as Kodak, Wiltern, Pantages, Orpheum, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
  • Shop (or just look around) at Rodeo Drive
  • See the Hollywood Sign
  • Take a scenic tour along Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Laurel Canyon
  • Go to the beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica
  • Walk along Third Street Promenade
  • Check out Burbank studios
  • Visit Disneyland

Universal Studios Orlando is the undisputed most popular of the parks. And if you can only go to one Universal Studios, your best bet for the money is probably Orlando by most people’s standards, if you just want to compare parks. For one, it’s larger and has more rides and activities. Though both have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter included, the one in Orlando is more extensive, for instance.

We’ve been to both and having had more time at the one in Hollywood (since we lived in LA for many years), we can easily admit the Universal Studios in Orlando is more bang for your buck. That being said, if you live closer to one, it’s probably more desirable to have season passes to the Hollywood Universal.

It’s just more manageable and easier to attend regularly. We often popped in for just an hour or two in Hollywood but it would be more of a hassle to do that in our opinion in Orlando.

Things to do in Orlando In Addition to Universal Studios:

  • Go to Disney World (there are 4 DW parks not including 2 water parks, so it can take up quite a bit of your available time).
  • Attend the Kennedy Space Center.
  • Take a spin on the Wheel at ICON Park located on International Drive
  • Do a boat tour.
  • Visit SeaLife Acquarium
  • Eat at one of many restaurants.
  • Drive to a nearby beach.

Both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando are extremely popular parks, part of which is because of their great locations! Whether you go to Hollywood or Orlando, you’re bound to find plenty to do at Universal as well as at other venues in the touristy cities.

Universal Studios Japan located in Osaka receives over 9 million visitors a year.

And then there are Universal Studios outside of the states to consider, though these are less likely to be options for your Memorial Day weekend!

But if you find you are able to go to any Universal Studios outside the US then you have your choices of Universal Studios Japan, Singapore, and even Beijing. Some people particularly like the idea of attending one of these US iconic themeparks for a ‘bit of home’ when traveling to another country.

A few others are in the works too, notably Universal Studios in Moscow and London.. 

But for Memorial Day weekend, your only choices are either Hollywood or Orlando, which have lots to offer!

Wrapping Up Universal Studios on Memorial Day

To wrap it up, yes, Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood are busy on Memorial Day Monday, but also all of Memorial Day weekend. If you have Memorial Day off, and close enough to either location, Universal Studios is a good way to celebrate your work-free time, but also popular for kicking off summer for your family.

Since Memorial Day is a three day weekend for most people, it can potentially be a good time to visit Universal Studios Hollywood or Orlando even if you live farther away. Just keep in mind, Memorial Day is busy at both locations, so plan ahead to account for longer wait times and crowds.

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Sources: Touring Plans; UnderCoverTourist; Universal Studios

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