How busy is Universal Orlando and what's the weather like in December?
Compared with Memphis?
Anyone know how busy USO/ IOA get in December? We'll be there Dec 16- 22 and staying at Hard Rock so no line waiting hopefully. Also, any tips on the weather? We're from Memphis, TN and our December weather is usually 20's- 30's... hoping it's a bit warmer in FL during our trip :)
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From George Yen
Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:50 AM
same thing for me. I'm planning to be at IOA/WWHP on 12/17-18. Wondering how crowds and weather will be ?
I am also curious! I will be in Orlando December 8 - 14, spending time at both the Universal and Disney parks. Disney info says the week following Thanksgiving until mid-December is one of the lowest attendance times all year. I hope the same goes for both Universal parks but have wondered if all the Harry Potter hype (which I am so anxious to see) will continue to draw in larger crowds this year.
Weather averages for December are highs about 73 and lows about 50. Rainfall is just over 2 inches for the month. Start checking a couple weeks prior to your trip. You never know what the crazy Florida weather might do! I guarantee it will be warmer than Memphis though. In the day you might need a hoodie or windbreaker (defintley at night) but surely you can leave your heavy coat at home.
I have to agree with the post above except to say that last year for whatever reason winter in Florida was insanely cold - consistently 30s-40s or lower for months. I'm really hoping that's not the case this year because I did not appreciate having to scrape ice off my windshield while standing next to a palm tree :)
Islands of Adventure has been busier than usual since potter opened and I wouldn't expect that to change for a while, but Studios shouldn't be that crowded and really it will probably only be the potter section that gets very crowded.
My brother and I went to Orlando in the second week of December in both 2004 and 2007.
In 2004, if I remember it right, it was in the mid-60s to low-70s during the day, except for a couple of nights, when it got as low as 42 for just one night. We were coming from Michigan, so I just had jeans and a hoodie.
In 2007, it was in the mid-80s for a day or two, before dropping in the mid-60s or low-70s for the rest of the trip.
It did rain both times.
Altogether, the weather is pretty good. . . probably as close to ideal as I look for.
I used to live in Florida when I was little (Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte area)and I distinctly remember wearing shorts and a Tshirt to thanksgiving dinner and short sleeves to play outside after christmas. You should be fine with a light-medium jacket/hoodie during the day. However, I would pack a heavy coat for the evening.
I was in Florida last year during those dates. Crowds not too bad and christmas decorations are all up. The weather was pretty poor and coming from the uk, I am used to the wind and rain. Had to buy ponchos and a heavy coat for my 3 year old. Even drove back to the hotel in my underwear after the wettest day Epcot has ever seen.
I go to Uni and IOA every december, and i live in Fl, so i can safely say that december shouldn't be colder than 60 duruing the day, and 30 at night. Crowds: WWHP is WWHP, so it'll naturally be crowded, but NOTHING like the summer. Rides throughout the park shouldn't be longer than 25 minutes. Water rides won't have a line (duh!) and Hulk should be between 10-20 minutes all day. Spidey will be 15-35, fluxuating all day long. Dr. DOOM should be shorter than 15 min all day, same with all of Seuss Landing and Jurassic Park. Dragon Challenge will most likely stay at 15 min the entire day, and the 15 min is to walk up there! The queue to get on the ride itself will be like 5 minutes for each dragon. Hippogriff will be 5-15 minutes all day, and FJ will be 30-60 minutes. This is for dec. 1-23rd. On new years eve, EVERYTHING will be above 45 min, with FJ soaring to 2 1/2 hours by 11, easily.
As for Studios, nothing should top 25 min, including the Mummy. IF they decide to open Rockit by december(which i doubt. I don't think it'll be operating until spring of next year. Sorry), the line will be 45 min-75 min. If it's higher than an hour wait, don't waste your time UNLESS you wont come back to studios for years, or if you have an abundance of time. On New years, rides will be 45 min-90 min, with mummy reaching 100 min+ by 12:30. Rockit-3 hours, easily.
My strategy: go to IOA on your first day, and start with lost continent. do the only ride there(Posideons Fury), and head backwards onto Seuss landing. Do the trolley ride, the carousell and cat and the hat(because your not going to want to go on 1 fish 2fish because that involves you getting soaked in the cold, and you're not going to want that [(:]), then head over to Mythos in Lost Continent for lunch (cuz it's AWESOME!!). After, go to Marvel Superhero Island and do the Hulk, Storm Force, Dr. DOOM, and Spidey. Then, cruise through toon lagoon and go into Jurassic Park. I suggest trying out the discovery center if you've never been in it, it's pretty cool. Then, it's finally time to do the Wizarding World! Do FJ first(if crunched for time, or if the line's insane, do single riders if you dont mind splitting your party up. it's VERY fast. It's like a free express line!), then the Hippogriff, Then the Dragon Challenge. Eat at the 3 Broomsticks, and if you want, dare to wait the incredibly long line for Olliver's Wand Show(not worth 2 hours, all i'm saying). After that, redo FJ, and BS the rest of the day.
Day 2: UNiversal Studios- turn right when you get in and start with Terminator, or, if it's playing first, go to the Horror Make-up Show directly next to the ride(it's hilarious, you must see it!!!)then Terminator, or vice-versa. Then, head over to Woody Wood-pecker's kid Zone(if you want), and do The roller coaster and E.T.(which is suprisingly fun, and i say that while i'm 14!). Walk out and do the animal show ONLY if it's playing, otherwise it's not realy worth waiting around for without small children. Go over to the world expo center and do MIB and Simpsons(again, do single riders for MIB if the lines too long[which it probably won't be]). Then, head over to JAWS in Amityvile. After that, eat at Louies burgers, which is across from your next ride, DISASTER! Afterwards, do the mummy (this ride, single riders is usually the better option if you want to do it multiple times if you dont care about seeing the scenery of the line or going together. You'll walk right on the ride, get off, and walk to the entrance and go again! Which is a good idea, because this ride is SICK!) Stop and look at the awesome christmas tree and take some pictures, then go to twister, Rockit(if it's open and the lines short), shrek and Jimmy Neutron, then BS the rest of your stay.
If you're going to each park multiple days, you can go at a slower rate and do half one day and half the next.
For the past 3 years or so, I have been going to UO every week after Christmas and before New Years, and even last year it was not horribly bad in the day, all I brought was shorts and short sleeve t-shirts. Although at night it got very cold but that is where Universal Studios comes in handy because of the inside lines and the outside lines are warmer than IOA, even when crowded.
wow- THANKS everyone for the great tips. good to know it will likely be warm enough to get away with a sweatshirt or light jacket during the day, and maybe a heavier jacket at night. since we're staying at hard rock, we can easily go back and forth to re or de clothe as necessary :) regarding line waiting, we're hoping the extra bucks we're paying to stay at hard rock will get us on the rides (except those in wwhp) without much wait at all- at least that was our experience when we went in july 07.
From Ed C
Posted April 29, 2011 at 5:58 AM
If you are staying at one of the onsite hotels at universal Royal Pacific Hard Rock or Portifino your Hotel key card acts as a fast pass allowing you to skip the regualr line on most attractions except harry potter and rip ride rockit for those two rides I suggest using the single rider line, it has a much shorter wait time
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