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How Long Does it Take to Go Through Universal Studios? | Explained

In this page we will cover how long it takes to go through Universal Studios, the most time consuming parts of the park that you'll want to account for, the best days to visit, and whether it's worth going.

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How Long Does it Take to Go Through Universal Studios?

In order to maximize your day at Universal Studios, you'll want to plan to be at each park for an entire day (Universal Orlando Resort and Islands of Adventure). This will provide you plenty of time to do the most popular rides at the park, as well as account for waiting in line and grabbing a bite to eat in between.

diagon alley in universal


The most time consuming parts of the park are walking around the parks and waiting in lines.

The amount of time that you spend at the park will vary drastically depending on what day you're visiting, and whether or not you have a Universal Express Pass, which we will cover in depth later in the article.

About The Parks in Universal Studios

The two parks at Universal Studios are Universal Orlando Resort and Islands of Adventure. 

There is also a third park which is a water park known as Volcano Bay.

Each park offers something different, which makes Universal Studios a popular spot with both out of state visitors and local visitors.

universal orlando resort entrance

Universal Orlando Resort

UO is more based on TV shows and blockbuster movies, such as Harry Potter.

This park is known as the park where guests can be immersed in the actual movies and the rides do a great job of making it as realistic as possible.

Some of the most popular rides include:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • E.T. Adventure Ride
  • The Simpsons Ride

Islands of Adventure

IOA is more tailored towards fantasy and thrill rides. Marvel Super Hero Island in particular is one of our favorite areas.

It includes rides with characters such as Spiderman, Doctor Doom and The Incredible Hulk.

islands of adventure captain america

Some of the most popular rides at IOA include:

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
  • Pteranodon Flyers
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Invest in a Universal Express Pass

Universal Express pass allows you to skip the regular line, and access a faster line to quickly ride your favorite rides rather than waiting in a long line. It is an add-on, which is an additional cost to an admission ticket.

universal express pass ioa

How to Skip the Line

After purchasing your pass, you will a separate pass which will give you access to the 'fast lane lines'.

All that you have to do is show your pass to the ride operator in the entrance of the ride, and they will scan it to ensure that it is valid prior to letting you on the ride.

Know the Best Day to Visit

The best days to visit Islands of Adventure are Tuesday through Thursday. Weekdays are typically much less crowded and visitors from all over the world plan their trips around the weekend.

Most guests plan their entire trip to the park around the weekend. Normally on the weekends, kids are out of school, and parents are off of work. This creates the perfect recipe for a packed park on the weekends.

By going during the weekday, there's a high chance that you'll deal with minimal crowds, less waits, and you'll be able to experience much more in a shorter period of time.

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