October in Universal Orlando: Weather, What to Pack, and What to Do

Everything you Need to Know about Visiting Universal Orlando in October

Poltergeist Haunted House Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

Universal Orlando

With its two theme parks, wild water park, CityWalk, hotels, and more, Universal Orlando has lots to offer year-round. But with Halloween Horror Nights, arguably the premier Halloween event in the country, October is a special time of year to visit the Florida resort.

Additionally, with kids hunkered down in school, you'll encounter some of the smallest crowds and wait times for attractions. With lower demand, expect airfare and accommodations to be lower than other times of the year. And with summer’s furnace blast of humidity mostly gone, the weather is generally extraordinary. The theme parks are open every day, but with the separate-ticket nighttime Halloween event, Universal Studios Florida closes early in the evening. Islands of Adventure stays open later most evenings in October, but not as late as during peak seasons.

Because it can get a bit nippy at night and gets dark relatively early, Universal’s Volcano Bay water park closes early each evening.

Universal Orlando Weather in October

Universal Orlando will be plenty hot during the day, and you'll enjoy experiencing water rides like Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. But there may be a little bit of a nip in the air, especially later in the month, as you make your way through Halloween Horror Night‘s mazes and scare zones

  • Average High Temperature: 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius)
  • Average Low Temperature: 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius)

Early in October, humidity, and the resulting heat index, can still be high in Central Florida. But the stickiness quickly recedes as the month progresses. Orlando’s rainy season ends in September. With an average rainfall total of 3.31 inches, October is among the region’s lowest months for precipitation. October is still hurricane season in Florida, and while the area is rarely directly affected by a storm, travel to and from Universal Orlando could be affected. Begin checking the weather forecast for storms about a week before your trip and you'll know what to expect from the tropics.

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© Arthur Levine.

What to Pack

If you’ll be visiting Universal Orlando in October, you’ll want to wear T-shirts, shorts, and comfortable shoes during the day. You’re going to be doing lots (and lots!) of walking throughout the parks and the resort, so make sure your footwear is ideal for walking. Be sure to bring a bathing suit for a refreshing pool break at your hotel as well as the water park. You’ll also want to bring a light jacket or hoodie for nighttime activities. You might also want to consider packing long pants for the evening.

Dressy clothes aren’t necessary. But you may want to consider going to Universal Orlando’s more upscale restaurants. If that’s the case, bring along resort casual attire.

Even though it’s the fall, be sure to pack tons of sunscreen and a hat to shield yourself from Central Florida’s still potent rays. With all of the time you will be spending outdoors and on the go, it’s also important to stay hydrated. Think about bringing your own water bottle so you wouldn’t have to constantly purchase beverages. (But it wouldn’t be a trip to Universal Orlando without at least one butter beer, the parks’ addictive drink.)

It is unlikely to rain every day during your October visit to the resort, but you should still consider packing a portable umbrella along with a rain poncho for every member of your group. Yes, you could purchase these items at gift shop (with nifty Universal logos imprinted on them), but you’d pay a premium. Pack the gear from home instead, and save your vacation budget for critical items like Wizarding World of Harry Potter wands.

Halloween 4 The Return of Michael Myers house at Universal Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Orlando

October Events in Universal Orlando

  • Halloween Horror Nights is a special treat at the resort. Nearly all theme parks offer Halloween events, but Universal, the film studio that pioneered the horror genre with movie classics featuring characters such as Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, and Dracula, takes its haunted mazes to the next level. Featuring brand-name movies and TV shows such as Stranger Things, The Exorcist, and Jordan Peele’s Us, Universal’s horror-meisters deliver incredibly immersive and frequently harrowing walk-through experiences. Note that the PG-13 event is decidedly not for young children, and that the popular event can draw enormous crowds, especially on weekends.

    October Travel Tips

    • Crowds will be moderate, and the lines shouldn’t be excessively long for the rides, shows, and attractions. But you’re not going to walk onto everything. If you want to make the most of your time at the parks, learn how to skip the lines by using the resort’s Express Pass program as well as how to navigate its Virtual Line system. If you have the resources, you could consider reserving a a VIP Experience, which would give you front-of the-line access to all rides and shows as well as a guide to escort you around the parks.
    • No matter where you might stay, the rates should be relatively reasonable in October. Still, there are great reasons to think about staying at one of Universal’s on-property hotels. The room rates at the three premier-level properties, for example (Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, and Royal Pacific), include the Express Pass program. (Visitors staying at other hotels, both on- and off-property, have to pay for Express Pass.) And all of Universal’s resorts allow guests to get into the Harry Potter lands before the parks open to the general public.
    • While the lines might not be long for the rides during the day, the lines can swell at night at Halloween Horror Nights. If you want to experience much of what the event has to offer in one evening, think about adding a Universal Express pass (to skip the maze lines) or springing for an R.I.P. Tour (which includes guides as well as immediate access to the mazes and shows).
    • Be sure to check Universal Orlando’s deals and specials, including package deals that combine hotel accommodations, park tickets, and Halloween Horror Nights.
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