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Robert Niles
Editor

Vote of the week: Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Studios Florida?

Published: June 18, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Thanks to Theme Park Insider reader Justin for suggesting this week's vote:

I was curious: Regarding people who've visited both parks, do people prefer Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom? Do people prefer Universal Studios Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood?

We addressed the Disneyland versus Disney World's MK question earlier this spring. But it's high time we let the Universal parks duke it out. So, today, we will.

Remember, it's just the studio parks we're talking about here, not the whole Universal Orlando complex. So don't go talking about Islands of Adventure here. That doesn't count. Only the USF part of the resort matters on the Orlando side in this vote.

Pluses for the Orlando park? Men in Black. A better Mummy. Sit-down dining in the park.

Pluses for Hollywood? The Studio Tour. Waterworld. A movie-themed park with actual movie-making.

What do you think? Tell us about your choice, in the comments. And have a great weekend!

Replies (14)

E Ticket
Writer

Published: June 18, 2009 at 9:34 PM

I was a guide at Universal Hollywood and love the place for it's authenticity -- but as far as visiting a world-class *theme park* (and not just a really great local Hollywood attraction), I have to give my love to USF. :)
Eric Malone

Published: June 18, 2009 at 9:44 PM

Gotta love USF, man. ;)
68.111.177.5

Published: June 18, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Sure Hollywood is an actual functioning studio to a degree .(I believe it’s more TV now then movies) If you look at the theme park side of the two parks, Florida triumphs over Hollywood. Almost every part of the studio tour in Hollywood is made into a full size attraction in Florida. One good example is Jaws. In Hollywood a shark jumps out at you (TV audience sound of ooos here) in Florida Jaws is following you thru different areas of the lake. You feel like you’re in the movie not watching it from behind the camera. (TV audience sounds again of aaaahhs) However, Hollywood does have elements in its back lot that no studio will ever have (except for some lost in past fires). That being said Hollywood has a nostalgic feel.
W McDougal

Published: June 19, 2009 at 5:34 AM

I usually side with SoCal over Florida, but in this case, Florida's version takes it. As a theme park, Orlando's Universal Studios are clearly more fun.
Joshua Counsil

Published: June 19, 2009 at 7:26 AM

After Epcot, USF is my favourite theme park. I love the street theming and the great array of attractions. Big thumbs up.

USH is nice, too, but I prefer USF's theming.

98.172.113.137

Published: June 19, 2009 at 9:13 AM

For the record, the voting system for DL vs. MK was highly flawed. How a stale and dated park like the MK can beat the superior original is beyond reason.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: June 19, 2009 at 9:42 AM

I found myself thinking just what Joshua wrote about theming, when I stopped myself: How can Florida have better movie studio theming, when Hollywood *actually is* a movie studio?

It'd be like a little kid, who loves grape-flavored candy, complaining when he eats a real grape because it doesn't taste "grape" enough.

But I do feel that. I'll suggest that's because the effort at USF is totally directed at the guest experience, while the focus at USH is split between guests and the filming. Actual filming can be boring for outside viewers. It's a lot more fun to watch the finished show.

USF is all finished show, where USH includes process. USH is more accurate as a studio, but that's not as appealing, when it comes down to it, for many visitors.

Of course, if USH could add a roller coaster and a dark ride (preferably a shoot-'em-up like Men in Black), it'd have enough "finished show" to elevate itself to USF's level, with the added benefit of watching real production to put it over the top.

Well, it might need a world-class sit-down restaurant, too. Hey, why not revive Chasen's?

Anthony J

Published: June 19, 2009 at 12:47 PM

How the hell did Magic Kingdom win over Disneyland?

Anyway, I love the feeling at Universal Studios Hollywood. You really get the sense of movie magic. And the Studio Tour is like nothing else. But for a complete day's experience, Universal Studios Florida just has more to offer.

Manny Barron

Published: June 19, 2009 at 1:17 PM

These two parks are some of my favorites. They both have: Shrek 4-D
The Simpsons Ride
Terminator 2:3-D
Animal Actors show
Revenge of the Mummy

USF has:
Men in Black
Twister
Beetlejuice
Make-up show
ET
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit(opening later this summer).

USH has:
WaterWorld,
Special Effects Stages,
Backdraft,
Jurassic Park(we're not counting IOA in this so this one counts in this poll)
Creature from the black Lagoon(opening in July).

Jaws and Disaster for USF are comparable to the Studio Tour, but the Studio Tour is unique and takes visitor to an ACTUAL working movie studio. USF is wonderful and provides a full days worth of stuff to do but the location and atmosphere for USH is the reason why Hollywood gets my vote. With an upcoming 4-D King Kong experience appearing on the Studio Tour and The Transformers ride opening in 2011 USH will only get better.

173.169.46.162

Published: June 19, 2009 at 3:39 PM

I picked USH for a simple reason. Simply because of the fact that I live in Florida and I visit USF often and the last time I visited USH was in 1993, so therefore I am curious to see what has changed. The last time I went to USH the "Back To The Future ride" was the new/popular thing to do there and of course, to whoever has visited USH, I can't think anything there that tops their Studio Tour. Don't get me wrong, I think USF is a great park(Can't wait to try the new Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit!), but since it has been 16 years since i've visited USH, I am "craving" a return visit to USH before another trip to USF.
151.197.215.196

Published: June 19, 2009 at 8:57 PM

This poll will be much more interesting once Transformers opens.
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: June 20, 2009 at 8:33 AM

I agree with many above. USH is a real studios so its one of the few theme parks that can make that claim (not so much for USF or DHS).

However, in the theme park aspect, USF blows it out of the water. USH is just too small and has few rides compared to DHS.


I think the bigger question would be USF vs DHS

Joshua Counsil

Published: June 22, 2009 at 7:03 AM

Agreed, Anthony. I would like to see a DHS vs. USF vote. My vote goes to USF.
70.141.208.249

Published: June 23, 2009 at 7:41 PM

As a technical services employee of USH (Hi Robert...), I'd have to vote for USF simply because I have yet to enjoy the entire park (or parks if including IOA). I've been to USF twice, but both times on business (during construction of the Simpson's ride), so I only got to enjoy a small sampling of what it had to offer...

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