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Which theme park resort am I?

By Robert Niles
Published: April 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM
Which theme park resort am I?

I am home to two of the top 10 most-attended theme parks in the United States.

My two theme parks are located within short walking distance of one another.

A large, popular festival marketplace, with movie theaters and themed restaurants, extends off to one side from the theme parks, occupying the space between the parks and their multi-level parking structure.

There are three on-site hotels in my resort, including a luxury resort, a more moderately priced option and one in between.

For years I was known by the name of the older of my two parks, which stood alone on this site for years, before the second park was built of the site of the first park's parking lot.

The second theme park, with "Adventure" in its name, opened around the turn of the 21st century.

That second theme park is being reinvigorated with the addition of a major new land, themed to a popular movie franchise.

The most photographed, iconic building at my resort is a castle.

Which theme park resort am I?

Did you guess the Disneyland Resort?

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland

Or the Universal Orlando Resort?

Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando Resort

Because, of course, either answer would be correct.

And you thought Walt Disney World was Disneyland's east coast twin? ;^)

Readers' Opinions

From 70.127.90.83 on April 11, 2011 at 1:45 PM
I am guessing Universal
From 129.174.96.62 on April 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM
Universal Orlando!
From Joshua Counsil on April 11, 2011 at 2:03 PM
Six Flags New England?
From Robert Niles on April 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM
+1 to Joshua.
From Brian Creedon on April 11, 2011 at 3:20 PM
Walt Universal World

Robert - This topic has reminded of something I've been meaning to bring up for a while. I've been reading your website and visiting daily for a few years now. I don't comment too often but to read most of the comments. I use Yahoo as my home page and the most recent posts to Theme Park Insider are previewed on the Yahoo page before clicking through to the site. A tiny portion (about 1"X1") of the picture associated with the post is shown in the preview. I look forward to new posts so I can try to guess what that little picture, which is only a small part of the whole photo, is.

How about a regular post that is a photo or photos (really a portion of a photo) where we are to guess what it is. I'm sure with the library of photos you could make this pretty easy to really hard? Just a thought. I know you're busy and this is strictly for fun and doesn't add any educational value for the readers, but I think it would be fun none the less to try to figure out what the photos were.

From Robert Niles on April 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM
Excellent idea! Lemme work on that one....
From 75.97.88.164 on April 11, 2011 at 5:57 PM
So clever! That's why I read this blog...your vast knowledge of theme parks. I never knew those things about Disneyland Resort, and I'm a huge Disney fan. I guess Universal. Love your blog!
From Terri Pierce on April 11, 2011 at 6:21 PM
Ha! I had it in my head Universal Orlando the whole time. I don't know enough about Disneyland to know if it really could be either or, but Ill talk your word for it
From Tyler Bell on April 11, 2011 at 6:27 PM
Universal, and Disneyland
From chris cona on April 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM
Universal Studios is what I was guessing
From Anthony Murphy on April 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM
Clever!

I went universal until the castle. When I think of walking to both parks, universal popped into my head. I would be interested to see if there was a regional breakdown with the west coast going dlr and the east coast going uso.

Btw, dlp is also in this description (except movie theater)

From David Kirby on April 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM
Never been to either actually but after the first clue, I knew it had to be Disneyland. Universal didn't even cross my mind! Seems like I'm one of the only ones, and to me it seems strange so many other people thought of Universal first! I guess I spend too many hours reading Miceage....
From Robert Niles on April 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM
I just think it's fascinating how much Disneyland and Universal Orlando have in common. And I think these commonalities are why these are my two favorite resorts.

As much as I love Walt Disney World, it's just too spread out for my tastes. I'm a city guy; I like to be able to be in one place and walk around, exploring without having to get into the car.

Don't get me wrong; I love the outdoors and the wilderness, too. What I don't like is the in between: suburban and exurban sprawl, where you've got to get on the highway and drive five miles to the grocery store, then another five miles to the school, etc.

For a place that was supposed to be a prototype community of tomorrow, the Walt Disney World Resort embodies the worst of 20th Century, car-centric, suburban sprawl, with far-flung attractions surrounded by their own immense parking lots. I much prefer the walkability of the Universal Orlando and Disneyland Resorts.

From 78.109.188.43 on April 12, 2011 at 12:28 AM
It's got to be California Adventure, as it is currently invigorating Cars Land, whereas the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is already complete. I may be reading into it too much, but it's just my thoughts.
From duncan henny on April 12, 2011 at 1:07 AM
thats a good idea for the photo game i know disney blogs do it and can be hard but they only do disney would be cool to have other theme parks as well would make it harder
From Brandon Mendoza on April 12, 2011 at 6:51 AM
Great analogy of suburban sprawl! Never thought about the different parks that way, but I do like walkability for theme parks.
From Rob McCullough on April 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM
I'm laughing at the people who think this is an either or. It's a both.

I will admit, I was also thinking, "Duh! It's Universal Orlando!" but I worked there for years so I was amazed and delighted to get to the bottom and realize the true answer.

Very interesting insight.

From Brian Emery on April 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM
It’s easy…. Universal Singapore!!

Now what do I win?

From Raul Araoz on April 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM
Interestingly, the comparisons don't end there. It is very possible that the next major expansion at both resorts might just be a water park.

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