I love it.
I must be an Orlando or Theme Park Ho. I like them all… Universal is my favorite but if someone wants to go to Epcot, MK, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove… Count me in….
Some folks would rather put things down instead of enjoying the many fragrances of Life…
That said, Disney has a lot of fantastic new attractions and lands in the pipeline, most notably the California Adventure expansion as well as the so far unconfirmed additions for WDW's 50th anniversary as well as the upcoming Fantasyland expansion.
I honestly believe Disney are the best at providing themed entertainment but Universal have had a good amount of investment in their parks and resorts recently which Disney has lacked, which naturally makes those who have invested their hard earned Dollars into Disney slightly bitter.
Be happy we get to experience something like this within our lifetimes.
I cannot remember the last time Disney impressed me the way Universal has with this latest addition. More power to them. I cannot wait to see what Disney comes up with, and what Universal plans to unveil next!
Universal seems to cater to a smaller spectrum: families with older kids, teenagers, and young adults up to about 49 years old (generally speaking, of course). Their attractions are a little more thrilling, a little less family-oriented, and a in some cases a lot more impressive when examined in and of themselves outside of the whole-resort experience.
There is no question Disney offers the best all around narrative immersion in the business, but were it not for the talented folks at Universal, Disney imagination would have grounded to a complete halt years ago. It is a blessing for all THEME PARK fans that Universal continues to push the limits of combining theme and thrills, and continues to keep the folks at the House of Mouse on their respective toes.
I could not imagine a world without both Disney and Universal. To me, they go together like ice cream and hot apple pie. Both are good on their own, but when combined a whole new world of flavors is enjoyed!
I have been to Universal with Disney-philes. Almost unbearable. They complained about everything. They complained about a person smoking on the pathway despite that a similar incident occurred at Disney. They complained about the cheesiness of Jaws, yet they loved the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, it's a small world, and every other exponentially cute attraction Disney had. They thought Men in Black was cheap but loved Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.
It's almost like an inferiority complex. They know that HP is widely regarded as the best attraction around to everyone that isn't a Disney-phile, so they overcompensate by pointing out every little flaw possible.
I just feel that there is a "anti-Disney" sentiment on this site from a few because, hey, its cool to bash Disney. Quite honestly, Universal has made decisions that have really turned me off from Universal especially the stupid comparision on their website of why they are "cool" and Disney is "dumb".
My beef with Harry Potter is this: I find when an attraction is overhyped, I find it doesn't meet my expectations. Everest, the Mummy, and Jurassic Park are three that I was slightly disappointed in. I know Harry Potter is not going anywhere.
I just feel, in turn, that there are "punching bags" on the site in Disney (especially with DCA, which I will say again, was NOT that bad pre or post refurb).
I actually like USO because I feel they had done it better than DHS. I love the Great Movie Ride, but USO has expanded that idea to go into the movies into more than half of the parks.
Still, I do make it to Universal for a day (just as going to Seaworld). Universal is, in my opinion, beating Disney at the "nighttime entertainment" with Citywalk vs Pleasure Isla..or whatever they are going to make that!
I cannot express enough how much if discuss me the Disney fools out there! The "so called Disney purist"! Listen I love Disney. I'm I a Disney fan? Sure! But that doesn't tell the full story, I'm a theme park fan. Not Disney/Universal fan, but theme parks in general. It is sad, to see how Universal made the best new attraction in some years and some people don't give them the credit they deserve. Hey if it isn't your personal taste, that's ok. Me, I got not problem with that. But lets be honest here, there's a lot of people out there who would visit Potter's World if instead of being in Universal, was in a Disney area code. They would be like "OH MY GOSH, DISNEY IS THE BEST-EST THEME PARK IN THE WHOLE EXISTENCE OF THE WORLD AND OTHER PARKS SHOULD JUST CLOSE DOWN!!!!" Yes, I believed that level of silliness is possible.
Don't believed me, I once read in some post here stuff like "from the regular posters I may add"
-"If you're going to Disneyland that's great, but if you're going to Orlando there's pretty much just Dianey World and nothing more..."- I was like reeeeaaaally???
Other said:-"I've never been to Universal. Never, but Disney is better!" Again, reeeeaaally??? And how would you know? If you've never ever, "for ever, ever" been to Universal? That's how silly they are, it just doesn't matter in their minds Disney's won already. Doesn't matter what others may do! They don't even have to see Universal, they just know, in their hearts!!! Ja,ja!
So Mr. Robert I agree with you in all the things you've said. I find them to be spot on, and right on all accounts! Isn't it funny how if some one critiques Disney (even if is constructive criticism) is anti-Disney sentiment but if is headed toward the competition is just the "The whole truth and nothing but the Truth"!
(Again there a couple of comments already in which, if you pay close attention you could get that feeling I'm trying to express). At least they admitted, that's progress...
Again I have to state this (again): I hope Disney would come up with something even better! Then I would experience that, and Potter's World too. I would be great!
I would agree 100% that Disney's attractions are for the whole family. That's there strength and also their downfall. True! Like converting a good attraction in my eyes, that I really enjoyed and scared me when I was younger, Alien Encounter, then only to turn it into "Stitch's great pile of garbage"
But since the whole family can ride it then it's ok! Well it is not! That's one of the thing the "Purist" don't get. That's one of the reasons you get the complaints about Disney that some people don't get.
Now little Suzy can ride, now Grandma Esther can ride it. Sooooorrry now I, don't wanna ride it!!! Ja,ja!
So if Disney wants to come up with something better than HP, I hope they've got something even better in the works than "Little Princesita Land" there by the MK. Cause I personally don't care about that one bit. Although I know a lot of people do. Robert I agree the re-called or plans adjustments have to be viewed as an explanation of that. (I don't care who denies it, if the Vp of this or the President of that, I wouldn't believed it, even if Mickey Mouse himself was saying it!
Like you said, they can venture of to other places like Universal. Or how about Seaworld, or Kennedy Space Center, even better if they were willing to visit one of my top 3 perks in Florida, Busch Gardens. How about Legoland when is open. You know people, theres more than Disney out there...
Mr. Niles - I applaud you're willingness to said it like it is. Like it should be said. Cause of your previous Disney affiliations if would be very easy of you to become a homer. Not having this (in my opinion) honest view of things!
The anti-Disney opinion (some sense): is nothing more than the simple fact the site is called "themeparkinsider" not the "Fellowship of the Disney" If this bothers some people I'm glad. Glad!! If you can't see past your love for Disney to appreciate others accomplishments, then you are one of this peoples. No matter how much explanation you may come up with to refute it....
Besides the cast members stories, this is my favorite post to date. I praise you Robert, for posting it!-Francisco from P.R.-
Prime example would be World of Color, which has received very little attention in comparison to the Wizarding World, despite the fact, as with Potter, it's arguably the best in its own category.
Another thing is when people talk about 'the best in the world' many often forget to bring Tokyo DisneySea into consideration, when in fact most who visit it consider it to be hands down the best theme park in the world.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, however, functioned to the best of its abilities, taking in mind how packed it was (though, not as bad as the first few weeks - there were no lines to get INTO the world, for once). The Wizarding World was also complete, there wasn't a single inch of it that needed work on - it was just perfect, and ready for peak-season.
I realize Disney's Magic Kingdom is a park that has been opened for years, and that Fantasyland cannot be closed entirely while it's being renovated, but I don't understand why it's done in peak-season. Having said that, I enjoyed my visit to the Magic Kingdom as I did last year. I was just put off by how much of it was actually closed for renovations.
So Disney, the ball is in your court. The stuff you're working on, I hope they're mind-blowing.
Yeah right, keep hoping. I'm still waiting on Disney's inevitable response to Spiderman. I love Disney, they impress me on so many different fronts, and inspire me to keep the bar raised very high in anything I do in this life that relates to customer service or creativity. That being said, they are a frustrating entity to be a fan of at times. With all the tools that they possess, and all of the brilliant minds who call the house of mouse home, their inability to respond shines a tremendous spotlight on the arrogance of a company that knows they can do just enough to keep you coming back because that is all that's required of them.
Don't get me wrong, I love Mission to Space, Soarin', and Everest (even with the disco Yeti). I also happen to think that Tower of Terror very well might be the finest theme park attraction ever executed. All of this doesn't matter much, if you can't make the type of impact that transcends what side people root for, and strips everybody down to the basic common denominator. That being that we are all fans of theme parks, and when something comes along that is THAT DAMN GOOD, it doesn't matter what park it resides in. Universal did it 11 years ago with Spidey, and they have done it yet again with Potter. Disney is readying yet another Omni-mover attraction in response, based on a property that is 2 decades old, and oh yeah, don't forget about the meet and greets, yippee! Take that Universal Creative. Yes, Fantasyland V2.0 is in a state of revision right now, and you can thank Universal as well as Tom Staggs for having 3 sons that would most likely not be into all of the proposed princess and fairy encounters originally envisioned for this expansion. But seriously Disney, where is all that innovative, industry leading, visionary moxie that Uncle Walt instilled in this company years ago? Stop sitting on your hands, and blow us all away, Disney and Universal fans.
What I hate is the implication that people who visit USO are somehow a lower class of people than those who visit WDW. (Read the comments at the Daily Disney at the Orlando Sentinel and you will see I am talking about.) I don't even see how that is possible, seeing the two parks are at the same price point. I was at WDW last week, and I saw lots of questionable behavior in the parks.
I do love WDW, but we are totally open to the idea to visiting Universal on future trips.
Disney was in talks with JK Rowling for 5 years to open a Harry Potter themed theme park or land.
After a frustrating meeting with Disney, JK Rowling drove across the street and asked to talk to whoever was in charge at Universal. Within 48 hours, a verbal agreement was made.
Don't make it sound like Disney couldn't do anything like this, they had their chance for 5 years, and couldn't stop being greedy long enough to close the same deal that Universal did in a weekend.
Quit crying that you dropped your ice cream, when you could have had the whole shop.
Why do I do it?
First and foremost it is fun. Secondly, I think all of my money as well as the money of everyone else, should be pumped into Disney.
They gave me Disneyland. It's the least we could do.
I would like to get on that Harry Potter ride, however...
Meanwhile, I've never been to Disney. I have just spent 4 days at universal, and can say that, in my opinion, and the opinion of my family which is a 14 and 17-year-old, Universal Studios was overhyped, overpriced, even though nice enough a theme park, with too many people who obviously also bought the hype.
My daughter thinks that if you want a nice park to walk around in, they are great, on par with BGW, which has better rides. If you just want to be thrilled, the two parks together don't match a day at Cedar Point.
But if you just think about price, I think it explains the different perspective. We aren't people who generally pay over a hundred bucks for a day at a park. As soon as I mentioned the difference in price, suddenly the "maybe yes, maybe no" aspeect of the discussion was gone. "No Way" we'd recommend a $100 Universal day over a $64 Busch Gardens day, even if it's BGTampa.
However, I'm used to the crowds singing the praises of all things Florida, how the parks are so worth it, how it's normal to spend a thousand dollars for a week of vacation, how 1-hour lines are to be expected, and hey you can always pay another $50 and get a front-line pass, or stay in a hotel priced higher than a monthly mortgage payment and get a "free" early admission.
Now, my kids are pretty much burned out on theme and thrill parks anyway. We just did a 3-hour stint at a fully uncrowded Kings Island with walk-ons galore, a two-ride drop-off in the same evening at Cedar Point, and then an uncrowded Cedar Point that we were done in by 2pm (11am opening, although we got in at 10).
Sure, if someone invited us to a day at IOA and USF, we'd jump at it; although I can't say we'd spend more than a few hours -- since after our first day there, we never spent a whole day or even a significant portion of a day at either of the parks.
Some of my extended family love going to Disney, and I'm sure my kids would have loved it when they were little. I won't say anything bad about Disney having never been there.
But it's funny to watch the Disney/Universal fights, when I think both sides are a bit on the crazy side to begin with, arguing which overpriced overhyped overcrowded place is better.
Meanwhile, I can ride a 300-foot coaster, a blast coaster like no other, and 12 other coasters, do a half-dozen family rides, and then pop over to another park where I can spend all day just walking around enjoying the scenery, taking in some shows, and eating good food. That's just my backwoods Virginia of course, where I can get two season passes for the price of 4 days at Universal.
And having said all that, Harry Potter World is simply the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I'd almost pay the price of admission just to get back into that world and drink some more butterbeer. So, even though I've never been to Disney, I'd say that anybody who is trying to diminish the Wizarding World is simply off their rocker. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it is a fabulously themed, immersive experience that I'm glad I took the time to enjoy.
(PS: I did Epcot Center once as an adult, so it's not that I've never done anything Disney).
The parks are well-executed, the rides are world-class, and the food and other amenities rival the best Disney or Sea World Entertainment can offer. As FL residents, we enjoyed a good discount on the experience as well. So, no Universal bashing from this Disneyphile!
That said, I'm just not into the HP craze, but I wouldn't mind seeing the WWoHP repurposed into a Lord of the Rings attraction...