During my time at Universal Orlando, the most often asked question about Disney was for directions to specific attractions. This was most common at USF from people looking for Tower of Terror. First timers frequently didn’t understand that there are two parks in Orlando with movie making themes. I expect the same thing happens to the cast at DHS with people looking for The Mummy or now, Diagon Alley. Even when I worked at Six Flags in Atlanta, we’d get requests for directions to Thunder Mountain. No doubt they were actually looking for Thunder River, but it was always fun to point out in a tong-in-cheek way the errors of their request.
Disney typically doesn't do sarcasm well. (See "The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management.") So I cringe whenever cast members try it. (One of the reasons why I hate Whispering Canyon Cafe so much, I guess. I hear that they're offered "opt out" cards for table there, now, if you want to avoid that act.)
But guests still should expect good information, regardless of the style in which it's presented. So even if I expect Universal team members to crack a joke, I still want my questions answered.
The issue is a category error. Employees should know more about their own company before they know about another. Then again, what do they know?
The reason? When EPCOT Center first opened the concept was somewhat unique. Kind of an educational park. So guests were often uncertain about where the fun was.
So SeaWorld started running television ads where it boasted that a survey of its guests showed that they enjoyed a day at SeaWorld more than a day at EPCOT Center.
That might have been the first and ONLY flat out "us vs. them" promotion related to Orlando's parks.
The Florida Parks, even cross-brand, don't have to compete 24/7... People are probably gunna visit more than one. Having em all there makes them more attractive to visit.
People who want to go to Disney are going to go to Disney, and many people who want to come see Harry Potter are going to try to at least go to the Magic Kingdom for a day. This could be a whole new thread, but I think Harry Potter is the main reason MK tickets cost more now, and a big contributing factor to the crowds at MK being bigger than ever. HP is drawing people to Orlando that Disney alone does not entice, and they are spending a day at Disney since they are already here.
I think this article by TH from 2010 still holds true today:
An interesting side note, Disneyland's website actually has links and info about all of the other theme parks in Southern California. (except Six Flags. Maybe the don't want to be liable for gangs you may encounter there?)
Oh yeah, to me, Universal's "shtick" about Disney comes off as Universal having a major inferiority complex. You will not find Disney writing jokes about Universal into their official spiels. As the old proverb goes, the eagle does not hunt flies.
We'd just be jerks otherwise.
"Oh yeah, to me, Universal's "shtick" about Disney comes off as Universal having a major inferiority complex. You will not find Disney writing jokes about Universal into their official spiels. As the old proverb goes, the eagle does not hunt flies."
There is no inferiority complex. We are quite aware that we are not Disney and that Disney is larger and draws more people, for now.
Our "shtick" is that we are not forced to be overly happy, but we are hired based on who we are and not who we could be molded into. We are not written up or talked to by our supervisors for not smiling enough. Several employees at Universal also work at Disney and have all sorts of stories about both parks, maybe one will write in and comment! I am looking forward to hearing back to what official spiel this person is speaking about. The only thing I can think of is the Horror Make-Up Show where they say: "I don't have to be nice to children. This isn't Disney." But that is a script and not a spiel. Plus, it is super funny. None of what we say to our Guests is scripted, we are encouraged to find out information and help the Guest as best as we can, which often includes information about Disney.
The eagle does not hunt flies... huh. Maybe this is more of an inflated ego issue on Disney's behalf (or more likely the individual who wrote this.) Last I checked the Universal fly has grown quite large and is currently gaining altitude behind said eagle. Not wise for this eagle to ignore that fly.
Personally, I do not see the two parks as comparable. It is not a Coke vs Pepsi scenario, but more like Coke vs Dr Pepper. I am constantly talking to Guests about Disney and I give them my opinions on things there as I am familiar with the parks as a Disney annual pass holder. Just always preface it by saying "this is my opinion". Be honest and be yourself, the Guest appreciates that more than if you are fake.