Disney vs. UniversalWalt Disney World: This one is just for fun. I wanna know which one of Disney or Universal people like the most.
From Austin HessHi. I am just doing this for fun. I want to see what people think is better, Disney or Universal. This isn't something for me asking which one is better to choose from on a vacation, I just want to find out for fun. Thanks.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 8:59 AM
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
From Darrell ShimelCalifornia: Disney without a doubt.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 9:24 AM
Florida: I haven't been to USF.
From marcus o`sullivandisney world in florida is da best more magic than california.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 9:36 AM
From Chris WaltonWhy did you start this!?
Posted August 3, 2006 at 10:00 AM
Come on Gareth, Erik, and Anthony. J/K
It's time for an all out war!!!
As the people mentioned above (and many other regulars to this site) already know, I'm very much pro-Universal, but I enjoy Disney alot as well.
From Gareth HEr, Helloooooo, UNIVERSAL...
Posted August 3, 2006 at 11:19 AM
Disney's waterparks are the best though!
C'mon Anthingy, join us on the dark side and vote Uni!!!
From Adrian WalkerWar it is!!!
Posted August 3, 2006 at 1:28 PM
Universal is number one for me. Compared to Disney, Universal beats Disney all the time. Given the choice I would definetely choose the better parks in Universal. Although I agree with Gareth H, the disney waterparks are better in comparison to Wet n Wild. Better theming and slides.
From Erik YatesUniversal is not only cheaper than disney, better themed than disney and more thrilling than disney, you can get drunk easier at Universal than you can at disney!
Posted August 3, 2006 at 1:31 PM
The hotels are a better value, and nicer.
The resturaunts have less lines and come with something other than "mickey nuggets and applesauce."
I will admit that the waterparks are better than WNW, but that will change in 2008 with Aquatica, and when WNW moves to Universal property.
U for Universal.
From Adrian WalkerOh I forgot, Disney has Disneyquest. A major asset that appeals to video game buffs.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 2:23 PM
Such as myself. Can't get enough of the video games!
From Mark WalkerCivil war on TPI?! This site is full of great suprises.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 2:39 PM
I'm siding with Universal all the way. Uh oh, Disney fans are returning fire!
From Chase HarrisonUniversal but thats because I havent been to Disney but I think Id like disney less since Im older and Universal is for older people than Disney.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 2:49 PM
From Darrell ShimelErik Yates says:
Posted August 3, 2006 at 2:56 PM
"you can get drunk easier at Universal"
Well, you've just convinced me to never go USF.
From Austin HessWho else likes Disney? Universal is winning this war thingie. Come Anthony, where are you, you and me have gotta show those stupid Universal people how much better Disney is.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 2:54 PM
From Anthony MurphyI'mmmmmmmmmmmm Baaacck!!!
Posted August 3, 2006 at 2:42 PM
You just realized that there is a civil war on Themeparkinsider? I knew of it for awhile!
You see the problem with this discussion is this: People who like Universal better have to always put anything Disney down (I am not saying all of you, but you know who you are!
Here is what I think about it all:
I do not think that there is anything wrong really with Universal, but I think that they have just ripped off most of what Disney World has done, but of course, what park in the world (even Six Flags) has not taken its cues from Disney? In regards to the price of the tickets, I have not a clue where you are buying your tickets from because in the past three years I have noticed that the prices have been the same or been less than five dollar difference. Does Universal has more specials? Yes, but Disney is jam packed with people so why do they need to spend money on marketing they don't need. Also, it seems to me (mind you I am from IL) that Flordia people would like to see Disney fail no matter what in Orlando. They have some kind of resentment for it (I have relatives in FL so I am not totally making this up). Because of this, I think that FL residents have a bias for USF.
Like I said, I have no problem with Universal, but Disney does it all better. What makes Universal great? Theming (Disney set the standard), great employees (Disney is known for their cast members). Ride innovation (Spiderman is the great, but this is all Universal has done on absolute inovation, Disney has the rest!) Rides to remember (how many of you can't get the Its a Small World song out of your head?)
The one thing I will give Universal is that it has more thill rides, thats fine. I just love theme parks so I would go to Universal or Disney anytime! And I would go with any of you! I at least know that somebody else notices the quality and purpose of a theme park besides me!
From Chris WaltonWell, it looks like my fellow Universalians (or Universalites) out number the Disney defenders by quite a margine!!! Victory is ours!!! Hahaha....
Posted August 3, 2006 at 5:10 PM
Universal's rides are much more innovative than almost all of Disney's (with exception of Indy at DL). Even Mission: Space is relatively simple centrifuge technology that can be found at any county fair, Disney just does it with style and fancy tv screens!
Even if Universal "rips off" Disney, I feel they make their attractions much better than Disney's model attractions.
When it comes to themeing yes Anthony, Disney does set the standard, but Universal is not far behind and when is comes to movie related themeing Universal takes the cake, I mean come on, look at MGM, then look at USF.
From Erik YatesDarrell Shimmell says:
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:21 PM
Well you've convinced me never to go to USF.
One less disneyphile complaining of the lack of rodents.
Disney Quest is closing...or rumored to be.
From Austin HessI'm right on with you Anthony. You see the same things I do. I think Universal is great, second best next to Disney. But lets all face it, Disney is better than Universal. Universal may have awesome thrills that are much better than Disney's, but Disney thrills aren't that bad at all. Come to think of it I don't think Universal would be the way it is if it wasn't for Disney. Well I just hope Disney defenders come in and do something with this somewhat huge war.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:22 PM
From Chris WaltonI like the "Cool Hand Luke" reference.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:36 PM
This war still has over 30 more responses before it's over!!! Can the Disney defenders fight thier way out of the trenches or will we Universalites continue to rank supreme?!!! Viva La Universal!!!! J/K lol
From Erik YatesSee, even Universal fans are better than disney. We make cool movie references. I bet someone else will, but it will be a corny line from Pirates or Pocohantas.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:40 PM
"I love disney...they paint with all the colors of the wind...."
Why is the rum always gone? We're at disney...thats why.
From Austin HessI don't like you Erik. Just kidding. You Universal guys are evil. You are really mean to Disney when Disney has not even harmed you in any way. Man, who else is on Disney's side? We are losing big time.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:51 PM
From Chris WaltonLOL, I love this site.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:57 PM
From Daniel Binder
Posted August 3, 2006 at 4:51 PM
Universal Orlando has the greatest ride ever made in Spiderman, three of the best and most unique coasters in the country, two of the best water rides in the world, and that's just one park. Pound for pound, IOA is easily top three worldwide in terms of the quality of the rides in such a compact area. JAWS is an immortal as well, and USF holds it own with other world class shows and attractions.
Disney, while it has some great rides, likes to spread them all over the four parks, making it more difficult. I like having everything close by without having to take buses or monorails to the other parks. Erik already brought up everything about the theming, pricing, and so forth, so there's not much else for me to add at this point.
I will say that going to Disney with children under 9 years old is much more ideal than going to Universal. However, when out of state friends visit, Universal is ALWAYS going to be the place I take them unless they specifically request Disney.
From Erik YatesAustin Hess says:
Posted August 3, 2006 at 5:46 PM
I don't like you Erik. Just kidding.
Thats okay Austin...Mickey doesnt like me either. And if you dont like the answers us Universal guys give, stop asking questions like that...you know we're all fairly open guys and will tell you what we think.
I guess the biggest reason that I dislike disney is what I've said time and time again. Walt made disney to make money, this is true. But he also made it as a place for families to be families. For people of all ages to be able to share memories together. The powers that be, or were, changed all that. They made disney into a brand name, a name that says "family" but means "money". It decieves people. I might even go so far as to say that they brainwash people into thinking that if its not disney its not family. Disney is one of the biggest companies in the world, stretching from parks to movies to food...the list is endless. And thats great. But while they stay wholesome on one side, they have just as many non wholesome products and services out there, yet they try to wipe it away as if it never existed.
From Chris WaltonGood stuff Erik, all true!!! You've even opened my eyes a little wider and given me a reason to go to the library. I also would like read "Disney War" by James B. Stewart.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 6:14 PM
From Austin HessOK sorry Erik. I'm not talking anymore because I no I'll do something wrong. Bye- bye.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 6:18 PM
From Anthony Murphy1. It is "cool" to bash Disney
Posted August 3, 2006 at 7:36 PM
2. Because of this, there tends to be more Universal lovers and Disney haters.
This is a facinating conversation, but I still feel that Universal is a close second from Disney (big suprise right?).
In regards to Universal having three of the best roller coasters? Are you being serious here? I am not saying that the roller coasters are bad, but I can save my money and go to Six Flags Great America and go on Batman (the first inverted roller coaster) and Iron Wolf (a Stand up roller coaster)which both have been around more than 10 years of IOA. IOA's roller coasters are nothing special, great, but nothing special. Which begs the question where is Universal taking its ideas? Is it trying to be like Disney or like Six Flags? Universal might have all the thrills, but there is nothing in the park that will burn a memory into the tourist!
It is also a sad day when the way Universal has to get people is by letting people stay free on their grounds and their commercials are just them ripping Disney apart, nothing about why they are better.
Its a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.......For Disney
Can millions of tourists be wrong?
Open minds? I feel that the Disney camp is being pretty open. We have said that Universal is our SECOND favorite theme parks. Most of you, on the other hand, seem to despise Disney for anything you do!
Again, this can be ended very quickly............
How can millions of tourists be wrong? And if it is so horrible, why is the the number one vacation destination in the United States? You may be compalaining, but Disney is the one laughing to the bank (sorry if I am nasty!)
From Alex Ggood points anthony...... your right tourists prefer disney ......BEFORE!!! theyve gone in because of the hype....when they leave and there wallets r empty im sure alot of them have differnt thoughts....other then the castle tehy see on TV thats about smaller then the billboards u see coming in is the las memorie they have
Posted August 3, 2006 at 7:45 PM
From Daniel BinderI didn't say that IOA had THE three best coasters in the world. I said they had three of the best coasters in the country. Big difference : )
Posted August 3, 2006 at 8:06 PM
My only experience with six flags was waiting 2 hours in line under a hot, baking sun for a 45 second Batman ride. Universal's waits are much better. Best of both worlds between Disney and Six Flags, IMHO.
Edited to add:
There are plenty of people who have great memories at Universal. How can you dismiss that? Lost Continent's island is unbelievable, and the whole place is incredibly themed and vibrant, at least to me.
As far as millions and millions of people, maybe I'm cynical, but I tend to think of the masses as gullible and simply following the pied piper's music, so to speak. Just because millions and millions go to Disney doesn't really mean anything in my book.
Nothing against Disney. I enjoyed myself when I went there twice before, and am going there in a few weeks as you know, and I know it'll be great. Especially looking forward to Expedition Everest and what Animal Kingdom has to offer. The question for this topic was which do you prefer, and for me, its Universal.
From Chris WaltonTrue Anthony, Walt Disney was one of the great minds of the last century and a great philanthropist, but in the end, as Erik said, it all comes down to money and personal gain. He stayed true to his cause while making sure to turn a profit. I know it's hard for you to swallow, but it's reality. As for today's Disney Company, they're just trying to keep the wholesome feeling of goodness and magic alive (the "magic" Walt created) to stay on top of the corporate world. Disney's just trying to keep your head in the clouds while reaching into your wallet.
Posted August 3, 2006 at 8:45 PM
From Gareth HMight I post this about the "fun"tastic UNIVERSAL RESORT!!
Posted August 4, 2006 at 12:13 AM
Dueling Dragons is the first dual coaster in the world designed and built so that its two coasters furiously speed toward each other on separate tracks. The tracks intertwine in a knotted mass of metal that send riders barreling directly toward each other at nearly 60 mph – three times in less than two minutes. The coasters avoid impact at the last second by hurtling riders through a camelback roll, a double-helix and compound inversion.
Another coaster, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, catapults riders up a 150-foot tunnel at g-force speed -- with the same energy as a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter attack jet -- and immediately spins them into a weightless, zero-g, heartline roll, turning them upside down more than 110 feet above ground. Riders then dive at 60 mph before skimming the waves of the lagoon and then rising 109 feet before plunging toward the water below.
****Obviously NOT ripped off from Disney****
IOA is full of world class, first of a kind rides.
Jurassic Park River Adventure - Of all theme park water rides, the 85-foot plunge is the longest water descent ever built.
RIPSAW FALLS - This is the first flume ride to send riders plummeting below the water level.
SPIDERMAN - First ever combination of moving, motion-based ride vehicles, 3-D film and live action.
Oh yeah, theres one more thing
WHICH THEME PARK RESTAURANT CONTINUOSLY GETS VOTED #1 THEME PARK RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD ON THIS VERY SITE?? Hmm, that would be at the Universal Resort wouldn't it, oh yes!!
UNIVERSAL WINS - I rest my case!
From Adrian WalkerErik Yates: "Disney Quest is closing...or rumored to be".
Posted August 4, 2006 at 1:14 AM
No! I would hate it if that happened. I love disney quest. It would be a dream though if universal created a rip off though (Uni-quest).
I guess I will do my own in depth look at the uni-disney parks then.
USF creates a good movie experience but however Disney rides are much more legendary. Pirates, space mountain, splash mountain, BTMR...the list goes on. Plus all these attractions are going to be used by families, not just thrill loving teenagers. But Universal does try at creating a family experience and has added kiddy rides (E.T). However Disney just does it better when it comes to kids and thier families in my opinion.
Disney also has better water parks that have better theming and slides (as I mentioned before) than Wet n Wild. Asuming if you bought the Orlando flexticket, then you will realise that WnW fails in comparison to both disney waterparks.
But Universal isn't dead yet...
3 words, I O A.
Of course thier is one more thing that wraps up this argument.
1 word: SPIDERMAN
Boasting a ride choc-a-bloc full of scenary and storytelling value this ride takes the cake and covers it with webbing. It also in my opinion contains the best queue line video (the video before you board the ride). This is mainly thanks to the bumbling scientists in the video and interuptions from everyones favourite madhatter, J Jonah Jameson.
LOL I havn't even got round to describing the ride yet! Nevermind I don't wish to ruin it for those who havn't riden Spidey yet (and if you havn't, where have you been?!).
I'll put it this way, Spiderman was the best rated attraction on TPI for 4 years running and did NOT lose its crown. The editor decided to get rid of this award (quite right to do so, its no fun if the same ride wins year after year after year). But it's still the best.
Aah, I remember the topics now. People thought Revenge of the Mummy might rid it of its perch, spidey won, Darkcastle? Spidey won again. Coasters of course battled it for top spot, Spidey triumphs again. Great rides come and go but the lesson is, Spidey may live forever.
Thanks to the major asset of IOA, Universal wins the war for me. Of course that's not to say I hate disney parks, I love some of their rides (Dinosaur etc). However in conclusion I believe that Universal beats Disney in this war.
Eat that Disney!
From Mark WalkerHaving been to Disney 4 years in a row and Universal another 4, I would sum it up in one sentence...
Posted August 4, 2006 at 2:22 AM
I'm not saying Disneys BAD, I'm just saying Universal is BETTER.
With theming and rides aside for a moment, music is another factor. I would rather be humming along every song in IOA than than anything in Disney. Ooh, this is an excellent point, when's the last time someone on TPI sang to 'It's A Small World'?
Disney fans, eat your cheese!
From Erik YatesI like it Mark...Eat Your Cheese.
Posted August 4, 2006 at 3:21 AM
From Anthony MurphyOh Gareth, YOU are the one that is going to give me a heart attack (LOL)
Posted August 4, 2006 at 6:17 AM
Yep, that makes alot of sense!
Universal (as I have said before) is great, but Disney is better!
I also hate the Jurrasic Park ride because I feel it is so short and Ripsaw Falls stinks! Now Popeye, now thats a ride!
However, no matter what, I am going to like Disney, Erik is going to like Universal and we are all going to go our seperate ways by our own opinions. In other words, I think we are all right in some way!
From Chris WaltonBoth Universal and Disney are "trying to make a buck",Universal is just more upfront about it. Disney uses the facade of "magic".
Posted August 4, 2006 at 9:18 AM
From Gareth HPerhaps I just need to visit the Rat more often?
Posted August 4, 2006 at 10:15 AM
From Erik YatesWhat you need to do G is get an AP for WDW. At 400+ bucks....its a deal. Better than paying that 189 for the UO pass, and having to renew it every stinking year for $90 bucks...the nerve of only charging half.
Posted August 4, 2006 at 2:08 PM
From Anthony MurphyYeah, but that Disney Price includes parking, Disneyquest, Pleasure Island, the two waterparks, and all four theme parks.
Posted August 4, 2006 at 4:04 PM
Though that seriously a pretty good deal for you in regards to Universal!
From Erik YatesNo Anthony, the disney AP doesnt include all that. It includes 4 theme parks...thats it. If you want all the other stuff you mentioned you have to spend upwards of 600 a pass. Seriously. The 400 I mentioned is just for a basic parkhopper pass, does not include waterparks, disney quest or anything extra. The AP discounts dont even include in park purchases, they're good at Downtown disney and the disney store. Pleasure Island is an additional package, as well as the water parks....the price keeps going up.
Posted August 4, 2006 at 7:05 PM
At least with my UO AP I get my two parks, half priced admission to WnW, free parking, discounts everywhere in the parks and Citywalk, prefferred seating at all the shows, steep discounts to HHN, prefferred seating at Mardi Gras and other big events,free admission to the City Walk clubs, half price valet parking, (which is still cheaper than regular parking at disney)...the list goes on and on.
Yes, I have both disney and Universal AP's...not to mention Platinum Passports to the Busch Parks(which are by far my favorite priced passes) With 4 sets of grandparents, my kids dont get toys for christmas.
From Anthony MurphyWOW, the really screw you over with theme park prices in FL!
Posted August 4, 2006 at 7:45 PM
Good gift ideas though!
From Gareth HThe AP preffered seating at Parades stinks anyway. Much better finding your own special quiet spot that no one else thinks off, heeheehee.
Posted August 4, 2006 at 9:47 PM
From Chris WaltonSide note for USF...I've caught word that Universal 360 is closing August 11th, probably temporarily I would imagine, maybe they want to use the globes elsewhere.
Posted August 4, 2006 at 9:55 PM
From Erik YatesThey are closing for nightly performances, but will be back for HHN, where it is rumored that teh Cryptkeeper will host the new show. Sounds like a blast either way you look at it.
Posted August 5, 2006 at 6:18 AM
From Anthony MurphyCryptkeeper? Isn't that a little scary for little kids? Interesting concept though!
Posted August 5, 2006 at 7:52 AM
I have noticed that everybody is getting on the nighttime spectacular wagon now. Even Seaworld has one!
From Chris WaltonCryptkeeper was the "mascot" for HHN V in 1995.
Posted August 5, 2006 at 9:58 AM
So the Cryptkeeper will host the show for HHN (not an event particulary for kids Anthony). I'm sure the show will go back to normal after HHN.
From Gareth HI really can't understand why all the Parks start to close earlier in August. OK the local kids go back to school next week but other states don't.
Posted August 5, 2006 at 9:55 AM
And the Brits don't go back until September 3rd (Approx.)
I mean, Wet'n'Wild started to close again at 7pm this week, despite it being really hot. No more 11pm weekend closure there.
Universal will start closing at 9pm from Monday, the nightly show ends 11th or 14th....
Very weird opening hours despite the brits being over in force (I work in a british bar on I-drive a couple nights a week)
Considering the British pretty much keep Florida open during the winter you'd think they'd have a better understanding of when they come over and adjust hours accordingly.
From Chris WaltonOnly 5 responses left until this war is history...
Posted August 5, 2006 at 1:22 PM
Looks like Universal will be victorious!!!
From Anthony JSorry guys but I'll be Universal Anthony.. and Murphy can be Disney Anthony. Haha..
Posted August 6, 2006 at 11:39 AM
Yeah, I definitely have to give my vote to Universal. I also really enjoy Disney but not half as much as Universal.
I don't think Universal gets enough credit for what they've done over the past decade. I think their vacation experience is very different from Disney. You have two world-class theme parks (with incredible theming at that) walking distance from your hotels which I've gotten for as low as $130 a night. (I don't even want to say what I've been quoted for one of Disney's monorail resorts..) And I think the hotels are as nice if not nicer than most of Disney's Deluxe Resorts.
I love being a Universal Annual Passholder. The benefits are awesome. It can pay for itself in just one trip. It's nearly impossible to find a 10% discount in Disney with your AP. ("Disney doesn't need to discount" "Disney doesn't need to discount".. umm.. there's a reason why I have like 7 Universal shirts and my 2 from Disney were bought on sale at a Disney Character Warehouse).
I've had nothing but great experiences at Universal. I've gone with lots of friends who have had an overall much better time at Universal. (Being neither a Disney nor a Universal nut.. or a theme park nut, really).
So I have to give it to Universal. I'll be there for my birthday next week because I can't think of a more fun place I'd like to celebrate it.
From Chris WaltonTrue Anthony J, being a Preferred AP holder is great indeed! So many discounts everywhere you turn, the parks, resorts, City Walk, Wet n Wild, etc. It does pay for itself with in the first 1 to 2 visits, $175 with $99 renewals, you really can't go wrong. You can even shave a few bucks of those prices with discounts like AAA membership.
Posted August 6, 2006 at 6:20 PM
From Dustin KernUniversal because it caters to the crows that Disney hasn't really give attention to yet, teens. Sure they have some attractions at MGM, but Universal really has something for everyone. Dr. Suess's for kids, IOA for teens and adults, Studios for everyone. They also have more for everyone to do, where Disney caters towards the young crowd, which brings in the older crowd. Also brings in the people who haven't grown up from their Disney childhoods. More and more kids these days aren't watching the old cartoons of Mickey and the gang.
Posted August 6, 2006 at 8:57 PM
From Erik YatesI was hoping that this would be the last statement, but lets leave that open for Austin.
Posted August 7, 2006 at 5:50 AM
What have we learned here?
We've learned that both parks have equal amounts of things to do for the whole families. True Universal doesnt get the notoriety that disney does, but disney's name has been around the theme park business for 50 years. Thats a long time to establish something. Universal has been around 16....in Florida as a major theme park. We wont even count USH because of the sad state that park is in. Disney has lost some of its luster, and has gone from being innovative and imaginative to being somewhat worn down and recycled when it comes to its attractions. They would rather be "family friendly" to lure the money than innovative and lure everyone in, as they used to, to marvel in the wonder that is disney. Universal may be following this trend, especially with Islands of Adventure, but it seems like a case of being too soon to tell. Universal has a strong and loyal fanbase who speak up because they feel the need to against the eyes of what they seem as the "oppressors" in the form of millions of disneyphiles who seem to want to hold Universal down and keep them from being a success. What we've also learned is that there may be many more Universal fans on TPI than disney, or it may simply be that Universal fans have the biggest mouths and want to be heard the most...either way, Universal wins this round.
Most of all, both parks are businesses. They are here to gain our money from our hands, and disney has become better at doing that. Universal does it well, but they still have things to learn. Bottom line, both are great parks that deserve adoration from all the fans they have, and the many more. Universal just deserves it more.
From gabby hodginsI LOVED Space Mountain in Disney's Magic Kingdom, but then again I preferred Hulk, Dueling Dragons (I think it's at Universal), and all that stuff.
Posted August 7, 2006 at 7:52 AM
I PREFER UNIVERSAL! but Disney is just as cool.
From michael topazioOk, here we go. Been going to Disney since 1985 ( honeymoon), every year. Been to universal almost as much, at least since it opened. The main thing Universal has over Disney, is the express pass you have when staying on Universal property. You get right to front of lines by just showing room keys. HUGE advantage Universal. Now, I undersatand that Disney can not do this because of the number of resorts it has, but it could spread it out with certain resorts being alowed to have front of line access at certain parks every day. That being said Disney is still king but luv that front line access at Universal!
Posted March 17, 2008 at 9:49 AM
From James RaoSpent two weeks in Orlando last May and went to all the non-water parks Disney and Universal offer. We (that's me, my wife, and my three kids) had a blast for the entire two weeks, with no complaints. We loved the time we spent at Universal (stayed on property at the Royal Pacific) and we loved the time we spent at the Disney parks (stayed in a beautiful two bedroom condo fifteen minutes from MK).
Posted March 17, 2008 at 8:50 PM
Bottom line: for families, especially those with kids less than 54" tall (like mine), Disney wins, hand down. There is no contest. Disney simply provides the best all around family entertainment theme parks in the world.
On a side note, comparing the attractions at the rival parks: I agree with most of you that the best attraction, Spider-Man, is at IOA (although Mission Space runs a close second). However, the best coaster, imho, is Expedition Everest at AK. The theming on Everest just cannot be beat. And one thing I applaud more than all else is a good theme!
The best thing about the Disney/Universal debate, is that there is a debate!!!! Two great THEME park makers...and we are the ones who reap the rewards of their fierce competition!!
From Carrie HoodI think the biggest thing is preference and what your going to each park for. On a personal level I'd vote for each..... for Disney based on theming and food. By food I mean Disney's nicer, sit down type resturants are of a higher quality with a wider selection. I also feel Disney goes above and beyond on theming quaily.
Posted March 18, 2008 at 6:29 PM
Universal has it's own set of perks. I prefer coasters to Disney rides and finds Universal to have a wider selection of adult attractions. Universal also has much higher quality quick-service food for a lower price then that found at Disney.
So in the end it I think it comes down to what your going to each park looking for. I enjoy both parks since I find each to have appealing and aggravating parts.
From Chris WilkesI have to disagree on Universal's counter service food.
Posted March 19, 2008 at 5:24 AM
Every single counter service meal I have had at Universal has been wretched. Disney's is generally of the average snack bar/fast food quality and variety... but everything at Universal comes off like food you'd buy from a vending trailer just before closing at a county fair... cold, stale, flavorless save for copious amounts of salt... just bad.
Now the vending carts for snacks at Universal are fine (Nathan's hot dog... soft pretzel etc... It is the food at places like Captain America and Universal Monsters cafe' that is so bad in my opinion.
It's a good thing they have Mythos and all the restaurants in City Walk to counter that.
All in all, I think Disney has it ALL over Universal in terms of food, family appeal, cleanliness, friendliness and general park upkeep and consistent (if not to a lesser degree lately) plussing of attractions. And I prefer the Fast Pass system to Universal's Express Pass.
Universal has it over Disney in the cost and convenience arenas... as well as in big time thrills. Their themeing is second ONLY to Disney, but I wish they would take the time to maintain and improve their current attractions
I love both resorts... a lot... both are amazing experiences, but both are also far from perfect.
From Tyler Crozierwell ive never been to universal but from what ive seen on universals website and from what ive heard from some family friends that have been there, universal has more thrill rides but has no where near the attention to detail at disney
Posted April 29, 2008 at 4:16 PM
disney for me
From Gareth HNah, automatic disqualification if you haven't visited both!!! lol
Posted April 29, 2008 at 7:36 PM
From Hans MeiserUniversal has the far beter quality vs price relation compared to that enclosed expensive disney world at orlando.
Posted April 30, 2008 at 5:11 PM
From Brady AllenUniversal is always the same thing over and over and over again. quality of the park has dwindled since it first opened. Even though I am still a big fan, Disney is always updating and is always top of the line.
Posted May 1, 2008 at 1:48 PM
From Janis CastleUniversal, though it has some good roller coasters, can't hold a candle to DW. We stayed at the HardRock when we went and couldn't believe how small the rooms were. If you are going to Florida, Universal is worth a day trip, but if you have to do one or the other it is Disney world all the way.
Posted May 3, 2008 at 12:14 PM
From scooby doobydooI cant believe some of you think that universal is better than disney doesnt mean that it is. I mean yeah universal has hulk and dueling dragons but i mean disney has four parks, two water parks, downtown disney, disney quest, boardwalk and lots of nice clean, for the most part cheap hotels. Universal has two parks, only a few small expensive hotels, a small entertainment area, and a water park that isnt even that close to the parks.Both places are fun, but universal does not stand up to disney at all. And if anyone has a question then ask me!!
Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:22 AM
From Hans MeiserTheres a motel6 in walking distance to Universal, there are public Buses to universal....., nothing like that at Disney. As far as i understand it, there isnt a single bus public bus connection to the outside world in the entire Disney area, pff.
Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:35 PM
And since when is hotel size an advantage ?
From Sylvain ComeauWe spent 8 days at Disney and two at Universal in our week-and-a-half trip to Orlando in December. We loved all the parks we went to, but can't imagine doing the opposite: 8 days at Universal and 2 days at WDW. WDW is the king of the theme park business, hands down. And while I love Spiderman, my fave ride in Orlando is the Haunted Mansion.
Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM
From Don NealI still don't understand comparing a complex like Walt Disney World that has 4 theme parks and two water parks to a complex like Universal that has only two theme parks.
Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:59 AM
They cater to totally different people, and outside of the Disney Hollywood Studios, have absolutely nothing in common by which to properly compare and contrast them.
Why can't they co-exist as competition and complimentary experiences to one another without the need to promote one over the other as being better? They both have their strengths and weaknesses but in the end they are just totally different.
I know it's fun to debate this kind of stuff. Ride to ride, restaraunt to restaraunt, but park to park in this example just doesn't work. The thread about Disney Studios vs Universal Studios had it right on. Now that's something worth discussin. :)
From Michael OwenIf you put the debate aside for two seconds what you can see is we are looking at two of the worlds best theme park resorts sat right near eachother in Orlando, how great is that?
Posted May 7, 2008 at 6:15 AM
I'm a fan of WDW myself, the attention to detail and themeing is great, somthing I admire more about a theme park than anything else. mY favorite ride of any other is the Tower of Terror, I can't imagine a better attraction and fits into DHS perfectly.
At the same time I love both Universal parks and if I wanted thrill rides I would be heading straight to IOA rather than any of the Disney Parks.
Yes, Disney as a corporation doesn't seem to have the same morals as it did in the days when Walt was around but in an industry now put under so much pressure from shareholders for financial preformance can you expect anything else?
The main reason I love Disney is that even though I'm now 16 and in college I still get that same feeling I get when I went as a kid, that excitment before you go and the general feeling of happiness when in the park, an escape from reality. Although I love Universal, it doesn't have the same affect on me.
From Anthony MurphyI have made my return to Theme Park Insider!
Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:53 AM
Anyway, this is old news. We have had this problem for years of D vs U. I think the winner is all of us since Disney and Universal together is a theme park juggernat. I went to Disney World for Spring Break and I will say that Disney is still the best when it comes the overall package. I went on a a behind the scenes tour and it was amazing how much work is put in to make the illusion of a dream world. I think Universal is good in regards to having probably the most inspired rides in the past few years, but if you want to feel like you are stepping into a new world, Disney World is king. I wouldn't mind going to Universal Either!
From jim mclaughlinOur family has visited both parks. When the kids were little Mickey and co were exciting. However, any child 10 or over will prefer Universal because of the superior rides, Spiderman,Revenge of the Mummy coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure. Also, staying at a Universal hotel such as Hard Rock gets you express pass on all the rides with little wait. Time is money when on vacation. When Universal opens Harry Potter World next year this debate may be over.
Posted May 5, 2009 at 1:25 PM
From Deidre DennisInstead of choosing one over the other, I have to say that I like them both equally because they provide different experiences. Instead of getting into the debate about which is better, I'll simply say that I'm glad they both exist because that in turns gives you choices.
Posted May 5, 2009 at 2:13 PM
From TH CreativeBoth resorts are extraordinary and on any given day -- depending on special events, entertainment, crowds, weather and a myriad of other considerations -- any of the six parks in question can be ranked number one.
Posted May 5, 2009 at 3:09 PM
But if my wife and I were going to go out to the parks together we'd definitely head to Walt Disney World.
From TH CreativeWait I changed my mind ... Universal.
Posted May 5, 2009 at 4:40 PM
From TH CreativeWait ... no ... Gatorland!
Posted May 5, 2009 at 6:13 PM
From Anthony MurphyWhile I must give Universal Props by finally gettng into the game, there is not comparision between Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Disney blows Universal out of the water on that. There are not too many things that can beat the stuff you can do at Disney. Much better put together than Disneyland or Disneyland Paris. The only thing Universal is "winning" at the moment is Citywalk vs Downtown Disney West Side/Pleasure Island, but barely.
Posted May 5, 2009 at 8:42 PM
Sorry Folks, not a suprise, but Disney all the way! I find Universal does really well in hiccups of Spiderman, Hulk, Cat in the Hat, but fades in the stretch.
From Don NealWhy don't people ever do real comparisons like Universal Studios vs Disney Hollywood Studios? Those parks are apples and apples. Disney doesn't have an answer to Islands of Adventure. So nothing really to compare. Resort to resort, Disney has more to offer. Gate to gate, they are just all so different. What is there to really compare? That's like saying MK is better than AK or Epcot. That's just subjective opinion based on what you enjoy.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 6:04 AM
Universal Studios and IOA may as well just be gates #5 and #6 with Sea World being #7 in the Orlando Theme Park resort. That's 7 unique gates with really only 2 being similar in USO and DHS.
From hannah callerI like Universal the best!!
Posted May 6, 2009 at 6:33 AM
From DavidLOL TH and Hannah, or (time to show my age) Mystery Fun House (it's been closed for years) but once was a very popular local attraction.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 6:48 AM
From William ClarkFun Spot for me. IT'S HUGE!!!
Posted May 6, 2009 at 7:14 AM
From TH CreativeKing Henry's Feast! The best of the best!
Posted May 6, 2009 at 9:56 AM
From William ClarkOkay, sticking to the original question, here are my thoughts. First up, Disney. World class operation from the time you pull into the parking lot at any of the 4 theme parks. Disney lots are clean with many cast members to direct traffic. Orderly and efficient trams and monorails. Disney moves massive crowds on a daily basis and their expertise is second to none. NJ Transit should take note. You can also easily walk between any Disney lot and the main entrance with the exception being Magic Kingdom. You must take a monorail or the ferry both of which are extremely efficient.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 10:06 AM
Once at the gates, Disney has many more security guards to check bags and again the lines move quick even on sick busy days. At the turnstiles almost every one is open and manned. Good flow for even massive crowds. Inside the parks, Disney is almost whistle clean. Attractions have cast members galore throughout starting with the Fastpass kiosks and ending at the exits. Restaurants; almost every register is manned and open for business. Many cast members behind the counters and in the kitchen. Food comes out hot and almost always as ordered. Topping bars are clean and stocked.
Universal: parking entrance usually has 4 booths closed, lines back up. One guy making sure only those with their blinkers on and a piece of paper on the windshield go into the preferred lane. Everyone else into 2 lanes up the ramps. One guy inside the garage. That's it. You walk to the bag check where 2 security guards glance in your bag and a cop stands in the background. Lines back up. At the turnstiles, maybe 2/3 are manned and open on a busy day. I have passes so I don't wait to buy tickets there, I just walk past the long lines at the ticket booths. Once inside, I notice few employees, the bare bones minimum necessary to run the operation while still being able to extort $75 and not be sued for theft. Restaurants? Louie's has 2 sides, typically one side is open with 3 employees behind the counter to give out food, fill drinks and cash out. Lines back up. Let's take The Simpsons as an example for the rides. One guy outside to check Express pass. One inside to check again and feed the crowds into the lanes. At the entrance to the building, one more employee who needs pen and paper to figure out where to seat 8 people at a time. The theme here is fewest possible employees while making the guest wait as long as possible without needing Health Services to assist them or having to pay $40 more for Express.
Basically the same at Islands execpt even fewer lanes open at the entry so even on light days you wait in the sun to scan your ticket. Then there's the guy hawking pictures. I won't even go into the quality here. Now, you have no shows and no night show. Let's take the Hulk as an example for the rides. Overall the Hulk is a great coaster but once you ride Manta you'll see it has been overtaken as the best. How many times have I seen the line out the door, 60 minute wait and Universal only running 2 Hulk trains instead of 3? How many times have I gone to ride Dueling Dragons and had to wait 30 minutes because they are only running ONE train?
In closing, Disney charges a high price and delivers high quality. Universal charges the same high price and delivers far lower quality. The winner, hands down is Disney.
From TH CreativeI got the mania for water, Watermania!
Posted May 6, 2009 at 10:46 AM
From James RaoMan...we need to get to 100 comments and retire this old thread! =)
Posted May 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM
Good points, William, however, I disagree on one thing: I argue that Universal is a far less expensive option than Disney for my family.
Let's call the food thing a wash, as both parks charge outrageous amounts of money for food.
So we're left with tickets and lodging. Throw out all the current deals as they too are a wash, and we'll just use the normal rack rates for travel in May or September (that's when I travel).
One week at the Universal's Royal Pacific (Universal Express and park hopper included) for my family of 5 will run about $1500 including tickets.
One week at Disney's Port Orleans (which is not as good as the Royal Pacific and is about $50 cheaper, but I will give Disney the benefit of the doubt) will run me about $2700 with tickets and park hopper included.
With the $1200 Universal just saved me, I could go to SeaWorld (free transportation), see the Blue Man Group, and eat a boat load of food at Citywalk.
So Universal may be expensive compared to Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa, but not when compared to Disney.
From Anthony MurphyThis is an old thread :)
Posted May 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM
To defend Disney and its big bucks to go there, you do have two more giant parks plus two water parks and a Virtual Theme park. No doubt Universal is great deal, but it depends on how you look at it. Universal has gotta figure out how to better explain WHY its worth staying there vs Disney.
From William ClarkI base my opinions from the vantage point of an Orlando resident. No real need to stay at the hotels although I have on occasion. Being 30 minutes away down the I-4 it's easy to drive there frequently. Also I buy the passes for all parks including Busch Gardens, which at about an hour and a half drive isn't that far away. Since my wife and I have no children yet we move quickly through the parks riding each ride numerous times and seeing most shows. With children your experience is certainly different and much more expensive as I'm sure you know. I'd want the most for my family's dollar and you won't get that at Universal.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM
Let's say you spend 3 days at Universal, using unlimited Express you will see and ride absolutely everything. Then you take a day at Seaworld, Manta is a must ride. Okay now what? 3 days left. You going back to Universal? My guess is you come home to Disney. Now your vacation is really going to get costly as you need 5 tickets for only say 2 days. That means you pay more per day. In any event I can't see how Universal comes out cheaper in the long run unless you stay put on Universal property.
Blue Man Group. Saw it once. $70 each adult advance passholder. They got me once and won't again. Enough said on that.
From James RaoPlease understand, I am not debating that WDW is the greatest collection of themed attractions in the universe at all. I was just debating the cost for my family of five. Universal was a lot less expensive than Disney. (Anthony, I did not calc the water parks and more option, if I did that I would have another $200+ to spend at Citywalk!).
Posted May 6, 2009 at 2:32 PM
I too can only speak from experience: I spent two weeks in Orlando in 2007, one week at Disney and one week at Universal (no SeaWorld that trip). Our week at Universal was more relaxing, more leisurely, and more like a vacation than the harried week we spent at WDW. And we never ran out of things to do. We'd (occasionally) sleep in, tour the parks whenever we wanted (with the express pass that comes with your room you never worry about lines), eat good food (Mythos and NBA City rule), and swim in one of the largest pools in Orlando.
Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of fun at Disney, and I look forward to visiting again in 2010, but my week at Universal was, without a doubt, the best part of that vacation.
Besides, the best ride in North America is at Universal: Revenge of the Mummy. And the best attraction the the World is at Islands of Adventure: Spider-Man. How could you ever get bored with those two masterpieces?
William, I think you might need to spend a week or two in Kansas City going to Worlds of Fun so you can reacquire your appreciation for how lucky you are to live near Orlando! Let's face it: occasionally you have to spend a few weeks in Theme Park Hell in order to better appreciate Theme Park Heaven! ;)
From Gareth HVirtual themepark is Disney Quest right?
Posted May 6, 2009 at 1:35 PM
Not so sure its a "Virtual ThemePark" as opposed to a one ticket, play all the arcade games you can fit in before you get bored, kinda place.
Granted it has a HUGGGGGGGGGE selection but with the queues to play the more popular games, sometimes you can't fit in $40 worth of play before you get bored and leave and head off to one of the many bars at DDD.
(Thats my excuse for drinking and I'm stickiing to it)
From DavidLMAO @ TH answsers and Gareth you really need an excuse to drink? lol I drink now because the closing of the free beer at Sea World in honor of it, oh and I love beer.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 2:50 PM
But as for the thread, it really does come down to personal choice. I like them both, and Sea World (Manta) /Busch Gardens all the same. I go to each for different reasons. As one park comes up with something new, it raises the bar for the other parks, which in the end we all win (other than when they raise ticket pricing). And you have to think each park will have there days where they won't shine, trash, crowds, but overall I don't think they would be where they are right now without each other pushing to be top.
From William ClarkAlright, so now you have stated for the record that the best ride in North America is Revenge of the Mummy. Further you went so far as to say that Spiderman is the best ride in the world. Am I correct so far? Okay, let me respond.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 5:54 PM
Best ride in Florida goes to, by a hair over Manta, Sheikra. Best ride in the world? I'll limit my response to the rides I have actually ridden which includes: Great Adventure NJ, Hershey Park PA, Seaworld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, Universal Orlando, Universal Hollywood, Disney World, Disneyland. Best ever, and I think this might be a good idea for a new thread, goes to ..............
From James RaoSorry, Will, you can't debate me on Mummy being the best ride in North America as it won the TPI contest this year (you can see the proof here). I may not agree with the pick, but facts are facts.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 6:19 PM
As for Spider-man being the best attraction in the world, that is somewhat my opinion, and somewhat not. It won the TPI best ride contest four years in a row, and placed in the final four each of the last two years. It is widely held that no park has yet matched Universal's unique 4D adventure, and only Busch Gardens Williamsburg has even made the attempt (Curse of the DarKastle). Essentially it is one of a kind, and a work of pure genius. Until Universal unveils their new Transformers ride, there is no Spidey-killer on the horizon. So while this pick is somewhat debatable, I think I stand on pretty solid ground.
I am anxious to read your opinion of what is best, but you better have some solid proof to back it up. ;)
Incidentally, I haven't ridden Manta yet, but I would take Kraken over Shiekra.
From James RaoI posted the following once before during TPI's 2009 Best Ride Tournament, but in an effort to get this thread to 100 comments AND back up my BOLD claim, I will post it again:
Posted May 6, 2009 at 6:40 PM
...I have compiled a list of user comments from this site to support the fact that Spider-Man is the best theme park attraction in the world.
From Steve PintI've never been that attracted to Disney, it's very costly, and me and my kids have always been in for the thrills. Disney just doesn't have enough of those to keep us coming back.
Posted May 6, 2009 at 8:18 PM
Which is probably why Cedar Fair is high on our list, more thrill rides. So i guess my vote goes to Universal, it's the perfect balance of both company's.
From William ClarkWell, it seems Spidey has it's fans. I'm going over to Universal tomorrow afternoon with my wife and, keeping in mind all these comments, will ride it again twice. Universal closes at 6 tomorrow but with Premier Express after 4 I'll have no trouble getting on a couple of times.
Posted May 7, 2009 at 5:37 AM
I'm predicting here that Manta wins best ride in the next competition. Ride it yourself this summer and you'll be a believer. Anyway, on Saturday it's a full day at Busch Gardens Tampa. They open at 9 and close at 7:30 and it likely won't be a busy day there so... plenty of rides. I don't think Montu is getting the respect it deserves. I have a personal fondness for coasters over simulators though. Pirates 3D there is an embarrassment, except for Rodney at the end, and needs renovation.
Sunday it's back to Seaworld for another full helping of Manta. Front row, back row and a couple rides in the middle. With both Kraken and Manta, Seaworld is really shining. The park is clean, the shows are great and the food is good. I've always loved Seaworld and now well, it's a force to be reckoned with in Orlando.
From Don NealDarn it James!! I had almost put Spidey out of my brain so I could focus on Disney this trip since we won't be back to Universal until probably 2011 and you had to go post all the amazing feedback on my favorite ride!! GOSH! :)
Posted May 7, 2009 at 5:49 AM
From DavidTo help James reach 100 for this thread (almost there) I'll post more opinions as well..
Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:05 AM
Like William, I prefer coasters over simulators, but I will truly give Spidey it's props for best dark ride. Yet next year, I really can see Manta pulling out a win over Mummy or any other ride after riding it already a few times. I don't see RRR winning other than maybe a Golden Ticket for something, but I can see it in for the running too. Anyway you look at it, it's a good year to be a local (and native) to Orlando. I just hope Disney still pushes on with the Monster idea, cause I have to still give Rockin' at DHS props for a very well done coaster when Disney really wants to do one.
From William ClarkYeah, it is a good time to be living in Orlando although I can't claim "Native" status. I'm a Jersey guy. What I can do is head over to Universal tomorrow and try to get an update on how Rip Ride Rockit is coming along. As of last week the construction workers were still working on the track and no cars were running empty on it yet. I'll take a look around and let you know what I learn. Rip should be awesome though. Universal does coasters well, almost as well as Busch Entertainment. :]
Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:14 AM
From DavidThanks William, they should be start testing soon I would think with the track completed, but not sure if everything is done with the lift sytem on the hill yet? Maybe even see if the cars are in the station to where you can get pictures of them for everyone?
Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:26 AM
From James RaoI think one thing we cannot lose sight of is that for all the rides/attractions we are discussing, we are just splitting hairs. When debating the cream of the crop it always comes down to personal preference.
Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:15 AM
I love coasters too, but I have plenty to chose from locally, and while they are not as good a Kraken or Montu, they do offer similar experiences. However, there is nothing locally that matches or even comes close to the kind of experience offered by Spider-Man. So I probably appreciate the S-Man's ride a bit more than you Orlando folks who are surrounded by high quality, non-coaster attractions! ;)
I also agree with David in that Disney, when they put their minds and wallets to it, can make a fantastic themed coaster. RnRC is a lot better than it should be just because Disney themed it so well. Furthermore, back when I first rode Everest and all its special effects were in good working order (and the Yeti still moved and lunged), I thought it was the best themed coaster I had ever ridden. By far. Furthermore, I would love to see Disney devote their energy to making a truly great, one of a kind coaster like the oft discussed Fire Mountain or the Monster Inc. door coaster, but that just does not seem to be a priority of the company or most of its clientele. Alas... all that money and talent, and no 500 ft, 17 inversion coaster to show for it!
From Robert Miller5 to go James, I just wonder why people have to choose a favorite park,ride or whatever? If you'd ask me what was my favorite style of music, I'd have to say I like all styles. Just like I like different parks and different rides, why limit myself to liking just one thing? After more than 60 years of riding rides ang going to many,many parks, do I have favorites, not really. I like Disney for what they offer, I like Universal for what they offer. But I also like Cedar Point, King's Island and most other parks, even St.Louis(for the coasters). Do I have a favorite park, no, it just depends on what I want to do, then I choose the park or parks I want to go to on that vacation.
Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:36 AM
From James RaoThat's it, Robert - one more positive comment about Six Flags Saint Louis and I will petition for you to be banned from the site! ;)
Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:01 AM
From Gareth HYup, Its a good year to live here.
Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:37 AM
Still 2 cranes up at RRR, lots of landscaping to be done, but can't see it taking that long.
Tracks been painted now and its looking goooooooood!
From Robert MillerAnd remember James, sorry, but I also got to see Loretta Lynn in concert at St. Louis back in the 80's I believe. My wife likes her so much, she gave our daughter's middle name as Lynn. And the concert was fantastic. But I do remember all that gum on the roof and how dreary the place was overall. Does that help?
Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:39 AM
From James RaoYep, I guess it does. And, by the way....
Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:50 AM
From James Rao.... I just got the last word! =D
Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:51 AM
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