Universal Studios Fl.

January 15, 2019, 4:07 AM

In my opinion the new rides are not geered to a younger,or 50ish crowd. My grandchildren want Disney better than Universal ,to scary rides
This is not good for Universal,It is going to much into movie icons.I dont enjoy it anymore or my grandkids.In times of country distress, lower prices,and happy ,feel good rides are preferred.

Replies (27)

January 15, 2019, 9:36 AM

There's something to be said for "counter programming", and UO has done a great job of filling a niche that WDW ignored for decades. UO does have enough family attraction to keep everyone satisfied, but I think they're wise to stay in their box while growing their brand. The ads are very clear in that a trip to their parks is decidedly different than the WDW experience. Both resorts can exist side by side, which is a good sign for the theme park industry.

January 15, 2019, 3:42 PM

It's too bad UO never really came up with an answer to the billion dollar Disney princess franchise. Additionally, with Disney wisely re-releasing so many of its classic animated films as live action productions, it seems like UO faces an uphill battle to fully expand it's draw across a broader demographic.

January 15, 2019, 10:25 PM

TH, I think Universal's answer to that has actually been very clear. They've gone after a different market to establish themselves as the clear #2 to Disney in market share.

January 16, 2019, 5:42 AM

Universal is certainly aimed at the 12 to 50 market while Disney is the 2 to 100 market. Universal can even be seen as the super-high dollar Six Flags. While that may be simplifying things, I am 50, and I love the thrill rides, and I have never been motion sick in my life. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite rides was the Spindle Top, which had to have a trash can outside of it for unfortunate guests at Six Flags (look it up, it was awesome).

I agree that there is a market and a place for Universal to cater to this crowd, and the way crowds are in Orlando, I am glad for it. There are a few attractions that are geared for the younger audiences, Spider-Man, ET, Suess, Popeye, but many attractions are specifically geared totally opposite. The Mummy would terrify a five year old (in Orlando). I could only imagine what the House of Horrors would have done in Hollywood. The Horror Movie Makeup Show is not for the squeamish either.

The fact is many teens almost 'age out' of Disney, and many young adults in the 30's are such massive Potter fans they have to go to Universal, and UO serves a huge public service to Disney, and that is siphoning off the crowds from them to the point that it is almost a mutually beneficial relationship.

Edited: January 16, 2019, 7:55 AM

I have to disagree with the OP. USF established itself as the Teen/Young Adult international-destination-class theme park, and for my money is the only non-Disney/Disney-linked operator in the international-destination weight class.

It managed to get the success it did by not going for the demographic that is attracted to Disney - young families.

The lack of Teen/Young Adult attractions is a problem I know Disney know they have. DLP’s UK ads encourage parents to bring their kids to DLP before they grow up too much, and the inclusion of Star Wars and Marvel properties in other parks is clearly an attempt to Rebalance.

By going harder into the young space, USF would be going pushing hard into Disney’s territory. Unless it’s got a solid plan to win that war, it’s probably better biding it’s time for the right IP and attraction proposal mix.

What makes a “Good Ride” is very subjective. Teens and Young Adults typically aren’t attracted by the dark ride heavy mix Disney offer, they’re seen as “Baby Rides” ( at least until they grow up enough to start to appreciate them again). That part of the market wants thrills.

January 17, 2019, 8:19 AM

Chad H: "The lack of Teen/Young Adult attractions is a problem I know Disney know they have."

I Respond: Where is there any indication that the "lack of teen/young adult attractions" is a "problem" for the Walt Disney theme parks?

Edited: January 17, 2019, 9:30 AM

@TH - I don't think it represents a "problem" for WDW, but it certainly represents a potential for growth, which is why they are building Galaxy's Edge and integrating Marvel attractions into the parks as much as possible.

January 17, 2019, 11:07 AM

TH, as a parent with teens who loves Universal, I don't think Disney has a problem at all either. On the contrary, while Disney likes business, I suspect the fact that Universal is pulling some of the massive crowds away may be a small benefit to them and both parks benefit from each other. Despite some viewpoints to the contrary, Potter is still monumentally popular with the 20-30ish crowd, just as Star Wars is to the 40-50 crowd. Teens love thrills. While I hate, hate, hate Stitch and the removal of the ExtraTERRORestrial Encounter, I have to admit that an attraction such as that fit the mold of Universal more than Magic Kingdom. While I am sure both parks would love to get and keep all of the business in Florida, it will never happen, and they should play to their strengths, and they, and us, will benefit as a result.

January 17, 2019, 11:36 AM

Universal is simply Universal to all.... There's so much for so many ages.

Now Disney on the other hand has mostly has child attractions with no thrill rides.

Heck, I can't even get on Pteranodon Flyers at Universal.

I understand Disney has some really nice parks but come on, given the choice... But, I guess some enjoy the child meltdowns...

January 17, 2019, 1:36 PM

I would say WDW is kind of like Southern California. Both would be almost utopian if you could have 50-75% fewer people there on any given day.

January 17, 2019, 6:51 PM

@ Mr. Emery: IMHO 'Mission: Space', 'Space Mountain', 'Expedition Everest', 'Flight of Passage', Tower of Terror' and 'Rock n Rollercoaster' could be regarded as thrill rides.

January 17, 2019, 10:24 PM

I would say Splash Mountain, Runaway Mountain, and Test Track would be as well. Kali River Rapids and a few more maybe too. Even though I love thrill rides, and hyper coasters and old wooden roller coasters like the Cyclone and Giant Dipper are great, at WDW the Haunted Mansion is still my favorite even though it is not a thrill ride.

January 18, 2019, 9:34 AM

"Runaway Mountain?"

January 18, 2019, 11:59 AM

TH Creative -
No to these being Thrill rides - 'Mission: Space', 'Space Mountain'

And these are OK but More of a Great attraction than Thrill.
'Expedition Everest', 'Flight of Passage', Tower of Terror' and 'Rock n Rollercoaster'...

Runaway Mountain - hahahaaah..... How does one catch a Runaway Mountain?

January 18, 2019, 1:20 PM

@Brian, I don't see how Rock n Roller Coaster can be considered anything but thrilling with its 0-60 launch and two inversions.

January 18, 2019, 1:49 PM

Yes to these being thrill rides - 'Mission: Space' and Space Mountain.

And I found out that Runaway Mountain is located right next to the American Idol theater at DHS


Edited: January 18, 2019, 2:20 PM

I gotta back up TH that Mission Space and Space Mountain are both thrill rides. Most rides with a 42" or greater height restriction (most restrictive rides in both parks) are "thrill" rides in my book.

The theater where American Idol was is still there, right next to (Mickey and Minnie's) Runaway (Railway) Mountain.

January 18, 2019, 6:09 PM

Yes, me being big dummy. Big Thunder Mountain. I shall slink back under my rock now...

Edited: January 18, 2019, 7:46 PM

>>>I Respond: Where is there any indication that the "lack of teen/young adult attractions" is a "problem" for the Walt Disney theme parks?

I refer you back to my comment:

>>>The lack of Teen/Young Adult attractions is a problem I know Disney know they have. DLP’s UK ads encourage parents to bring their kids to DLP before they grow up too much...

If Disney marketeers are sending the message "Get your kids here before they complain its too young for them", then it means they know they have a problem.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 9:31 PM

Gotta love watching TH get smacked down!!! Very valid point Chad H.


January 20, 2019, 7:48 AM

@ Chad H: So if Disney runs an ad campaign featuring families with small children does that mean they believe they have a problem with that demographic as well? And where does that "problem" with young adults manifest itself? Attendance? Park revenue? And have these issues actually become apparent within the model in Florida?

I would assert that Disney knows it's targets and they have been extraordinarily successful at achieving their objectives -- in every demographic they seem to draw to their Florida resort.

January 20, 2019, 9:49 AM

I agree with TH here. I think that ad campaign shows the exact opposite of what has been said- Disney is comfortable enough with their performance in other demographics to double down on their primary demo, families with young kids, even at the risk of appearing a bit more "kiddie" to those secondary demographics. If they thought they had a problem, this ad is the last thing they'd put out.

January 20, 2019, 10:58 AM

>>>@ Chad H: So if Disney runs an ad campaign featuring families with small children does that mean they believe they have a problem with that demographic as well?


But if the ad campaign specifically uses the following words:

"There comes a time in their lives when they're not little kids anymore
but not quite grown ups yet
An age were new found love does not replace true love
at this age they change so fast
So don't wait to take them to a place where they can still share everything with you"

Then it specifically recognises there's an "uncanny valley" like space in the teen/early adult area, and tries to turn this "flaw" into a feature: Get your kids here before they're too big.

>>>I would assert that Disney knows it's targets

Yet, you're challenging Disney's own marketing decisions to promote a Magic Kingdom style park. Interesting.

January 20, 2019, 11:04 AM

I suspect both companies are fairly comfortable with where their theme park attendance numbers are and what they are doing right now, or they would not be continuing to build and invest. If I had to place objections on the Florida big two if would be these: UO is too quick to close decent exhibits to replace with something they deem to be 'hip' while fitting into to their limited IP. Disney continues to utilize a completely flawed ride reservation system in FP+ that sucks the fun out of the vacation. That being said, both are investing in their parks which are causing each other to improve the quality of attractions to a degree that in 10 years the Orlando landscape will be something to behold.

January 20, 2019, 3:04 PM

And absent from Chad H's rhetoric only, armchair assumptions is the answer to these questions: "And where does that "problem" with young adults manifest itself? Attendance? Park revenue? And have these issues actually become apparent within the model in Florida?"


January 21, 2019, 11:27 AM

I will not mingle into a discussion that is typically "USA" :-)
Feasibility wise, one can do a breakdown in age categories (for any attraction in the world) with a % of attraction in each category. Strange HUMPS will show up, park after park.
But to start with : age 2, 3, 4 ... is NOT a theme park category. As JC Vanhouten suggested .. Disney = ages 2-100..., that is complete nonsense. A 2, 3, 4 year old is much more delighted to feed the ducks in the neighbourhoud pond, then to visit a bit theme park, where the ONLY fun for these toddlers is looking up at a FOREST of huge adult legs all around....
Everything about toddlers & theme parks, is parent's imagination.
The FIRST age kids get more or less concious about theme park visits, is +5 yo... (Serious academic studies about that)
It's PARENTS who invent the belief, it's PARENTS who want to go, and their toddlers do not have any memory about the whole lot, except the "forest of tall legs nightmare", or the endless crying without any appropiate PARANT's reaction to it (leaving the park at once) as, after 4-5 hours the toddler gets in tired short circuit mode..........
A pityfull majority of young parents, is torturing their toddlers in big theme parks. I'm myself a theme park research and concept development professional, and I can olny say : STOP torturing toddlers is excessive crowded places. Take them to KIDS friendly = crowd free, play areas. (Zero cost) Start theme park visits ONLY after the age of 5 yo.

January 21, 2019, 4:10 PM

Well, certainly, kind sir, it is nonsense, and I was speaking in hyperbole. When I am 100 I do not want to be at a theme park either. My point is Disney seeks to entertain a wide range of age groups while Universal seeks to cater to slightly older kids with more thrilling attractions. I think both have their places. I am somewhat reminded of Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy for some reason...

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