There's no doubt about it, Universal has been a high end theme park brand for many years now, but since Harry Potter and Comcast have come into play, they have been in absolute beast mode ever since, and there seems to be no sign of slowing down. Their E-Tickets, level of theming and additional ancillary offerings have truly put them on the map as a true worthy competitor to Disney as it relates to what a theme park resort experience should be. I know many will argue that Disney has the bigger attendance numbers and market share, which is true, but it's a standard fall back to discrediting a competitor that continues to increase their worth, and receive favorable acclaim by many fans as well as insiders within the community.
So what will make things truly shift the paradigm? Universal already has 2 World Class Theme Parks that both offer amazing experiences, 3 fantastically themed onsite hotels as well as a 4th one on the way which will offer more affordable lodging options, full ownership of a water park which they recently acquired all of the land it resides on, as well as an exciting downtown district which actually offers night time entertainment for its adult guests. Barring a completely fresh overlay to their water park, and a few areas yet to be built out at the other parks, Universal resort seems to be just about land locked for future expansion.
But what if they made a deal somehow, to reacquire some of the land that they sold off years ago, which seems to have been recently purchased by another entity. And what if they were able to acquire that land and build a true 3rd gate, 5th onsite resort and possibly some other non themed offerings such as a world class golf course or even an exotic boutique park in the vein of Discovery Cove, offering interactive experiences with various types of animals as well as unique dining, spa/relaxation and entertainment options. Would this finally be the tipping point where Disney finally concedes it needs to pull the trigger on what fans have been clamoring for all these years. Would that 3rd gate finally give Universal the reputation as being a really for real alternative to the week long Disney vacation, and in an ironic turn of events, see guests only leaving Universal property one day of the trip to visit Magic Kingdom? If it's at all possible, I think it's what could be best for business for both sides, and certainly beneficial to all of us who love these parks and what they have to offer. What do you think though? Does opening a 3rd gate and possibly some of the things that could follow as listed above, finally see the playing field start to level, or is Disney just too big to ever feel any impact on their established market share, regardless of how much Universal/Comcast are able to build out and offer in the hopefully not too distant future?Tweet
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