Disneyland Resort vs Universal Hollywood

November 14, 2015, 10:16 AM

I just got back from Southern California, doing both Disneyland Resort and Universal Hollywood.
DLR is, of course, the winner.
USH has a few boring rides. 7 rides compared to DLR's 57.
I also experienced things I never experience at DLR: trash, rude workers, rude guests, graffiti, and bad maintenance. Oh, and USH will never theme like DLR (does USH even have theming though?).

It has come to my attention that based upon my last post on why WDW beats Universal Orlando, that people expect I am a fanboy and here to only defend Disney and rag on Universal. That is not why I'm here, I only wrote a post stating my PERSONAL opinion on why I prefer WDW to UO. We're all allowed to have personal opinions, right? Just as I respect yours.

Replies (26)

November 14, 2015, 11:08 AM

If you have nothing nice to say...

Edited: November 14, 2015, 11:24 AM

You're still a fanboy, and you're starting to act like the human version of the "Whack a Mole" game.

You got mocked and belittled by some of the big guns on this site on your last thread discussion, and you still didn't learn a thing.

As far as opinions go, this whole section of the site is opinions, and nowhere does it state that we have to respect each other's opinions. Your opinion and mine are fair game to be targets. The Discussion Forum is like a rugby scrum, and you'd better be ready to get dirty or you can sit on the sidelines.

Robert Niles only asks that we be respectful to each other on this site. I'm probably crossing the line by calling you a fanboy, but I frankly find your discussion threads to be irritating and disrespectful to the intelligent, informative, and thought-provoking discussions that so many of us have had over the years on this site.

November 14, 2015, 3:49 PM

Not this thread again!

Edited: November 14, 2015, 4:10 PM

Well let's see, you registered October 30, 2015, you have exactly two discussion threads to your name, and both are about how a respective Disney park beats a respective Universal Park. Yeah you're a fan boy. You refuse to see past the borders of Disney parks. I'm biased towards Disney and Universal parks but I see the merits in other parks. Imo, Cedar Point has the greatest roller coaster in the world in Gatekeeper, and SeaWorld is amazing.

Edited: November 14, 2015, 6:04 PM

I stayed out of the WDW vs. UO thread as I have no first-hand experience with either park, but as both the Disneyland Resort and USH are among my local parks I'm not keeping out of this one.

First off, in my honest opinion it is unfair to compare these two locations. The Disneyland Resort consists of two theme parks, three hotels, and Downtown Disney, and is worth spending 2-3 days at for the out-of-town visitor. USH, on the other hand, is just a single park with CityWalk attached and is worth (at the moment) about 2/3 of a day. Furthermore, Disneyland has been a theme park since the day it opened while USH was more of a studio tour with a few added attractions for many years and has only transitioned to a full theme park over the past couple decades.

Now, let's take a look at your claims...

USH has a few boring rides. 7 rides compared to DLR's 57.

Counting both rides and non-ride attractions, I count the following:

Disneyland: 46
DCA: 29
USH: 11

Yes, it is true that there are a lot more attractions at the Disney parks. However, USH is not like Disney and is not focused exclusively on rides. Additionally, I would disagree with your statement about USH's rides being boring. I'd rank Transformers above all but two of DLR's dark rides. In my opinion, Jurassic Park is on par with Splash Mountain. I find Waterworld more entertaining than any regular Disney show except Aladdin. Also, while the theming is inferior I would consider Revenge of the Mummy a better roller coaster (though not a better overall attraction) than any of those at Disneyland park. Actually, while the attraction count is a lot lower, I'd say there is a higher percentage of quality attractions at USH than there are at either Disney park. Now, opinions may vary and it is possible that nothing at USH is remotely exciting to you, but for someone who is a theme park fan and not just a Disney fan I would find that a little difficult to believe.

I also experienced things I never experience at DLR: trash, rude workers, rude guests, graffiti, and bad maintenance.

As a regular visitor, I can say that I've seen all of these at DLR. In fact, I've probably seen them more at DLR than at USH (however, my DLR visits do outnumber my USH visits by at least 4 to 1). It may be that you didn't notice it at DLR or had a particularly bad experience at USH, but every theme park has these problems to some degree. I will also say that out of the 70+ parks I've visited, 90% are worse for these problems than either DLR or USH.

Oh, and USH will never theme like DLR (does USH even have theming though?).

For the most part, USH doesn't have themed areas and only themes individual attractions, so if you require an immersive experience DLR will generally meet your needs better. That said, USH does have very good theming on most of their attractions, some of which rival a Disney E-ticket in quality at 1/3 the budget. If you really think USH doesn't have theming, I encourage to visit any Six Flags or Cedar Fair park (excluding Knott's Berry Farm) and then decide for yourself whether USH does theming or not. Also, there are some areas at DLR that I consider to have fairly weak theming, particularly in DCA.

Now, for my opinion. Like I said, comparing a whole resort to a single park is unfair, so I'll compare USH to each of the DLR parks separately. Compared to Disneyland, it is no contest. Disneyland offers far more than USH at a comparable price, plus the park is home to some of my all-time favorites. Disneyland wins here. But what about DCA vs. USH? Honestly, once Harry Potter opens this will likely be a toss up for me. DCA has about a half-dozen outstanding attractions and a few areas with really good theming, but I still see elements of DCA 1.0 in parts of the park and have a hard time spending more than 4-5 hours here. While USH only has about half as many attractions, several are rides that I really enjoy and I'm sure I'd probably be able to spend nearly as long checking out Wizarding World of Harry Potter as I typically spend in DCA on a DLR visit (probably not quite 4-5 hours, but 3 is not too far-fetched). The main thing that gives DCA the edge for me at the moment is the value...it's only a $54 add-on to a Disneyland ticket and once you get tired of the park you can head over to Disneyland, while at USH the $95 admission fee is just far too high for what the park offers.

Ultimately, everyone is going to have their own opinion. Some prefer Disney, others prefer Universal. Regardless of which you prefer, it is difficult to deny that both are among the best parks out there. For instance, I've been to 70+ parks and I'd probably put both DLR parks and USH in my top 10 (especially once Harry Potter opens). I think there was another thread where I stated that I like both Disney and Universal parks for different reasons, and I have a feeling this is how most theme park fans feel.

Lastly, themeparks98, a word of advice for the future. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and trying to start a debate, but the way you express it can make all the difference. While I'm not going to say that your opinion is wrong (as opinions can't really be wrong), I will say that some of them could definitely be interpreted as fanboyisms. Try to avoid making anything sound like a fact if it is only an opinion (and definitely avoid incorrect facts), and be sure to cover both the things you like and the things you don't like about each location. No theme park is perfect, so stating that one is better without acknowledging any negatives of that location (and therefore implying that it is perfect) may come off as a fan boy statement even if that is not what you intended.

November 14, 2015, 5:34 PM

Thank you, AJ.

November 14, 2015, 5:48 PM

I'm looking to mixing in many visits to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at USH with my visits to Disneyland.

Sometimes, the answer can be "both."

November 14, 2015, 6:32 PM

AJ Hummel:

USH's rides were not as good as DLR's, IMO. DLR has more thrill rides, more family rides (such as the classic dark rides), and their rides are more enjoyable and overall just better and unique.

As for the maintenance, I'm not sure when the last time you visited DLR or USH was. I just got back yesterday from SoCal.

At DLR, the park is literally spotless. No trash to be seen. The guests all seem to be having a great time (me included) and I have not seen any bad guest behavior. The food is yummy everywhere. The cast members are polite and knowledgable. No graffiti. Perfect maintenance.

USH was the opposite. Lots of trash. Rude guests. Terrible food. Terrible maintenance (broken ride vehicles, air ducts covered with mold, grimy ride and attraction interiors, etc.) The workers were rude. A lot of graffiti.

I can't see how you've experienced these things at DLR. Disney would NEVER let those things happen in their parks, so there's something fishy about what you're saying.

November 14, 2015, 6:42 PM

Those were just my first two posts. Not every one of my posts on this board is going to revolve around Disney and Universal comparisons.

November 14, 2015, 7:02 PM

I guess some people can't see past their Disney lenses

November 14, 2015, 8:12 PM

Did you know I don't only love Disney parks?

Edited: November 14, 2015, 8:38 PM

Okay, themeparks98, let's break this down again...

USH's rides were not as good as DLR's, IMO. DLR has more thrill rides, more family rides (such as the classic dark rides), and their rides are more enjoyable and overall just better and unique.

This is an opinion and is a perfectly valid one. It is not one I share, but that isn't the point. However, I am curious...what specifically did you not like about USH's rides? I'm not asking for a quantity measurement, give me a couple specific examples. Pick a ride at DLR, a similar ride at USH, and tell me why you think the DLR ride is superior to the USH ride. What makes the DLR ride more enjoyable, better, and/or more unique? In fact, do at least one thrill ride and one family ride.

I'm not sure when the last time you visited DLR or USH was. I just got back yesterday from SoCal.

I last visited DLR in September 2015. I will be visiting again next week. I live in Orange County, CA and have had an AP on and off to the resort for my entire life. When I have an AP, I visit monthly or every other month, and when I don't I still visit 1-2 times per year. As for USH, I last visited in August 2015. I try to visit USH once per year, particularly if there is a new addition.

At DLR, the park is literally spotless. No trash to be seen.

Over my many visits to the park I have noticed varying degrees of problems. Lots of trash lying around is very, very uncommon, but seeing stray pieces or uncleaned tables does happen.

The guests all seem to be having a great time and I have not seen any bad guest behavior.

Many guests are well behaved, but I have been line-jumped at the park, seen guests obnoxiously pushing through crowds with a stroller, heard language you shouldn't expect to hear at a family park, etc. These are not isolated to DLR and are more endemic of SoCal parks in general, but they do happen at the resort.

The food is yummy everywhere.

Food quality is definitely above average for a theme park, but is not the best I have experienced. I have also occasionally had a bad meal, but I'd say this statement is 95% true.

The cast members are polite and knowledgable.

Rude cast members are very rare, and on the few occasions I have witnessed this it is usually instigated by a guest. However, you may occasionally run into somebody who is having a bad day and, while not necessarily rude, is definitely not up to the Disney standard.

No graffiti.

Disney does a good job of hiding graffiti, and I have heard they go out every night and paint over etchings and similar. However, if you are there late in the evening on a Friday or during the grad night period (when the park sees an abundance of teenagers), you'll see it.

Perfect maintenance.

I cannot remember the last time I visited and got perfect maintenance. It is very common that an animatronic may not be working, an effect may malfunction, an audio clip may be missing, a ride vehicle may be pulled, a ride may go down, an opening may be delayed, etc. In my opinion, perfect maintenance would mean that you did not witness a single one of these. I am not saying it is impossible, but I find it very unlikely that you did not encounter at least one of these during your visit. Disneyland's maintenance is very good, but it is not perfect.

Again, these things are NOT the norm, but they do happen. The way you stated it made it sound as if they simply do not happen and, as a frequent visitor, I can say that is simply not true.

USH was the opposite. Lots of trash.

I am curious what you saw as I have never found an excessive amount of loose trash at USH. Occasional uncleaned tables and random loose pieces, sure, but this sounds like there is litter all over.

Rude guests.

Rude guests are not a fault of the park, so it is hard to use that against a specific park. I will say that Southern Californians can tend to have an "it's all about me" attitude, but that wouldn't be found only at USH. Care to elaborate?

Terrible food.

I'll give you this one as I've definitely had mixed results with the food at USH. While the quality does seem to have gone up recently, it is possible you got unlucky as you probably only had one meal in the park. However, CityWalk is right outside the gate and there are a lot of quality options there.

Terrible maintenance.

The things you happen at Disney too, as well as every other theme park in the world. Did any rides break down on you during your visit or not open at all? Did you feel unsafe on an attraction? If it's just normal maintenance issues I'd hardly call it terrible. Perhaps it was more noticeable and perhaps you've got a significantly narrower perspective than I do but if what you list is what you consider terrible I'd hate to see your reaction to some of the parks I've visited.

The workers were rude.

Care to share any specific incidents with employees? I've rarely had any noteworthy problems with USH employees.

A lot of graffiti.

Pictures? I'm curious what you would consider a lot. Again, it may be because I've been to so many parks, but anything I've seen at DLR or USH looks tame compared to what you can find elsewhere.

Now, I'm not saying it couldn't have happened, but to me it seems like it's highly unlikely that most would think this is as bad as you do. I'm curious...have you ever visited a park not run by Disney or Universal? If so, how did that park compare in these areas?

I can't see how you've experienced these things at DLR. Disney would NEVER let those things happen in their parks...

Let me just stop you right there. THIS is what I mean by fanboyisms. "Disney would never." Do you have the authority to say that? Do you have evidence? Because if you can't back up the claim, it simply reads as a fan boy. Now, to wrap this up...

...so there's something fishy about what you're saying.

Nope, I just visit the parks far more often and see things the infrequent visitor may not. If you scour the internet, there is plenty of evidence out there.

Now, I just want to say that I am not trying to attack you or anything. I am trying to help you correct the things that are causing an undesirable response. What you intend to say and the way it comes across can be two different things, and in text this is especially true. I suggest that you carefully go over future posts before clicking the submit button and think about how it will sound to others. While I can't tell you what to do, I will say that coming across as a fanatic may not be the best if you want to maintain a good reputation.

November 14, 2015, 11:21 PM

Themeparks98: funny way to show it

November 15, 2015, 8:15 AM

Themeparks98: Did you know I only liked Disney parks?
I respond: Then consider joining a Disney discussion forum. A lot of the stuff on this forum is Universal, Six Flags, and Cedar Fair related. I'm not saying leave this site. Just be aware there are a lot of people who have taken off the rose colored glasses here. I personally try to only post about small parks on this forum.

November 15, 2015, 10:29 AM

Yawn... You know what would be so much more enjoyable to read other than this trash topic? Maybe an actual detailed review of how your days at the park went with pictures of what you are describing. This whole Disney vs Universal thing is beyond played out and not worth posting about any longer. If your day at Universal sucked... Please by all means give us a long detailed review of it... This however is a garbage and lazy topic only designed to have people click on it.


November 15, 2015, 2:28 PM

Jaden Cohen:

I said I DON'T only like Disney parks. Read it again.

November 15, 2015, 2:28 PM

Court E:
Okay then.

November 16, 2015, 5:13 AM

It's pretty obvious that you are being a disrespectful fanboy who only favors Disney Parks and trashes Universal. If you only want to talk about Disney being better, go to a Disney thread instead like wdwmagic.com.

Sorry, but I felt the need to say that.

And yes, even though I have never been to either park (I live on the completely other side of the country) I favor Disneyland.

Also, thanks AJ for your analysis, it was very intresting

November 16, 2015, 11:21 AM

^You should listen to this guy

November 17, 2015, 5:26 PM

Jurassic Park vs Splash Mountain:
Splash Mountain has a more thrilling big drop and more dips (including a couple in the dark).

Indiana Jones vs Revenge of The Mummy:
Indiana Jones is longer and more exciting. Snakes, darts, bugs, crossing rickety bridges, and the boulder roll are examples of the excitement.

I have never seen trash at DLR. Not even a piece.

I have never seen that behavior at DLR myself.

I've never seen graffiti.

By perfect maintenance, I mean I've never seen peeling paint, mold, grime, duct taped ride seats, etc.

As for rude guests at USH, I was cut in front of numerous times. People were also taking flash photos in darker rides.

As for food at USH, I ate at Mel's Diner, and right as I opened my burger, there was a dead roach lying in there. I told the waitress and was told "once the food leaves the kitchen, there's nothing we can or will do about it", with an exasperated tone. So, nothing should be done about a roach in the food? That also speaks for the rude employees at USH.

There was graffiti on several walls.

The maintenance at USH as terrible. Peeling paint, air ducts covered with mold, grime, duct taped ride seats, it was just rundown.

What I mean by Disney would never let that happen, is because most of us know how Disney treats their parks. Trash is picked up before it hits the ground, no mold or grime, no graffiti, kind cast members, good food, etc. When Walt Disney created Disneyland, he wanted to make it different from all the typical, dirty, rundown carnivals. Disneyland launched the modern theme park industry, and Disney likes their parks to be perfectly maintained.

November 17, 2015, 5:26 PM

^that was meant for AJ Hummel.

Edited: November 18, 2015, 12:16 AM


November 18, 2015, 6:45 PM

We love Universal Hollywood! NEVER taking my kids to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure.

November 19, 2015, 12:43 AM


November 20, 2015, 2:10 PM

You are right about everything (I wouldn't make threads about it though). My sister worked for Disney parks, and they always made sure the parks remained spotless, guests were having a magical time, rides and attractions were in good upkeep and free of problems, etc.
I can't speak for USH as I have never been. I absolutely LOVE DLR though.
Everything you said about DLR is correct - I have yet to see trash, misbehaving guests, rude cast members, bad food, bad upkeep, graffiti, etc. and I am a regular visitor.

November 20, 2015, 2:38 PM


This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive