Vote of the week: Are you more a Disney fan or a theme park fan?
When people ask me who reads Theme Park Insider, I usually respond that this is a site for theme park fans who aren't necessarily just Disney fans. And who aren't simply roller coaster fans, either.
Fans lining up to visit a theme park that isn't Disney's.
A lot of the millions of people who visit the Disney theme park each year do so because they're Disney fans - they love the company's movies, TV shows and theme parks. But they don't necessarily care about anyone else's theme parks, and many Disney fans never visit them.
At the other end of the fan spectrum, perhaps, are the roller coaster fans - people who value thrill over theme and who travel the country in search of airtime. For them, a trip to a Disney park is a rare occasion, more a favor to other family members who wanted to go than a chance to increase their coaster count.
Theme Park Insider exists, at least in my mind, for those of us in the middle - people who enjoy and value themed attractions but aren't beholden just to Disney. We enjoy Universal, SeaWorld and the best of other companies' parks, as well as Disney. Sure, we enjoy roller coaster rides now and then, just as we go see Disney movies when they look good. But the world's best and most popular theme parks are our focus.
Hey, that's what I think. Today's vote is about what you think. I figure it's time to put my assumption to the test and to ask you, the Theme Park Insider community, where your loyalties lie.
Rather than pushing you toward one extreme or the other, I've given you five choices. Here are the options for this weekend's vote, with explanations for each. Please pick the option that best describes you.
I'm a Disney fan. Period - You care only about the Disney theme parks, and have no interest in reading about, much less visiting, anyone else's parks. You're here today only because this post included the word "Disney." A lot.
I'm mostly a Disney fan, but like other parks, too - You're primarily a Disney fan, but sometimes visit other companies' theme and amusement parks, even though you devote most of your trips to Disney.
I'm equally a Disney fan and a theme park fan - You're a fan both of Disney and of theme parks. You visit the Disney parks, but care just as much about Universal, SeaWorld or other parks, as well, and visit them just as often. But you've got some Disney collectibles at home and consider yourself a fan of all things Disney.
I'm mostly a theme park fan, but like the Disney parks, too - You're primarily a theme park fan. You visit and like to read about Walt Disney World or Disneyland in addition to other parks, but don't especially care for the rest of what Disney offers any more than the stuff from other movie studios or entertainment companies.
I'm a theme park fan who doesn't care about Disney - You're a theme park fan who doesn't care about Disney at all. You visit only other companies' parks and look forward to spring, when we start writing more about those parks instead of all this Disney stuff.
Time to vote.
As always, thank you for reading Theme Park Insider. Whatever your reasons. ;^)
I never really had any interest in the Disney parks myself, always preferring a trip to Universal Studios or Cedar Point if it was left to me. I did recently visit Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, though, and I enjoyed them a lot. I was actually very surprised by the quality and uniqueness of most of the rides. Since I was a kid, I always thought of Universal as the main pioneer in themed attractions, and never really thought of Disney as more than kid stuff. I see it in a different light now, but I still consider myself an overall theme park fan than a Disney fan.
I prefer theme parks to iron ride parks, and my favorite theme parks are Disney parks. However, I also love roller coasters! Too bad parks like Cedar Point, Magic Mountain, and Kings Dominion won't add more story, theme, and special effects to their great coasters....
I'm mostly a Theme Park fan, but like Disney also. Heh, I don't discriminate. Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal (alphabetical order, so as not to favor)and any park that is heavily themed is my thing. But, in my opinion, I consider Amusement Parks & Coaster Parks on a lower level. I'll go to them if in the area but would no longer base a vacation on attending them. I've been spoiled by the Theme Parks' ambiance and immersive attractions and excellent shows.
I'm equally a Disney fan and a theme park fan!
I don't care about Disney anymore. I like a good balance of theming and thrills, like what is offered at Universal and Busch/SeaWorld parks.
I'd like to call my self equally a Disney and Theme park fan, but with my Nearly all Disney childhood, a sister and brother-in-law who 120% Disney, i have to call my self primarily a Disney fan who enjoys all theme parks as well. I'm gradually bending my family's ways to include other parks. For example, I'm a season passholder at SFOG, went to Dollywood this past summer, and am going to Universal Orlando in about a couple months for the first time in like 12 or 15 years! So i'm gradually trying to go to more general parks; i like them all!
I like al the big Orlando parks. Great theming, great stories and great shows.
I've enjoyed my experiences at Disney parks, and I voted as a theme park fan who also likes Disney parks. But I'm a roller coaster guy, as most of you know. I would substitute the word "amusement" for "theme" as theming is not terribly important to me. If a great roller coaster with no theming sits basically on a parking lot..hello, Dominator...I'm happy as a proverbial clam, baby.
I'm a big Disney fan, but it's mainly because they create such great theme parks. I also have really enjoyed the Universal parks, Holiday World, and even some Six Flags parks. If a ride is done well, I'm cool with wherever it's located. Disney has come back to the pack, but they still are on top overall.
I am equally a Disney fan and theme park fan. While the Disney parks may have been my first theme parks visited, they opened up another world for me. After visiting so many others and living close by to a popular Busch Gardens park in Williamsburg, I feel that they all have something to contribute to the industry and to the guests that visit.
I voted equal. I am vastly more familiar with Disney, and think the general experiences they offer are better than most of the amusement industry, but I still travel around the country to visit all the parks I can. I had a goal of riding over 100 different coasters, and I was surprised how easy that was, and now I keep going further for a new coaster or park.
Disney World's fifth park should be a THRILL park! Take the family to DW for a few days of Winnie the Pooh and Figment, and then head over to Thrill Kingdom. They could tap a whole new demographic.
There's no place like Disney. You just come alive when you step inside the parks. I LOVE DISNEY!!!
I only cared about Disney until Tranformers opened last year, also i always prefered disneyland for the history more than disney parks in Florida even with the Harry Potter´s atraction close, and now i want go to universal hollywood too, and i am not a big fan of transformers franchise, now i am fan of themes parks rides. The point is transformers and disneyland so close is perfect. Over seas I think Disneysea is the best "theme park" in the world.
I'm equally a Disney and Universal fan, but not much else. I've got Carowinds up the road and have been twice in 34 years. Same for Six Flags in Atlanta. Been to Seaworld once. Like most of the state, never bothered with Hardrock.
I think there should be another category: "I'm a Disney fan with strong loyalty to my home park." I was raised on Disney. Rarely a year went by without a family vacation there and therefore I am a huge Disney fan. That said, I am incredibly loyal to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as my home park. And, by extension, I am loyal to the Seaworld / Busch Gardens franchise.
I voted I'm more of a Disney fan, but enjoy other parks too. Magic Kingdom was the first park I ever went to, and today it's still my favorite park. Sure, I like Universal, Seaworld and Busch Gardens are meh on me as I'm not a thrill fan (not to mention little to no theming on most rides), and LEGOland is just downright awful.
As a SoCal family we love Disneyland and California Adventure and just renewed our passes. Magic Mountain/Hurricane Harbor is much closer. We got passes last year but probably won't this year. We're not too much into big rollercoasters and looooong lines and rude clientelle. Universal Studios is closer too but probably won't get passes there again this year. Not enough rides and long lines, maybe when Harry Potter comes.
I like them all. Busch Gardens, Disneyland, Dollywood, Holiday World...pretty much any park with quality attractions is worth visiting in my mind. Even Six Flags and Cedar Fair properties, which are primarily unthemed thrill rides are enjoyable (though not to the same extent). I currently have passes to Disneyland Resort and Knott's Berry Farm, as well as a three day Universal Studios Hollywood pass and formerly had a Six Flags season pass (SFMM isn't getting something to justify multiple 90+ minute drives this year or I would have renewed). On the two theme park tours I've done, even the smaller parks you probably wouldn't have heard of if you weren't a local (Great Escape, Lake Compounce, La Ronde, Quassy Amusement Park, etc.) were fun even if they only had a half-dozen rides of a generic variety. In fact, on this year's tour the only major park is Canada's Wonderland. To me, each park is unique and holds its own charm, and even at the worst park it is possible to have a good day. I have yet to find any park I truly hated, although there are a handful I would never care to return to.
I have to agree with Tom Rigg. I am first and foremost a DisneyNUT, I love and support pretty much everything Disney. It will always be my first love. But, I love my other parks as well. As a Houston native, we had many firsts in AstroWorld, but the extremely poor Six Flags management let the once funtastic park fall into complete ruin where parents would let their kids play while they went to work. As season pass was only around $100 (now that's cheap babysitting.) Gangs also roamed the park in the end so no parents brought their children to aid the park with an influx of income and there is nothing left of AstroWorld now...just flat land where mountains and lakes once stood. Also, I am very loyal to Sea World, TX in San Antonio...the largest of the Sea World Parks and this year we finally get the new Aquatica. Six Flags Fiesta Texas still ranks in the folks but there is a better bread at Sea World and the behind the scenes tours are great.
I voted as being mostly a theme park fan, but I like Disney, too. Theme parks just blend the theming and the thrills so well. Call me a heretic, but I've actually always preferred Universal to Disney, anyway.
I'm a theme park fan that likes Disney parks too. I don't care about Disney movies, TV shows, merchandise or music. Until moving to FL in 2002, I only visited WDW on 6 days in 4 visits. I like spectacle and larger than life entertainment and theme parks provide that. Rides, coasters, shows and other attractions are more or less equal in my mind for providing entertainment. Right now I have APs for Universal Orlando and Busch Tampa/Seaworld Orlando. My AP for Walt Disney World lapsed last month and I may not renew until September. This summer will be Disney free and I think I will enjoy that.
I'm from back in the time where there were amusement parks and Disneyland. That's it. Parents frowned on amusement parks pretty much - as I've read it - for the same reasons as Uncle Walt. They were dirty, had bad clientele (where's spellcheck?)and, I suspect were probably beyond our means most of the time - I went to Edgewater Park once with my uncle and I was too young to remember anything much about it; my family did do several outings to Bob-lo, though. Neither park has lived to tell about it. And, since we lived in MI, we never made it to DL...
i love all theme parks on top of my list as all time favourite though is sea world orlando
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is my hometown.
TH: Good video choice. My girl friend loved it.
Magic Kingdom FTW! Like I said before, Magic Kingdom was my first theme park, and today it's still my favorite (I have about 20 visits there).
I put mostly a Disney fan. I have been to many different other parks and have enjoyed them. Every time I go to Walt Disney World though, the place amazes me. To me nothing will ever comepare to the Disney parks. If I could go back to Walt Disney World once a year or more for the rest of my life, it would be great. I live in New Jersey and have been to Great Adventure many times but now I think that if I NEVER went back there again it would be fine with me.
I would say I am mostly a Disney fan, but I do like other Theme Parks as well.
Robert, a tip for you. If you want to get real information from a survey you should have even options. With odd options people have a tendency to vote for the middle one.
Thanks for the survey Robert. I can now refer to the Disney fan(atics) as "The 6 percent". :)
I think it was a fair question
And the Disney haters are "The 4 Percent", eh, NB? Which means 90% of us like Disney to a more rational degree! ;)
I'm a UNIVERSAL fan
After giving it some thought, I've decided that it's hard for me to not be a Disney fan as a theme park fan. Without Disney, it's likely we wouldn't have theme parks - at least, not to the degree we have them today.
Interesting vote. In general, I think theme park enthusiast websites have such a huge focus on the Florida parks that it is a shame that other theme parks around the globe don't get as much coverage. There is a wealth of information that we don't know about some theme parks because they just don't get the coverage. I am by no means complaining - but it is just frustrating when certain outstanding attractions get overlooked in votes and discussions because of a huge Orlando bias.
I care about Universal as much as I care about disney
I really do love Disney and it has a special place in my heart. From a toddler to now, the magic of Walt Disney has always been there to make the world a better place. I've worked for The Walt Disney Company and it hasn't diluted the fact that whenever I go to a Magic Kingdom park I, and I am not ashamed to say this, moved to tears whenever I hear the familiar music and carefree atmosphere (after all it is the happiest place on Earth). Disney's parks are a blueprint for everything a good theme park should be.
I was a theme park fan and in 2000 I visited Disney for the first time and from that experince, I then became a Disney fan too.
@ Flavio, I'd have to humbly disagree. If people want to vote middle ground, that's their prerogative. Plus, the options weren't presented in a 1 through 5 manner so I don't think that people are affected as much as you think. I'd like to think that TPI fans are passionate about their love for Disney and/ or love for other theme parks. There isn't a penalty for voting that you love only one or the other, just as there isn't a reward for voting that you both or one more than the other.
I'm a Disney fan, but I love all theme parks. The problem with Disney is it isn't keeping with the competition. Something is wrong when they won't consider new technology in what Universal is doing. There's a lack of awareness. Disney also seems out of touch with the way they are pricing their parks and their use of Fastpass, and the new Nextgen. They are wasting their money and worsening guest experience.
Anon Mouse writes: "Disney also seems out of touch with the way they are pricing their parks and their use of Fastpass, and the new Nextgen. They are wasting their money and worsening guest experience."
I find it interesting that most of the comments about being a Disney fan reference the theme parks. I thought I was making clear in the question that "Disney fan" meant being a fan of
@ Robert Niles: I read it as referring to Disney parks in comparison to general theme parks. That said as I said above, for me personally I can't find the two mutually exclusive as Disney forms the blueprint for most theme parks. Now that I realise you are talking about all things Disney I do feel like a mother having to choose her favourite child something I couldn't do. I know there was an 'I like them equally' choice but still.
@THC "How do you see the impact of that assertion manifesting itself? Decreasing park revenues? Lower attendance? Negative comments?"
"I find it interesting that most of the comments about being a Disney fan reference the theme parks."
Anon Mouse writes: “Primarily negative comments …”
That's "Anon TH" being defensive. :o)
There will always be die hard Disney and Universal fans....
Only 5% selected "I'm a Disney fan. Period". There are many people looking for alternatives.
Anon Mouse writes: Only 5% selected "I'm a Disney fan. Period". There are many people looking for alternatives.
@THC and Anon TH; the same person as I suspect.
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