Which speaks more to you: the power of the Force, or of magic? In your fantasy world, do you wield a lightsaber or a wand? Do your robes identify you as a Sith or a Jedi... or as a Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff?
As two of the largest theme park companies in the world this summer double down on two of their most popular entertainment franchises, we would like to know which one appeals more to you.
So let's ask the question: Star Wars or Harry Potter?
We've asked this question before, but with so many new attractions (and films!) based on these two franchises, it's time to ask again. Have the new movies and rides at the Disney and Universal theme parks changed your feelings about Star Wars or The Wizarding World? If so, have your feelings changed to the point that your allegiance has flipped?
Disney has opened the first phase of its Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland, with a duplicate of the Black Spire Outpost from the newly canon planet of Batuu opening at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29. Meanwhile, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure has opened Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a "story coaster" that brings the Forbidden Forest to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade.
Galaxy's Edge opened without its largest ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which Disney says will open at both installations of the land "later this year." Yet Hagrid's opened with issues of its own — diminished capacity that led Universal to put the ride on a daily "delayed opening" status until further notice.
Disneyland opened Galaxy's Edge on a reservation-only basis for three and half weeks, switching on June 24 to a virtual queue system that it's only had to use on that one day. Meanwhile, wait times elsewhere around the resort are at the lowest levels in years, as extra capacity from Galaxy's Edge soaks up some visitors while price increases and expanded blockout calendars have kept others away.
Universal Orlando saw 10-hour waits for Hagrid's on its first day of operation and has yet to roll out the Virtual Line for the ride that it had teased. But strong demand and limited capacity have kept average wait times around three hours... when the ride is open.
Ultimately, this is not an either/or battle where one park's success necessitates another's failure. Both Star Wars and Harry Potter can be huge hits for the Disney and Universal theme parks, without one taking fans from the other. But it remains unlikely that both franchises appeal to fans equally. I suspect that for the overwhelming majority of us, one of these franchises pulls us toward the parks more than the other does, even if both might appeal.
So which is it? Obviously, the franchises itself is important here — the movies and books that introduced us to these characters, places, and stories. But each the work of the parks' creative teams matter very much as well. The implementation of Star Wars or Harry Potter in the Disney or Universal theme parks can draw us closer to these respective franchises... or leave us feeling cooler toward them.
What is the state of your relationship with these two popular franchises right now? Which one is speaking louder to you? And how to do their respective theme park attractions affect that?Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.