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  1. #1

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    Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Last month I had the oppertunity to go to the Universal Orlando Resort for 2 days (sorry no Disney) before leaving out of Port Canaveral on a Cruise. While at the Universal Orlando Resort I couldn't help but notice that there were many simularitys between the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California. I appologize now as this is going to be a very long post.

    These Simularitys made me ask the question "What if Universal chose to build the Universal Orlando Resort In California instead of Florida? How would this effect the Disneyland Resort?". Disney has the stronghold of both Amusment communitys in Southern California and Central Florida. However I think if a Universal Orlando style Resort was built in Southern California then they would have Disney Sweating quite a bit.
    I'm a fan of both Disney and Universal. The below comparissions are my honest and Unbiased opinions on the question I have presented.

    Both resorts feature 2 Theme Parks, 3 Hotels, and an Entertainment district. In addition to these core simularitys with in both resorts theme parks many of the attractions share similar ride technologys. I have never stayed at any of the Hotels at the Disneyland Resort or the Universal Orlando Resort so I will not be comparring those as I don't feel I could justly compare them. Therefore I will compare the rides and attractions that are similar and give my opinions on who did them better. The Similaritys are listed below:

    Jungle Cruise vs. Jaws
    Indiana Jones vs. Spiderman
    Pirates of the Caribbean vs. Jurassic Park River Adventure
    Splash Mountain vs. Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls
    Winnie the Pooh Vs. Roger Rabbits Toon Car Spin Vs. Cat in the Hat
    Peter Pans Flight Vs. E.T. Adventure
    The Teacups Vs. Storm Force Accellerator
    Dumbo Vs. Astro Orbitor Vs. One Fish, Two Fish
    Gadgets Go-Coaster Vs. Woody Woodpeckers Nuthouse Coaster
    Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters Vs. Toy Story Midway Mania Vs. Men in Black Alien Attack
    Space Mountain Vs. Revenge of the Mummy
    Star Tours Vs. Sorin Vs. Jimmy Neutrons Nicktoon Blast Vs. The Simpsons Ride
    Grizzley River Run Vs. Popeye and Blutos Bilge-Rat Barges
    Maliboomer Vs. Dr. Dooms Fearfall
    Screamin Vs. Hulk
    Its Tough to be a Bug Vs. Shrek 4d

    I will also compare the 2 resorts entertainment districts and current expansion projects As well as the themeing of the parks and lands. With that said I will give my opinions of the items posted above.

    Jungle Cruise vs. Jaws
    Both these rides are boat based rides with a live action tour guide taking you on a tour. Nether of these rides were my favorite of there respective resorts. But I do like both for different reasons. Jaws wins this one for me though. Although I like the humor the Jungle Cruise Skippers use I prefer the action sequences that happen thruout Jaws.

    Winner: Jaws

    Indiana Jones vs. Spiderman
    Both rides use a similar EMV technology however Spidermans ride vehicle feature the ability to spin 360 degrees. The major differences is Spiderman requires the use of the 3d glasses for the majority of the rides show scenes as the action sequences are made possible thru a 3d projection. Spiderman is an amazing ride. One of the best out there and much more technically advanced then Indy is. However Indiana Jones still wins this one. I like how in Indy you really feel as if your in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. You can see the real depth in the show scenes and the AA's seal the deal for me. Spiderman may have won this one had they used live action videos from the 3d segments instead of cartoons. Indy seems more realestic to me instead of feeling like i'm in a cartoon or comic book like Spiderman seems.

    Winner: Indiana Jones Adventure

    Pirates of the Caribbean vs. Jurassic Park River Adventure
    This comparison comes out of both rides using the splash boat type flume systems. Pirates will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Nostalgia reasons. However the thrill elements of the ride start right away with its 2 quick drops. From then on you drift thru the story being told until you are dragged back up to the unloading station. Pirates is great but honestly after the drops I was getting board of the ride. Jurassic Park is my all time favorite flume type drop ride. I think they did everything right with this ride. It starts off slow as the story unfolds and climaxes in the large drop at the end. So for me sorry Disney Purists but Jurassic Park wins this one for me. Orlandos version was good but in My opinion the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios Hollywood is still better.

    Winner: Jurassic Park River Adventure

    Splash Mountain vs. Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls
    Both of these rides are Log Flume based Flume rides. Dudley Do Right is good. And its drops are probably the best drops i've ever experianced on a log flume type ride. You also get more wet on this ride then you could ever imagine to on Splash Mountain. However Dudley's drops are not enough to win this one. Splash Mountain still gets my vote. Splash Mountain has the show scenes that that Dudley could only wish to have and it has a drop that is just slightly behind Dudleys. So Splash wins because it delivers the all around package.

    Winner: Splash Mountain

    Winnie the Pooh Vs. Roger Rabbits Toon Car Spin Vs. Cat in the Hat
    These rides are all Dark Rides that differ from standard dark rides because there ride vehicles offers additional movements. I didn't care for Winnie the Pooh at all. So it takes 3rd place out of the 3. Roger Rabbit is probably my favorite Dark Ride on the Disneyland Resort Property. And Cat in the Hat was my guilty pleasure of our Universal Orlando trip. However Roger Rabbit still gets my win. I like how on the Toon Car Spin you can at least control how much you wanna spin. If at all. It was a close one but Roger wins it.

    Winner: Roger Rabbits Toon Car Spin

    Peter Pans Flight Vs. E.T. Adventure
    Both of these rides are Dark Rides that are suspended from the celings of there show buildings. This is one I may get critisim from but I don't get the hype about Peter Pan. Yeah the ride is cool and has some great scenes. But the ride is short and in my opinion not worth the long wait it usually has. It had been a long time since I rode E.T. since they removed it from the Hollywood park. But I forgot how good the ride is. Well until you get to E.T.'s home planet and from there I don't care too much for the rest of the ride. Its just so weird. Well needless to say E.T. wins this one for me. I like the uniqness of rideing on the bikes and the forest scenes and que are among the best i've ever seen in a dark ride.

    Winner: E.T. Adventure

    The Teacups Vs. Storm Force Accellerator
    Both of these are spinner flat rides which allow you to spin your ride vehicle even faster. In my opinion both were identicle. Because they each make me very sick lol. I heard Storm Force was faster but It didn't seem like it. And frankley the Theme of Storm Force was pretty weak. It seemed like they just needed something to fill that corner so they thru it in. The Tea cups win this one for me by being the Original in a theme park and being just fine with that.

    Winner: The Teacups.

    Dumbo Vs. Astro Orbitor Vs. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
    All three of these rides are your typical up and down spinner flat rides. All these rides do the exact same thing. Except for One Fish, Two Fish adds in water effects and gives you directions on a route to follow to avoid getting wet. This one little difference to me is enough to take the win. I enjoy having an added challenge to the typical run of the mill Spinner ride.

    Winner: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

    Gadgets Go-Coaster Vs. Woody Woodpeckers Nuthouse Coaster
    Both of these are Jr. Coasters directed more towards young children as an introduction to Rollar Coasers. I can't farely judge this comparission because I never actually rode the Nuthouse Coaster. But to give my opinion (although a weak one) based off of Youtube videos I think Gadget would still win this one. Which in my opinion is the best Jr. Coaster out there.

    Winner: Gadgets Go-Coaster

    Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters Vs. Toy Story Midway Mania Vs. Men in Black Alien Attack
    These three rides are all Shooter Dark Rides where you have guns and have targets to shoot at thruout the rides. Buzz Lightyear was a decent ride but Disney really stepped it up with Toy Story Midway Mania. Taking away Buzzs Cardboard cutouts and replacing them with 3d screens. However nether of Disneys offerings hold a candle to Men in Black in my opinion. MIB is a much larger ride with many more show scenes and AA's in addition to a second track your competing against. From the second you step into the MIB que until you exit the building you are immersed in the MIB world. It also has one of the most unique ques and pre shows i've ever seen. So Men in Black wins this one by far for me.

    Winner: Men in Black Alien Attack

    Space Mountain Vs. Revenge of the Mummy
    Ok so I admit these 2 are loosly based. Both of them are Indoor Steel Coasters with no Inversions. And thats about the only simularity. Space is in my top 3 rides at Disney and Mummy is in my top 3 as well at Universal. However Mummys mix of a dark ride and a coaster wins this one for me. The action is nonstop until the ride is over. If disney were to reimagineer Space Mountain I think they could pull off something very similar to the Mummys technology pretty easily. But until then Mummy takes the win. However Space Mountain easily wins over Universal Hollywoods Mummy Ride. That one is pretty lame.

    Winner: Revenge of the Mummy.

    Star Tours Vs. Soarin Vs. Jimmy Neutrons Nicktoon Blast Vs. The Simpsons Ride
    All these rides are motion simulators. All of them except for Star Tours are postioned in front of one large screen where Star Tours perjects the images within the ride vehicle. Jimmy Neutron is more of kiddie simulator and takes last place out of the 4. All the ride vehicles are within the same room and you can see all of them while boarding the vehicle and while the film and ride is taking place. Soarin comes in 3rd. I like the smoothness and uniquness of the ride. However its just not intense enough for me. Back to the Future was one of my all time favorite rides and the Simpsons in my opinion is every bit as good. Star tours is a classic but is in need of its update coming in the next couple years. Both are very good rides but The Simpsons takes the win for me. I think the ride is much more intense plus it adds the humor of the Simpsons into it which makes for a great all around ride.

    Winner: The Simpsons Ride

    Grizzley River Run Vs. Popeye and Blutos Bilge-Rat Barges
    Both of these rides are you typical River Rapids ride. For a long time Grizzley river run has been my favorite rapids ride. The drops it has is unlike any other Rapid ride I Have been on. You get decently wet and its all around a great rapids ride. But Popeye is better. I don't care what anyone says. The point of a rapids ride is to get you as wet as possible. And its impossible to stay dry on Popeye. The ride was just overall much funner then Grizzley and although it lacks a steep drop like Grizzley has it has a long downhill slop that gets your raft flowing at a much faster speed resulting in you getting much more wet.

    Winner: Popeye and Blutos Bilge-Rat Barges

    Maliboomer Vs. Dr. Dooms Fearfall
    Both these are your standard Launched Freefall rides. They are similar in almost everyway except Universal at least attempted a theme for theres. I'm still not sure what Maliboomer is supposed to themed to. So since the ride experiance is pretty much Identicle Dr. Doom wins this one due to it having somewhat of a theme.

    Winner: Dr. Dooms Fearfall

    California Screamin Vs. The Incredible Hulk
    Once again 2 other coasters that a loosly similar to one another. The basis on this comparison both being Launched steel coasters with an Inversion. Screamin is diffinitly the much tamer of the two. Hulk is one of the most extreme coasters i've been on with highspeeds and thrills with 7 inversions compared to Screamin's 1. However thrills isn't everything and the Hulk is very ruff. Because of the Screamin get the win in my book. Screamin is very very smooth and although it isn't even close as extreme as Hulk, Screamin left me craving more where Hulk didn't.

    Winner: California Screamin

    Its Tough to be a Bug Vs. Shrek 4d
    Both of these are 3d films which features items that play on your additional sinces such as smells and feel. Both are very good films and unique in there own ways. But Shrek keeps me laughing the whole way thru where I only thought ITTBAB had a few funny parts.

    Winner: Shrek 4d

    Downtown Disney Vs. Citywalk
    Both of these entertainment districts offer many different shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. Both offer alot of additional fun outside of the parks but I prefer the more bright and vibarant feel of Citywalk to Downtown Disney. I think I like how it has more of an adult feel which is pretty much what Universal is going for with it. However I thought the Citywalk at Universal Hollywood was better then Orlandos.

    Winner: Citywalk

    Major Expansion Projects: Carsland Vs. Wizarding World of Harry Potter
    This is a tough comparisson since both are currently under construction. But based on models and concept arts I think that Harry Potter is going to be the better new lands of there respective parks. Once again this goes back to the themeing and the fact that your litterally going to feel like your stepping into the Harry Potter world instead of into a Cartoon like you will in Carsland. I'm sure both new lands will be amazing. However Universal is using a new ride technology for the main attraction in the wizarding world where Carslands main attraction uses and updated version of the Test Track Technology. Yes Carslands is bringing in 2 additional new rides where Harry Potter is retheming 2. But for the overall experiance I think Harry Potter will be better.

    Winner: Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Overall Park Experiances
    Obviously the attractions listed and compared above don't make up everything the parks have to offer. Disney has many excellent attractions such as Tower of Terror, Materhorn, Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and the Fantasyland Dark Rides in addition to whats listed above. Likewise Universal has many extra greats such as Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rocket, Dueling Dragons, and Disaster. Universal does a great job with there themeing. This is especially evident in Islands of Adventure. However they are still no Disney in this area. Disneys themed lands are much more distinctive then what Universal offers and Disney does a better job. One thing though that I thought Universal did better then Disney is its que themeing. Yeah Disney has great ques with Indy, Roger Rabbit, and Star Tours but those are really the only ones that stand out to me. Universal did a great job with Men In Black, E.T., Mummy, Spiderman, Dueling Dragons, Cat in the Hat, Ect.... They tried to theme almost all there rides ques the best they could. Many at Disney are pretty much completly Unthemed. Comparing all 4 parks Disneyland is still the top dog for overall experiance. Followed by the 2 Universal parks and then DCA.

    Winner: Disneyland

    So now to answer the question I proposed above "What if Universal chose to build the Universal Orlando Resort In California instead of Florida? How would this effect the Disneyland Resort?"

    Of the comparissons made above Disney won 7 and Universal won 12. This doesn't mean I think that Universal Orlando is the better resort. It just means that I think Universal did many things better then Disney did them. However take almost all of those comparissions and Disney were the ones who engineered them first. So basically Universal took Disneys Ideas and improved upon them. The Disneyland resort is also still much larger then the Orlando resort offering much more to do and more importantly more things for people of all ages to do. So although the Universal Orlando resort is a very good property with great theme parks and excellent rides that for the most part are better then Disneys offerings. I still think that the Disneyland Resort is still superior as it offers much more and is the better all around package.

    Had Universal built the Orlando resort in California I do belive it would have made a huge impact on the Disneyland resort. However at the same time it may have made Disney step up there game and build a second park that would have blown anything away that Universal had to offer. It would have pushed Disney to produce better products to stay on top of the game. Which we can all agree Disney needs to do needless of what there competition is doing.

    Ether way Universal still stands in Disneys shadows in both California and Florida propertys. However Universal is in my opinion a must see if your in the Orlando area. Although there are many simularitys between it and the Disneyland Resort in Anahiem it is still very different and has a much different feeling and vibe going on. And although I still prefer Disney to Universal its still worth checking out and makeing these comparissons for yourself. I plan on visiting Universal again next time we are in Orlando. Even if we don't have time to go to Disney.

    Sorry again for the long post. I just thought this would make for a very interesting discussion.

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    A few comments on your post: I would pick Peter Pan over E.T. It may be short, but it is more charming. I like the part of E.T. actually based on the movie, but the end is a bit too wierd for me.

    I prefer Screamin' to the Hulk, only because the Hulk is so rough on the cranium. Makes me feel like I'm going to pass out, and I come off that ride with a headache. Also, Screamin manages to be smooth, long and thrilling at the same time.

    I love dinosaurs, but Pirates is my favorite ride at Disneyland. So that one is no contest.

    Finally, MIB is a great interactive shooter, but I'm a sucker for 3D. I would give TSMM a slight edge in that category. And I agree that the Simpsons is the best motion simulator ride out there (at least until ST 2.0).

    By the way, Mummy is one of my fave rides at Universal Orlando, too. I haven't been on the Hollywood version; I've heard that it's weaker than Orlando's. What makes it inferior?

  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    By the way, Mummy is one of my fave rides at Universal Orlando, too. I haven't been on the Hollywood version; I've heard that it's weaker than Orlando's. What makes it inferior?
    Hollywood's Mummy is, in a nutshell, A launch, cardboard cutouts, stop, see bugs on a screen, see the same cutouts going backwards, stop, and wait 5 minutes stationary in silence on a turntable before returning to the station.
    Please...don't call me simmer, call me Mike Folf.
    I am a Canis Lupus Vulpes Americanis Califius, otherwise known as a Californian Folf.


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  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Pirates vs. Jurassic Park? You crazy!

    But yes, I actually agree with many of your points.
    -Bill

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Interesting post. I've never been to Universal Orlando, but based on your posting it sounds like it gives Disney some major competition down there.

    I was relieved to see you give the edge to Disney in the end though. (It seemed like your positives for Universal far outweighed those at Disney).

    The fact you still like Disney shows just how special Disney will always be though, ya know?

    Disney will always be the standard, even if other parks do achieve high quality in their own attractions.

    Other parks will continue to seek the same, special magic that Disney has produced for over 50 years, but they will never capture it in the same, unique way that the original has.

    No matter what other parks do, Disney will always be my primary destination and the focus of my attention. Disney is it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by simmer View Post
    Hollywood's Mummy is, in a nutshell, A launch, cardboard cutouts, stop, see bugs on a screen, see the same cutouts going backwards, stop, and wait 5 minutes stationary in silence on a turntable before returning to the station.
    Last I checked Orlando's had cardboard cutouts as well...


  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    I rode ET the year opened at Universal Hollywood and the line was 2 hours. It used the entire queue, which did go behind the building. The ride wasn't that much longer than Peter Pan. Can one really complain about Peter Pan having a long line for a little payout?

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    first, Spiderman doesn't use the EMV, also, the Jurrasic Park vs. Pirates is not even a comparison. potc by a long shot.

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    I think Jurassic Park is closer to a Splash Mountain-type ride than Pirates of The Caribbean... there's really no fair comparison between the two. Same with Hulk and Screamin'.. the only thing they really share is that they are steel and have inversions. Hulk is obviously supposed to be a very intense coaster, whereas Screamin' is supposed to be thrilling but not toss-your-lunch thrilling.

  10. #10

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    i honestly prefer It's Tough To Be A Bug over Shrek 4D. I thought the shaking of the chairs in Shrek was quite cheesy, and I'm fine with doing that attraction just once, I have no urge to do it again.

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by CASurfer65 View Post
    Interesting post. I've never been to Universal Orlando, but based on your posting it sounds like it gives Disney some major competition down there.

    I was relieved to see you give the edge to Disney in the end though. (It seemed like your positives for Universal far outweighed those at Disney).

    The fact you still like Disney shows just how special Disney will always be though, ya know?

    Disney will always be the standard, even if other parks do achieve high quality in their own attractions.

    Other parks will continue to seek the same, special magic that Disney has produced for over 50 years, but they will never capture it in the same, unique way that the original has.

    No matter what other parks do, Disney will always be my primary destination and the focus of my attention. Disney is it.
    Well said! Disney has an emotional factor to it, something that no other company can re-produce. Its one of a kind no doubt.

  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland Resort Vs. Universal Orlando Resort

    Here's my breakdown:

    Popeye is better than GRR as it actually involves a quirky storyline that fits along with Me Ship The Olive and an amazingly themed queue tied in. Perfection.

    Jurassic Park is overrated IMO.

    Spiderman is better than any ride at DL or DCA. Period. That ride is flat out amazing.

    Hulk is a bit more thrilling than Screamin. I don't see these 2 being in the same category. At all.

    Dueling Dragons is also a little more thrilling. Not in the same category.

    Harry Potter seems like it might surpass Spidey if the rumors are true, and they likely are...

    Cat in the Hat is a very, very nice and refreshing dark ride for kids in an otherwise adult dominated park. Disney quality dark ride (reminds me of Pooh).

    DL as a whole though is obviously better. DL is a perfect park for the whole family. IOA does have some glaring problems like the lack of family rides and lack of night entertainment. Yet when you compare ride vs. ride IoA wins imo.

    USF-

    Simpsons Ride is one of the best simulator attractions I've ever been on. I'm not even a Simpsons fan at all.... but I'd ride this over and over again. Hope Star Tours 2 can surpass this, but it probably won't. :/

    Jaws and E.T. are a bit "out there". I think both need to leave... I think E.T. is confirmed to leave soon btw.

    Mummy is SO AMAZING. To me, it's better than any ride in DLR. It also can't be compared to the inferrior Hollywood version which lacks quite a bit of scenes that Florida's has. Amazing queue, story, creepy creepy queue, and an abundance of thrill.

    MIB is way more complex and indepth than BLAB. But BLAB is a bit more likable imho.

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