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  1. #16

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by NettyVal09 View Post
    Disneyland obviously is a way better park regardless of the layout and how spectacular Universal Orlando looks!

    Agree! But I have to also agree with the OP's point. Universal Orlando is a really nicely laid out space. Two theme parks and a Citywalk and flows together in a more natural way than Disneyland, DCA, and Downtown Disney.

    But again.. that is the blessing of building something far later and inspired by the original Universal Studios Hollywood / Citywalk combination.


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  2. #17

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    If we want to compare the layouts, Universal wins. There seems to be plenty of space within the parks and the outside areas. Disneyland Resort seems congested in many spots and you can't always blame the mass of people. Disney designed their buildings to be closer together without a lot of easy to access exits.

    Look at the layouts of DCA and USO. DCA is not in a loop configuration. There are deadends. With USO, you can walk around the park and hit every attraction without backing out.

    Disney seems to like deadend streets and congested streets.

  3. #18

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I just want to reiterate that Universal Orlando is the name of the resort which contains the theme parks Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure.

    It seems like many people are confused by the question.

  4. #19

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    The primary assumption of your question is incorrect (Universal Orlando better than Disneyland), so asking why it is better - makes no sense.








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  5. #20

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    nothing is better than Disneyland.
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  6. #21

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    The primary assumption of your question is incorrect (Universal Orlando better than Disneyland), so asking why it is better - makes no sense.

    Huh? What does this have to do with anything? What are you referring to? This statement is very ambiguous.

  7. #22

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    Huh? What does this have to do with anything? What are you referring to? This statement is very ambiguous.
    He's commenting on Disneyland being a superior to park to UO and thus the title of your thread being based on an incorrect assumption.

    This is yet another example of someone who did not take the time to read or discern what this thread is about and can be added to the list of over half the respondents who also did the same. I think this could be a really interesting master-planning discussion, if everyone could manage to stay on topic.

    I know its heresy around here to say anything is better than DL, but let's at least try to keep on point.
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  8. #23

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by cruise View Post
    I think this could be a really interesting master-planning discussion, if everyone could manage to stay on topic.
    I agree, UO exhibits some of the best master planning of a theme park resort.

  9. #24

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    I just want to reiterate that Universal Orlando is the name of the resort which contains the theme parks Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure.

    It seems like many people are confused by the question.
    Your opening paragraph in the opening post talks about 'overall' yet doesn't really make the distinction about talking about the master planning of the RESORT, not the parks. Adding that in the opening paragraph that you are talking about the RESORT and it's planning and not the parks may help.

    On the subject.. I think the execution of citywalk is better... but I really feel like USO is harder on the feet than it's equivalent DLR layout. The boat transportation isn't exactly convenient in where the pickup/dropoffs are compared to where they could be.

    DLR isn't exactly curb to curb either... but perceived the transportation is more direct to where you are headed..
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  10. #25

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I agree that there are some problems with DLR but I've never been to Uni Orlando so I can't compare them. But Disneyland could be improved so much relatively easily. I just don't understand why people always say things like, it's stuck the way it is, it simply is not. DLR can become a lot better and I have no doubt it will continue to do so.

    This often repeated idea that constraints are a problem to designers shows a lack of understanding what design is all about. Good designers prefer projects with complex constraints, constraints are simply challenges for the designer to solve and often provide a strong guide for your design solutions. Without constraints, there really can be no design. The best designs come from meeting the challenges of constraints in a elegant manner. As my Design Theory Professor used to say, "Nothing great is ever achieved in prefect situations."

    I agree with This and i think that the reason people bring up westcot is not so much because of what the park could have been but because of how it was presented to the world. The overall layout that was conceived when westcot was an option worked to create a much better flowing resort.

    Wescot was also designed to fit within the property that DCA sits in plus of course the corner non owned Disney property but what made it work was the design elements that spilled into the rest of the expansion. The inclusion of overhead peoplemovers to take people to and from the parking structure instead of trams, the multi level entertainment area that would have been built where the bus loading site is and of course the small body of water that would have been a transitional point from the two gates to the hotel district.

    The Disney hotel district would have used up the whole western side of Disneyland owned property creating a nice barrier from the outside world. Parking for all the hotels would have been parking structures that were built along the properties edge north to south with nicely landscaped entrance that did help flow with the property.

    The biggest change was the mickey and friends parking structure which would have be pretty much identical but built at the far western edge of the property behind hotels and hidden with landscaping. there would not have been a need for the large sectins of asphalt roads for trams as well because all guests would arrive in constantly moving elevated people movers to the designated ticket area between the gates.

    I think that the resort could still be improved on to help with the flow even within its constraints. First thing is to revive the elevated people mover system with stations placed on a couple levels of the parking structures eliminating the need for a tram loading area near the parking structure. The tram loading area next to DTD would be eliminated and instead queue areas built within the confines of the tram road section behind the house of blue. The large piece of property that is now used for tram loading area and turn around would now be available for DTD expansion and maybe a green area with water.

    That change would allow for a much better flow of the resort between parks and entertainment district.

    The next big change would be to turn the whole DTD parking area and Paradise Pier hotel area into a lush hotel district with a parking structure at the far end that could be used by the hotels and DTD patrons. I also which that when they change the elevation of that road to create the DTD bridge that they had gone ahead and did the same along the rest of the street so that Paradise pier hotel and GCH were better connected

  11. #26

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I do like the "balance" that exists as you emerge from City Walk and can decide to go to Universal Studios or IOA but I have to say they made one critical mistake for both parks that I really dislike... Both IOA and USO are loops around a lagoon.

    I find that lay out really unappealing. I dislike the mini-loop in DCA for Paradise Pier. It really takes away from your opportunity to explore and move as you wish. You are basically forced into a clockwise or counter-clockwise route (and with Potter now almost exclusively counter-clockwise)

    In that fashion you seem obligated to take attractions while there. Just doesn't appeal to me. I love the hub and spoke layout that lets you go from exploring space on Star Tours to a boat tour with pirates!
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  12. #27

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    eh, the parking at Universal in Orlando is very far from the park entrance. Not fun since I had to push my wife in her wheelchair. If there is a drop off spot somewhere the employees I talked to knew nothing of it, they just kept suggesting the moving walkways
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  13. #28

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazybirdman View Post
    eh, the parking at Universal in Orlando is very far from the park entrance. Not fun since I had to push my wife in her wheelchair. If there is a drop off spot somewhere the employees I talked to knew nothing of it, they just kept suggesting the moving walkways
    There is a drop off where you can bypass the moving walkways and go directly to CityWalk. The walkway is between the movie theater and where everyone else gets off the parking garage.

    Baloo, I do agree that the master planning of the resort when WestCOT was in the plans was far superior to what is there now. If only they used more of those elements. PeopleMovers, a lake, big parking garages, it would've flowed great.

  14. #29

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Original Poster Said: "However, when comparing these similarities, Universal Orlando is much better laid out and provides for a more complete vacation destination [than DLR]."

    I disagree entirely.

    So my daughter and I are HUGE HP fans. After our Disney cruise this summer, we spent 3-4 days in UOR. All I can say is that, after 3-4 days, we were more than done with UOR. Now, we are currently in the process of planning another week-long trip to DLR.

    Look, there can be no doubt that IOA is impressive. The scope and level of the detail, the size, the play areas, the rides, etc., is just incredible. As a father of young children, I wish greatly that Disney would learn from the play areas in IOA.

    Even so, there is really just no comparison between UOR and DLR as a comprehensive vacation destination. DLR is FAR better. Here is why my family and I (HUGE HP fans though we are) would rather stay a week in DLR than even 3-4 days at UOR:

    1. Family Planning:

    As amazing as IOA is, it simply lacks the "family" approach to its design that is so common in the Disney parks (and especially DLR). As a father of a 2 and 4 year old, in addition to older children, I can tell you there is NOTHING for the younger kids to do in IOA outside of Suess Landing, Popeye's Ship (which is fairly lame), Jurrassc Park (which is also for older children). Universal Studios Orlando is even worse; there is one younger kid area in the whole park. While this area is fun, it is small, and entirely out of way.

    This creates a MAJOR PROBLEMS with UOR! You see, DLR is MUCH better planned as a vacation destination for whole families. My wife can take my daughter on California screaming while I take the younger ones on Toy Story Mania or the Triton Carousel or the Fun Wheel. If me and my daughter and older boy go on GRR, grandpa can go take the baby to the Camp Redwood and have a BLAST with him. If the older kids want to go on BTMRR for the tenth time, no biggie, since we will either take the kids on their favorite ride (Pirates) for the tenth time and meet up in about the same place.

    You see, DLR was built with the entire family in mind. It is not just the immersion (though Disney as a whole is much better than Universal at theme immersion absent some areas of IOA). Rather, it is that Disney understands that the best part about being at the theme park with your family is NOT the rides, it is that you are with your family having fun at a theme park.

    That is the number one reason why Disney will always win. As much as we LOVED IOA this last summer, it just wasn't Disney and we were more than done with the entire UOR after 3-4 days. Why? Becuase my 2 and 4 year old could do nothing (NOTHING) in, say, Harry Potter land. Seriously, they were too small to even ride the Hippogriff ride! It was either sit and have a butter beer in the three broomsticks for the tenth time OR one of us had to ditch the rest of the family and make the 10-15 minute hike back to Suess Landing to go ride Cat in the Hat for the twentieth time.

    In other words, it was always a "give or take." Who's turn is it to give, and who's turn is it to take? Did the adults and older kids have the "give" to return to Suess Landing for the fifth time that day? Or, did the young ones have the "give" and stick it out and essentially pick their noses while Dad and sister went on Hulk and Spiderman? Or (even worse), do we entirely split-up (which in my opinion is lame)?

    In the end, we had no choice but to split up. However, unlike DLR, when we split up, it took HOURS before we got back together again, only to split up again after dinner. Sorry, but UOR is VERY POORLY PLANNED in comparison to DLR when it comes to family vacationing, especially when the family consists of members who are either much younger (or much older) than other family members.

    2. Complete Lack of Activities for Young Children.

    Disney recognizes that the least patient ones are the young children. That is why most Disney e-tickets are built for the whole family to enjoy, whether you are 2, 10, or 90. In the event the e-ticket is also a "thrill ride" meant for older kids and healthy adults, there are at least 2-3 other "whole family" or kid rides close by.

    So the older kids want to do splash mountain? Fine, grandma and grandpa can take the babies on Pooh. The older kids want to do Space Mountain? Dad will take the baby boys on Buzz or Autopia. The Older kids want to do Tower of Terror? Mom will take the kids to bugs land or Monster's Inc., which is right next door.

    I am sorry, but even my older kids like riding Peter Pan. Even my older kids will enjoy taking their baby brother on Roger Rabbit. All of us love the HM (especially during the holidays). Believe it or not, we all get a kick out of watching the younger ones on Small World.

    Disneyland has MUCH more to do for the younger troop. As a result, Disney will always win our time and money (or at least the majority of it). If the youngest ones are having fun, we all are having fun. There is PLENTY to do in DLR for the older kids. DLR is the much better resort and is much better planned for this reason: the entire family can ALWAYS stay together, ALWAYS. That is the major pull about DLR.

    3. Professional Shows.

    You just cannot beat DLR shows, period. Once again, they are for the whole family, not just one or two members of the family. On that note, they are SO much more professional. Compare the Barney show to Disney Junior Live on Stage. Compare a dog and pet show to Fantasmic. Compare Monsters Live on Stage to World of Color.

    Indeed, compare Aladdin to any show at any resort anywhere (including WDW). Even shows that everyone complains about...compare Captain EO to Shrek 4D. Compare Muppets to Terminator 3D. There just is no comparision in the quality of the "whole family" entertainment at Disney.

    4. Immersion.


    Disney wins hands down in immersion as well. Look, TWWOHP is great. If all of UOR was like this, it would give Disney a real run for their money.

    But the truth is that, outside of a handful of the lands at IOA, the rest of UOR is sort of a joke when it comes to theme and immersion. This is not only true for the "lands," but the rides themselves. There is very little "immersion" when it comes to the Hulk or the Storm Accelerator. Outside from Jurassic Park and TWWOHP, the other lands just seem to lack any real depth of character. Also, I am sorry, but USO is not well-themed at all. YOu have a Simpson's ride next door to a MIB ride which is next door to a Jaws ride, which is right next door to a dog show.

    DLR is much better planned that UOR when it comes to theming. This is especially true since California Adventure's mass makover has been taking place.

    5. Connection.

    Indeed, already there are at least some parts of IOA that already feel very "dated."

    The one thing that Disney has done right is to ensure that, by and large, their theme-parks withstand the ultimate tests of time. Disneyland has been (and always will be) "classical" and up to date. I think that IOA is looking for that as well, but just can't seem to replicate it.

    It is hard to feel the same "nostalgia" about the mystical port of entry that we do about Main Street U.S.A. It is hard to feel the same way about Dudley Do Right and Popeye that we do about Aladdin, Peter Pan, or the Tiki Room Birds, or Donald or any other Disney themed-characters.

    This is true even with respect to those we genuinely care about. My son LOVES Wolverine, but it is hard for the rest of the family to feel the same way about Wolverine that we all do about Mickey or Brer Rabbit. In contrast to Spiderman, all of us love Jack Sparrow, not just some of us. None of us know who Dudley Do Right is, or care to. Only myself and my wife know who Popeye is, though neither of us care much about the character. Jurassic Park was a O.K. movie, but not one I really grew up with or care about. Dr. Grant was never Indianna Jones or Han Solo to me.

    Part of this was (of course) the fact that Disney was first, but part of it is that Disney knows what material and rides to scrap and when.

    For example, my kids got a HUGE kick out of Fivel's Western Playland at USO, but they really don't know anything about Fivel.

    Take for example Jurassic Park at IOA. I remember thinking, "This is really cool, but Jurassic Park????" Really, we are going to compare Dr. Grant to Darth Vader and Indianna Jones??? I am sorry, but the my kids (and myself) could care less about Jurassic Park. On the other hand, we watched two star wars shows just last week (again).

    Aside from Harry Potter (which I think will always be classy and classical), IOA and UOR have very little long-term nostalgic appeal. Everywhere you turn just screams "outdated themeing." Dr. Suess, while cute, never invoked the same feelings in America's children that Mickey Mouse, Tigger, and the Disney princesses did. Honestly, even old shows like TRON will connect and inspire imagination in the general populace much more than the Simpsons. I would even take ancient shows like the Swiss Family Robinson or First Man on the Mountain long over Twister as far as nostalgic and imaginative inspiration are concerned.

    Indeed, it would seem that IOA is doomed to suffer the same fate within the next 10 or so years as Universal Studios Orlando. Really, who cares about Jimmy Neutron or those weird things from Despicable Me? Who cares about Barney and even the Simpsons anymore? Who cares about the movie "Twister," or the classic 1930 monster movies, or even Jaws or ET. Who cares about Dudly Do Right or Popeye.

    I think Universal Studios is fun, but the entire park just screams, "OUTDATED" and "OUT OF TOUCH." Until Universal learns to put just as much effort into the "story" and the personal connections those stories and their characters have with the people, then it will always be a second-class resort.

    6. Intimacy.

    UOR, as a whole, suffers from the same problems that WDW suffers from. If there is one gripe I have about WDW it is this: BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. Again I will state that the best thing about amusement parks is that they bring people together in a fun environment.

    It is a right pain in the butt (espcially for young families) how spread out IOA is. I understand how this can work well for crowd control puposes, but it is quite impossible to get from Harry Potter World back to your on-site hotel room in less than 10 minutes. HOnestly, try having your family over at spiderman when you are in TWWOHP.

    Even worse, try being at the MIB ride and the rest of you over at Jurrassic Park and try to meet up. It is IMPOSSIBLE. Even if both of you started walking towards each other, it would take you 20 minutes before you met up in the middle.

    Meanwhile, if I am ten minutes away from ANYWHERE is DLR regardless of where I am at. I can litterally get off the Matterhorn and meet my wife over at Pardise Pier in 10 minutes, without her walking any portion of it. If I have a kid throw up in adventureland, I can run and take him back to the hotel room and put him down for a nap in less than 10 minutes. I can take the kids back and swim in the hot afternoon and then call my wife when we are done and meet her and the older kids wherever they are at in 10 minutes. I can't do that at universal, period.

    6. Gate Comparisons.

    IOA is a great park. USO is a lousy park. In contrast, both DCA and DL are great parks. USO is nowhere near the same caliber of a park that IOA is. In contrast, the new DCA is actually very much on a similar level to DL.


    In conlculsion, and while I agree that UOR is a great resort, it is nowhere near on par with DLR as a comprehensive vacation destination...not even close if you really think about it. The newness and the certain granduer of IOA is cool and TWWOHP is arguably the best thing to happen to any theme park in decades, but that is where the comparison ends.

  15. #30

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    As a parent of a 4 year old i strongly disagree that anything universal is better. Disney is more universal than universal. I love having rides my daughter can ride with her grandma, not seeing much of that at "universal"

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