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  1. #31

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    ^^ I'm sorry, but Terminator 2: 3D is better than any 3D show that Disney has ever done. And its not even close. And I would rather see Shrek 4D than Captain EO any day of the week.

  2. #32

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Not.

  3. #33

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteedLaw View Post
    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.
    1/2 (same argument?): I agree that UOR could use more family rides, but in the end they don't need them--Universal is successful because it's NOT Disney, its NOT a place where the rides must be tame enough for the whole family--it's a place where families of four with teenagers can go and have fun on big rides while enjoying the same theming quality and comfort Disney offers. Orlando would be a boring place is the most extreme ride here was Expedition Everest. UOR caters to the market Disney can't cater to, and obviously it's successful.

    3. I have to completely disagree with you here. First of all, your comparisons are all off--you can't compare Famtasmic to the Animal Pla et show they're two very different things. I think Universal does live shows much better than DLR...Playhouse Disney IMO is inferior to Barney (I don't even have to explain why, one would know that just by seeing Barney actually has seats and a set). Shriek 4-D blows EO way out of the water and T2 is the best 3-D show ever made. Sinbad is a good live stage show with high production values and nothing at DLR can compare to the walk-through spectacle that is Poseidons Fury. And Universal just got a firework/water fountain show using water screen projections to compare to Famtasmic/WOC.

    4. Universal Studios' theme is a movie studio--in a movie studio you have productions being filmed in sound stages right next to each other even if they're completely unrelated. So I'd say Universal's theme works pretty well. And the New York and Hollywood sections are very well done in my opinion.

    5. Again, I couldn't disagree more. Universal updates their rides constantly--they just took out the perfectly relevant Jimmy Neutron ride to fit in Despicable Me just because it was more popular...and they did it in record time too. There are like two attractions at Universal that have been there since it's opening, with every other original ride replaced by something more relevant. Universal works hard to keep up with the trends of today. Peter Pan and Roger Rabbit may have nostalgic value to you, but to be honest they're way outdated. Again, it's all about catering to different audience; while the nostalgic people go to Disneyland, the others can come to Universal.

    6. Not sure how this works but I find getting around both resorts is pretty simple with UOR having a much more pleasing aesthetic and overall layout.

    7. I actually prefer USF sometimes to IOA--it offers more spectacle than pure thrill--I think this adds to the variety offered at the resort, which is better than having two parks that basically have the same qualities.

  4. #34

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Thanks everyone for all your comments and views on the opinion. Some of you are really posting great insight on the master planning on both resorts and how the layout of Universal Orlando Resort exceeds that of the Disneyland Resort.

    Again, the original intent of this post was to compare the MASTER PLANNING of the Disneyland RESORT and the Universal Orlando RESORT. It was not intended to say that Islands of Adventure PARK and Universal Studios Florida PARK were better than Disneyland PARK and Disney California Adventure PARK and not comparing the master planning of the individual parks.

    Which resort as a whole works better in your opinion? (disregard the content of the theme parks)
    Last edited by WDW1971; 07-06-2012 at 10:11 AM.

  5. #35

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Well of course its better laid out. It was built much much later, doesnt have a major urban hub around, had plenty of land to expand.

    Maybe if USO was built in the 50's and had homes and businesses develop around it then 50 years later another park was built to go with it, then it would be a fair comparison.
    There is no right or wrong in this debate. It is simply a matter of perspective.
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  6. #36

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wren View Post
    Well of course its better laid out. It was built much much later, doesnt have a major urban hub around, had plenty of land to expand.

    Maybe if USO was built in the 50's and had homes and businesses develop around it then 50 years later another park was built to go with it, then it would be a fair comparison.
    Well if you really think about it the land that Universal Orlando sits on is almost the same amount of land that the Disneyland Resort sits on. Both sit within the confines of developments surrounding them.

    Even though Disneyland was built in the 50s and Universal Studios Florida in the 90s, the both sit in the corner of their respective properties and allowed for a large "L" shaped area around the original park for expansion.

    Also, both were turned into Resorts around the new millennium and actually Universal Orlando Resort is older than Disneyland Resort. They both had the same technologies available to them, the design trends were the same, however Universal implemented the better resources.

  7. #37

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I love that you enter Citywalk from the parking lots and walk to your desired park. It feels like an adventure, which is totally appropriate for IoA and USO, if you want to consider the urban location a nice segue to an urban park.

    That being said, I love Disneyland's layout more. I want to go from the parking lot to the tram, which is far more exciting than a platform, to the park. I want to see both entrances at once and decide. I want music that compliments the area that I wouldn't hear on the radio elsewhere. I want a shopping area close to the entrances of the parks so if I need to pick up a souvenir or a quick bite out of the parks, I can do it in 10 minutes or less.

    If we're talking about park configuration, DLR would still be ahead for me. I hate how IoA is in a big loop because if I want to go from WWo Harry Potter to the Marvel area, I have to walk all the way around. The same flaw is evident in Disneyland's Critter Country, but each island at UO has the same issue. Universal Studios Orlando suffers from having a leg of the park be rather barren except for MIB and Fear Factor. It's a relaxing walk, certainly, but definitely not an exciting one. Disneyland has tons of back ways and "hidden" paths that get you from here to there. Universal is almost too straightforward to me. As if they want me to go in one direction and should I stray from it, I am punished. DCA is similar, but it still has many ways to get around because nearly everything is connected.

    I will say, however, that Universal Studios Orlando has rather seamless transitions between lands. On the other hand, all of their lands are urban areas so it's not all that difficult, really.

  8. #38

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
    1/2 (same argument?): I agree that UOR could use more family rides, but in the end they don't need them--Universal is successful because it's NOT Disney, its NOT a place where the rides must be tame enough for the whole family--it's a place where families of four with teenagers can go and have fun on big rides while enjoying the same theming quality and comfort Disney offers. Orlando would be a boring place is the most extreme ride here was Expedition Everest. UOR caters to the market Disney can't cater to, and obviously it's successful.

    3. I have to completely disagree with you here. First of all, your comparisons are all off--you can't compare Famtasmic to the Animal Pla et show they're two very different things. I think Universal does live shows much better than DLR...Playhouse Disney IMO is inferior to Barney (I don't even have to explain why, one would know that just by seeing Barney actually has seats and a set). Shriek 4-D blows EO way out of the water and T2 is the best 3-D show ever made. Sinbad is a good live stage show with high production values and nothing at DLR can compare to the walk-through spectacle that is Poseidons Fury. And Universal just got a firework/water fountain show using water screen projections to compare to Famtasmic/WOC.

    4. Universal Studios' theme is a movie studio--in a movie studio you have productions being filmed in sound stages right next to each other even if they're completely unrelated. So I'd say Universal's theme works pretty well. And the New York and Hollywood sections are very well done in my opinion.

    5. Again, I couldn't disagree more. Universal updates their rides constantly--they just took out the perfectly relevant Jimmy Neutron ride to fit in Despicable Me just because it was more popular...and they did it in record time too. There are like two attractions at Universal that have been there since it's opening, with every other original ride replaced by something more relevant. Universal works hard to keep up with the trends of today. Peter Pan and Roger Rabbit may have nostalgic value to you, but to be honest they're way outdated. Again, it's all about catering to different audience; while the nostalgic people go to Disneyland, the others can come to Universal.

    6. Not sure how this works but I find getting around both resorts is pretty simple with UOR having a much more pleasing aesthetic and overall layout.

    7. I actually prefer USF sometimes to IOA--it offers more spectacle than pure thrill--I think this adds to the variety offered at the resort, which is better than having two parks that basically have the same qualities.
    1. With all due respect, this is not the same argument. UOR in my opinion is very poorly planned as a "family" destination. The argument here on this first point is that there is little to do at Universal that can be enjoyed by the whole family (i.e., Mom, Dad, young kids, older kids, grandma, grandpa, etc.) To each his own, but in my opinon it is not a matter of "taming" the rides, its a matter of thoughtful understanding of "what makes a theme park great."

    What makes a theme park great to me is the ability to spend time together with my family as a family. All of us having great fun together and that is what makes Disney so great. At UOR, we largely would just split up, which was not nearly as fun.

    Also, I think your statement, "UOR caters to the market Disney can't cater to, and obviously it's successful," is not true in the least from even an objective standpoint. Disney claims 8 of the top ten slots of the most popular and successful theme parks in the world. Neither IOA nor UOR is even on that top ten list.

    That said, I think Disney can (and does) quite readily replicate what UOR is trying to replicate, and (objectively) Disney is much better at it. Part of this is in regards to the fact that Disney is just much better than Universal at master planning for their parks.

    Really, UOR is great theme resort and vacation destination, but it just really misses the mark for the vast majority of people out there. UOR is pooly designed when compared to Disney since, typically, families will be more inclined to split-up as they travel through the park over larger distances. This makes it much harder to meet up and stay and enjoy the parks together.

    2. Once again, this is a clear separate arument. Not only are there few things at UOR designed for the entire family in mind, but there also are VERY few high quality attractions for young children. Moreover, UOR is poorly planned in the sense that ALL of the children's rides are largely conglmerated into small, out of the way areas of the park, making it difficult for families with young children to enjoy the parks at all.

    My wife practically lived in Suess Landing when we were there. I on the other end, practically lived at HP land and the out-of-the-way E.T. ride area in the other park. That is what both parks at UOR felt like to us. Got younger kids? Tough luck, because we are just going to shove you ver here to this long forgotton out of the way corner. What you would like to see the whole parks? Shame on you for bringing younger kids becuase, in the event you leave our little incoveniently located area, you will find quite nothing to keep your young ones entertained.

    In contrast, DLR is much better designed and planned out so that attractions suitable for younger children are spread out throughout the parks -- i.e., and not in just one out of the way location.

    Really, I can't believe we are actually comparing the two resorts sinc DLR is by FAR the higher quality planned resort. Even if there are more "designated" kid areas at DLR (i.e., bugs land and fantasyland) these areas are locted in much more convenient, centralized hub areas that are easy to travel to from any location. Indeed, DLR is much better designed for young children and families traveling with young children and, hence, is a much better designed and master planned theme-park for everyone to enjoy.

    3. To each his own, but we may just have to agree to disagree on this one. Barny was a horrible show in my opinion. And, no, it is not just because I dislike the character nor the fact my kids don't know who the character is. Setting aside the fact that Barney is a largely oudated character from the early 1990s, Disney Junior show is so much more charming, innovative and interactive. There is much more for the kids to look at and get excited about (not to mention the room to actually stand up and dance).

    In truth Aladdin is arguably hands down the best show available in any theme park anywhere. It is a condensed version of a broadway quality stage show. I often tell my wife that that one show is worth the cost of the entire entrance ticket all by itself.

    ALso, Terminator 3D, Shrek et. al (again) are made exclusively for more of an adult audience. Even my 8 year-old hated the Shrek show and wouldn't even go into the Terminator 3D show -- too scary.

    Sinbad and PF are decent, but are nothing compared to Fantasmic and WOC. To each his own, but I am sure we will agree to disagree on this one.

    4. I guess we will also tend to disagree on this. I can't for the life of me figure out where one area of USF begins and where it ends because the theming is so poor. What in the world does a dog show, the Simpson's, ET, MIB and Jaws have in common with one another? The soudstages/movie set theme looks, feels (and comparatively is) very cheap as far as theming is concerned. Even in IOA, the theming of the cartoon area and the marvel area feel like a "half effort".

    5. Again, I couldn't disagree more with you. Indeed, you pointed to the ONE example of recent updating. Meanwhile, the rest of the USF park largely consists of old and tired attractions with themes from the late 80's to early 90's and most which most people in the younger generation have never even heard of. Also, I disagree that shows like Peter Pan are dated; Peter Pan is a classic. There is not an American kid alive over the age of 5 who has not seen the movie Peter Pan or knows Tinkerbell and Captian Hook. My kids could recite half the Peter Pan file, but they could not tell you the first thing about E.T. or who he is. Likewise, they have not a clue who Homer Simpson, Fivel, Barney, Dr. Grant, that dude from Jaws, that dude from the Mummy, that dude from Twister, Dudley Do Right, Popeye, etc.

    If you kids watch Nickelodeon (mine don't) they might remember who Jimmy Newtron is. Personally I love Scooby Doo, but only my older kids know who he is (and they don't care at all).

    That said, age really is not as relevant in this case. It rather is, what stories and characters have classic and common appeal, and what does not? Even Shrek is FAR to uncouth to be put long-term on the same level as say, Aladdin or Peter Pan. Aside from Harry Potter, some of the Marvel characters and (maybe) shrek and some suess characters, there is nothing at universal that has classic and long-term common appeal with the majority of guests, nothing.

    To each his own, but my kids have no interest whatsoever in riding a Dudley Do Right and MIB themed ride, but Star Wars, Indianna Jones and Pirates, we are ALL totally there.

    6. Clearly you don't have young kids. UOR is (on a whole) poorly planned and is a NIGHTMARE to navigate compared to DLR. Basically at IOA, you can walk a clockwise or counter clockwise route around a VERY large and much to oversized lake. There is no easy route from TWWOHP to Marvel Island. There is no easy route from Suess over to Jurassic Park.

    The park was just poorly planned as far as random navigation was concerned. Yes, the large water area was nice to look at, but makes navigating around and through and over the park quite cumbersome and, with young kids, very frustrating. If your kid starts throwing a fit in Jurassic Park and you need to take him back to the hotel for a nap, that is NOT a simple little walk. In DLR, it is soo much easier to walk straight back from toontown through fantasyland, down MS and to you hotel -- which is generally much closer.

    Even worse, try meeting up with your family. The only ride my 5 year old liked in ALL of UOR (yes, the whole resort had 1 ride he genuinely loved) was E.T. Did he know who E.T. was, know? But besides its oudated theming the flying bikes were beyond cool as far as he was concerned.

    Anyway, I was going to take him on E.T. while the older kids went to do something they wanted to do. We went 3 times on E.T. and called the older kids. Guess where they were? Well, one was at MIB (not too bad) so we went and got her first. The other two were over at Jurrassic Park! Needless to say, we spent a good half hour plus just walking to try to find the kids.

    The truth is that you can't beat the face to face layout of DLR. The side-by-side layout of UOR is far more cumbersome when families (who largely are forced to split up) to meet up with one another.

    Also, DLR has done a much better job condensing what they have on the property to make it easier to navigate back and forth from hotel rooms on the property. For me, this makes for a much nicer trip and, yes, DLR is much better designed and planned than UOR.

    7. To each his own, but we found that we tired of USF in less than a single day. IOA was arguably a very nice park of Disney-type quality, but in no means better or better designed than DLR or DCA.

    Conclusion:

    While the aesthetics of IOA is very nice in some areas; USF is not a pleasing aesthetic at all. Also, the side by side layout of the parks and the poor planning design coupled with the massive water area in the middle of IOA is entirely cumbersome to navigate when compared to DLR. When compared to DLR, I feel the parks and overlays at USF (and to a certain extent IOA) are largely outdated. Most importantly, there is ZERO consideration given in the master design plan for families with younger children. Lastly, the hotels are located in more inconvenient locations relevant to their proximity to the parks, at least when compared to the on-site hotels at DLR.

    Again, to each his own, but DLR is a FAR better designed and master planned resort in my opinion. I too like the grandeur of surely some of the impressive themed areas of IOA. I also LOVE Harry Potter and, because I am older, the some of the larger thrill rides.

    Notwithstanding, there can be no doubt that DLR has FAR more quality in its overall master planning as a theme resort -- hence the reason for its vastly superior overall popularity and continuing success. Indeed, I should note I am not alone in this opinion since the success of DLR still vastly outweighs the success of UOR. Until UOR addresses certain core problems with its master planning as mentioned, it will always be second place to DLR.

    I am certain we will ocassionally go down to see IOA and UOR for one or two days here or there. Meanwhile, we will keep planning our week-long or more trips to DLR and WDW.

    Peace.

  9. #39

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    Well if you really think about it the land that Universal Orlando sits on is almost the same amount of land that the Disneyland Resort sits on. Both sit within the confines of developments surrounding them.

    Even though Disneyland was built in the 50s and Universal Studios Florida in the 90s, the both sit in the corner of their respective properties and allowed for a large "L" shaped area around the original park for expansion.

    Also, both were turned into Resorts around the new millennium and actually Universal Orlando Resort is older than Disneyland Resort. They both had the same technologies available to them, the design trends were the same, however Universal implemented the better resources.
    Universal was built in the spirit as a competitor of WDW, they already knew that they were going to have multiple theme parks there and were planned as such.

    Back when disneyland was built, they had no idea they would be turning it into a multi park resort.

    Again its not a fair comparison.
    There is no right or wrong in this debate. It is simply a matter of perspective.
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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I've never been to Universal FL, but that's because the overall theme of the park and properties which it owns do not excite me (with a few exceptions). Harry Potter is the first time they've built something i've actually wanted to see but i still wouldn't spend that much money to see one land. They are getting much better at designing immersive worlds but overall disney just has them beat on sheer atmosphere (basing my opinion on Universal CA)

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wren View Post
    Universal was built in the spirit as a competitor of WDW, they already knew that they were going to have multiple theme parks there and were planned as such.

    Back when disneyland was built, they had no idea they would be turning it into a multi park resort.

    Again its not a fair comparison.
    I know that Universal was always planned to become a resort but the Disneyland Resort could easily have been designed like Universal Orlando. Disneyland Park and Universal Studios Florida are located at the corner of their properties where there was at Disneyland south and west for expansion and at Universal there was expansion space available to the east and south.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Should the parking structure have been built closer to the parks to allow for people to walk to the Esplanade rather than taking the tram?

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    ....I didn't even know we could compare the two? Both are completely different and do well for what they're going for. That being said, in my opinion, Disneyland will always trump Universal as it is high in the magic department. When I visited Universal Orlando, it felt more cheap and theme park-ish than Disneyland does. It was very messy and dull, and all of the attractions were very plastic like and relied heavily on 3D screens. It lacked magic. You don't even have to go on a Disney attraction to feel the magic and excitement that surrounds the park.

    Coming from a professional entertainment background in circus, I know good entertainment when I see it. I know that sounds somewhat brag-ish, but it's true. I was very unimpressed with Universal's entertainment offerings. The performers worked well, but the costumes, sets, props, etc. just didn't strike my fancy and came off as very high school theatre. Disneyland's entertainment offerings were pretty bad there for a while, and I'm still not a fan of Playhouse Disney, but their entertainment is getting MUCH better (Five & Dime, Soundsational, Minnie's Charter Fly Girls, etc.).

  14. #44

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    I know that Universal was always planned to become a resort but the Disneyland Resort could easily have been designed like Universal Orlando. Disneyland Park and Universal Studios Florida are located at the corner of their properties where there was at Disneyland south and west for expansion and at Universal there was expansion space available to the east and south.
    First and foremost I'd agree with Wren. Universal has had the luxury of sitting back and examining the master for decades.

    And it looks like in Florida, they took what land they had and they made it work. It looks like Universal did a pretty good job. Better than even the other California original, Universal Studios Hollywood.

    And better than the Disney parks in some peoples' opinions.

    But there again.....the California originals didn't have the abundance of land that Florida has. Disneyland did, but Walt had money constraints at the time so did what he had to do. Walt learned, and made sure it didn't happen when he bought the land in Florida. And WDW has been king of vacation destination for year. Now that the Universal brand has come in, it has become the "Orlando" vacation destination. But again, Universal has Disney to thank for establishing that.

    As for Universal Hollywood, well it was largely established as a working studio that goes WAY back and then added a tourist park to it. Not the other way around. It was landlocked pretty quickly too.

    Suffice it to say that the creators, be they Universal or Disney, took these originals and then planted "copies" down in a place called Florida where there was a lot more land to be had. And way cheaper land at that. Therefore the newer brands BETTER be an improvement than the originals out here on the coast where pricier land constraints were a huge deal.

    Walt and his colleagues though did a great thing by creating a world that so many have been trying to emulate for decades.

    UOR is a great park. It's a beauty. And they can thank Disney for setting those wheels in motion, some 1/2 century ago.

    Could DCA have been better? Sure. Many will debate that until the end of time. And considering many who worked for what has now become the Disney "company" saw the workings of the original Disneyland and the vision of its master (Walt) firsthand, it should have achieved something even greater than it did out there in the "parking lot."

    But even with some of its shortcomings, Disneyland still outdoes Universal in my book. Universal, may have great rides, but it's no Disney. No matter how great the former's rides are.

    In addition, do many of us disagree with Disney taking that Universal approach of making a ride (or at Disneyland it's called an attraction) for every movie that comes out? Yes. Personally I'd like to see Disney go back to what was embodied in Walt's vision; something that would continue to separate it from even those of these newer, flashier parks. And that DOESN'T mean basing every attraction on a movie.

    But overall, the Oscar still goes to Disneyland. And Walt. For being the originator. The one who everyone has striven to be for so long.

    It sounds like Universal in Orlando has done a very nice job.

    But Disneyland and the Disney brand will always create a "feeling" that the rest don't for me. It's a "feeling" that can't always be described, but you know it when you feel it. And I've never felt it at a Universal park. Impressive and attractive parks? Yes? Personal feelings and connections for me personally? Nope.
    Last edited by CASurfer65; 07-07-2012 at 01:57 PM.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Universal Orlando does what it's good at--immersive thrill rides that are not only one-of-a-kind and thrilling but themed highly to separate itself from other similar thrill parks. Disney may take the cake for 'magic' and immersion overall but what about the guests that want thrills? Universal gives a good substitute for Disney theme quality, cleanliness, and comfort mixed with the rides Disney can't provide. And that's obviously working--Disney may be top in attendance but Universal is second--compared to the hundreds of theme parks, that's pretty good for them! Universal works.

    As far as the master planning of the resorts, who cares if USF was planned to be a resort and DL wasn't? They BOTH featured the same amount of land to work with and the same amount of stuff to fit in. But Universal Orlando is much more aesthetically-pleasing and well-crafted as a whole...for one thing they made use of water--that's a huge plus. It's pretty and kinda anchors the whole area, plus boats are a much more entertaining way to get around...moreso than trams. DLR has no landscape anchor--it's just concrete all the way through with no real harmony between DD and the parks.
    Speaking of Downtown Disney...wow did they get that wrong. It's sort of ridiculous that most guests have to walk the length of the complex just to get to the parks. City walk is a gateway to the parks but you the bulk of Citywalk is on upper floors and side-streets that branch off from the main walkway to either park. Plus the reveal of the parks (the USF arch, the RRR, the IOA lighthouse and the Hulk) all kinda beckon guests in and makes a stellar first impression to the resort.
    Then you've got the hotels, which are accessed by boat surprisingly quickly or by beautiful walks through gardens along the river (not across/over main roads and through a concrete shopping area)...and besides Portofino, the hotels are closer to the parks than PP and the DLH are.

    So the water, design of Citywalk, branch off to the two parks, reveal of the parks, and proximity/method of transport to the hotels all make UOR a much better resort as a whole, physically/aesthetically speaking.

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