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  1. #1

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    Question Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Why does Universal Orlando Resort have a better master plan than the Disneyland Resort.

    BE SURE TO READ AND UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. MANY SEEM TO BE CONFUSED AS TO WHAT MASTER PLANNING MEANS.


    Remember that I am comparing the overall master planning of the Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.

    I am not saying that Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are better than Disneyland and California Adventure.

    ***This thread is not intended to compare the individual parks, attractions, and layouts of Disneyland Park/Disney California Adventure and Universal Studios Florida/Islands of Adventure***

    Last edited by WDW1971; 08-05-2012 at 06:30 PM.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Universal has an advantage of being built much much later in the game and obtaining the necessary land for future expansion. I think that's really the gist of it.

    however, I'd choose Disneyland and the new DCA over Universal Orlando. I'd choose Disneyland over Walt Disney World. And I'd choose Universal Orlando over Walt Disney World now.


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  3. #3

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I absolutely adore the layout of UOR. I love that you're dropped off in the center of CityWalk and can then choose to head toward the globe or the lighthouse. Universal's Islands of Adventure is a magnificent park, and the attention to detail (particularly in Port of Entry, the Lost Continent, and of course, Hogwarts' Island) absolutely matches anything you'll find in a domestic Disney Park.

    Islands of Adventure also benefits from innovation - it's new, so it's rides still represent cutting edge technology while also incorporating beloved characters (Seuss Landing, in my opinion, far exceeds the "whimsy" of Toontown). It seems that that park is almost perfectly constructed, with each island being near and dear to someone's heart. The same can be said of Disneyland, but Islands of Adventure is flashier about it.

    I adore both resorts and also find a lot of charm in the layout of Disneyland Resort. As a whole, the combination of Disneyland Park and DCA blow IOA and USF out of the water, but I do like the atmosphere of UOR a whole lot.

    They're very close and in many ways comparable, even if they weren't meant to be. Each resort edges out the other in different categories, and as someone who vehemently loves them both, I could never ever pick a clear-cut "winner."

    EDIT: I, too, would pick Universal Orlando over Walt Disney World any day of the week. I don't have a distaste for WDW like some here do, so that should say how much I love UOR. I also haven't been since Potter opened, so that should AGAIN prove how much I love it.
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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I completely agree with you, I think it just comes down to space and the way the resorts expanded into their surrounding areas.

    First, USO has more space in general between the parks and the hotels, and I think this allows for better flowing and natural transitions between spaces. This allows them to keep greener spaces and I think that is a huge factor in this determination. It would have required a lot more dirt moving to make the spaces in the already developed Anaheim look like those between the parks there.

    Really though, it just seems USO had better planning from the beginning because from the moment ground was broken they had factored in the possibility of building a resort. Disneyland was never really meant to be expanded into two parks, whereas Universal seemed to have set aside that land from the beginning. The parks are placed in relatively the same manner at both locations and the extra space is nearly comparable, but since Disneyland expanded organically and USO was planned this way, I think USO turned out better.

    So note to future developers: take a note for USO and WDW and plan for expansion. You can see Disney doing this today with their new foreign parks, which also look nicer and flow better than the DLR.


    And quick note to future naysayers: this post compares the layout/planning, and not the content, of the two resorts.
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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Space and dedication to DCA in the begining is probably the only answer here. DCA was forced into a parking lot and pulled off horribly in the beggining. Now they are getting the park to respectability with some ways to go still.

    As far as an experience though DLR wins by a landslide. id rather go to DLR over USO anyday of the week. I like IOA but Universal Studios Orlando has a lot to be desired IMO.

    I would have loved to see Walt's version of WDW given all the space he would have had.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by biggsworth View Post
    I would have loved to see Walt's version of WDW given all the space he would have had.

    As would I. Try as I might, I just don't feel Walt's touch at WDW as much as I'd like. I feel that EVERYTHING was done by committee and you lose the quick decisions that Walt was so good at, resulting in a weaker product than it should be.


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  7. #7

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Sorry guys, but I'll take a week at Beach Club or Boardwalk at WDW. Fantasmic at DHS or Illuminations at Epcot, both of which you can walk to, our take a boat to, make the evenings belong to WDW. You can even rent a boat and watch Illuminations by boat, just past the bridge from England to France. Or I can Monorail to the Magic Kingdom for night time Fireworks. Weak link is Animal Kingdom as you have to go by bus. But still, you don't beat those two resorts. Check them out on Google Earth.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by bkroz View Post
    I absolutely adore the layout of UOR. I love that you're dropped off in the center of CityWalk and can then choose to head toward the globe or the lighthouse.
    I completely agree with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by cruise View Post
    And quick note to future naysayers: this post compares the layout/planning, and not the content, of the two resorts.
    Thank you!
    Last edited by WDW1971; 08-05-2012 at 06:31 PM.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    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."
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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I agree with you Uncle Bob but these constraints should have created something better than what is there. I think challenges make a design much better yet these challenges were not embraced when they initially designed the resort. There were a lot of missed opportunities.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    very nice!

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    I don't believe that Universal Orlando is better than DLR, or WDW. However, it's the best non-Disney theme/amusement park resort in the U.S. In terms of beauty and overall design, it does not match the Disney parks, but the Orlando parks get much higher marks in that department than USH (which looks like a collection of attractions, rather than a real theme park). In terms of quality, cutting edge rides, it is competitive with any park or resort.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    I don't believe that Universal Orlando is better than DLR, or WDW. However, it's the best non-Disney theme/amusement park resort in the U.S. In terms of beauty and overall design, it does not match the Disney parks, but the Orlando parks get much higher marks in that department than USH (which looks like a collection of attractions, rather than a real theme park). In terms of quality, cutting edge rides, it is competitive with any park or resort.
    That is not what is intended by the question. I am not comparing any rides or theme parks, only the resorts in their overall master planning.

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Having gone to DisneyWorld and Universal Orlando a few months ago I have to say there is no comparison. While DisneyWorld doesn't hold a candle to Disneyland when it comes to atmosphere, it is still several notches above Universal.
    What really bothered me about universal? Employees standing out in the street yelling for you to come into their store, Magic shows that turn into sales pitches, and rides that are only partially themed (ie Dr. Dooms Fear Fall, what a let down when you entered the ride portion after the heavily themed line.)

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    Re: Why is Universal Orlando better than Disneyland?

    Disneyland obviously is a way better park regardless of the layout and how spectacular Universal Orlando looks!

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