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  1. #31

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Quote Originally Posted by micca View Post
    I'm seeing quite a bit of comparison of WDW vs Universal relative to the strengths/weaknesses of rides & attractions. I'd like to throw another variable into the the mix.

    I have never been to Universal, but from everything I hear it's an extremely well done theme park. For people who are theme park enthusiasts--and there are millions of 'em--I could see how it would be competitive with WDW.

    Then there are folks like me: Not "theme park" enthusiasts so much as we are "Disney enthusiasts". Universal can build fantastic attractions all they want, but they aren't Disney rides and I won't be going there. Not because it's not great entertainment, but because it isn't Disney.

    I couldn't tell you if there are a lot of people like me, but I can tell you that our loyalty is a key factor in the success that Disney has in theme parks and beyond.

    I dunno that there's a right or wrong side in the argument here, just thought I'd present a different angle to the debate.
    Ok, before I put on my angry face, let me just say that I feel that everyone's opinion in that they can't visit another theme park because the simple fact that it isn't Disney, is just wrong. Sure, you do see that Universal does have great attractions and theming, but yet, you refuse to see them because there's no mouse attached?

    Lemme get this through to you, and all those "loyal Disney fanatics" out there, you won't make Mickey cry if you visit other places, there's nothing wrong with seeing what others have to offer. Chances are, you'll have a great time in another place. Not to mention, the thrill of seeing a brand new place you've never seen before. Remember the first time you visited Disney? Would you like to experience the thrill in seeing a brand new place again? Go for it! Just go in with a fun outlook, and don't compare it to Disney. If you start thinking Disney, you're missing out on what's in front of you which is just as great as Disney. The biggest pet peeve of mine is to see how people can be so narrow minded like that in not wanting to visit anywhere else because it's not Disney. The second pet peeve is when they "get dragged into visiting another place and felt like they were betraying Mickey and I hated Universal, but I loved Spiderman and MIB, and the other things, but I hated Universal!!!"

    But yes, there are a lot of "Disney loyals" out there, which will always keep coming back for more pixie dust year after year, no matter how much it'll cost. It's like an addiction, you crave again, and again, and more, and soon you'll have to move down to Florida or California right next door so you can visit every weekend. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy visiting Disney, but I also enjoy Universal, Sea World, Busch Gardens (or whatever they're gonna call it now) and so on, and yet, I'm not one who likes to ride everything. How is it that I can enjoy all these places? It's because I go with a fun group, knowing I'm going to have a fun time wherever I go, and you guys need to do the same as you try new places that are non-Disney.

    Now, back on topic:
    Yes, the loyalists will keep coming back no matter what, but there will be a time when they'll soon realize that their frequent trips to Disney aren't as important as say . . . the electricity or grocery bills. Then again I could be wrong and they'd live in the dark and starve themselves for another trip to see their favorite cartoon mouse. Universal doesn't have such large of a fan base, but does draw in crowds. I do feel that Universal does handle things better than Disney, but that doesn't make them perfect. Both sides have made big mistakes before, and it has shown. That's over and done with, the thing you need to pay attention to is how they pull out and see where they've went wrong and fix their mistakes. I haven't seen Disney do much fixing yet, just create more problems, which could be just enough to make some of the Disney fans to take notice and think twice about visiting their favorite park again.
    Last edited by albino_pygmy; 12-01-2008 at 05:29 PM.

  2. #32

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Could it? Sure it could. Will it? Doubtful.

    Universal had a GOLDEN opportunity with the big expansion of IOA and the rest of the resort in 1999, but their horrid marketing killed it before it even started to get off the ground, people had no idea what "Universal Escape" meant or anything.

    Now Univeral and Disney are competing, but they're both not competing on an "A" grade level, more like a "B-" or "C+" grade level, which is sad. Competition was supposed to make both of them keep pushing to be the best, cleanest, etc. but it hasn't quite happened yet.

    Both companies have had brilliant and stupid moves, often at nearly the same time.

  3. #33

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    TSMM does not = Spidey or MIB. In no way shape or form. Fun ride, great addition, but not in the same league as those two.


  4. #34

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBlaster View Post
    I haven't been on Toy Story but from what I have heard it's like a interactive Spider-Man attraction. Would you compare those two? Are they similar since it appears you have been on both.
    TSM is not a Spiderman-like attraction at all. Besides the 3D film, the spiderman ride offers a 4D experience that combines sets and live special effects to totally immerse you in the experience, whereas TSM is simply a video game presented in huge 3D screens, and while it is fun to do, it grows old quickly, and I suspect the popularity of it right now is because Disney has not done anything truly spectacular in the USA lately (except for those lucky enough to go to Tokyo Disney and have enjoyed Hunny Hunt or the soon to open Monster's Inc. ride, or even TDS' many unique E-tickets). TSM is fun but overrated in many ways... and more the cup of tea of kids who sit in front of a TV monitor shooting away by virtual escapism. Spiderman ride delivers tons more fun and "reality" than that.

  5. #35

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBlaster View Post
    I haven't been on Toy Story but from what I have heard it's like a interactive Spider-Man attraction. Would you compare those two? Are they similar since it appears you have been on both.
    Havent done TSM yet (can't wait) but I think 3D rides is a fantastic idea. Not every single ride needs AAs. Theme parks are largely about having a variety of experiences; the same thing all the time would be boring. And judging from how much I love Spider-Man, I think TSMM will become one of my faves.
    Last edited by disneyfann121; 12-01-2008 at 11:41 PM.

  6. #36

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecdlanddude View Post
    COULD it happen? Yes. Especially if Disney continues to let their standards slide while prices increase.

    WILL it happen? Doubtful. Universal makes lots of stupid mistakes too (when is the last time Marvel Island had some refurbs?).

    It would take even more money and a huge increase in standards for Universal... but it is conceivable.
    That's a good point, about the refurbs. I really enjoyed Universal for a couple days, but they are letting some of their attractions slide for no apparent reason. Case in point: why are they letting Jurassic Park go downhill, to the point where some of the dinosaur AAs don't move at all anymore? I was there a year ago, and have heard that the situation has only gotten worse since. Dinosaur at AK beats the pants off JP, for that reason. The only really cool part was the great T-Rex at the end.

    I know people say that the ride is much harder to maintain because it is outdoors, but how about one badly overdue refurb? I'd love to see this ride the way it was meant to be seen.

  7. #37

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Would I make a trip to Orlando and ONLY go to Universal??? No.

    Would I make a trip to Orlando and ONLY go to WDW??? Yes.

    Can I imagine spending a week or more at Universal Orlando??? No

    Can I imagine spending a week or more at WDW??? Yes.

    THAT is the difference.

    Not a knock on Universal Orlando by any stretch of the imagination. It's great for 1 or 2 days and then it's back to Disney for me.[/quote]

    That's exactly how I feel
    Disneyland Deluxe Passholder

  8. #38

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Considering that Walt Disney World is the #1 tourist destination in the world, Universal is going to have to hurdle its way a long ways up the ladder to even come close. Btw the theming and attention to detail at Universal is a far far cry from that of Disney. Oh and Univeral is WAY less family friendly.

  9. #39

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrerBrian View Post
    Btw the theming and attention to detail at Universal is a far far cry from that of Disney. Oh and Univeral is WAY less family friendly.
    I disagree, there are many things at the Universal parks that are on par with Disney and better themed (Dino-Rama vs. Jurassic Park for example).

    Universal way less family friendly? Depends on the type and ages of the family members. I would venture to guess that most families who have children between 12-17 probably enjoy Universal more than Disney.

  10. #40

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Teenagers are more into thrill rides, so I imagine that would be true in many cases, ChrisFl. Obviously, Disney has nothing as intense as The Hulk or Double Dragon.

    In fact, when we went, that's mostly what we saw at Universal -- lots of teens. But dominating one fairly narrow demographic will never make them number one.

  11. #41

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    I just had to answer ChrisFl:
    It's true that Universal might be popular with families with teens, but what is there to do that a whole family can do together where everyone is going to enjoy it? What sets Disney apart in my mind in that catagory is that the whole family, from the grandparents down to the grandkids, can have fun together.

    Another reason why Universal probably won't beat Disney is brand recognition. Disney is an extremely strong brand that people identify with becuase they've grown up watching it's movies and TV shows, listening to it's music and playing in it's parks. It becomes a way of life to so many people.
    And one last bit, as for "family friendly Universal"? The last time I went to Islands of Adventure in the gift shop at the end of Jurassic Park there is a shirt that says "Wet T-Shirt Contest: Trying to find the perfect 10." And then underneath, "Universal Orlando".

  12. #42

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    In fact, when we went, that's mostly what we saw at Universal -- lots of teens. But dominating one fairly narrow demographic will never make them number one.
    But this seems to be WDW's new strategy, albeit with a younger target demographic. The closing of PI being the most obvious example, but even things like replacing Alien Encounter with Stitch and the proliferation of Princess meals and HSM mechandise everywhere contribute to that overall feeling.

    Also, I think roller coasters and thrill rides appeal to a larger segment of the population than just teens--most Gen Xers I know and quite a few Boomers all love a good coaster as much as any teen. WDW is the one limiting itself more by appealing to the Disney Chanel age bracket (and they may pay the price in 10 years when the current Hannah Montana fans decide "Disney is for babies" and flock to hear the next big alt rock band on Uni's new coaster).

    Can Uni ever become the most popular Orlando destination? Doubtful--they don't have the land for two more parks which will always be a hinderance. But if Harry Potter takes off like I think it will, and Merlin buys the Busch parks and can find a better way to intergrate them than the Flexticket--it may give Mickey a run for his money.

  13. #43

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    Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Here is my final stance on this question.... Can Universal Take Over Disney World as the best place to vacation in Orlando? Absolutely Not. You simply cannot take over Disney World merely because of the fact that it is Disney World. HOWEVER. Can Universal Make equal or better attractions than Disney World. Absolutely.


  14. #44

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    Wink Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    Well, when pondering this question one has to remember that both WDW and Universal are destination parks. Unlike your local theme parks, and even to some extent DLR, These massive theme park resorts can not be supported by the local population alone. What that means is that the majority of the guests coming to these parks are tourists, whom have usually traveled a great deal to get there. Once you have that in mind, you then take a look at demographics. It has been mentioned a couple of times already that Universal seems to cater a lot more to the teen, gen X, thrill-ride crowd. the Disney parks, on the other hand, cater to the family frendily crowd, and yes......very much to the tiny-tots. Now the problem here with Universals approach is......everyone caters to the thrill seeker crowd. Six Flags, Ceder Fair (and all the Paramount parks they baught up), and countless other regonal theme parks all offer thrills out the ying-yang. Most six-flags parks have more roller coasters than both Islands of Adventure (4 major coasters) and all the WDW parks (5 total, by my count) combined. If your simply seeking a thrill ride, your local park is probably a lot closer (and a WHOLE lot cheaper) than a trip to orlando. In the mean time, theme parks that cater primarily to the Family and kids....well.....ummm....there's.....uhhh. Just Disney. Most regonal theme parks have countless rides geared for older guests, and olny a small "land" (almost never featuring an "E" ticket) for kid and family freindly rides. What that means is that disney has cornered a market. they took this market and combined it with the Disney brand of theme parks to attract thousands of people on long distance trips to Orlando every year. Disney has then gone and added on extras to make sure everyone is happy. Dad can do some world class golfing, or drive a real stock car around the track. mom and her teen daughter can go to the spa, while the younger kids attend special activities geared solely for them. The boys can head off to watch some baseball spring training, ect., ect. So What does this mean for Universal?....well, they benifit hugely from it. with thousands of families pouring into Orlando on Disney vacations, there are a lot of thrill seekers who can take a side trip over to Universal. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Universal parks. They are vastly supurior, and in a completely different leauge than six flags and alike. but with the exception of theme park entusiasts and people who are already big fans of them, they simply do not have the scope and attraction for the majority of families to travel cross country solely to visit them. They do however make for awsome trips once you are already there. Now, I am by no means saying that eventually (although, realistically we are talking a very long way down the road) this might not change. For right now, however, universal simply could not overtake the mouse simply by implimenting the investments they currently have planned, or without a major shift in their business plan.

  15. #45

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    Wink Re: Can Universal Orlando take over Disneyworld as best place to vacation in Orlando?

    well, that, and if Disney ever feels threatened by Universal they can sick Tinkerbell on them.


    And that would be the end of it.

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