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  1. #1

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    Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Disney fans on this website seem to get upset whenever kudos are cast towards Universal from fans making positive comments on the capital improvements Universal has made at their resort over the past three years. Now, after reading this article from today's Orlando Sentinel, I can only conclude that Iger and Company are having trouble digesting their lunches today because they know that a "theme parks arm race" of sorts has now officially been launched by Universal.

    In short, Universal is stating that each year one of their theme parks in Florida as well as USH in California will open a new "D" or "E" ticket attraction on an annual basis. On top of this, Universal Florida is intending to build or expand new resorts on their property to the tune of 6000 to 11,000 more hotel rooms. This news has got to give Disney night tremors!!!

    ARTICLE >>>

    Universal Orlando is likely to add thousands more hotel rooms in coming years as Central Florida's No. 2 theme-park resort continues an aggressive expansion, a top executive said Wednesday.


    "We've done a study that says we could have 10,000 or 15,000 hotel rooms and still have occupancy that makes those rooms profitable," NBCUniversal President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke told investment analysts at a conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.
    More at the link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...,7922928.story

    This just implies that water parks, whole new lands, and other engaging entertainment experiences are in the works. I have to be honest, I'm excited to see what they can actually pull off and imagine Disney's reaction. Soon, it's going to be very hard for Disney to pull of selling rooms at the Polynesian for $600 night during the non-peak month of September when Universal has 4 brand spanking new resorts up the road with 4 new E tickets having recently been installed.

    Go ahead Disney, focus on keeping the status quo and continue adding interactive games and Princess Meet and Greets and plussing your queues so they move at snail's pace now. Come up with some more 3D films and spinner attractions for your parks. Tease us with the Avatar franchise for three years, the Star Wars franchise for nearly one, and Marvel for two years but continue your analysis paralysis? Yes, give us Disney Springs and Glow Hats and a kiddie coaster that took three years to build. Unbelievable!!!
    Last edited by MickeyMaxx; 09-14-2013 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Violated MiceChat's quoted copyright policy. Please check our FAQ for details.

  2. #2

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    A lot of this is directly attributable to Disney's treatment of Imagineering.

    The quality talent that is currently designing for Universal and other destinations would *NOT* be out there in the quantity it is had Disney kept Imagineering intact instead of a mostly contract-driven process. Instead, they let a large volume of important and knowledgeable staff go with the promise of that "contract" work. Funny how many of them opted for steady employment instead.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  3. #3

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Competition is good for Disney, this is good for all visitors to Florida and good business for Universal. Win-win-win.

  4. #4

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Competition is good for Disney, this is good for all visitors to Florida and good business for Universal. Win-win-win.
    Ordinarily, I agree with you, but it seems that Disney is indifferent these days and almost cocky thinking that nobody can mess with them or topple them from the top. It's OK though, you don't need to be # 1 to be popular, profitable and well respected by loyal fans. Whether it be sports, movies, television, etc. - there are a lot of # 2's out there that are just as famous and respected.

    Hopefully this will ignite a situation in which prices begin to stabilize and quality improves across the board - Universal could be a bit cleaner and Disney could quit jacking up prices every three months.

    It does seem that Universal Orlando will be packing in the crowds though with new rides and just more people on property so that would imply that a third park could somehow be on the way. Perhaps they buy Sea World's land or tear down the homes in the surrounding area, you never know!

  5. #5

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Also, forgot to add, seems like J.K. Rowling can't leave her Potter world alone and is now working on books and movies that take place in that arena. Seems to me like this is just perfect content for an attraction or two down the road. So, all those people that have said that Potter will be an also ran in ten years are going to be proven wrong. Universal seems to have generated a lot of positive karma for themselves these days.

  6. #6

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Disney says that, to look like it's keeping it's cool, but it's an extremely competitive and jealous organization that thinks they deserve to "own" Orlando since they built it up from nothing.

  7. #7

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    Also, forgot to add, seems like J.K. Rowling can't leave her Potter world alone and is now working on books and movies that take place in that arena. Seems to me like this is just perfect content for an attraction or two down the road. So, all those people that have said that Potter will be an also ran in ten years are going to be proven wrong. Universal seems to have generated a lot of positive karma for themselves these days.
    WWOHP may not even *need* the HP connection if the series fell by the wayside.

    It's an amazingly themed fantasy village. Knowing the books does add a special extra layer on things, but I have SEVERAL friends who are not Potterheads or are even anti-HP who've fallen in love with Hogsmead. Even if the series were somehow suddenly rendered to never have existed, you'd still have an amazingly themed land.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  8. #8

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Im sorry, but this needs moved to the Universal forum, only put here to bash WDW, not cool....JMHO.........Kind of tired seeing all the Universal employees coming on the WDW forum and trashing the company that started it all. Is Disney stagnant now? Yep, but Universal had nowhere to go but up USF will NEVER have that Disney magic . Lets keep the WDW forum WDW.
    Last edited by redrhino54; 09-12-2013 at 06:00 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Well Disney responded to this by saying that MM+ would drive profits by making people spend time planning their entire vacation ahead of time, and then that would mean that they spend all the money at Disney.

    Where as Universal is saying "we are going to build amazing stuff, and people will pay to see it"

    I agree with Universal's philosophy not Disney's.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    This is pretty exciting news. I went to WDW about a month ago and I have to admit that the best 2 days of the trip were in Universal parks. Disneyland Resort is still my favorite place to go, but I'm really impressed with how far Universal has come along in Orlando and pretty disappointed by how little has happened in the Disney parks.

    I enjoy the Disney World parks because of my sentimental ties to them, but the three non-Magic Kingdom parks are in desperate need of this kind of investment. So I suppose when I read this news, I'm excited for the future of Universal but also hopeful that this will encourage Disney to come up with better responses than the lackluster New Fantasyland.

  11. #11

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Disney could change the game once and for all with a properly done Discworld. They won't, and in a corporate level don't have the competence to execute and deliver on the concept, so I'm happy to keep it in my head.

  12. #12

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Quote Originally Posted by redrhino54 View Post
    Im sorry, but this needs moved to the Universal forum, only put here to bash WDW, not cool....JMHO.........Kind of tired seeing all the Universal employees coming on the WDW forum and trashing the company that started it all. Is Disney stagnant now? Yep, but Universal had nowhere to go but up USF will NEVER have that Disney magic . Lets keep the WDW forum WDW.
    While I agree to some extent the post is probably better suited for the Universal section of the forum the reality is that the announcement very much impacts WDW and isn't standard WDW bashing. This isn't solely an attraction announcement this is a formal declaration that Universal is in the theme park business in a large way and intends to continue to invest in their domestic properties at a rate that Disney has no choice but to respond to in a manner they haven't had to before. This new Universal strategy impacts WDW from a capital budget perspective because they're going to have to prioritize investments in the domestic parks to keep up or else their attendance may suffer but their occupancy rate certainly will suffer.

    And , for the record, I'm not a Universal employee but I was a WDW cast member from 1994 - 2006 and now work for the airlines. I was on the opening management teams of Caribbean Beach and Yacht and Beach Club resorts. It pains me to see Disney jacking up prices consistently year by year and returning less and less to the customer. I realize they're a business and have every right to price as they see fit but it sucks to see your favorite hobby price you out year by year. I work in IT and make a pretty good wage but I can't enjoy the parks these days like I used to (not looking for sympathy, just stating a cold, hard fact).

    The reality is that this announcement shakes up Disney's world and especially their 7 day on site pricing strategy. If Universal opens up reasonably priced, highly themed resorts across a number of pricing tiers, then Mickey has a battle on his hands. That is why this is an important item for discussion on this chat site.

  13. #13

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    "Our theory is, if we open the right kind of attraction they have to be well-executed; they have to be things that are easy and clear to market that we can really grow this business," Burke said. - - Heck, it's as if they're channeling Walt Disney himself when they speak this way.
    ka-Bingo.

    What Disney should worry about isn't what Universal is spending, it's what Universal has that money can't buy, namely, a creative vision and a determination to push the envelope and raise the bar.

    That's what made Disneyland and WDW hits, and it's exactly what Disney has lost from their arthritic management structure and corporate self-view.

    I doubt they would know how to begin getting it back, even if they wanted to.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

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  14. #14

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    This post might belong in the Universal section as well, however, it is still about Disney as well and how it's going to effect it.

    I might be a huge fan of Disney, but they honestly need to get it together and start producing something instead of just making the prices higher every few months.

    When having a pass at Universal Studios and getting to ride the new Forbidden Journey attraction, I thought to myself, "This is something Walt's imagineers would have made."

    While Disney has still made great attractions over the years without Walt, I haven't really felt anything groundbreaking when it comes to technology in a long time. The Forbidden Journey ride had a combination of many different effects and a lot of new technology that hadn't been really used in attractions before.

    To me, it was different from a typical ride through attraction. It wasn't just a ride through on omnimovers while seeing AA in action, it wasn't just a simulator with a 3D screen. It was a combination of all these technologies and more.

    While Universal is about the same price as Disney, the difference between the two is that Universal keeps producing more attractions, restaurants, and even producing practically a whole other theme park. While WDW just keeps rising the prices.

    The only thing I can remember significantly WDW has done recently has been New Fantasyland and while that has been accuring, Universal made Wizarding World, Transformers, expanding the Simpsons land area, and expanding the Wizarding World.

    And although this post might sound like a favor Universal over Disney I do not. Believe it, or not I love both parks equally.

    Just stating that Disney might have something to worry about, because if Universal had as much land as Disney, they could possibly have as many attractions, or more if they keep this up. Of course, it should be quality over quantity, however as I said at this rate, Universal could have both. I may love Disney, but Universal produces some amazing attractions as well in my personal opinion.

  15. #15

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    Re: Universal Ups the Ante - Announces Annual 500M in New Attractions and Resorts!

    Whenever I see Universal fans taking potshots at Disney, I remember just how many times Universal itself feels the need to take little jabs at Disney in its parks...like the Mickey ears that used to float in the water of the Jaws attraction, like the shark had just eaten a Disney park goer. That's Universal's level of "humor"...to give raspberries and blow farts at Disney.

    The thing is, though, that Disney does its thing and doesn't feel a need to poke or jab at anyone else. This is what will always keep Universal as second-banana. It kind of sets itself up as being "not-Disney" and "an alternative to Disney"...but everything about Universal has that obsession with Disney built into it. Universal's fans are like this too...they can't just be happy that Universal is spending money because they love using that opportunity to take a punch at Disney with that info.

    I think this is immature. And I think it says something about Universal as a company and also about Universal fans. It kind of feels like these people all have a collective complex.

    In my opinion, Universal should just focus on building world-class, incredibly detailed attractions that are the best of the best possible. Make every inch of the Universal parks gorgeous and richly themed and ensure that the sight lines look great and that every area of the parks are truly immersive and top-notch. Keep doing that and maintaining the parks to A+ level and don't worry about what Disney is doing or not doing.

    As for Disney, we're still at a point where Universal has a lot of catching up to do before its parks come anywhere close to what Disney offers. Right now, Universal's big fans are people who at least partly enjoy blowing raspberries at Disney...but Disney's business does not come from people who have any hatred for Universal. People come to Florida to go to Disney...but they aren't going to Disney to stick it to Universal and they don't have any nasty feelings towards Universal.

    Disney guests seem motivated by love of what Disney does...while the Universal fans seem to have motivation based on hurting Disney by going to Universal instead. There's interesting psychology at work there. I really wonder if at some point in the future the tables were turned and Universal became the Number One destination if these people wouldn't decide to backstab Universal and reinvent themselves as Disney fans, just because they like icon-toppling and taking down the number one in the field in favor of the second place entry.

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