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  1. #1

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    Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    A recent article about Orlando parks marketshare prompted alot of talk about how Universal is owning Disney and taking away marketshare. My point was that Universal is growing the market and attendance at Magic Kingdom is continuing to rise in real numbers.

    This leads to a bigger question, what is Disney's goal with respect to their parks, and I believe the answer is already evident.

    MK: Disney's goal is to increase customer $ spent at their parks and baseline capacity (wider walkways, peoplemover rides, etc), not to splash money for new E-tickets that attract more crowds the Magic Kingdom can't handle.
    AK: Its clear Animal Kingdom is seeing major upgrades to boost its attendance, see Avatar and night hours in an effort to increase nighttime capacity at WDW overall.
    EP: Epcot continues to have strong attendance with little to no upgrades, why bother spending the cash?
    HS: The only place I see Disney directly targeting the Universal/IOA demographic is with a potential major overhaul of Hollywood Studios. This could be the place Disney targets the young male demo.

    We might conclude that Disney has decided they have a mature market and are not concerned with loss of marketshare as long as their attendance and profits continue to grow.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    But they should continue to update and refurbish the parks, or risk becoming stale and run down.

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    I was thinking about this the other day after I read the article.
    Universal Studios, both Hollywood and Orlando, are currently building new rides,attractions and themed lands at a rapid pace. And the new stuff appears to be of good quality and pleasing customers.
    I like Universal and look forward to enjoying the new offerings.
    I am glad Universal is trying to "catch up" to One Disney.
    But I do not think you can compare Universal to Disney.
    It's like trying to compare WDW to Disneyland.

    I do not go to the Magic Kingdom for new E ticket rides.
    As long as the Magic Kingdom has the WDW Railroad, Town Square, Main Street USA, the world famous Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, ...etc....I have a magical day.
    I think Epcot and Hollywood Studios are a good venue for new, hip and edgy attractions and the latest 3-D motion base technology.

    I hope WDW does build new stuff.
    I hope it is different than Universal.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    My opinion on the comparison is WDW is a world class theme park and Universal still reminds me of my local Six Flags. Universal is a nice place for a day but that's about it. WDW is always a week and we always stay on property.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Even this analysis missed the point that Disney's assessment of the Orlando market was WRONG. Disney's strategy for Walt Disney World has been built around the belief that attendance to central Florida had peaked and that they needed to devise new way to generate revenue. Universal disproved this by increasing the market and getting people to spend on food and merchandise.

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    Even this analysis missed the point that Disney's assessment of the Orlando market was WRONG. Disney's strategy for Walt Disney World has been built around the belief that attendance to central Florida had peaked and that they needed to devise new way to generate revenue. Universal disproved this by increasing the market and getting people to spend on food and merchandise.
    Excellent point. Maybe it will promote a change of plan going forward...

  7. #7

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    I don't think the article missed any point. It just magically left one out. The point was that Universal, who was reaaaaaaaaaally far down below Disney World was starting to make a dent in Disney's numbers, something they believed would never happen.

    The truth of course is that WDW is still the king in Orlando and that won't change overnight, but when people walk away from both destinations, which one will they tell their friends is a let down and which one will they say is really impressive?

    Disney has also found that folks are spending way less, now that they spent all their money on Harry Potter and Minions. Aside from a Frozen doll, Disney doesn't have a property that REALLY makes people go crazy with buying these days.

    People that buy Potter and Despicable Me kinda of buy everything. People that buy Frozen, Cars, Star Wars… they pick and choose.


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  8. #8

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    I love both parks, but the reason why Universal nowadays is giving Disney a run for it's money is due to the fact that a lot the people who are creating these rides at Universal used to work for Disney. They create them at an accelerated rate and the concepts and technology is mind blowing.

    The reason why Universal's merch, especially Harry Potter's sells is, because almost all of their Harry Potter merchandise was created specifically for the theme park. There has been some things online for awhile, such as some wands, robes, and Bertie Bott's every flavored beans.

    However, now any Harry Potter candy you can imagine is now for sale. Any robe for any house, hats, books, and brooms is now at your fingertips. And if you do not want to purchase your favorite character's wand, you can get your own wand. The jokes and fun things people read that were at Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes are yours to see with your own eyes and buy.

    Disney may have created their own world, but Universal has as well with the WWOHP. While Disney is amazing, you can buy Disney stuff just about anywhere at a lot of stores and online, but if you want a specific candy, wand, Marauders map, Quidditch trunk, or Pumpkin Juice, you need to buy it at WWOHP. That's why Universal is getting major dough on merch.

  9. #9

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Disney growth is not purely organic, that is not all more from existing customers. That is an over simplification.

    Disney has been adding beds. BLT, AoA, GFV, and building the PRV. If Disney really thinks Orlando had peaked, they wouldn't be adding beds.

    Disney has also been adding draws, FLE, and building AL. What's happening in DAK is bigger than what's being finished in USO.




    Always left out is the huge hole Universal fell into and that most of their gains came from coming out of it.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Disney growth is not purely organic, that is not all more from existing customers. That is an over simplification.

    Disney has been adding beds. BLT, AoA, GFV, and building the PRV. If Disney really thinks Orlando had peaked, they wouldn't be adding beds.

    Disney has also been adding draws, FLE, and building AL. What's happening in DAK is bigger than what's being finished in USO.




    Always left out is the huge hole Universal fell into and that most of their gains came from coming out of it.
    Adding beds is the best way to generate revenue with peaked attendance. It's about getting more people shifting to Disney hotels. That's part of the peaked attendance strategy.

    New Fantasyland is not supposed to be a draw. It was intended to handle existig crowds.

    Avatarland was a knee-jerk reaction to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Even then, the thought was that it would better distribute existing crowds.

    The Orlando market growing has nothing to do with Universal Orlando Resort having been down.

  11. #11

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I don't think the article missed any point. It just magically left one out. The point was that Universal, who was reaaaaaaaaaally far down below Disney World was starting to make a dent in Disney's numbers, something they believed would never happen.
    My point was that Universal is NOT making a dent in Disney's numbers when you consider attendance.

    See: Orlando Theme Park News | Daily News and Photo-updates Covering Central Florida's Attractions: 2012 TEA Worldwide Theme Park Attendance Report

    I know these were reported in June 2013 and from 2012, but its the latest numbers that include most of the major attractions of impact.

    Only Disneyland experienced a drop in attendance, as those shifted to California Adventure.

    Maybe Universal has slowed Disney's GROWTH, but they have not decreased the numbers headed to any of the WDW parks. Epcot, AK, and DHS all were + 2.2% attendance despite Harry Potter etc. That is not Universal kicking Disney's butt, it is merely playing some catch up, and otherwise is hyperbole.

    I should note, I love both parks, and I am not a Disney or Universal fanboy. I love well themed parks. Lately Universal has really stepped up its game and I am quite excited to have 2 healthy competitors with good product in the market.

  12. #12

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Quote Originally Posted by The Steven View Post
    My opinion on the comparison is WDW is a world class theme park and Universal still reminds me of my local Six Flags. Universal is a nice place for a day but that's about it. WDW is always a week and we always stay on property.
    Exactly how I think. WDW is a resort, USO is an amusement park, catering to the teens and those who like the extreme(?) coasters. Universal HAD to start building . As soon as DS is finished, dwarf coaster is done, and the magic bands are done being tweeked, I can see Disney starting to do some attraction building. You just have to believe that they are working hard on getting something Star Wars planned and built. I can see a "Frozen" attraction coming soon, too.

  13. #13

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Quote Originally Posted by redrhino54 View Post
    Exactly how I think. WDW is a resort, USO is an amusement park, catering to the teens and those who like the extreme(?) coasters. Universal HAD to start building . As soon as DS is finished, dwarf coaster is done, and the magic bands are done being tweeked, I can see Disney starting to do some attraction building. You just have to believe that they are working hard on getting something Star Wars planned and built. I can see a "Frozen" attraction coming soon, too.
    It is hard to believe you've even looked at a map of the Universal Orlando Resort when you repeat the fallacy that it is all about coasters.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    It is hard to believe you've even looked at a map of the Universal Orlando Resort when you repeat the fallacy that it is all about coasters.
    Its not all about coasters, sorry I gave that impression. But its all about USO catering to teens and young adults more than WDW. Sorry, I should have made a broader statement....lol.

  15. #15

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    Re: Disney vs Universal: Missing the point

    I think Universal has changed their perception among the next park going generation. I used to think of Universal as a coasters and teen thrills park, but the theming is much much stronger than in the past, even if more rides tend to be motion simulators. Universal is leaving their 'Studios' pseudo theme behind, and going straight theme park.

    A more direct comparison is between Universal properties and Disney Hollywood Studios. The licensed properties are much fresher at Universal while still representing global hits, but I feel the rides offer more varying experiences at DHS (HP excepted). Universal: Despicable Me/Shrek/Transformers/Simpsons/Harry Potter vs Disney Hollywood Studios: Indiana Jones/Star Wars/Twilight Zone/Aerosmith.

    With that in mind, I began to think about theming, and which parts of the resort lend themselves to a whole area theme/redo. Possibly the weakest themed part of the Universal Resort is probably the Marvel area at IOA, minus the excellent Spiderman ride. After Harry Potter 2.0, what area is most likely to get blown up and redone? My first thought was Twister/Mummy but with a Mummy reboot coming in 2016, Mummy might just get a reskin.

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