For those of you who get a kick out of negative commentary about Universal might enjoy this...I found on on WDW Magic:
For those of you who get a kick out of negative commentary about Universal might enjoy this...I found on on WDW Magic:
for convenience, here it is (most of it, apparently it came from an intense topic in WDW Magic so I only pasted the relevant stuff), w/o having to follow the hyperlink:
Last week I spent some time at UO with a buddy of mine. I was inpressed to see an increase in characters and streetmoshphere in the park. I do have to say that I think that USF has a far more impresseive NYC Cityscape in terms of visuals, however, it lacks that ambient noise that D/MGM's has. I was dissapointed with the "Orlando Vacations" booths. These are Westgate Resorts employees that bombard you with timeshare sales. One of the booths was near MIB and the stand said "Refreshments"...no F & B in sight, just shady timeshare people. I was also grossed out by the fact that as you wal into CW, you are getting mentally raped by the Credit Card people. I think that every 1 good step UO takes, it takes at least 1 back. Now I"m NOT BASHING NOR AM I COMPARING THE 2 PROPERTIES. THat is unjust. Somethings can be compared, others not so much and they do some good things in their own right. I do feel that they don't live up to their potential. I also feel that if they were anywhere else besides Orlando, they'd be seen as amazing. With that said, WHile there I was reminded of some feelings I had a while back so I decided to ressurect some statements from a previous discussion that was pretty obscure.
DISCLAIMER: The follwing is long and requires some thought.
In no particular order, here are the issues (not all) w/ UO followed by my opinion:
1. No culture. Unlike a man with a dream and a commitment to a product, UO was about making money and porfolio diversification. They are always planning and scheming to try to fool people that they are #1. THeir mission statement is "to be recognized as the world's #1 entertainment desitnation". Bad themimg, no synergy, no ambience, how would you do that? There are also no employee nights at CityWalk. M-F CW is dead. I asked my friend, who is a supervisor over there why they don't have emp. nights and he half-jokingly said "b/c our employees would end up being thrown out of the place and fired before the night's up"
2. Finance and Liscencing. UCreative (their version of WDI) creates some amazing rides and concepts but finance balks at the price. UO also decides to promote non-Uni movies such as MIB and Twister? How do you create a brand.
3. Wasting Money: Simply put, the different departments have no communication and high school drop outs running the place so the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing". ALso, get this, they are getting rid of their "onsies" (like a no-strings attached) and replacing them with a pass to ride whatever attraction you had a bad experience with to begin with. The new ones are also predated (unlike the onsie which you write the date in by hand so you a have a generic stock with unlimited shelf life) so if you don't use all the stock for that day you have to throw them away. According to management, it is to create a more consitant guest experience and reduce waste. tell me how that makes sense.
4. No synergy. Back to the Future had a 20th anniversary last june. That was a great trilogy that is still popular. Any mention of it or celebration or event. NO. Why not? It's Universal, who the he!l knows?
5. Bad Theming. A king kong movie comes out and is a hit but they got rid of the ride while the movie was being written (no communication). Mummy is a great ride but it isn't a story that people will know about or connect with for years to come like most good Disney movies. Why is Shrek in "Production Central" while they try to make it look less like a move soundstage facade and more like a castle? I went through Lost Continent and they were playing the Macarena through the PA. I went by Jaws (which is only open for 1/2 the day) and they were playing The Thong SOng and Walk This Way. Yep, 1976 all over that!! Go on some of the rides and you see where they cut corners on being able to see the support structure or seeing backstage. (for example, leave BTTF, get off hulk or ride ripsaw falls) Where is the streetmosphere in the park, action at $hityWalk. Just not there.
6. Branding. The name of the resort (officially) is "Universal Orlando Resort". The 2 parks are "Universal's Islands of Adventure" and "Uiversal Studios Florida". Road signs will say just Universal Studios or the old mname "Universal Studios Escape". My friend bought a dueling dragons hat. on the back it said Universal Studios. The merchandise has the wrong park on it and they sell it. It's like seeing a ToT hat with Epcot on it. They have coffee cups with incorrect logos and names like "Universal Studios Orlando" (instead of FL).
7. Marketing. IOA was created with a target market of 13-35. When I started there it was under construction and they drove that home. i think that's fine but that is where is ends. Their new marketing campaign blows. The kid that says they don't go to bed at 7; guess what 3/4 of the year that is when UO closes. Not hugging princesses, tell their #1 character Princess Fiona that.
8. Stupid executives. They are opening up a new club to compete with Blue MArtini with their demographic. They call it the red cocnut. Here is where it gets foolish, "rat pack cool with the 1970's attitude". Ummm, rat pack was 40s-50s. I asked a manager at CW about it and she said "most people don't know any better" That's one thing I love about Disney, they make things that most people who don't know better like, but people who do know better are able to get a little extra something out of it. (i.e Reflections of Earth: most people "ooh, cool fireworks and lasers and big-a$$ flamy thing". others can appreciate the story and artistic value. For proof of UOs dumbing down, look at Poisidien's Fury. Orinally themed after the original mythological tale, they changed it b/c nobody "got it". They kept all the props and artwrok that light up and some of the old story elements and characters (but with altered roles) so if you know mythology, you're confused and realize it sucks.
With all of that said, Universal has great rides some cool offerings and neat little things that are unique. I enjoy going there to not get "Disney-ed out" or to ride Spiderman and rollercoasters. They have a ton of potential if they would spend the money on the details and hire some people with at least a high school education in their management roles. People like things for different reasons and you have to respect that.
I agree entirely with this article. And I know the person who wrote it personally. And he just gets it.
I was there in mid-May, and it isn't what it was the first time I visited. I'm just happy I didn't have to pay to get in.
I should have gone to Kennedy Space Center instead.
You guys need to go to Universal Japan...similar to Orlando's studios, but with a dash of Tokyo Disney excellence. Best Universal out there... See my photos from Universal Japan using the link below..
#2 I don't entirely agree with. I don't know why any movie park HAS to be limited to the studio that owns it. I think most people can say that the Aliens, Oz, etc stuff in DMGM further completes the theme in a way that, say, a bunch of Pixar rides couldn't.
Furthermore, for Universal's own sake, it helps prevent competition to ink deals to other studios' properties, so that they have less things to try and build their own theme park out of someday.
#6, as it relates to road signs, is a bit picky. The freeway signs from the airport to WDW just say "Disney World" and I've never heard anybody throw a fit about it.
It see,s like EVERYTHING in Japn is better. I need to find $$ to go. I should be one of those Amway guys or something. hehehe
Is this discussion really in the correct forum? It should either be in the Non-Disney parks section because it is about Universal or it should be in that other forum whose name escapes me because of the link to another site. Just a thought.
Universal is no WDW but it still holds a special place in my heart. I loved it as a kid and enjoyed it just as much as WDW. My family had some good times there before our life all turned to hell and I'll always enjoy those memories. It's the same reason why I think I am so utterly fascinated with WDW. When I look back at my life, they are probably the best memories I have from before my parents divorce. Our family was always so happy when we were at WDW. I don't really have memories like that anywhere else.
It also makes me a little sad from time to time when I go back but in a nice way I guess. I'll never get to experience those memories with my family again except in my head.
Oh well. Life goes on and now I'm building my own family to share those memories with. If only I could get my wife to love the parks like I do. The only reason she likes them very much is because of how they make me feel. One day I hope to impart those feelings to her as well.
I love Universal Orlando and think it is a great experience when in Orlando. I think the themeing at IOA is exceptional. The resort offers a different experience from that of WDW.
The author of this has not said anything that has not already been said in a million different ways by a ton of other Disneyphiles. I would like to see a fresh opinion and perspective in an article about USO.
unfortunately when you are are Disney Theme Park fan your standards are raised too high. It's a shame that not all parks are like Disney parks, but we have to accept it!
I agree with some of the points, but overall I enjoyed Universal. I grew up going to the one in Hollywood, and the one in Florida blows it away. I'm taking my family and some friends next year and I'm going to take them at least to IOA and we'll try to get to USF also. I thought Hulk, Spiderman, Dr. Doom, and Dueling Dragons were all great rides. Ripsaw Falls was fun and Cat in the Hat is one of the best dark rides I've ever been on. As for the other park, I wish they hadn't taken King Kong out, but Jaws is a great ride when the shark is working. I liked Twister a lot, and I think the quality of attraction is more important than which studio made the film.
It's still not equal to Disney World for me, but it's a lot of fun.
Personally the only two parks you can really compare between Universal and Disney is MGM and Universal Studios.
Given that comparison I think MGM slightly nudges out Universal due to better theming and Tower of Terror. Other than that, they are very close to the same quality and I enjoy them about the same and in some ways I like Universal better. Other than Tower I think they have a better selection of rides and there shows are more what I enjoy.
MGM doesn't have anything like Jaws (when it's working) and ET. Granted ET is a little dated but still fun. RNR and The Mummy are probably a tie as are BTTF and Star Tours. Star Tours may be slightly better due to its wonderful queue and theming, but neither ride stands out above the other. Universal also has two other motion simulator rides which help even out the backlot tour and GMR. Universal no longer has their water stunt show from what I understand though which was a great show back in the day.
So I say Universal Studios and MGM are probably a close tie with MGM pulling a slight lead just due to how wonderfully themed the hollywood areas are.
I haven't had the opportunity to visit IOA yet so I can't speak to it. I don't think Disney has a park quite like it though. It's more of a mixture of The Magic Kingdom and Six Flags in my opinion.
It's a bit more complex than just MGM versus USF, in my opinion. A great shoot'em-up ride (Men In Black) is in USF, but the comparision ride (Buzz) is in Magic Kingdom. Likewise, the best ride in MGM (Rockin' Rollercoaster), compares most closely with The Hulk in IOA. Even though The Mummy ride is indoors and has a "partial" magnetic launch, the Mummy's ride-stops and slow start put it in a category of its own, apart from RnR.Quote:
Originally Posted by kcnole
All that said, I agree with Neon Cactus and others: While Disney sets the standard, USF and IOA are enjoyable for what they are - pretty good theme parks.
I just don't think it's fair to compare the two parks vs all four of Disney's. If you want to compare the resorts then WDW wins hand down just because there's so much more to do (4 parks, 2 water parks, tons of hotels, 2 mini golf, DTD, etc...)
If you compare parks on a park to park basis though it begins to look different. Universal isn't quite the red headed step child if you just took it on a park per park basis. It's not Disney, but it's not horrible.
Now if you want to compare on a ride by ride basis then that's a completely different comparison and Universal would win some and lose some just as Disney would.