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NYT: "Universal....Takes Aim at Disney"

AEfx

Well-Known Member
I think it's great there will be more competition down in Orlando. As a child, we used to go to Disney/UNI/SW at least once a year (early 90s-2000) and Disney was always light years ahead of the Universal.

Fast forward 2010 - I took my own children down to Disney for Christmas. I was a little disappointed there were no real significant changes in a decade other than pricing and a few attractions. Although the kids enjoyed it, and we had a blast (enough to go back for Star Wars weekend in 2011, and Christmas 2011). I think we will be spending significantly more time @ other parks. I just don't think there's enough investment going towards new attractions to justify dropping thousands for repeat visits.

Hopefully Disney will step their game up soon and make the parks more exciting again!

It's so true.

WDW has been relatively stagnant since the turn of the century.

Now, some one will post, "What about TSM??!! What about Everest??!!" like they are programmed by Disney PR, who thinks a new parade overlay or Meet & Greet is some new exciting attraction. I mean, this is the company that hasn't had anything new to peddle in so long the last marketing campaign had to do with "memories" - of back when Disney used to be the top dog in surprising and impressing.

I love WDW, always will. But it's starting to feel like a big giant time capsule. The stuff they do add, either isn't impressive or doesn't work. The only real large-scale attraction added (Everest) is an embarrassment.

As much as I adore what Fantasyland is getting, as we will finally have a real Fantasyland, nothing is singularly impressive. It's all neat, I can't wait for it all - but in terms of theme park rides, there is nothing that is going to win "Theme Park Ride of the Year".

It's really sad that Disney has let itself slide like that - say what you will about Eisner, but the man made sure there was a consistent flow of state-of-the-art attractions, which the current management has not brought us anything remarkable since the dawn of the century.
 

majortom1981

Active Member
This is so accurate, I have 3 boys, 17, 16, and 13. They want to go to Universal, Busch Gardens, Sea World, and Six Flags. Disney is for little kids, thats what they tell me. It's me and the wife that like Disney. Uni is defiantly on the right track marketing to the older kids.

Disney has always been for Little kids once kids get anywhere close to a teenager. once they hit somewhere in there twenties they want to visit disney again.
 

ori0les

New Member
I just got back from a six day trip that included, for the first time for us, a trip to Universal as well. We are a Disney family, have been probably twice a year for at least the last 10 years. My wife and daughter wanted to spend a couple of days at Universal this time. I honestly went in looking for things wrong with Universal in comparison to Disney.....I left with a different perspective. The fact is, they both do things well. For me, it's pretty clear cut what one days better over the other. Innovation and the use of newer technology as far as rides is, right now, more obvious at Universal. And, as a previous response mentioned, Universal wins easily as far as water rides, they have Kali and Splash beat as far as the ride aspect. Disney wins on theme and history. My exact comment to my wife while we were at Universal was "I just don't feel any history here".

The other difference I saw was with employees and customer service. It seemed the folks at Universal were there "doing a job" where as it seems the cast at Disney, for the most part, enjoy what they are doing. I even heard someone at Royal Pacific say "I just work here because it's a job".

If one of two things happened, a clear King of Orlando could be crowned - either Disney needs to pick up the pace with creating new and exciting ideas while continuing to lean on the strong tradition it has, or Universal needs to learn how to make the guest feel they have entered a different "World" that includes great customer service, smiling faces, and the idea of an escape from reality. Universal got it right with Potter and proved they could theme an entire land - they just need to get it right across the entire Universal Orlando complex. Disney, on the other hand, needs to realize that 8 year old's eventually become 15 year old's who still have parents with cash to spend.

Both do things right, both do things wrong - somebody is eventually going to get it completely right - right now, Universal may be a step ahead to that goal....
 

kucarachi

Active Member
yes disney is trembling with fear...they have roughly a worldwide theme park average of what 80 million a year compared to the maybe 18 million that all the universal parks pull in. I would be hiding in the fetal position if i were mickey mouse...

give it up universals...yes teenagers might want to spend a few years at your parks but they are not spending any money other than to get in...everything universal does has an expiration date and the clock is ticking on a few of them right now. Harry potter is the only thing they've done that will still be around in 20 years. Its a fun park but it will never beat disney because they lack vision...how crappy is the transformers show going to be...umm how crappy were the 2nd and 3rd movies..ok then that crappy. Special effects do not warrant a ride...and universal has built a whole theme park on movies that were not that good just had good special effects. The simpsons? really..the mummy? are you kidding me...still pushing the movie twister...that nobody under 30 even knows about? way to keep on top of things.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
yes disney is trembling with fear...they have roughly a worldwide theme park average of what 80 million a year compared to the maybe 18 million that all the universal parks pull in. I would be hiding in the fetal position if i were mickey mouse...

give it up universals...yes teenagers might want to spend a few years at your parks but they are not spending any money other than to get in...everything universal does has an expiration date and the clock is ticking on a few of them right now. Harry potter is the only thing they've done that will still be around in 20 years. Its a fun park but it will never beat disney because they lack vision...how crappy is the transformers show going to be...umm how crappy were the 2nd and 3rd movies..ok then that crappy. Special effects do not warrant a ride...and universal has built a whole theme park on movies that were not that good just had good special effects. The simpsons? really..the mummy? are you kidding me...still pushing the movie twister...that nobody under 30 even knows about? way to keep on top of things.

The old 'your movies aren't relevant so your park sucks' argument. Except Disney has already proven that wrong with most of it's attractions. If the ride is good, and the theme is approachable without specific background knowledge... the lack of movie awareness will not pull the attraction down. See Indiana Jones, Splash, etc.

Brands like Spiderman.. are already older than most of Disney's attractions. Attractions like The Mummy pull on timeless concepts that will never fade in any of our lifetimes.

If any park gets 20-30 years of an attraction - they are thrilled. There is nothing wrong with attractions being cycled out after 20 years or so as long as the park has gotten it's ROI out of them.

Honestly.. kucarachi... your post comes off as really uninformed of uni
 

bubbles1812

Well-Known Member
yes disney is trembling with fear...they have roughly a worldwide theme park average of what 80 million a year compared to the maybe 18 million that all the universal parks pull in. I would be hiding in the fetal position if i were mickey mouse...

give it up universals...yes teenagers might want to spend a few years at your parks but they are not spending any money other than to get in...everything universal does has an expiration date and the clock is ticking on a few of them right now. Harry potter is the only thing they've done that will still be around in 20 years. Its a fun park but it will never beat disney because they lack vision...how crappy is the transformers show going to be...umm how crappy were the 2nd and 3rd movies..ok then that crappy. Special effects do not warrant a ride...and universal has built a whole theme park on movies that were not that good just had good special effects. The simpsons? really..the mummy? are you kidding me...still pushing the movie twister...that nobody under 30 even knows about? way to keep on top of things.

Have you paid attention to no other comments in this thread? It is not always about sole attendance numbers. It's about dollar share, ect. Yes, Disney will always have more visitors but that doesn't mean Universal can't steal some revenue from them...many more people are starting to take days out of their vacation to spend time at Universal and other area theme parks, than just going to Disney.

If you are going to make an argument about universal having outdated rides like the mummy or twister (btw plenty of people under 30 have seen it...I'm 24 and have seen it) then I've got news for you...Disney has some of the same problems. If you want to talk about the rides in 20 years...the majority, especially in the MK are going to need some serious refurbishments. Quick little patch fixes aren't going to work forever. Or they will need to come down and new ones will be put in.

Also, "lack of vision"? Are you serious? What has Disney done in the last 10 years that indicates management has any kind of vision? Yes new Fantasy Land is coming but I'd hardly call that visionary. They are adding another meet and greet! and yes, other fun things, but they don't push the boundaries of anything. And yes the Transformers movies are crappy, horrible really, but from everything I've seen, the ride itself is getting rave reviews for being on the cutting edge of ride technology.

I love Disney, it's my favorite theme park in the whole world but I don't have my rose colored glasses on.
 

baymenxpac

Well-Known Member
yes disney is trembling with fear...they have roughly a worldwide theme park average of what 80 million a year compared to the maybe 18 million that all the universal parks pull in. I would be hiding in the fetal position if i were mickey mouse...

give it up universals...yes teenagers might want to spend a few years at your parks but they are not spending any money other than to get in...everything universal does has an expiration date and the clock is ticking on a few of them right now. Harry potter is the only thing they've done that will still be around in 20 years. Its a fun park but it will never beat disney because they lack vision...how crappy is the transformers show going to be...umm how crappy were the 2nd and 3rd movies..ok then that crappy. Special effects do not warrant a ride...and universal has built a whole theme park on movies that were not that good just had good special effects. The simpsons? really..the mummy? are you kidding me...still pushing the movie twister...that nobody under 30 even knows about? way to keep on top of things.

i'm assuming from this post you can recite "song of the south" line for line, right? no? then why isn't splash mountain "crappy"? obviously, that argument doesn't hold much weight.

i love disney. last year, i took my wife to IOA to see potter. the potter experience was great. i didn't really want to spend time in universal other than that, but it's not hard to see how other people would.

the bottom line is this: you have to look a trends. disney's attendance is fantastic, yes, but it's also stagnant. and people will give an inferior product a chance for a long time. i mean...22 million people still watch american idol. do i enjoy disney? absolutely. i go 1-2 times a year. but even if you're not a universal fan, there's little doubt that WDW isn't the product it was in the late '80s to mid '90s. if and when universal finally pushes them back to the point they think they need to be that innovator again, it will be a good day for us all.
 

Buried20KLeague

Well-Known Member
yes disney is trembling with fear...they have roughly a worldwide theme park average of what 80 million a year compared to the maybe 18 million that all the universal parks pull in. I would be hiding in the fetal position if i were mickey mouse...

give it up universals...yes teenagers might want to spend a few years at your parks but they are not spending any money other than to get in...everything universal does has an expiration date and the clock is ticking on a few of them right now. Harry potter is the only thing they've done that will still be around in 20 years. Its a fun park but it will never beat disney because they lack vision...how crappy is the transformers show going to be...umm how crappy were the 2nd and 3rd movies..ok then that crappy. Special effects do not warrant a ride...and universal has built a whole theme park on movies that were not that good just had good special effects. The simpsons? really..the mummy? are you kidding me...still pushing the movie twister...that nobody under 30 even knows about? way to keep on top of things.

Ah, Summer.

:rolleyes:
 

ctxak98

Well-Known Member
It's so true.

WDW has been relatively stagnant since the turn of the century.

Now, some one will post, "What about TSM??!! What about Everest??!!" like they are programmed by Disney PR, who thinks a new parade overlay or Meet & Greet is some new exciting attraction. I mean, this is the company that hasn't had anything new to peddle in so long the last marketing campaign had to do with "memories" - of back when Disney used to be the top dog in surprising and impressing.

I love WDW, always will. But it's starting to feel like a big giant time capsule. The stuff they do add, either isn't impressive or doesn't work. The only real large-scale attraction added (Everest) is an embarrassment..

I just have to comment on the Everest part and I have to say that yes there werent a LOT of attractions built in that decade but EVEREST is by no means an embarrassment!? I think most people love the ride regardless of the Yeti working or NOT. The detail and story pass any universal ride in my opinion. Sure Harry Potter is detailed well but You cant say nothing that Disney does now isnt good. I even like toy story mania....is it my favorite? no. But its fun to compete with your friends and family and have a laugh. Idk I think Universal is getting better but I also feel like a lot of people bash Disney too much for being a fan of it.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
yes disney is trembling with fear...they have roughly a worldwide theme park average of what 80 million a year compared to the maybe 18 million that all the universal parks pull in. I would be hiding in the fetal position if i were mickey mouse...

give it up universals...yes teenagers might want to spend a few years at your parks but they are not spending any money other than to get in...everything universal does has an expiration date and the clock is ticking on a few of them right now. Harry potter is the only thing they've done that will still be around in 20 years. Its a fun park but it will never beat disney because they lack vision...how crappy is the transformers show going to be...umm how crappy were the 2nd and 3rd movies..ok then that crappy. Special effects do not warrant a ride...and universal has built a whole theme park on movies that were not that good just had good special effects. The simpsons? really..the mummy? are you kidding me...still pushing the movie twister...that nobody under 30 even knows about? way to keep on top of things.
You forgot IMHO.
 

ctxak98

Well-Known Member
You are talking out of your hoop. Half the Everest details that have you frothing at the gash dont work.

.....No. Not at all actually. I am not talking about the technical details like mist or the yeti. So unless the line for the ride is broken....then I am confused as to what your spinning my words into.
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
I dont think these comments should be over looked or dismissed. Although IMO a few of the comments maybe over the top. But he is absolutely correct in his statement about when "he has children" This generation is what Disney should be focused on. The demo that will be paying the bill come 10-15 yrs from now.

Well, I agree that EO, Stitch, and Nemo need to go. They're either dated, bad or underwhelming.

In my opinion, Philharmagic needs a MAJOR upgrade, not just a refurb. The show is a real crowd-pleaser - it has a very solid story, great music, and has the most "Disney" feeling of any show in the parks. But its 3D is a mess, and the theater is just bare-bones where it ought to be lavish and celebratory of the Disney legacy. Perhaps the movie could be expanded as well as updated, some AAs added, and something interesting done in the lobby. I love Philharmagic - it's the first attraction I go to whenever I visit WDW - and I think it deserves a major plussing.
 

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