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

dreamscometrue

Well-Known Member
First of all, I believe that competition from Universal is simply another factor (along with DCA expansion now complete, a change at TDO in coming years, and the WDW 50th in 2021) that will lead to great things at WDW over the next 9 years.

As for Universal itself. USF has some incredible rides, and IoA in particular is a fun place to spend the day. For some reason however, there is no emotional attachment there for me. Leaving USF at the end of the day is no different for me than having spent a great day at a Six Flags type park. A great day, but quickly forgotten. No plans to visit USF again. Maybe a day at Seaworld next trip...I like turtles and penguins.

For some reason, when at WDW, it feels like home. I'm not sure if it's the immersiveness since we always stay on site, the history of going there, growing up with the characters and films, the CM's, etc. I can't articulate it since it is intangible, but there's a feeling there that goes well beyond attractions. It's just so much more than a theme park experience. There's a contentment there I feel at no other park. If I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I'd make a fortune.
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
Bring on the competition, I say. I love both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood and if USH wants to beef itself so to speak, then great. Transformers is amazing by the way and if they continue to create great products like that then I will be a very happy person. Same goes for the Disneyland Resort. I hope we continue to see more exciting new things for the next couple of years.
 

IanDLBZF

Well-Known Member
First of all, I believe that competition from Universal is simply another factor (along with DCA expansion now complete, a change at TDO in coming years, and the WDW 50th in 2021) that will lead to great things at WDW over the next 9 years.

As for Universal itself. USF has some incredible rides, and IoA in particular is a fun place to spend the day. For some reason however, there is no emotional attachment there for me. Leaving USF at the end of the day is no different for me than having spent a great day at a Six Flags type park. A great day, but quickly forgotten. No plans to visit USF again. Maybe a day at Seaworld next trip...I like turtles and penguins.

For some reason, when at WDW, it feels like home. I'm not sure if it's the immersiveness since we always stay on site, the history of going there, growing up with the characters and films, the CM's, etc. I can't articulate it since it is intangible, but there's a feeling there that goes well beyond attractions. It's just so much more than a theme park experience. There's a contentment there I feel at no other park. If I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I'd make a fortune.

I'm the same way at WDW. As far a Universal goes, last time I remember being there was when I was little, and I don't have plans to go back there. I'm not a huge Universal Orlando Person you know :rolleyes:, I'm more of a Disney Person. But I've been to SeaWorld quite a few times before.
 

c-one

Well-Known Member
The most important words in the whole article were these three, near the end: "former Disney employee," referring to the show producer for a new ride. They also apply to the Comcast division manager placed in charge of theme parks. (That one is the same man that they were going to put in charge of the "Disney division" of Comcast if they had been successful in their bid to buy Disney a few years back.)

Roy E. Disney got it right a few years back when he lamented that the Walt Disney Co. had become a training ground for expatriates who went on to bring their creative talents and ideas to other companies; when the company should have been more encouraging of their creativity and thus kept them. People would learn the trade at Disney and move on to people who would actually let them create or innovate.

And that is the case here.

The answer is to let the imagineers and others be freed up to imagine again... before they leave and do it for someone else.
Bingo. I don't blame Disney for resting on its laurels when it was king of the mountain with no competitors within sight. But this is a side effect of that. Call it the innovators' dilemma. I have no doubt that the Imagineers still have some mind-blowing, thrilling ideas up their sleeves -- but it's up to the finance men to let them run free.

First of all, I believe that competition from Universal is simply another factor (along with DCA expansion now complete, a change at TDO in coming years, and the WDW 50th in 2021) that will lead to great things at WDW over the next 9 years.

As for Universal itself. USF has some incredible rides, and IoA in particular is a fun place to spend the day. For some reason however, there is no emotional attachment there for me. Leaving USF at the end of the day is no different for me than having spent a great day at a Six Flags type park. A great day, but quickly forgotten. No plans to visit USF again. Maybe a day at Seaworld next trip...I like turtles and penguins.

For some reason, when at WDW, it feels like home. I'm not sure if it's the immersiveness since we always stay on site, the history of going there, growing up with the characters and films, the CM's, etc. I can't articulate it since it is intangible, but there's a feeling there that goes well beyond attractions. It's just so much more than a theme park experience. There's a contentment there I feel at no other park. If I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I'd make a fortune.
I agree and I think that's what keeps a lot of us going back to WDW. That, and WDW still has a huge advantage in land. Walt was prescient in buying up all that land to keep a nice green buffer. The problem with Universal is that they're rapidly running out of room to expand, and that it's tucked right into the awful pit that is I-Drive.

If you are purely provincial and only go to WDW or only go to Disneyland and just assume that's as good as you will ever get, then that's all you will get as their standards slowly trend downwards with each passing year. But if you actually visit someplace extraordinary like Tokyo Disneyland, then your eyes will be opened wide.

Be warned however, after a visit to Tokyo you will NEVER be able to look at the American parks the same ever again. And as an otherwise patriotic American, that has been a tough thing for me to deal with. :eek:
Agreed with one exception: TDL's Tomorrowland is a mess. ;)
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
Well, if you really think about it, Disney has spent this past decade perfecting the time share resort.

Dont you mean the DVC kiosk? :lol:

I really hope Universal continues its trend and I hope it really puts a hurting on Disney. Unfortunately I think WDW has been on cruise control for a while now and they need a real kick in the tail. Disney was always the leader of new tech and experiences and now that just doesnt seem to be the case. If Uni can continue, and actually impact Disneys pocket book, that may actually get them moving again. Unfortunately I dont see the powers that be opening up the creative floodgates any time soon. For now they seem content raising prices just because they can. I dont mind price increases if its spawning new cutting edge attractions, but its not. So for now, go UNI.
 

Tom

Beta Return
Its only a matter of time before Universal completely surpasses WDW in Orlando.

In what regard? Attendance? Never. Number of theme parks? Never. Annual revenue? Never.

All I can think of is general perception and interest shown by new generations.

And unfortunately, Disney knows all of the answers in my first paragraph are 100% true, which is why they strive for mediocrity these days. They do just enough to make it appear they're investing in their parks, while not spending the "Potter-busting" bucks on their forgotten parks that they should be to stay AHEAD of the curve.
 

Victor Kelly

Well-Known Member
Theme park Cold War.:goodnevil

Good for universal. Disney will have to counter by stepping up their game and increasing maintenance, and offering new things. If they don't they will lose money while people go to Universal.

Bring it Disney!!
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
As I noticed on America's Funniest Home videos last night (which featured Cars Land and Aulani), the track looks very familar. Sort of a "test track," so to speak.

Radiator Springs Racers uses the Test Track ride system, but with some differences like the dual-track racing portion of the ride at the end.

But basically it's Test Track themed to Cars.
 
I'm definitely glad for the competition. As a local, it is very nice to have variety here. I grew up at Disney and Sea World, so I'm very attached to both for a laundry list of reasons. Universal has always been about thrill attractions, and my mother has motion sickness, so I only went a couple of times as a child with friends. Universal has always been fun, but not necessarily rooted into childhood nostalgia.

I got AP's for Universal when Potter opened--as I'm a huge fan--and enjoyed 2 years with it. It's a much cheaper option against Disney (though granted, it's half the parks). But I got bored. I'm hoping that with the extra cash flow, Uni will start giving the rest of the parks some TLC.

I'm really hoping that Universal continues to expand and explore cutting-edge technology. Nostalgia and preschool franchises can take Disney only so far. They need to go back to their roots and invest in ALL the parks if they want to stay ahead.
 

Tom

Beta Return
Radiator Springs Racers uses the Test Track ride system, but with some differences like the dual-track racing portion of the ride at the end.

But basically it's Test Track themed to Cars......

.....but outdoors and well themed and fun.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Interesting piece by Brooks, although I do wonder where he got some of the numbers he uses.

When one looks at how aggressively UNI is taking its parks business (and that's just talking domestically), while Disney is being so conservative it again makes you wonder how long Disney will ride on its past along with chewing gum, duct tape and pixie dust (at least in O-Town). Even in Anaheim, when's the last time you heard a word about DCA's Extreme Makeover Phase II? ... Yeah, it's been years because Iger, Staggs, Rasulo and Co are hoping that you'll be happy with what they've done and won't expect more. DL is getting a new E-Ticket due to the 'Boy Who Lived' ... otherwise, it likely wouldn't be.

And Disney seems to take forever to get anything built these days ... opening something in 2016 or 2017 doesn't mean much when you have the same product (again, talking FLA) in 2012 that you did in 2008.

Just seems one side is taking this war more seriously than the other and the other side is in its typical hide in the bunker planning new timeshare resorts while wooing the Disney Lifestyle sites (anyone talking about Star Wars weekends in a stale sense? anyone not thrilled, thrilled and THRILLED that Art of Animation is opening its first phase soon?) mode.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Universal definately has it's rides that truely shine! Then it has it's maintenance issues at both parks. Like you said it has a really run down feel in many areas. The one thing that stick out to me was the Jurrasic ride boats which had torn seats and were sooooo faded!

If universal keeps moving forward on it's current path then Disney will have something to really be concerned about.

I haven't been to UNI since October ... but if you feel it has maintenance issues, what would you say Disney has? MAGICal boo-boos?:drevil:
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
The "awakening" you experienced is very very close to what I went through 3 or 4 years ago. We decided to get crazy and went to Tokyo Disney. TDL and TDS are Nirvana for Disney Parks fans. Which is great... Until you go back to your home resort of WDW and it just doesn't measure up, in so many ways. Since then, we had to see DLP. And decided to become AP holders at DL and have made a handul of trips out there. Instead of our past 10 trips being to WDW, we've made one or two there, and gone to other parks instead.

The stance I have on WDW and the way I talk about WDW nothing to do with gloom and doom, or hating WDW parks, or any of that stuff that guys like me get accused of... It's about having my eyes opened up to everything else that's out there, and wanting that same thing for WDW.

You really want to mess with your own head now that you've starting thinking this way a bit? Head to Tokyo.

BINGO!

Once you step into TDR, you will never, ever view WDW (at least its parks) the same again.

Even with some serious issues at DLP (which I intend to write about soon!), I couldn't help but notice all the ways they had things better than MK (everything from the greenery and water in Fantasyland to the incredible rides like BTMRR, PoC and PM ... the much, much better dark rides ... the only seeing three ECVs in three days and they were used by people who clearly needed them ... the better variety of QS food ... and a truly amazing night show that is different than anything else Disney does, yet includes elements of many, and doesn't focus on Princesses!)

And DLP can't compare to TDR in so many ways either.

The problem is so many Disney fans aren't. They are WDW addicts. And they won't even bother going to SoCal and visiting DLR, so they sure as heck won't be going overseas (other countries and cultures may scare them ... or they just don't have the funds, which you can't blame them for ... unless they have them for 10 nights at the Beach Club in May and another 5 at DAK Lodge in December!)

And the thought of leaving Disney for UNI (or SW) gives them the dry heaves.:hurl:

There was a time when I was like that ... when I was a WDW is perfect so why go anywhere else mindset ... of course, I was a teen and it was the
1980s too!:D
 

Tom

Beta Return
I haven't been to UNI since October ... but if you feel it has maintenance issues, what would you say Disney has? MAGICal boo-boos?:drevil:

When we were there, the degradation we saw was more in the general appearance of the park (roads, facades, benches, railings, etc). Only one ride had an issue while we were there. We were 2 away from unloading at Spiderman and it stopped for about 10 minutes, but no evac required.

So, in essence, either the rides are all in fine shape....or I was seeing Uni/IoA rides and attractions through the same glasses that 90% of WDW's day guests see the WDW parks through. Those glasses being the ones that haven't seen something a million times, thus allowing the wearer to notice the micro-deficiencies.
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
I haven't been to UNI since October ... but if you feel it has maintenance issues, what would you say Disney has? MAGICal boo-boos?:drevil:

To be fair, ET, Mummy, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Dudley Do Right could use some serious refurbishment. In general, though, the park is well kept and maintained, at least as well as Disney does (and better in many respects, I feel).

To those complaining about the cracks in the pavement - were you in the San Francisco area? Because the cracks are intentional... Earthquakes, remember...?
 

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