Disney or Universal

10 posts in this topic

So my family has come into a bit of money and my dad has announced a family trip. I have always wanted to go to Orlando but it looks like we can only do Universal or Disney.

Our travelling party are two people in their 50's and three in their 20's.

At the moment we are leaning towards Universal but would like your input.

We are looking at other things to do around Florida as well so any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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Having been to both here are my opinions:

Disney - If you haven't been before it is certainly an amazing place to visit, even as an adult. WDW in Orlando offers a huge range of different attractions across the 7 different parks however be prepared to be surrounded by small children screaming for hours on end. My pick of the different parks at WDW is definitely the Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest is awesome and so was Dinosaur.

Universal - This would be my pick as the variety is much better here. Big coasters and amazing places to visit. I went just before Back to the Future closed in 2006 so I really want to go back to do The Simpons and Harry Potter. I am dissapointed the Dueling Dragons (Or whatever they are called now) no longer duel but both were still really good rides. Other highlights include the Men in Black ride, Jurassic Park ride and I also really liked the Mummy ride (Even if I did get stuck on it for over 2 hours!!)

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The age old question - it's almost a "VIP pass or World pass" conundrum,but on a grander scale.

I've never been to Orlando, but it's certainly on the list. I can't even begin to imagine that I wouldn't have the time (or the money) to do both. I wouldn't go until I had the time and money to do both... but as you don't really have the option heres a couple of things from my perspective...

Disney parks - can you point to just one or two parks you want to do? Studios? WDW? Animal Kingdom? Epcot? Or do you want to do all of them? Can you choose?

Everything i've read says you need at least a week on Disney property down there (California is 3-4 days), but it depends on if you're ok to cherry pick what you do or whether you want to do and see everything... Many of the advice blogs i've read tend to suggest if you don't have time to do Disney properly you're better off leaving it for a time when you do.

Kostya is on the money here if you have limited time or budget. Universal does have some absolutely amazing attractions with less immersion than Disney so you can kind of 'fast forward' on the detail (Although this is different for the WWoHP areas as I hear it). As I said at the start its very much a VIP vs. World Pass. If you had limited time or money - would you do the 3 VRTP parks (Disney) or would you knock out Dreamworld (Universal).

They're both great. They both offer different things, and because they're in Orlando they're constantly moving and changing and upgrading. It also depends on the time of year you're going... are you going in the next month (ie: during summer peak period) or are you aiming for an off peak period? Naturally you'll get more done in off peak.

My personal opinion i'd want to go to Disney. But thats just me. I'd be torn if I didn't have the time to do all 4 parks, and I probably couldn't choose (and probably just end up doing Studios and WDW), but I guess it depends on what you want out of it. Disney is probably going to be a better fit to try and accommodate a wider demographic, but that doesn't mean Universal is in any way lacking in offerings to suit everyone either...

Lastly - what accommodations are you considering? It shouldn't play any part in where you end up deciding on, but if you'd decided to stay on Disney property - you might as well stick with Disney, being the entire property is geared towards keeping you there. In the alternative, if you lean towards Universal, then check out the accomm local to the Universal precinct.

If you read my (and everyone else's) opinions in this thread and you still can't decide... flip a coin. Either way you know you'll have to go back to do the stuff you missed this time, so it doesn't really matter which one you do first!

Edit: ... and having said that, by the time you go back, there will be lots of new things to see and do at both parks so you'll end up with the same "this one or that one" issue then too.

Edited by AlexB

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Such a conundrum. Disney World is something else, as it is so huge, so my vote would probably be Disney.

My question is, how are you getting there? Are you making any stops along the way? LA? Japan? Hong Kong? Why not visit the other brand there?

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If you're coming through LA and planning to Disney there do universal in Orlando, but if not perhaps see Disney in Orlando and stop at universal on the way back?

Tough call, Disney World is pretty impressive but does need time and me personally (other disagree) I feel all the attractions at Anaheim are better than their counterparts in Orlando, but for sheer scale Disney World is one to see.

Universal Orlando is cool, but nothing really screams to me OMFG must see it. Potter is no doubt great but it's still going to be really really really really busy.

Can you give us a bit more to go on, like what you're group's interests, experience is etc?

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...and when you're going? Obviously Pottermania is going to keep the Universal side of things busy for a while yet (Mine Train didn't quite get the same reception)... so if you're not going for a while it may quieten down.

Having not experienced WDW I can't comment on the comparison, but having been to HKDL, although I loved it, to me, it wasn't the same as Anaheim, and I feel Rappa's view on this would be the same as mine - I don't think you can really compare to the original - I'm for Anaheim too if it's an option.... plus you can do Anaheim quicker than you can do Orlando...

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Orlando has the Scale, Anaheim has the Charm... Bout best way I can sum them both up.

I've never got the 'goosebump feels' at WDW. Or at any Universal for that matter.

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Can you not go due to time or money?

WDW will take more than a day unless you only go to one specific park.

Universal (and Islands of Adventure) could probably be done in a day if you buy the front of the line pass.

Definitely try to get more days free or use your own money to be able to spend a bit more time there. You will regret it if you can only do a small section.

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Disney for sure.

I found that there were only a few good elements to Universal. Actually my favourite thing that i experienced there was Krusty Burger, no joke, followed by the duelling dragons. We didnt even spend a whole day at either of the two parks because we felt there wasnt that much to see. WE did all of teh Hogsmeade in the early access hour in the morning plus we had express lane so we went to the front of every single ride. There is a lack of shows and a serious lacking of night time entertainment.

Personally i think rides with just projectrion screens and some movement are boring and thats the majority of Universals rides if you exclude the dueling dragons, hulk coaster and the mummy (plus that awfully uncomfortable music rollercoaster).

I liked spiderman but then felt that transformers was pretty much exactly the same thing.

WWOHP is incredible detailed however the hogwarts ride i felt was nothing like the experience you get when you ride somthing like Pirates of the carribean and there is just so much size and scale to it.

Universal is going to be packed for quite a while with Diagon alley having just opened, if youre expecting see diagon alley, ride gringotts and ride the hogwarys express that will probably be a whole day.

I totally disagree with those that say Universal has more variety. I'd say Disney has way more. Especially seeing as you have the water parks and Downtown Disney which i feel is much better than city walk.

There are so many great rides at disney and its not all bout thirlls its about immersiveness and story something that is sorely lacking from Australian parks.

There are also great shows like the beauty and the beast musical, fantasmic, castle projection, fireworks, stunt show, safaris.

There is also a much bigger variety of restaurants at disney which the older people in your group will apreciate. Things like be your guest restaurant.

For me its an easy decision.

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