There are all types of rivalries in life. Sports, Education, Business, Love – all top the list. The great state of Florida is home to one of the greatest rivalries in the world. A heavy weight tug of war for tourist dollars. Walt Disney World versus Universal Orlando. Goliath vs Goliath. (Sorry Niagara Falls, you are not in the same league as these two Titans :snowbirdtravelusa.com/new-york-tourism-information)
These two first-class attractions are always major topics of discussion for anyone with children thinking of going on a vacation. Which one do you think is better? Or, I like this one more than the other! There are a myriad of ways to trying to decide but it probably comes down to personal preferences and age of the attendees. I always think of Disney World for the younger families. Universal for the older families. Having been to both I can only offer newbies some little tidbits to consider prior to deciding. Each is a marvel of imagination and ingenuity. Go to the websites and spend some time researching pricing, themes and hotels. https://snowbirdtravelusa.com/
One of the most important considerations when comparing Disney and Universal is the price of admission – both are very expensive for a family of four. (Locals get significant discounts but proof of residency is a requirement when entering the parks.) If you are coming from another country you need to factor in currency exchange. As an example the USD compared to a CDN dollar is 1.3609. Currency exchange will dramatically affect your budget and decisions. (snowbirdtravelusa.com/foreign-exchange)
When considering pricing you will see park admission is similar between the two theme parks. Walt Disney World’s offers includes four theme parks as part of its package: Magic Kingdom; Epcot; Hollywood Studios; and, Animal Kingdom. Disney World’s two water parks is an additional charge and is not included in the prices reflected above.
In comparison Universal Studios has two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida; and, Islands of Adventure.
The Theme: From my perspective the “Theme” for each park provides the enticement based on age and gender. Nearly all of the parks in and around Orlando contain new rides, revamped attractions or even new sections of their parks. Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently remodelled their Star Tours ride, based on the successful Star Wars movie franchise. In the Magic Kingdom, a new Little Mermaid ride has opened, as well as a new French restaurant “Be Our Guest”, with a Beauty and the Beast theme. Disney also has regular parades and a large fireworks show every night. Mickey and Minnie are omnipresent. With this comes young parents, children under 12, and lots of strollers. This being Disney’s 50th year makes the daily parade and fireworks display surreal.
Universal Orlando, not to be out done, has new additions to their parks as well including Islands of Adventure’s and what I can only describe as a MUST SEE – “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” This section of the theme park contains two rollercoasters, a simulation ride, shops and restaurants, all which mimic the theme and feel of the “Harry Potter” franchise. You don’t want to miss going to “Diagon Alley” and the magical section of London only available to witches and warlocks. My vote also goes to a visit to the famous Marvel theme segment (Its interesting that Disney owns Marvel) whose super heroes pose for family pics throughout the grounds.
So, How do you decide?
From the “Snowbirds” prospective, Grandparents and Parents who are bringing children under 8 years of age are really going to have to reach into their pockets. Orlando attractions are the most expensive in the world? In addition these big expansive parks are impossible to see all in one day. Most rides have a wait of over and hour and walking can be a real physical challenge and if you need to carry a little one – bring a stoller. Be prepared – each park is tremendously fun and if you don’t see everything in one day you will just have to come back. Take your time. There is no rush. Consider multi-day passes and plan to stay for a a few days.
So who wins? Which ever one you choose, you will not be disappointed. Take lots of pics. Enjoy this expensive fun adventure which you and your family will remember forever.
Welcome to the competition! Voting is open!