Disney Theme Park
Universal Studios- Love it or Hate it?
88 replies - Newest at the top
Click Here to send in your thoughts or

my grandson thats 8 years old got hurt in the pool at animal kingdom a basketball hoop fell on my grandson while staying at resort while he was in the pool .handled very poor manager has yet to call my daughter to see even how he is !!! he got 2 staples in his head a black eye and will probley never want to go back !!! they called for stupid shit pics and stuff like that !!! pic when your son is bleeding my be killed who the hell will stop to take pics !!!
-- judy rebich
wheeling, wv

Universal Studios - blaring noise, insanely large crowds,heat, insanely long lines at restaurants, noise, noise, noise attacking you from all sides. Will never go back! Disney World - also large crowds, less waiting at restaurants, music, heat, but much more gentle on your mind, plus fun, fun, fun. Only three weeks home, and already planning next trip for January. Will always return to Walt Disney World as many times as possible!
-- Vivian
Cleveland, Ohio

i think that disney world is the most funnest theme park that i have ever been to. i know a lot of people that has went to disney world and disney land. disney world is the best. it is way way bigger and i havent been to disney land but i have been to disney world and i love it!!!! the people who work there are so nice and will help you through anything and i hope that you would go someday to see what i am talking about if you didnt already do so. well all i can say dont listen to the gruppy people that say they dont like it they pro. are just jelous. ttyl.
-- disneyluver
salem, va

I am taking my grandchildren to Florida in June. We planned the tour for June for WDW and at least one day to see the New Harry Potter. So on March 25 Universal announces the "Spring" opening is June 18th and only people who bought their pricey packages get in the three weeks prior. I called and they adamantly state no chance of soft opening and no chance to ssee Harry Potter unless we had already bought the pricey packages.
-- grandma traveler
Henderson, NV

I love the rides & the Hard Rock but I HATE the way the run the place. Rules are arbitrary. Do not expect any kind of customer service - It falls on the deaf ears of poorly trained staff. If you think you can count on security to help you out with a problem - think again. Their policy is ASSUME first, react and ask questions later (maybe). They could really care less about their guests and it reflects all the way to the top. I was a year pass holder for 4 years!!...and disapointment afetr disapointment. I'm done!
-- Jess
Ft Lauderdale, FL

I got back last night from a 10 day trip to Universal and Disney. I will never go back to Universal, and I have been to Universal before. The place has gone into disrepare. The bathrooms were horrible, the staff was rude and they kept running out of lemonade slushys and ice. Not only that, my 5 year old and I were in line for Jimmy Newtron, and they had a vendor at the end of the line. She wanted a water. Fine. I got over there and what were they selling along with water, BEER. You could see beer bottles all along the streets. My husband went into the mens room in Marvel Comic book land, and there was unrine on the floor. We saw so many people walking around with cups of draft beer and smoking. To me Universal looks like a Frat house on Homecoming weekend. It was disgusting. My older daughter sat down by some bushes and in the bushes were 2 dozen or so beer bottles. Not very clean. Then we went over to Disney. Much different. Disney is a class act compared to Universal. I will never go again. I am seeking a refund on my tickets as well. If Universal wants to gear themselves toward a older crowd, fine...then get rid of the kids rides. Or sell the beer by the adult rides only. As much as Barney can drive you crazy, there is no reason to have a cart selling beer next to it. Universal really needs to re think what they have done.
-- Colleen
Frankfort, IL

I have never been to Universal until I went this past Christmas. The park felt like a knock off of Disney. The rides were not as good & the staff not as friendly. Universal and Island of Adventure are not my cup of tea. I bought passes which allowed up to 7 days of play but I only used 2 days one for each park. I also took in the Blue Man Group show which was better then the 2 days I spent in the park. I will not return, I am all for Disney through and through.
-- Canchick

-- samantha
palm beach gardens, fl

I didn't like Universal. It just doesn't have the same touch, the same "magic" as Disney World. Maybe it's because I was expecting it to be Disney-like when I went there (it was only for a day with my husband while we were vacationing in St Augustine), that I came away extremely disappointed. I don't know if I'd want to go back to Universal Studios.
-- Sarah
Chattanooga, TN

Universal is amazing! I love it!, it doesnt bring those memmories like Disney, but its for older people, and it is pretty amazing, i love going there.
-- Dean
Cornwall, Ontario

Although I like both Disney and Universal, Disney is far better. Universal is a good change but the workers are not as polite as the cast members. Our family can do all of each park at universal in a day each park and see it all, where as at Disney a week is not long enough to do Disney correctly. When we go to orlando we stay 8 nights at Disney and 2 days and one night at a universal hotel so we can use the front of the line pass. This gets us through the park qiuckly. At Disney, we take at least 2 days at each park just to take everything in.
-- wdw4u2
midwest, illinois

I love Universal Studios... I also love Islands of Adventure... They are great parks... They have great shows and rides too... My boyfriend spent my birthday there and I had the time of my life... I totally recommend both of these parks to anyone....
-- Addy
Winter Haven, Florida

I used to like Universal biut now a lot of the attractions that used to make it worthwhile are gone now such as The Funtastic World Of Hanna Barbera and The Ghostbusters stage show. I don't bother going there anymore.
-- Steven
Kissimmee, Florida

I guess it's alright, But the Walt Disney World Resort still rocks my world! Common you can't get tired of Disney Magic!
-- Michael Kelly
Dominion, Nova Scotia, Canada

I hate universal studios they don't have the magic that disney has, they're always making fun of them. Plus the lines are so retarded I only got to ride about 4 rides the entire day.
-- Jon Crecelius

We love all the parks in Orlando. It is a great idea to have several options as to where to spend the day...and all the parks have different flavors...we love the wild roller coasters of Universal, but the ever-enchanting magic of Disney World is always great!
-- Sue Vigliotti
Hollywood, FL

Before my teen aged daughter and I- a single mom- moved to Central Florida I read detailed information about all of the different attractions that Orlando has to offer. Having grown up with Disneyland in California I was just hoping that Florida's Disney World would be at least equal. Reading about Universal Parks made me think that if I had to choose between Disney or Universal there would be no contest because I don't relish being terrified ride after ride all day and night long. I wanted to be enchanted. We signed up for a Florida resident seasonal pass right away after moving to Florida.. After curiously visiting Universal's City Walk a year later we were pretty bored with the whole thing and also noticed the difference between the types of people attending both parks. I much preferred the company of the Disney goers as well as the actual "Magical" emotions Disneyworld evokes. We signed up for yet another annual Disney pass. The Universal annual pass was much less expensive than Disney's but the theraputic benefits we felt after the end of a Disney day was more than worth the price. I must add however that the Universal employees seemed a lot more friendly toward my daughter and I. Less prejudiced toward a single mom duo than Disney was in those days.
-- Linda Archer
Daytona Beach, Florida

My husband and I had an opportunity to spend a day at Universal during our trip to WDW. We independently realized that in the three years we have been to Universal it hasn't changed (few new rides added; the upkeep of the walkways has deteriorated), and with the introduction of Expedition Everest, I think Disney has now shown us that they have the expertise to deliver the new generation of thrill rides that people look for in a park. We have both decided that Universal is certainly not worth the $$ (by the way, we have never felt that with Disney!).
-- KK Girl
Waltham, MA

i love all of disney and universal to because when i come to these special places i think to myself one might be better than the other but they are all fantastic fun theme parks . so to sum up i love universal studios but not as much as i love Disney World!!!!!!!!!
-- florida fan101

I love Universal Studios and IOA parks. We would not go to Disney without also touring these 2 parks. (We are Disney Vacation Club Members) I have reccommended to many people who only go to WDW to go and they have wished they had visited sooner.
-- lad1216
Ewing, NJ

I wanted to add my two cents to this one because I feel very strongly about it. I like Universal for Universal, but I hate the politics. Even in Shrek, Universal was making fun of Disney and when I was last there and rode Jaws, Jaws was wearing a Mickey hat. I haven't seen Disney doing the same bad-mouthing politics as Universal does. So it makes me wonder -- does Universal feel they aren't up to par with Disney and have to poke fun to feel better about themselves??? Stop the mudslinging Universal! I do have to admit, I don't think Universal can compare to the magic of Disney. Never have I walked down the main street in Universal and felt like I do when walking down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.
-- Disneybride
Smithsburg, MD

We like Universal much better for several reasons: Assuming you stay on the property - 1. can walk to theme park 2. front of the line access works much better than disney's fast pass 3. Eaiser to eat 4. Seems to be less crowded
-- Dorene B.
New Hyde Park, New York

While some Disneyphiles may find Universal to be the "enemy" my family and I love it there. The Hard Rock Hotel is an excellent place to stay and the Islands of Adventure alone is worth the trip. It's just a different experience than Disney. We go there first for a few days and then go to WDW for the majority of the vacation. IOA has great thrill rides that Disney doesn't offer. The Hulk coaster is brilliant and never loses it's re-ride value. The same goes for Spiderman, Dueling Dragons, Doctor Doom, Dudley Do-Right and Bluto's barges. In the Studios, Revenge of the Mummy is also an excellent ride as are Jimmy Neutron and the Shrek 4-D show. It's a fun place to go and you can have an excellent time riding until you drop thanks to the Universal Express (like FastPass but better and unlimited) that is given to you when you stay at one of Universal Resorts. That's the one thing Universal has over Disney, the unlimited front of the line pass. I'd like to see Disney implement this into thier repertoire but only if you stay at a deluxe resort. There are just too many people staying on site to offer it to everyone but those staying in the upscale places should get a bigger reward for the money other than simply enjoying the extra magic hours. Overall Disney is better of course but Universal does have some great rides and is a great experience.
-- C.J.S.
Philadelphia, PA

While I enjoy the rides and the theme of Universal, I get tried of listening to all the Unv. Employees trashing Disney. When I go on vacation the last thing I want to hear is a bunch of disgruntled workers bitching and moaning about things they canýt change. When Iým in a Disney park all of the employees seemed focused on me enjoying myself and donýt whine about the competition. I work in an ER at a major hospital on the Gulf Coast. I need to not hear a bunch of petty complaints, while Iým away on vacation, so that I can retain my own sanity. The Universal folks remind me of being in triage and listening to the drug seekers trying to convince us how badly they need pain medication. Until Universalýs people can take a more mature attitude, I will have to restrict my visitations in Orlando to exclusively Disney.
-- George Shrout
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

There are a number of things to both love and hate about Universal. A number of the rides are truly outstanding:The Mummy, Spiderman,Men in Black, Shrek. The park also does a good job of including roller coasters, but still having some rides that are not just another roller coaster. The theming throughout the two parks is nearly on-par with the Mouse's. We've also met a number of excellent staff members at Universal. The downsides of Universl are these: you're much more likely to see people intoxicated and being obnoxious because of it. It just makes the place a little ugly and unfriendly - esp. for kids. Second, there are few rides for everyone to enjoy together, and very few rides for the little ones in particular. the number of rides for the old and young at the mouse are what truly make it stand alone. It just amazes me how few other theme parks comprehend Walt's brilliant concept. What were the Unversal crew THINKING when they made the Cat in the Hat ride? It should be a ride that everyone can enjoy - somewhere between Pirates and Small World, not a ride where baby swap is needed! The rest of Seussland is really fun and creative. One Fish Two Fish..is a really great use of that ride technology.( It's so much more than the Dino ride at AKL.) Last, Universal is ready for an update of some it's rides. They took away Kong (A good ride, IMHO), but kept Back to the Future, which is a bit dated now.
-- Mickeyliuv'r

I think love is a strong word..however, I do prefer The House of Kong as it is referred to as a opposed to MouseWorld. I prefer it because since I already work with children all day in the school system, I expect to have a little grown up fun that's entirely innocent! I don't want to live in a small world after all...because it isn't..and all that Pixie Dust just makes me sneeze! (with my allergies and all that..)One gripe however.. If Universal wants to keep getting my love, they need so show me some by giving perks for annual passers like me and mine and not just giving love to those who pay to stay onsite..Holla!
brunswick, ga

LOOOOOOOVE IT!!! The Port of Entry to the Islands of Adventure is MY Main Street. It was the first park I ever visited in Orlando and will always be my favorite place to stay. I like Disney but I LOVE Universal!
-- Robin
Atlanta, GA

i really like universal, it caters slightly more for the teen/adult market. the food and drink is cheaper and so is the merchandise. you can't fault disney though for their attention to detail on every one of their rides/shows. i also think they are a bit more enthusiastic at disney and more friendly. we are going back to both parks in december and i'm looking forward to seeing the new expedition everest ride, to see how it compares to the mummy.
-- kim

IOA is excellent but only for teenagers & adults - not so much for little ones. US is in dire need of updating as it is outshone in every sense by Disney. However, visiting US & IOA makes a nice change from Disney - if only for a couple of days out of the fortnight!
-- Jan Turnbull
Washington, UK

LOVE Universal!!! I was saving to buy 10 day non-expiring Disney passes for the 3 of us....I used that money for: Our first trip to Universal, and we come home with AP's!!!! You cannot beat the walking distance to UO parks from the onsite hotels AND you cannot beat the Universal Express Pass that you get when you stay onsite....better than Disney's FastPass!! We literally RELAXED, did it all and saw it all in our short 5 days at Universal! Planning 2 days to "finish seeing" Disney (DS has not been to Epcot yet) and then heading to Universal for 2 days and heading BACK in the summer for 6 days!! YAY!!!! Sorry Disney...you're just too busy, too expensive and too rushed...love to relax & have fun at Universal!!!
-- bubba's mom
Reading, Pa

I can't say I necessarily love or hate Universal but I'll say this....Universal's rides are great, their theming is great and their special events are great. Their guest service sucks. It is NOT the place to find happy, smiling employees. I also dislike how much focus there is on alcohol sales in the park. Drink specials may sound great to some of us, but for those that are bringing kids to the park, we don't appreciate drunken guests vomitting on the side walks or swearing up a storm in line.
-- Jenn W
Orlando, FL

I don't know how you could love universal more than Disney. Disney World is far by better. When you go to disney its cleaner, fun-er, and magical ! That's why tons of people LOVE disney! Plus me! I LOVE DISNEY WORLD, disney world = life!
-- Natasha
somewhere, overtherainbow

For me I don't think anything come close to Disney. Disney is more magical than universal. Disney has four parks. While universal only has like 1, i think or maybe 2? When you go to Disney it has so many people. You can tell just by how many people there are that everyone loves Disney. Some people that left comments here said that universal is more "grown up" so is disney, disney has everything for all ages. Disney world has lots of grown up rides such as - tower of terror; rock 'n' roller coaster; everest; dinosaurs; space mountain; splash mountain; and so much more. Plus its the BEST place to bring children, teens! When, you go to universal it just feels like your at a theme park. Nothing fun about that. But, disney makes you feel like your in another world. It feels like your a kid again with no worries.
-- Mickey Mouse Lover
Saint Louis, Missouri

I hate Universal Studios. I love love love love DISNEY WORLD !! It's the best place ever. Universal Studios doesn't compare to Disney. Disney's theme-ing is over the top. From rides to hotels, it's just amazing. I LOVE DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!x3593852052
-- Erica Brown
New York, New York

Well I have to start by saying my last trip to Universal and Disney was in 1998. It was a jam packed trip filled with Seaworld, Universal and all 4 Disney parks. Did I love or hate Universal? Neither. But I have to say it wasn't magical like Disney nor did it create the same feeling of being a kid again. When I entered the Magic Kingdom and seeing the Castle I got goose bumps. Entering Universal was like entering any other park. I am going to Disney at the end of this month and will visiting all 4 parks and Sea World. Universal we are still on the fence about but I know we definately won't be visiting Universal's newest thrill park Island of adventure. There are many amusement parks that have the thrill rides but there are none that have the magic that disney has!
-- Kristine
Brooklyn, NY

we prefer universal studios to mgm studios. we are empty nesters. and this park is the more adult oriented of the 2. hubby is a rollercoaster freak so he likes islands of adventure (although the coasters are NOTHING compared fo Cedar Point in Ohio),I, however, am not a big "thrill ride" fan. but we both think Spiderman is the best ride ever. we love the proximity of everything; we stay at royal pacific, and in just a 10-15 min walk we are at pat o'briens, sipping a hurricane and singing aong! BUT....we still LOVE disney better! Universal just doesn't have the "magic" disney has. it feels weird to come to orlando and NOT do universal, but we've done it. I don't think we would ever do the reverse (not do disney). at universal, we always stay on site, just like disney, but it's a shame they don't have a resort either value priced, or at least moderately priced, as disney does. also, we always have to do universal first. then when we get to disney it's like "ah! we're home". and we leave the vacation with pixie dust still in our eyes!
-- diane
carpentersville, IL

Back before Islands of Adventure open, they had nothing on Disney, NOT EVEN CLOSE. Now, I think the new theme park adds a little touch of excitement for the adults. They do offer some good thrill rides, but still, at the end of the day, when you walk out of that park, they dont leave you with that special feeling that Disney does. Disney Rocks!!!
-- Alyson
Saint Louis, Missouri

The Dolphin and Swan are the best kept secrets around. For many years, I stayed at the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Beach Club, & Boardwalk. They are all great properties and very expensive. I used to cut my stay from 6-7 days to 4-5 days just so I could afford the best resorts. Then I discovered the Dolphin through the DIS and Dreams Unlimited. The prices are very inexpensive and the ease of reservations is very good. The location on the boardwalk is superior. It's essentially the same as the Beach and Boardwalk for half the price. And the property is very nice. How about just taking the elevator to Shula's or the Blue Zoo!! Or, walk to ESPN, EPCOT, etc. I will stay at the Dolphin this November for $165 per night.....I look at that like I can have dinner every night for free!!!
-- Bill Virkler
New Hartford, New York

we do love universal studios (actually both universal parks). the rides and special effects are just terrific. the only complaint is that they do not provide transportation from their own parking lot or any other location in town, and they are located in very busy business district. the universal version of the fast pass is very worth the extra money you pay for it. i don't think anything could ever replace disney love. altho, i don't really see universal as a replacement, only an addition to the entertainment available in orlando. we do not visit universal on every trip to disney, mainly be cause they do not provide buses. it takes a lot to make me get my car out of the parking lot on my vacation.
-- anne
woodstock, ga

I think Universal Studios is a great theme park. It is definitely different from Disney and more for the "grown up" attitude. It is obvious that they feel stiff competition from Disney World, which is the reason for the CityWalk - to compete with Downtown Disney, and the new Meal programs where you can eat all day at their counter service restaurants for one price - to compete with the DDP. They're not completely there yet with the benefits, but it is clear they are working on it. Universal has it's pluses. It is a great perk to get front of the line access by being a resort guest. This is a perk that Disney simply cannot offer due to the volume of onsite guests. If you are a roller coaster buff, Disney cannot compete with with the rides of Universal. You can have a great Orlando Vacation at Universal Parks and never go near Disney. I'm gonna go with Love It.
-- Tina B.
Forestville, MD

My wife and I enjoy Universal Studios a lot and love the restaurants on Citywalk more than those in Downtown Disney. We generally will spend a few days or more in the Universal parks because they generally offer a reasonable 2 day / 2 park option that allows you to enter the parks for (5) days after your first entry into one of the parks. We enjoy the roller coasters at Islands of Adventure and love the attractions & shows offered at Universal Studios. We spend two weeks each year in the Orlando area and although we have recently started staying on Disney Property we still venture out to the Universal parks because they are in such close proximity. It is not like in LA where Disney & Universal are long freeway drives away from one another.
-- Kevin Mahoney
Hawthorne, California

I go to Orlando once every year and to be honest we are there for the great themeing snd great rides. I love both parks for different reasons. On a bad day I hate going to Disney World because it's boring and the ques are absolutely enormous. Customer Service is better at Universal and the workers are much more themed into their job. The only ride in Disney what has workers that do that is ToT! Universal's rides are much better and parks more spacious. People feel magic towards Disney because it was the first of it's sort. Everyone is saying "Universal copies everything Disney does" well again not true. I like Disney but it's too old and only young families can really appreciate it. Universal is new and obviously some think it to be "scary" just like anything. So I love it!
-- Ashleigh.
London, N/A

Universal Studios - Love it or Hate it? To be quite frank, I don't know and I don't care to know. I simply have no desire to go to Universal. Unfortunately this is one reason why they are suffering. NO APPEAL. NO MAGIC. I am 30,DH37,DD3,DS1. I grew up taking vacations to Disney, now I have my own family and nothing has changed. Even when I was single and in college, my sister and I would take trips to Disney, and we always said we'll go over to Universal but every time we would be having so much fun at Disney we would never leave! Universal's advertising leaves a lot to be desired. Those awful commercials are just plain tacky, with the little girl saying, "If I see another Princess I'm gonna puke!" Ewww! That is so disgusting. I think that most mothers think of their daughters as princesses. That commercial is pathetic and screams desperation and jealousy, something that I don't want my prince and princess associated with. Why must one feel the need to put down another in order to TRY to make themself look good. I spend $$$$ at Disney , but we do manage to sneak away to Sea World for a day, and I rarely see an ad for Sea World where I live, but if you love FISH your going to Sea World. WHY should I interrupt my Dream vacation at Disney to visit Universal and spend even more $$$$. Disney has got that "DREAMS COME TRUE" thing down to a science, and yes I love every minute of it! From the moment we get off the plane, we leave all of our worries behind, and are wisked off to a world of fantasy and make believe. Why should I "wake up out of my beautiful DREAM to come see U". Disney has EVERYTHING I need on property and most importantly I feel "SPECIAL" when I am at Disney, and even more special staying at a Disney resort. How can Universal make me feel special? When they start to focus on what the they can offer to make guests feel special, and how they are "unique" to Disney, instead of how they can attack and undermine Disney, they may do "a little better", and I may go see what they have to offer. One more thing, word of mouth is so important. Everyone I know who goes to Disney cant stop talking about it. When they go to Universal they say "it was nice" but they're right back raving about Disney World, at least that's my experience.
-- ?DreamsRMadeOf
Superior Twp, MI

i love universal because its got my favorite movies wrapped up in to to parks and while disney is a great park universal blows it right out of the water
-- marcus
San Antonio, Texas

Love it or hate it? I like it, but I don't love it. I think Universal has the potential to be as great as Disney but falls short. I think Men in Black (my family's personal favorite) is a thousand times better version of Buzz Lightyear and I think Mummy, Spiderman and the coasters are top notch rides. Where Univeral falls very short is on customer service and organization. I have had too many bad experiences to ever be able rave about Universal like I rave about Disney. Walt Disney World seems to operate like an extremely well oiled machine and that is part of why our vacations there are so magical. In addition to the wonderful individual cast members who make our stays so great there seems to be a fantastic sense of order and organization from the top down for every aspect of the resort. Disney is very good at what it does. Universal seems to have placed all their focus on ride technology and not enough on overall park organization. Here are some examples of things I have encountered at Universal that I feel would never occur at Disney: - Reading a posted wait time on the central wait time board then walking 5 minutes to the attraction and having the actual wait time be a 40 minutes greater - Poor design (lines right next to each other) and not enough supervision (taking tickets at beginning of line but not at end) at the Hulk Coaster allowing a large group of teenagers to jump from the regular line to the Universal Express line - Having no wait at all for Dueling Dragons but still having to walk through the entire queue area rather than having a shorter roped off area - Also at Dueling Dragons, arriving at loading area only to have no staff member directing people onto the coaster resulting in a chaotic free-for-all of boarding - Being trapped in the queue area of Spiderman for 65 minutes (after a 15 minute posted time) when the ride went down with no kind of announcement or explanation from any staff members - General apathy of staff members when asked for assistance My kids love the rides, so we will return to Universal but these kind of experiences leave a very bad taste in my mouth.
-- Suzanne
Peabody, MA

What difference does it make.......It,s ALL bout $$$$$$$$$$$ Build it & they will SPEND !!!!
-- Mick
Lexington, S.C.

Obviously my family and I are BIG Disney fans, but to be fair we spent a day at Universal Studios. Universal is not nearly as clean and the crowds seemed to be made up of young 20's and teens. It was more of a drinking, smoking type crowd where Disney is a more wholesome and happy place.
-- Sheri Umscheid
Galloway, New Jersey

I think that both parks are great and both have flaws. I don't understand the need to hate one or the other. But, you really have to give credit to Disney, though. They've seemed to have created a brand that is infallible to some people. The argument that Universal doesn't have the same magic as Disney is about as valid an argument as thunder is God bowling. Universal is just as magical a place and I think that over the past few years Disney has lost ground in this department. How does driving in a car through a GM factory not remind you of the outside world? How can you say this experience is more magical than riding in a Delorean through time? I can't think of anything less magical than a gigantic McDonald's smack dab in the middle of the Disney property. What about the DVC kiosks scattered throughout all the parks? Not too mention constantly having to endure the hard sell of a gift shop after a ride. (Universal is guilty of this too, sadly it's become the industry standard.) All of these things rip me out of the fantasy and magic created by the parks and throw me right back into the real world. Disney and Universal could be more magical, but both don't deserve a flat out hatred for not being one or the other.
-- Andrew
Cleveland, OH

I think that both parks are great and both have flaws. I don't understand the need to hate one or the other. But, you really have to give credit to Disney, though. They've seemed to have created a brand that is infallible to some people. The argument that Universal doesn't have the same magic as Disney is about as valid an argument as thunder is God bowling. Universal is just as magical a place and I think that over the past few years Disney has lost ground in this department. How does driving in a car through a GM factory not remind you of the outside world? How can you say this experience is more magical than riding in a Delorean through time? I can't think of anything less magical than a gigantic McDonald's smack dab in the middle of the Disney property. What about the DVC kiosks scattered throughout all the parks? Not too mention constantly having to endure the hard sell of a gift shop after a ride. (Universal is guilty of this too, sadly it's become the industry standard.) All of these things rip me out of the fantasy and magic created by the parks and throw me right back into the real world. Disney and Universal could be more magical, but both don't deserve a flat out hatred for not being one or the other.
-- Andrew
Cleveland, OH

I don't love it or hate it-it is just o.k. The theming and the magic just isn't there for me. I enjoy an occassional visit there every 5-10 years but I never get excited about it like a trip to WDW.
-- Dawn
Metairie, Louisiana

Magic??? Magic??? Magic??? Come on guys....I'm sorry, but all this talk about how Disney has more magic that Universal? Define magic. Is magic something that makes you feel like a kid again? I think so. Everyone has a different feeling of magic. When I step off the plane in Orlando, I automatically feel like a kid again. Why? Because when I was little, I will admit, Disney was awesome. There was no Universal. Then, 17 years after my last visit to Disney, I returned, expecting to feel exactly the same. Did I? No, not completely. That's not to say anything negative. It just proves that for some people, magic is different when you are a kid. I still love Disney, but as I got older, I wanted something more. Universal offered that for me because I love movies...When I have kids, will I take them to Disney....I would be crazy not to. I think I will feel more "magic" at Disney when I have kids because that will remind me of my childhood, but as far as "magic" goes, I always feel like a kid when I go to Universal and the funny thing is, I didn't go to Universal until I was an adult. Funny how everyone's idea of "magic" is different. They are two totally different parks with 2 totally different fan bases. I think that's ok. Orlando has different stuff for different people. I think that's what keeps people coming back.
-- Salty
Branson, Mo

We went to Universal for the first time this summer for 4 days. We have been wanting to try Universal, but never seemed able (meaning we didnt want to )to leave Disney during our annual January trip to go there. Love it? No Hate it? No. We LIKED it.. but it just wasnt Disney. Disney is 'magical' You get excited when you start seeing the Castle, Spaceship Earth, The Tree of Life, Tower of Terror and the Sorceror's Hat from the bus on the way to the parks. You CAN NOT WAIT to get into Magic Kingdom and look down Main Street to see the Castle. My kids go running for characters they a have seen 25 times. While at Universal, our first 15 minutes there, here comes Spiderman on this super cool vehicle. We stood there and watched him get off.. and then people went to get pictures and autographs.. and my kids wanted to keep walking! What??? These are the kids that still run to get Friar Tuck's autograph at MK!! It was nice to go there, but I wasnt EXCITED to be there.Heck, I was more excited to pass Downtown Disney on our WAY to Universal than I was being at Universal. Other things that just went the same.. the cleanliness of the parks. No, there wasn't trash laying on the ground at Universal, but again it just wasn't Disney. I say paint chipped, and big spots too, on benches, railing, decorations, etc. There was gum on the ground, there were large black sticky drink spills that looked like there were there forever. I cant tell you how many times there were NO paper towels in the bathrooms. ( when 3 out of 3 paper towel dispensers are empty in ONE bathroom, there is a problem ) Their 360 night time show claimed to be the BEST SHOW EVER...I was highly disappointed as it couldnt even slightly compare to Wishes or Illuminations, im my opinion. Like I said, we didnt HATE it. My kids liked it. They had a few rides we really liked- Men In Black, The Mummy, The Hulk. The Shrek 4-d show was cute and my 4 year old son LOVED Jimmy Neutron. Would I go back? Probably,some day,if it was in the summer ( I never go to WDW in the summer) and if I was staying on property AND had the express line pass. Hate it? No. Love it? No. We had a nice time.
-- Aimee M
Eighty Four, PA

Can't we all just get along? Disney World is better for kids up to age 12. For teenagers, Universal is better. For young adults in that 18-24 market, Universal is better. For adults who want to be treated like they are the most important people in the world, Disney is better. For older adults, nothing beats Disney because you get to watch happy kids, be treated well, and see some of the most beautifully cared for and well landscaped grounds. Universal, although good, is well behind in the treatment and visual cleanliness to Disney. I am in my early 40's, have two kids under the age of 12 and we go to Disney 4 times a year. They like Disney more than Universal. They even like SeaWorld more than Universal. That will change in about 4 years.
-- Tony
Fort Lauderdale, Fl

What's not to Love....Universal recognizes that there is a premium on a family's vacation time and has built an incredible assortment of hotels and attractions all with Front of the Line No wait access. Disney needs to realize that while FAst Pass is helpful, it is exhausting to try to time the attractions and tempo of the day. There needs to be a premium built into the Deluxe hotels which allows Front of the Line access.
-- suzu
Daphne, Alabama

PROS for Universal: Halloween Horror Nights, best Halloween event anywhere.Some good coasters and rides.Low renewal price for annual passes CONS:No expansion, when they announced they had land on the other side of I-drive there was excitement,I think they sold most or all of that land and now it's like stagnation,REMOVAL of free Universal Express, you take something that used to be free and take it away only makes people mad.Nice but WAYYY OVERPRICED hotels due to the perk of hotel guests not waiting in lines.Annual Mardi Gras event used to be held on different days in the week, now it's only saturday nights.Except for 2-3 minor rides IOA is basically the same park from when it opened 7 years ago.early closing times during off-season with no show or attraction to close the day. In conclusion I feel Universal needs to make a new theme park and if and when Wet'n Wild were to close make a new waterpark onsite, if they need to purchase new land do it cause they need to understand Disney has a stranglehold on out of town tourists with the new Mgic your Way tickets were you can go to Disney an extra 3-4 days for like less than 1 days park admission.How many people decide to spend a couple hundred extra bucks to go to a Universal park with very few new things or spend just a little extra to spend more time at Disney.Universal draws a lot of locals with inexpensive annual passes but if they want to really become a destination they need to expand and improve customer service, removing Free Universal Express Doesn't help!!
-- Gus
miami, florida

From what I've read so far, it looks like this is an unfair and really biased debate hugely in favor for Disney. Most of the posts say that yes you did enjoy Universal, but it's not Disney. You're right to say that, because Universal is not Disney, nor shall it be compared with Disney and the magic you say Universal lacks. Also, the parks can't really control all their guests so it's not the park's fault that your vacation was ruined because you got a dirty look from some jerk. All the complaints about Universal can be said the same with Disney, or any other theme park, it all depends on the day you visit. The last time I visted Disney was about 5 years ago and I still don't miss a thing over there. I remember the fleet of strollers everywhere, and this poor young mom screaming "WHERE'S MY BABY!" and some guy in the area swipes another family's kid and gave it to her, and this was right infront of Small World. Not to mention how the parks have been on a downward spiral with their lack of cleanliness with trash scattered everywhere. The janitors aren't really to blame for this, since I doubt they'll do a thorough search through the corners of all the ride queues. I blame the lazy Disney guests for this. Is it Disney's fault that people trash it? Nope. So it's not Universal's fault that people visit the park and do unplesant things there either. I haven't really felt the magic that all of you say is at Disney, I feel more on edge and crowd of panic. I guess you can say I feel some sort of magic, or a sense of comfort and belonging when I step onto the grounds of Universal. And just for the record, I used to be a diehard Disney fan until I've discovered the awsomeness that is Universal. PS: I love the "mickey colored glasses" remark :)
-- Jack
Kissimmee, FL

Universal Studios would not exist in Orlando, if Disney had not established itself first. The original Universal Studio is much better than the newer park. However, when we visit Orlando, Universal is ususally not on our list to "things to do!" Sea World is a better bet than Universal.
-- Majorrfb
Pittsfield, MA

Universal? There's a fued? Who knew?Hmmm. To be honest, I've never even considered going there. We went to Universal in California when we were there for the Rose Bowl. It was promoted as a big university theme party. Ended up being the biggest rip off ever. I'm not sure they even did anything extra for the advertised "event". (AKA...let's take the stupid fan/tourist's money.) Since then I have never even given Universal a second thought.
-- Susan
Brownsburg, IN

Universal is both wonderful and different. I think the parks compliment rather than conflict. Universal has different rides, restaurants and attractions. Suessland is as coloerful and as much fun as any area in any park, not only my opinion, my grandchildren love it. Both have contributed to the growth of Orlando's popularity. And let's ot forget Seaworld!!
-- vinn127
north brunswick, new jersey

My family visited Universal for the first time this past December. We stayed five nights at Disney's Yacht Club and three at Universal's Portofino. Pro's, We loved the Portofino Hotel! We had a fabulous top floor room with an enormous piazza. The rest... Universal lacked the 'magic' that Disney provides. While the park was fun and they had more thrill rides for the bigger kids, it just did not have that same feeling of magic that comes with WDW. I am going to assume that is because of the staff. Disney has, without a doubt, the most top notch staff ever imagined! Three cheers to Disney University!!! The staff can not do enough for you and they have a level of class and enthusiasm that I have never seen in ANY industry. In addition, the park closed at 6pm and there were no fireworks or evening activities. On our last evening we went back to Down Town Disney and on out last day, even though we had paid admission tickets to Universal with out package, we ended up going back to Epcot at Disney. Universal is one of those 'been there, done that and don't need to go back' places, I will never tire of Disney and already have two trips planned within the calendar year. And, although my son and husband will want to go to Universal for the day to ride the thrill rides, I'd rather stay behind at Disney and, say, visit the Mandra's Spa!!
-- Mini Sorcerer's Mom
Hopewell Junction, NY

I think the so called "love/hate" relationship in regards to Disney and Universal is complicated. I love Disney and always will. I don't love Universal, except in the sense that because Universal has created some fantastic thrill rides, it has caused Disney to create ones of their own. Yet when Disney goes to create a thrill ride, they do it better because they create a story with a setting and characters. It's not just a ride, it's an adventure. What I don't like about Universal is really the same as what I like about them. I don't think Disney should feel obligated to compete. Both parks have totally different environments. They have different things to see, to do, different people to associate with. Take EPCOT as an example. I remember when I was a kid (I'm 22 now) that EPCOT was my favorite. I liked it because I could do every ride there. Horizons and World of Motion and Journey into the Imagination were great. Yet I remember some teenager asking a CM if EPCOT had a roller coaster, and the CM said no. Soon after, EPCOT got Test Track (so-so) and Mission:Space (fun, but really intense). EPCOT, in my opinion is a park that should be ever-changing as the years pass and we move into the future. But changing the Disney parks to compete with Universal is ridiculous. So, like I said, the issue is complicated because I both love and hate Universal's presence near Disney. Disney just needs to be Disney and Universal needs to be Universal. There's nothing wrong with this coexistence. People should go to Disney because they love Disney, not because they hate Universal, and vice-versa.
-- Elliot Lunsford
Asheville, NC

Well, I have to say I love it! I went there on my honeymoon so it holds very fond memories. We also went to Disney World and I have to also say I love that way more! Sometimes when I first think of my honeymoon I seem to only remember Disney World and then... oh yeah, we went to Universal too... I really loved that!
-- Annette
Buffalo, New York

I've seen a lot of comments about Disney magic and such and how Universal lacks it. While this comment may be overused, it does have some truth behind it. When I go to Disney, the only thing I'm experiencing is their scenery and themeing. This is due in large part to their location. Disney is able to control what goes around their parks and what can be seen. When I'm at Universal, although I'm having a great time, I'm aware of the outside world around me. Disney does a much better job of making you forget where you are. I mean the safari ride in AK is amazing at that. When you're on that ride you honestly cannot tell that your in Orlando, FL. It really convinces you that you are somewhere in Africa on a real safari. I know that Universal cannot really control thier surroundings, but they do detract from the overall experience.
-- AJ
, Maryland

I've been to Disney too many times to count and only once to Universal. The one time I went to Universal I think I stayed no more than an hour. First off, I found a lot of teenagers hanging around just like at local amusement parks around the country. Secondly, I tried the "Terminator 3D" attraction. Well, the smoke from the special effects made me gag and cough my way out of there. Lastly, I tried the "ET" attraction and was disappointed. It was very noisy. We left and went right back to Disney. I don't know how anyone could even compare the two. To me, there is no comparison. Walt Disney World is a one of a kind place. It can't beat.
-- Kathy
Quincy, MA

It has been my experience that Universal is far better than Disney. First the staff is much nicer at Universal. Each time we've been there the staff always smiles and greets us with respect. At Disney, the staff is much more about "going through the motions" because they have no choice. Each time we've been to Disney there has been at least two employees who have been outright rude and nasty. Universal's attractions are much better, except if you have little kids. They are more thrilling and have provided more imagination. The parks at Disney are much more crowed, casuing longer lines, more trash on the grounds, and you are packed in like sardines (include other guest B.O. here - Yum!) Furthermore, the attractions at Universal are better suited for handicapped visitors. The lines are wider and many more at handicapped friendly. Disney also nickels and dimes you to death. The hotels at Universal are also nicer (Yes, I've been to almost all of them including the Grand Floridian). I'm not saying I hate Disney. I don't at all. I enjoy it. But if I compare, for each time I go to Disney, I go to Universal at least 3 times more without question.
-- Milo
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Well, when Universal opened in the 1990's, it was pretty unique to the area. Such one of a kind attractions as Back to the Future and Terminator 3D were great. Since then, they have lost some of the cutting edge originality, and they have lost their orignal charm by removing such unique attractions as the Psycho house and King Kong. I loved IOA when it first opened in 1999. It was amazingly well themed, there was entertainment everywhere, and they really did a great job making it stand out from USF next door. Of course, within the first year, most of the entertainment was taken away, the once vibrant paint was starting to flake off, and nothing new seemed to be added except for the Flying Unicorn and Storm Force. Now it is 7 years since IOA opened, and the only "new" ride is the Suess Trolley which should have opened back in 1999. Where are the new coasters? Shows? Restaurants? Even Mythos has lost its glory and is now a glorified diner with sub par service and food. Sure, the place looks amazing, but the meals are not nearly as amazing as they were when it first opened. The only good thing I can say is the season passes are cheap, they include parking, and if you go during the off season, you can ride almost everything in both parks in one day. Still, Universal just does not have the magic that Disney does.
-- CoasterFan
Orlando, FL

I like the Universal Studios park but I don't like Islands of Adventures' ride line up. There are very few rides that families can ride if they don't like thrill rides except for the handful of rides in Seuss Landing. They need to add more family rides that are not intense.
-- Brian
Ambler, PA

There is certainly a type of magic when you go to Disney World that you don't get at the Universal parks. It seems like everything Disney does Universal seems to copy. 5 "Island's of Adventure" vs. the Magic Kingdom's "Lands". Universal City walk vs. Downtown Disney. The seminaries are there but Disney does it so much better. I do enjoy Universal when I go, especially Islands of Adventure for its thrill rides I can live without the Studios Park. When you go to Disney (especially if you stay on property at a Disney resort) you really feel immersed in the magic. It's not only when you are at the parks but on the monorail, at the resort, and at the restaurants. Although Universal has themed restaurants and hotels of their own you still feel connected to the outside world and feel like you are visiting any other amusement park in the country. My vote is for Disney; it was and still is the originator in my book.
-- Karen
Hyattsville, Maryland

Simply hate it! We ventured out to Universal last year and had the worse experience from the very beginning. It took us at least an hour just to get in the park! I can't recall ever being in such a "bottle necking" situtaion such as this one! During this ordeal, I had my stroller in the middle of it all, not to mention, many people in wheelchairs. It was the most chaotic, unorganized, confusing park entrance and was just a sample of the kind of day I was in for at universal. Once we got in, I was surprised to see that nothing had changed (was there 5/6 years before) and nothing looked like it had been "refurbished". It was so outdated and boring we soon regret our decision to visit. During the late afternoon, I decided to buy my 3 year old a sweater because he was cold. That soon became an adventure. I began looking in every store we passed and saw nothing. I then began stopping workers to ask if they knew where I could purchase a sweater. Not a very friendly,nor, knowledgable bunch of kids. It was at this point that I realized I was missing Disney! I got no help at all! Towards the end of our day, we left our stroller in the stroller parking and headed into our last attraction. When we return, it was moved, which I know is common but, when I finally spotted it, it was in the middle of a tangled up stroller nightmare and dripping with some kind of juice! Now I was fuming. As I left the park, as tired as I was, I made it a point to vent my frustration on someone. I entered guest relations and demanded a number or address where i could tell someone about my experience. The gentleman behind the counter insisted I tell him what had happened. Relunctantly, (because I just wanted to leave) I did tell him about the days events and probably mentioned 6 times how universal should study how things are done @ Disney. lol! He was so nice, that I told him he didn;t belong there but rather he should be working at the happiest place on earth! He ended up giving me passes for my entire family for another day. I returned home and gave them to friends. I never want to go back. I am now Disney spoiled and I believe Disney has made the standards so high that no other park can compete. I have to say, the only good thing about Universal that day was it wasn't too far from our hotel IN Disney!
-- renee o
medford, new york

It's a big kids magic kingdom. Underrated.
-- back2disney
Austin, TX

My family (husband, son, sister, two nephews and my parents) went to both Universal and WDW in May. I absolutely detested Universal, and my family was disappointed in it as well. The Studios were not well maintained, the attractions were mainly simulator types where they put you in front of a movie screen and bounced your chairs around. The 3D movies were nothing compared to PhilHarmagic or the other WDW 3D movies. Universal Islands of Adventure was a little better, with nice theming, however in both parks the friendliness left much to be desired. While in WDW, if your family got into a line and you had to catch up to them (usually due to a potty break)everyone in various lines would let you catch up to the rest of your group if you told the people ahead of you nicely that your group was further ahead in the line. Often times we didn't even have a chance to finish asking, the other WDW guests would just tell us to go ahead. We found this even at the most crowded Fantasyland rides in MK! At Universal, we ran into large school groups of pre-teens and teenagers, which isn't a bad thing, but they travelled in packs, and weren't as in tune to watching where they were going, unlike WDW, where we didn't have to worry that someone would run us over when we were walking. In addition, we saw far ruder guests at Universal, one man actually knocked me over when I was carrying my son just so he could get ahead of us in the group for a particular ride. Guests at Universal seemed unaware of standards of politeness, we didn't hear any "excuse me's" or "i'm sorry's", when people shoved us, which happened often in the pre-shows. Which leads me to another observation - at WDW they don't cram you in nearly as much for the preshows as they did at Universal. Even at Rock n'Roller coaster we weren't packed in like sardines. However, at Universal, they packed you in so tightly you could barely move. We had to pick up our son at every one so he wouldn't be crushed. The preshows in general at Universal were much less well done than the ones at WDW, too. They can't come close to the theming that you find at a WDW ride like Expedition Everest! In closing, Universal - HATED it!
-- Phelpsie
Windsor Locks, CT

Ride for ride Universal Studios Islands of adventure beats out most disney parks...what they lack however is the air of magic, excitment, and escape from reality that WDW offers. A day at universal feels like a fun day at a nice amusmenet park. A day at WDW feels like a trip back to all the best parts of your childhood. WDW has my vote hands down!
-- Meg
Gainesville, Fl

I enjoy all attractions equally, each with their own unique characteristic that draws me in. I do enjoy WDW when I feel the need to laugh at how people think it's normal for oversized mice to run a tourist trap, while on the other hand I enjoy Universal and how a real movie park should be. Universal caters to everyone, they are NOT just coasters, so it's safe to bring ALL your family and enjoy a couple days. The other thing that gets to me is that how 'Universal is just disney without magic,' well, that is true, but not how you people would think. Universal doesn't rely on 'magic' or pumping 'pixie dust' in the air to keep visitors coming back in, people keep flocking to Universal because it really is a one of a kind place to visit where you can ride the movies, and go adventure off to 5 thrilling islands. Plus, when I hear about the 'disney magic' I can't help but think that it's just an illusion and that the 'disney magic' doesn't really exist, but in your minds. So, to sum up: disney = illusion, while Universal = pure fun.
-- riddler
orlando, FL

What an intense debate indeed! I have to say that though I do enjoy visting Universal every couple of years, in no way can it compare to the magic of DisneyWorld. The rides at Universal can, at times, be more thrilling or "scary" than those found at Disney, but it is the atmosphere of DisneyWorld that makes a trip well worth it. From the simplicity of the shops on Main Street to the intense details of the Tree of Life, the Imagineers at Disney have made it impossible to even compare DisneyWorld to any other "theme park". Universal may be able to boast a couple of great roller coasters and intense movie rides, but only Disney can claim one of a kind opportunities, like "walking around the world" at EPCOT's World Showcase or having the option to stay at a wide variety of resort hotels with unique theming. The magic of Disney gives guests the option of transporting themselves to any time or place in the farest reaches of one's imagination. Universal is great for a day trip or two, but uncovering the secrets and magic of everything DisneyWorld has to offer could last a lifetime. In short, I do like Universal, but when compared to DisneyWorld, it just doe not measure up.
-- Tara
Queens, NY

Disney, in my opinion, has everyone brain washed. Sure its great, sure it was first in Florida for the most part, but its not the only one there, and by far is it not the best. The general disrepair of all the parks and lack of original ideas is another thing that turns me, for one off. Everest is the first thing that Animal Kingdom has gotten that is really something immersive, and that is really inspired more by THunder Mountain than anything else. You just had the greatest celebration on earth, where the parks got something from all the other parks around the world. Then you have future attractions that will be just Pixar induced product placement adds. Where's the originality at? Universal, sure, takes old ideas and throughs their own touches to it. They dont try to be "magical" because they dont have to go with that marketing ploy. They get a loyal following after lets see, fifteen years by just doing the best they can. Imagine if they keep adding top notch attractions and equal it out with family friendly schlock that disney fans seem to want....they'll be just as powerful if not more so than disney in another ten years. And as far as not having enough for families, do you people even look? Do you just see coasters? There are more family things to do at IOA than at say Epcot, and MGM......and we're not talking shows. Universal doesnt get a fair shake, disney has everyone blinded. Stop seeing the world through mickey colored glasses, and think for yourselves, parks are made for fun and Universal is just as fun as any disney park.
-- yaytez
fort pierce, Florida

Personally, Universal is just a small Disney with no magic. Many of the rides are copies of Disney World's, and the others are all thrill rides, not very good for families. Universal practically markets the fact that there is little or no magic at their park.
-- Becky
West Bloomfield, Michigan

We love it. I do not know why there can't be TWO great places in Orlando. We especially love the front of line option available to on-site guests. We are visiting WDW this Oct. and I am sad that we will not have time to visit Universal. We usually try to do both. We really like all the coasters available at Universal.
-- twoeeyy
mansfield, ma

I hate to say it, please no flames, but i love Universal so much more then Disney. I visit the places,2 days @ MK, 1 @ AK, and 1 @ MGM, then i am off to 6 or 7 at US/IOA. I don't know why, but i am always excited to visit FL but mainly because of US/IOA See you in December!!!
-- Shunta Milam
Bolingbrook, Illinois

I love Disney and would never think of staying anywhere but on Disney property when we visit the Orlando area twice a year, however, we always take one day of our vacation to go to Universal because the 'adultness" of the place is a nice switch from the squeaky clean image of the Disney parks and I think Universal IOA has the very best single attraction in Forida - - SPIDERMAN. For a coaster shy person like myself that ride is the ultimate thrill ride for me! Also, we love eating lunch at Mythos. You have to see that place to believe it!
-- Mary Jo
Laureldale, PA

Last year we split a stay between Disney and off site near Universal. We decided to explore Universal and Sea World. Seaworld was terrific but I cannot say the same about Universal. I was so disappointed I am not even sure where to begin. Let's start with parking. We had to park in a garage where we then had to hike across the entire garage, up several escalators only to find that we still needed to cross a terminal similar to an airport just to reach City Walk. we then had to walk the length of City Walk to get to the gates and wait in line.Because we were not onsite guests we did not have head of the line fast pass and the wait for most rides was well over an hour. Some of the que areas were not adequately ventilated and were too crowded.For example the waiting area inside Shreck. There are many very fast rides and not much else to do if speed is not your thing.We tried multiple times to get on Mummy ride but the waits were always 2 hrs. The posted times were always underestimated. At Disney if the Wait is 10 mins you typically walk on. At Universal if the wait is 60 minutes double it and bring a book! We endured a 120 min wait for Jurassic Park and my child who wanted to do it fell asleep! The Dr.Seuss part is cute if you have little kids. Having to pay for a locker because youmust empty your pockets to ride some rides is not fair. The only things we actually enjoyed were dining at Hard Rock, which you can do without being a park guest and the Mardi Gras parade one night. I would not recommend it and would not go back. I would recommend a day trip to seaworld if you want to explore something away from the Mouse!
-- Diane
Peabody, MA

My first visit to Universal Studios Florida was in 1998, just before they opened Islands of Adventure. Prior to that, I was a Disney kid, thinking that Universal was where all the "scary" rides were. However, after my first trip, my mind was forever changed. I went back the following year shortly after the opening of Islands of Adventure, which would quickly become my favorite theme park. Why? Because it combines several great elements to form what I think is the greatest park ever built: great coasters, unsurpassed theming, and innovative attractions. I am still, and always will be, a great fan of Walt Disney World. However, though it is smaller and according to some, less magical, Universal Orlando will always take the top slot.
-- Joey
Columbus, GA

I love both Universal and Disney...My personal pick would be Universal because I myself am a movie junkie. So I can spend all day and night at Universal if I could. I think it has plenty of magic...for I feel like I'm going for my first time every time. I don't think it's a park for "roller coaster enthusiasts." Sure it has it's roller coasters but really there are only 3 major coasters in the parks...2 of which are in Islands of Adventure. I think they could always update stuff, but I always put my money on Universal because I can't go to Orlando without visiting Universal...While I love Disney, I can go to Orlando and not have to go there. That's my 2 cents...lol
-- Salty
Branson, MO

Universal is a wonderful, dynamic, "different" place to visit. I love it there. I also love Disneyworld. Can't there be room in each person's world for both? I love the Universal/Loews hotels with the express pass to all rides included with your room. The quality of their hotel product is above disney. I also love citywalk with the Emeril restaurants and the fun theme restaruants. The rides at Universal are a little wilder, al little more "trendy" and my teens love it. Islands of Adventure is amazing too.
-- lookingforward
boca raton, fl, fl

I am in the "hate it" category as far as Universial Studios goes. I find that Universal Studios is just roller coasters, with very few exceptions. If you're not a roller coaster person your experience at Universal is very limited as compared to Disney. My mother and I went there two years ago and since she does not do roller coasters the park was a waste for her. Even such rides as Men In Black and the Cat In the Hat spun a bit too much for her liking. Disney, on the other hand, has a good mix of rides for everyone to enjoy. I prefer Disney because it is much more family friendly and there is something there for everyone. Universal is definitely limited to an older crowd of roller coaster enthuasists. If you are looking for a family place that can appeal to the all ages Universal is not it, which is why I hate it.
-- Erin M
Galloway, NJ

I personally think Universal Studios is just an average theme park. There's nothing wrong with it but it lacks the magic that Walt Disney World has. If I had to choose between love it or hate it, however, I would say hate it!
-- Avery Maehrer
Macungie, PA

I really dislike Universal Studios. The only time I went there was when my family and I received free tickets. We got there early in the morning (like we were advised to) and much to our surprise they were not open yet. They actually opened 15 min late. When we did get inside they were still cleaning the park and they informed everyone that the characters would not be out until later in the day. THe only thing I like was the I Love Lucy part. When we left I gave our extra ticket to someone waiting in line. We were there about 3 hours and we coul d not wait to go back to Disney.
-- Jennifer
Grafton, WI

I love Universal! . I have heard many complain that Universal "has no magic", but that is totally untrue - it has movie magic! . From the thrill of T2:3D to the wonder of the ET Adventure, from the hillarity of Shrek 4D to the awsome spectacle of the Mummys Revenge, Universal puts me right into some of my favorite movies of all time. . Islands of Adventure is all about fantasy. Who can resist the jaw-dropping magic of Posiedon's Fury, or the belly-laughing kitch of the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad? How can you not be mesmerized by the dinos of Jurassic Park, or completely charmed by the comic book heroes of Marvel Superhero Island (including Spider-Man, my childhood favorite)? . Add to all of that a trio of the most spectacular resorts this side of Vegas, some of the finest dining in Orlando, and Team Members who visibly love their jobs and are happy to help you improve your vacation experience, and you wind up with one of the best vacation destinations in the US, and the best bargain in Orlando. . I sound like the Appliance Direct guy when I shout, "I LOVE Universal!"
-- WillCAD
Baltimore, Maryland

I don't think the question can be asked of Universal parks as a whole. I think Islands of Adventure is a ton of fun and amazingly put together. Universal Studios park, though is dated and boring. There is a big difference in employee attitude, too. For the most part, the only pleasant and helpful Universal employees I've experienced have been at Islands of Adventure. And let's not forget how rude and rundown Universal Studios Hollywood is...
-- Alex
Denver, CO

Click Here to send in your thoughts

Sound Off Archives:

  • #11 - Was Tigger Right or Wrong? | Comments
  • #10 - What Disney ride, show or attraction do you think would make a good film? | Comments
  • #09 - How do you share the Disney Magic? | Comments
  • #08 - What is your Disney Dream? | Comments
  • #07 - How much is too much? Part-2 | Comments
  • #06 - Universal Studios - Love it or Hate it? | Comments
  • #05 - What you would do if you ran “the world”? |Comments
  • #04 - How do world events impact your travel planning? | Comments
  • #03 - How much is too much? | Comments
  • #02 - Favorite out-of-the-way spots at Disney |Comments
  • #01 - Tell us your Park Peeves

  • This site is not affiliated in any way with the Walt Disney Company or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries.
    This site and the information contained therein represent the opinion of the webmaster.

    Site Dedication | Contact Us | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Sponsors / Advertising Disclosure

    Copyright©1997-2023. All Rights Reserved.