Universal Orlando Beat Walt Disney World in This One Area

in Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

Left: an annoyed Mickey Mouse is placed in front of Cinderella castle at Walt Disney World. Right: three minions are in front the Universal globe and Islands of Adventure lighthouse

Inside the Magic has been reporting on the ongoing fight between Disney and Universal for title of best theme park.

Universal has been fighting to earn the number one spot, announcing several massive upcoming projects around the country while simultaneously opening a new land in Hollywood and working on an expansion in Orlando. They’ve also made several moves in an effort to support their employees as news of Disney’s struggle with the Cast Member union has been making headlines.

Universal Orlando Resort Globe
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Recently, Universal Orlando took another jab at Disney World in a post on Twitter, joking about Disney’s requirement for Park reservations, saying “Reservations? Where we’re going we don’t need reservations.” Disney’s current operational method requires Guests to not only have a valid Park ticket, but they must also make a reservation for their desired Park for each day of their vacation. This system has been in place since the Parks reopened after the 2020 pandemic, and has been widely unpopular. This system also enforces that any Guest wanting to Park Hop must wait until after 2 p.m. and must check into the Park they made the reservation for before being able to enter another one. It’s a confusing and often annoying system which has many fans asking why it’s still being implemented even as the Parks return to mostly normal.

A quote Tweet of the original post by Universal mocks the Park, saying “props to Universal’s Social Media team for having the balls to admit that their parks aren’t popular enough to need reservations. A+ work! No notes.” However, as one Twitter user pointed out, since opening SUPER NINTENDO WORLD in February, Universal Studios Hollywood has been sold out every weekend. Another user posted attendance statistics, pointing out that both Universal Orlando Parks had higher attendance numbers in 2021 than three of the four Walt Disney World Parks.

The updated Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom saw the highest number of Guests in 2021, with over 12 million people visiting the Park. However, the other three Parks lagged behind Universal, with Animal Kingdom and EPCOT seeing roughly 7 million people, and Hollywood Studios seeing about 8.5 million. In comparison, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure saw about 9 million throughout the year.

These numbers are reversed compared to 2019, when each Disney World Park had over 11 million Guests while Universal was around 10 million. It could be due to the controversial reservation system or any number of unpopular regulations Disney has implemented over the last few years under former CEO Bob Chapek. With Bob Iger reinstated in late 2022, it remains to be seen how it will affect the numbers in 2022 and beyond. But for now, it seems as though Universal is winning the attendance game against Walt Disney World.

Which Park do you think is better right now, Universal or Disney? Share your opinion in the comments below!

in Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

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