Universal Studios Proven More Popular Than Disney World Parks

in Disneyland Resort, Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort

Despite Magic Kingdom at the top spot, Universal Studios is slowly catching up, beating several Disney Partks in attendance.

Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde and Director James Cameron examining a model of Pandora – The World of Avatar
Credit: Disney

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It’s no secret that the Disney Parks are some of the most popular and successful theme parks in the world. From Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Guests pour into the Disney Parks and Resorts by the hundreds of thousands each year.

It’s not very surprising when taking a look at Disney’s ever-expanding catalog of rides, attractions, and experiences.

Exterior of Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney World
Credit: Disney

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Disney has access to some of the most popular franchises in the world, like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean as well as all of Disney’s iconic animated films and characters.

One of the largest draws to the Walt Disney World Resort are Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Both of these expansions have proved to be incredibly popular, bringing in even more Guests.

However, these are not just our claims. Recently, the TEA/AECOM Theme Index Report was released for 2022, and Walt Disney World topped the list. Specifically, Magic Kingdom ranked as the world’s most-visited theme park.

Magic Kingdom attracted around 17 million visitors in 2022, which is reportedly a 35% increase over 2021’s attendance numbers. However, this figure is significantly lower than 2019’s incredible 21 million.

'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

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The Disneyland Resort wasn’t far behind, coming in second place with a reported 17 million visitors in 2022. This is nearly double what “The Happiest Place on Earth” brought in the previous year.

However, Universal beat out three of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World, with Universal’s Islands of Adventure taking their place on the list.

That’s right, Universal’s Islands of Adventure drew a total of 11 million Guests, beating Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT.

Of course, these numbers will be incredibly interesting to take a look at once Epic Universe opens at the Universal Orlando Resort in 2025.

Epic Universe
Background Image Credit: @bioreconstruct on Twitter

This massive new theme park will serve as the “third gate” for the Universal Orlando Resort, bringing in dozens of new rides, attractions, and experiences for Guests to enjoy.

Among the new offerings will be a new section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as a new version of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.

Do these numbers surprise you? What’s your favorite theme park in Orlando?

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