After Years of Silence, Disney Calls Out Universal Orlando

in Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

Universal Orlando Resort vs. Disney World

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World Resort, typically known for its buttoned-up approach, did not hold back speaking out against Universal Orlando Resort.

The rivalry between Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort has long defined the competitive landscape of the theme park industry. For decades, Disney has held the crown as the undisputed leader, captivating audiences with its iconic characters, immersive storytelling, and unrivaled guest experiences. However, in recent years, Universal Orlando has emerged as a formidable contender, challenging Disney’s dominance with innovative attractions and a savvy marketing approach.

Guests of all ages posing happily with the Minions
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando has made strides in catching Disney

Disney’s legacy in the realm of theme parks is unparalleled. Since its inception, Disney parks have been synonymous with magic and imagination, drawing millions of visitors from around the globe. With iconic theme parks like Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, Disney has set the gold standard for theme park entertainment, with a commitment to quality, attention to detail, and exceptional customer service.

Nevertheless, Universal Orlando has made significant strides in its pursuit of industry dominance. The introduction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 marked a turning point for Universal, showcasing its ability to create immersive experiences that rival even Disney’s most beloved attractions. The success of Harry Potter attractions propelled Universal into the spotlight, capturing the attention of fans and critics alike with its attention to detail and cutting-edge technology.

A family walks towards Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World at Universal
Credit: Universal Studios

Over the past few years, Universal Studios Orlando has also added numerous new attractions, including Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, The Bourne Stuntacular Show, and much more. In addition, Universal is set to open Epic Universe in 2025, an all-new theme park that is projected to bring in more than 8 million new visitors to Universal Orlando Resort.

One area where Universal has distinguished itself is in its marketing strategy, particularly on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter). Universal’s witty and irreverent posts, filled with cleverly-timed quips, have resonated with a younger audience and endeared the brand to consumers in the digital age. By taking subtle jabs at competitors like Disney and SeaWorld, Universal has cultivated a playful and edgy image that sets it apart in a crowded marketplace.

Disney takes the gloves off, speaks out against Universal Orlando

In contrast, Disney has traditionally taken a more polished and aspirational approach to marketing, refraining from engaging in direct competition or acknowledging rival theme parks. While Disney’s social media presence is undeniably strong, with millions of followers across various platforms, the company typically focuses on highlighting its own unique offerings and fostering a sense of nostalgia and wonder among its audience.

A sunny day on Main Street, U.S.A., with a view of the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World, as colorful balloons add magic to the cheerful atmosphere.
Credit: Inside The Magic

However, Disney took a different approach when discussing Universal’s newest venture, Epic Universe, set to open in 2025. A Disney spokesperson, speaking to The Wall Street Journal, remarked, “Epic (Universe) is Universal playing catch-up on a decade of nonstop development at Walt Disney World.” This statement marks a departure from Disney’s usual tact and suggests a heightened level of rivalry between the two entertainment giants.

As the competition between Disney and Universal continues to intensify, theme park enthusiasts can anticipate a future filled with innovation, creativity, and magical moments.

When the spokesperson mentions “nonstop development” at Walt Disney World, it should be noted that Disney has been in a state of change for quite some time. In the last decade, Disney has transformed EPCOT and added numerous new attractions, including Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, TRON Lightcycle / Run, and Pandora– The World of Avatar.

The sun sets over the Millennium Falcon at Hollywood Studios' Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

Universal’s Epic Universe will open in 2025 with several new immersive lands, including How To Train Your Dragon– Isle of Berk, Dark Universe: Universal Classic Monsters, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, and an addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The new theme park will give Universal three theme parks– joining Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida– as well as Universal CityWalk and Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park.

You can check out the latest preview How To Train Your Dragon– Isle of Berk for Epic Universe below:

No more information has been provided on the new additions coming to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando yet.

What do you think of the competition between Disney and Universal? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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