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Team Universal or Team Disney? Where Do TPT Writers Stand?

Natalie Sim:

Image: DisneyLiving in the UK with two young children, the last time we were able to visit Florida was 2013. At that point we had a nine-month-old who was amazed by everything at Disney and Universal and was just happy being carried around and taking in all the sights and sounds and atmosphere of both Disney and Universal. Nick and I visited Florida on our honeymoon for the first time in 2009, so my decision for this question is coming from those two visits. Our “home” Disney Park is Disneyland Paris. I visited there last in 2014 and am going there to celebrate what would have been our 10-year wedding anniversary in August.

This is the ultimate question and is so hard because there are so many amazing points for both, but if my life depended on it and I had to decide I would have to go Disney. The simple reason being that there is nothing that can top that feeling of walking into the Park with the music and atmosphere of Main Street hand in hand with those that you love knowing that you are stepping into a magical world for the day free of worry, pain and anxiety and just full of fun! It's the combination of the sight of the castle and smiles all around, the sound of the familiar music and laughter, the smell of the bakery and the touch of a hand that makes it the perfect combination.

Having said that, the spectacle and thrill of Hogwarts at Universal, Spiderman and the Mummy is on a different level of experience as the rides at Universal are just awesome.

Ashley Varela:

Image: UniversalFamily vacations and childhood nostalgia makes me a little biased here, but I’m firmly in Disney’s camp. While I absolutely love what Universal has done with the Harry Potter franchise, I’m more drawn to the Disney Parks’ cohesive branding and compelling history.

With the lone exception of Butterbeer, Disney also offers a much more diverse selection of dining experiences and entertainment options throughout each of their parks, so I feel like I can visit again and again and try something new every time.

Since I’m not as personally invested in some of Universal’s IP (Despicable Me, King Kong, Simpsons, etc.) and I’m not a thrill junkie, I find it difficult to spend more than half a day at any Universal park - and outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it doesn’t feel like there are new things to explore each time I visit, either.

David Mumpower:

Image: UniversalIf Disney didn't exist, Universal Studios would be my second-favorite theme park in the world (behind Cedar Point). And the gap between Cedar Point and Disney, my favorite, is a chasm. So...

Look, I love Harry Potter and was actually on the bandwagon a long time before most people. I have a first edition of every book from Prisoner of Azkaban on, and the sensation of escaping to the Wizarding World remains wonderful.

Still, when you compared those themed lands to Pandora -- The World of Avatar, the difference in quality at Disney parks is undeniable. My *favorite* Universal attraction is The Simpsons Ride. It wouldn't finish in the top 10 of my greater Orlando area rankings.

Image: DisneyI don't live in Florida, yet I'm a Disney Vacation Club member who owns a Platinum Plus pass to WDW. I vote with my wallet which park I prefer to the point that I only spend time at Universal about every fifth trip. It's a $30 Uber ride away, yet I don't do it most of the time.

All of those motion-simulation rides are lazy and wholly lacking in creativity. Until Universal tries to deliver a more robust, nuanced customer experience, it'll always fall far behind Disney, at least for me.

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