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Why Universal Orlando is Better than Disney World

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Universal Orlando VS Disney World
Universal Orlando VS Disney World

Our family has been to Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom many times. We have also gone to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay many times.

Although all of those theme parks have great attractions, we prefer the Universal properties over the Disney properties for the most part.

(Full disclosure – we’ve never been to Epcot so I don’t know how that compares.)

There are many reasons why I think Universal Studios is better than Disney. These are just a few of them.

  • Universal CityWalk is better than Disney Springs. It’s also much easier to get to.
  • At Universal, there are more rides and attractions that cater to the whole family instead of just kids. Teenagers and adults have a lot more options at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
  • The attractions at Universal Studios are based on movie franchises rather than cartoon movies. I know that’s a generalization, but for the most part it is true. Harry Potter, Transformers, Jurrasic Park, etc. just make for better areas and better rides.
  • Disney parks feel too big to manage, while the Universal parks are very doable. It just feels easier to get around Universal parks.
  • The Fast Pass situation is much better at Universal Studios. If you stay at any of the onsite Universal hotels you get Express Passes included. Each hotel is amazing and even includes free water taxis to and from each theme park. We have stayed at Loews Portofino Bay, Lowes Royal Pacific Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel and all three hotels were fabulous. Staying at any of those three hotels also gets you early entry into Harry Potter World an hour before the rest of the park opens. Of those three, Loews Royal Pacific Resort was probably my favorite because of their lagoon swimming pool.

Don’t get me wrong; everyone should visit the Disney parks at least once in their life, especially if you have young kids. However, when it comes to an all-around head to head comparison I just feel like Universal is better than Disney.

Is Universal Studios Fun for Young Kids?

There are plenty of fun attractions for young kids at Universal Studios.

Young kids love the E.T. Adventure, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Villain Con Minion Blast, The Cat in the Hat, The Simpsons Ride, Kang & Kudos Whirl and Hurl, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, and much more.

There’s even a really cool Sponge Bob Square Pants Store that has Squidward’s house inside.

Is Universal Studios Fun for Teenagers?

Absolutely! Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is one of the best rides ever. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is excellent as well.

Teens love Transformers The Ride, Jurassic Park The Ride, Men In Black, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, The Simpsons Ride, Skull Island, and a lot more.

There are also amazing roller coasters such as Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Revenge of The Mummy, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and The Incredible Hulk Coaster.

Is Universal Studios Fun for Adults?

Yes it is! Although there are lots of rides geared toward the younger generations, there are plenty of rides adults will appreciate such as Men in Black, Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers 4D The Ride, and Escape from Gringotts in Dragon Alley.

If you like rollercoasters the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is fantastic and it let’s you choose your own music genre to jam to while riding it. The Hogwarts Express which takes you over to Islands of Adventure has some nice surprises as well.

Even if you don’t like rides at all you can still have a great time at Universal Studios just walking through some of the specially themed areas and villages.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a really cool area where you can spend a couple hours just checking out all the cool stuff. There’s even a giant fire breathing dragon that breathes fire every so often. You can spend quite a while in Springfield: Home of the Simpsons as well.

You can visit Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, Duff Brewery, Moe’s Tavern, Lard Lad Donuts, and Kwik-E-Mart.. There have been rumors that Springfield: Home of the Simpsons will be replaced with Pokemon Land. Let’s hope that does not happen! Just beside Springfield is a cool area where you can get your picture taken beside the Delorian from Back to The Future!

Which Universal Theme Park is the Best?

Out of the three parks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay, I think Islands of Adventure is the best.

Each park has its own themes and featured attractions, but Islands of Adventure has more high level attractions.. Volcano Bay is actually a waterpark so it’s hard to compare it to the other two which are theme parks.

Universal Studios focuses on movie and TV immersion with shows and rides based on popular franchises, so if you’re into that sort of thing you may actually like Universal Studios better.

But if you’re like me and enjoy intense thrills, superheroes, and fantasy, you will probably enjoy Islands of Adventure more.

Why Islands of Adventure is Better than Universal Studios

Islands of Adventure’s thrill rides are collectively better than those at Universal Studios. Islands of Adventure wins the rollercoaster battle on the strength of the VelociCoaster and the Incredible Hulk coaster, although Universal’s Rockit Rollercoaster is also fantastic.

When it comes to the park themes, it’s a toss up. Universal has plenty of strong themed areas, but so does Islands of Adventure. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you will love Hogsmeade. The Jurassic world at Islands of Adventure is a favorite of all ages, and Skull Island is a sight to behold.

Islands of Adventure has more new stuff to check out. If you’ve already been to both parks in the past, but not recently, you’ll probably have more fun at Islands of Adventure.

In the last few year’s they have added Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure and the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Those two attractions alone are worth the price of admission at Islands of Adventure.

Here’s a list of the Top Ten Rides at each of the theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort.

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