January 28, 2014

Newbies to Orlando Choose Universal

A family of four that are friends of mine (father, mother, daughter 20, son 17), departed for a first time trip to Orlando a few weeks ago. They have five days total for the parks. Their choices? We'll see. I'm guessing the Boy Wizard mixes things up.

So, it's now been a week after their return, and what did they have to say? After one day at the beach, here's a review of their time by the 17 year old:

Next day we went to Universal which was a lot of fun. We only went to the main park and all really enjoyed the transformers ride and the roller coaster in the park. Some of the stuff felt a little dated however like the Twister ride. The next day it was too cold to do anything outdoors so we went to a mall and shopped all day. Then, the last day was Disney and we started out at Epcot. From a vacation standpoint, it felt a little less enjoyable than a normal amusement park but, from an educational standpoint I think it would be an awesome place to take your kids to learn about culture. The only thing we all really enjoyed there was the Soarin' ride. Then we only had enough time to head over to magic kingdom and the only major ride we rode there was space mountain. The experience of being in the area made you feel like a little kid but, it was a bummer that the lines were so long. I think I would of enjoyed the park more if we had an extra day to explore and it was a little less crowded but, overall it was a great trip!

Interesting, isn't it? If you read between the lines, when choosing a park, Transformers at Universal Studios outranked Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey at  Islands of Adventure. Parts of the Studios park seem "dated". Over at Disney, Epcot and Magic Kingdom were half day parks. Soarin' and Space Mountain, respectively, were the only attractions popular with the family. Epcot was "less enjoyable than a normal amusement park". There was no mention of much else at Disney. What I found most interesting of all was the fact this family had scheduled 5 days for visits to the parks and only ended up going two total.

Met Mom for coffee, and her take was somewhat different: She wished they had more time to explore the Magic Kingdom and Epcot... she loved Soarin' but she was disappointed in Epcot in contrast to her visit there 25 years ago. 

All said, perhaps the battle for the dollar still rages. At least from one family's perspective.


steve2wdw said...

Interesting point of view.....Even though Universal has added some incredible new attractions to their line-up, I find that the "package" doesn't do it for me. Many of their newest attractions "beat the pants" off any of Disney's latest offerings, but the whole place just doesn't do it for me. As corporate as The Walt Disney Company is today, there's still a feeling (for me) that can't be matched at Universal. I love each experience at Universal, but in the end, still don't care....you know what I mean? I can't seem to make any emotional connection to the place or the stories that those attractions are connected to. It's just a bunch of incredible experiences that still don't add up... it must be the new math.

Mark Taft said...

I totally agree, Steve, about the emotional connection issue. Perhaps this is why Potter was a game changer for Universal. For some reason, people connected to that series.