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Dueling Theme Parks are Back!

Well at least one park seems to be up for a fight. Roll time back to pre-2020 and what we had going on here in Florida was simply spectacular. Disney and Universal were in a bout of exchanging jabs and left and rigtht hooks and each one looked to be up for the fight for Florida's premier themepark destination. The fight brought such great additions as Guardians of the Galaxy, Hagrid's Magical creatures Motorbike Adventure, Velocicoaster, Smuggler's Run, Tron and many other great new attractions. But from 2020 until now, the fight between the two entertainment titans has gotten a little lopsided.

Disney's park expansion in FL seems to have come to a halt while Universal is putting the pedal to the metal and working on opening a brand new park by summer of year! This brand new park will be a combination of several "lands." Universal is calling the park "Epic Universe" and trust us, it will be epic for themepark goers.

Here is a little blurb from Universal Orlando explaining how epic this park will be..."Epic Universe will present a level of theme park immersion and innovation that is unmatched – transporting guests to expansive worlds featuring more than 50 awe-inspiring attraction, entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that come together to create an unforgettable adventure that is nothing short of epic." The immersion will be taken to an even further level with the addition of "park portals." These portals will transport guests from one land to another and be situated around a new hub called "Celestial Park." From that center point, guests can enter the following new parks within the park:

  1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, where guests will discover a different era of the wizarding world in an all-new land that blends 1920s wizarding Paris from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts films with the iconic British Ministry of Magic from the Harry Potter series

  2. SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, where guests will enter the iconic green pipe and discover a new way to play as they step into the worlds of beloved characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Donkey Kong

  3. How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, where guests can soar with dragons in a colorful world filled with Viking adventures based on the wildly popular How to Train Your Dragon film franchise

  4. Dark Universe, where guests encounter everything from the experiments of Dr. Victoria Frankenstein to the shadowy landscape where monsters roam in a world of myth and mystery

Don't be mistaken, this is not just an addition to an existing park like what Universal did with Wizarding World of Harry Potter etc., no...this is a whole new park that will require you to either drive and park or take one of the Universal Park shuttles from an area resort. Disney, in comparison, is spending its resources on ride redo's and new in-park experiences. They have all of the land resources in central Florida that one can imagine but nothing in the works for a new park of any sort. If you consider Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando to be a sort of hybrid themepark (not just another waterpark), then the addition of Epic Universe puts them now on equal footing with WDW's four main parks (regardless of size and overall acreage).

In our opinion, this officially will now make Universal Orlando a true undisputed stand alone vacation destination. Disney execs, however, disagree. Bob Iger has been quoted as saying they are not concerned at all with Universal's park expansion and see no real threat to their future business growth. Regardless of where you fall in that argument and if you think Epic Universe will be a "meh" at best, all of these back and forths between these two titans of family entertainment means the vacationer wins.

When one of them throws a punch in the way of big news and big openings, the other one is usually not too far behind with their counterpunch news and that means new and exciting things constantly on the horizon and in that regard, the vacationer truly is the one that comes out ahead.

So will we be seeing announcement in the coming months from Disney and will that announcement be a new park for central FL? Do you think this new Universal park will be a game changer? Do you think Disney should be paying more attention to it and its possible impact? Would love to see your comments.


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