Why Disney World Is Better than Universal Studios

Brianna Woltz, Staff Writer

When planning a vacation, Florida is a popular destination any time of the year, but there is also the struggle of planning out activities to do when you arrive. Many tourists enjoy visiting the beach, the Everglades, the Keys, but there is always the debate of whether to visit Disney World or Universal Studios. Disney is the better option due to its value, the experience and overall timelessness.

Experience really makes a vacation, and guests can visit all of Disney’s parks feeling like they have gotten their money’s worth. With four theme parks, two water parks and two miniature golf courses on site, guests won’t run out of things to do compared to if they only went to Universal’s three theme parks.

When the guests arrive, they can start their trip off right by booking one of the 25 hotels that Disney offers. The hotels can be walking distance from the parks or guests can hop on the complimentary transportation provided. While Universal’s seven onsite hotels offer guests early access to the parks an hour before they open, on select days Disney guests get to stay an extra two hours after the parks close on top of getting into parks an hour before they open.

If leaving your furry friend at home for extended time is a worry, Disney offers overnight housing for pets whereas Universal only houses pets during the day. While select Disney resorts allow pets on site, the Best Friends Facility can hold 300 dogs, cats and other animals while families enjoy their day at the parks. They offer doggie day camps, walking, grooming and over 50,000 square feet of room for pets.
Transportation in Disney is endless. Whether just going to the park or travelling around in the park, guests can opt for many different modes of vehicles. While Universal offers water taxis, shuttle buses and walking paths, Disney has far more modes of transportation. Disney offers buses, monorails, ferries and recently added in the fall of 2019 the Disney Skyliner with gondolas.

Every single park will have characters walking around and unlike Lucille Ball and Beetlejuice at Universal, almost every character at Disney will be recognizable for everyone. Everywhere you go at Disney will have its creations brought to life such as Minnie and Mickey Anna and Elsa or Woody and Buzz.

If guests do happen to go during the holidays, they may also be able to experience one of the many holiday events going on at Disney. In May and June there are Star Wars weekends, in September through October visitors get to experience Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, in November and December Cinderella’s castle is lit up with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and eventually the Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular after Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Universal may have their Halloween Horror Nights, but it’s not suitable for all ages and unlike Disney, they don’t allow guests to wear costumes at all. While a projection show on Hogwarts is a nice sight, it doesn’t compare to the magic of fireworks and thousands of lights around Cinderella’s castle.

Disney is quite pricey when you compare it to Universal. For four guests visiting one park per day it’ll be a $500 difference when compared to a four-day trip to Universal without Volcano Bay. That is with Disney’s special 4-Park Magic Ticket excluding the addition of a water park.
The one-day park ticket prices only have a $10 difference with Disney being the cheaper option. If four days is too short, when purchasing a standard theme park ticket for three or more days at Disney you save $20. So, for a family of four and five days it would be about an $80 difference. Even though Disney is more expensive, it’s also massive with 175 attractions across all parks and resorts, Universal has only 38 so there is definitely more bang for your buck.

Compared to Universal’s 804 acres of land, Disney has much more ground with approximately 1,043 acres of space offering more room for guests to walk around. The park won’t ever feel too packed, even on a busy day.

If Disney seems like a multiple trips per year activity for the family, the annual pass would definitely save guests money. It includes 20 percent off certain dining areas and merchandise as well as PhotoPass downloads, standard parking and access to all four parks in one day.
While Universal offers similar benefits with their annual passes, Disney has no blackout dates for passholders unlike most tiers of the Universal annual passes. The two options for Disney’s annual passes includes park hopping with no blackout dates in them, whereas two out of the four annual passes offered by Universal do have blackout restrictions. While Disney offers the free standard parking Universal’s bottom two tiers of passes only include a 50% discount off of parking.

The money value is worth it, but the nostalgia that comes with visiting Disney is like no other. Everyone grew up watching some form of Disney, so they are bound to experience excitement from reliving a childhood memory.

Disney first opened in 1971 which means even parents grew up with the magic. When they take their children to Disney World, they can enjoy seeing their children get excited over their favorite characters while they get to go back in time through Peter Pan’s Flight or It’s a Small World.

Although Disney may be thought of as only for young children, it is something all adults can enjoy as well. Kids can ride more attractions compared to Universal’s more intense rides, but parents will never be bored. This makes Disney a place that families can always come back to no matter what age.