Universal Studios makes a huge move to take down Disney World

Disney World’s biggest edge over Universal Studios has always been its size and the sheer amount of things it offers visitors to do. 

The massive Florida complex contains four theme parks, two water parks, a giant shopping and dining district, an ESPN sports facility, as well as a huge variety of hotels.

Taken together, Disney World offers a more complete vacation experience than Comcast’s (CMCSA) – Get Free Report Universal Studios. Roller-coaster fans may argue that Universal Studios has more intense coasters that enthusiasts will happily ride multiple times, but for families Universal’s Orlando Park lags Disney World.

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That’s not to say that Universal does not have an impressive operation. It has two theme parks, an impressive water park, a shopping and dining area, as well as multiple hotels. 

Still, you can experience the two Universal theme parks in two days. Add a day at the water parks, and one enjoying your hotel and/or the City Walk shopping and dining section, and you’re still only at four days. 

Walt Disney  (DIS) – Get Free Report simply offers more. You can spend one day at each theme park, a day at a water park, one day at your hotel, or visit the Disney Springs shopping and dining neighborhood. That’s six days, which is the number of full days you generally have on a seven-night vacation.

The 2025 opening of Universal’s Epic Universe Theme Park, however, may make Universal Studios a true destination worthy of a weeklong visit. Now, the theme park company has shared plans for two hotels located adjacent to Epic Universe. And while that was expected, it’s the type of hotels being added that could be a Disney killer.

Epic Universe will contain Nintendo’s intellectual property.

Image source: Universal Studios

Universal Studios adds to its Disney killer   

The Florida theme parks have struggled over the past year. It’s not a massive dropoff in attendance, and Disney and Comast have increased revenue from their theme-park divisions. But overall Florida tourism has dipped, and that’s not good for either company.

Theme-park attendance, at least at very expensive parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, have struggled because many consumer are being cautious with their money. More people have been taking cruises, which offer higher value than land-based vacations because they include food and entertainment along with lodging.

Universal’s choice for the new hotels at Epic Universe show that the company understands that pricing matters.

“Universal Stella Nova Resort and Universal Terra Luna Resort will each feature 750 guest rooms in the resort’s Prime Value category – bringing the total number of guest rooms across the destination to 10,500 – and are slated to open in early 2025,” the company said in a news release. 

Prime Value isn’t the company’s cheapest, no-frills hotel type, but the category offers comfortable, amenity-rich hotels with perks including early park access. 

What will Epic Universe offer?  

“Featuring tranquil accommodations, Universal Stella Nova Resort is inspired by distant galaxies, new stars and mysterious black holes, while Universal Terra Luna Resort is inspired by the massive and diverse planetary elements of the universe,” the company said.

Both properties will be within walking distance to the new Epic Universe.

Universal has not fully outlined the plans for its new theme park, but it’s expected to feature a third “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” It has confirmed that the theme park will feature the company’s “Super Nintendo World” and an area devoted to its classic monsters like Frankenstein and Dracula. 

The new park is expected to be more interactive than Universal’s previous parks. Comcast has not shared pricing or a formal opening date for Epic Universe.

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