So you’re planning a family vacation to Orlando, the theme park, family-fun capital of the world. Visitors fall under the magical spell of Orlando vacations and return regularly for its host of options. There’s been much written about the rivalries among the main theme parks of Walt Disney World® Resort which includes Magic Kingdom® Park, EPCOT®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, SeaWorld® Orlando, but which is best for your family’s treasured vacation time? Much of what is written is myth more than fact. For those of you who have booked or are ready to book your Preferred Guest Resorts’ promotional vacation package, rest assured you will be right in the heart of the action, so you can take advantage of all of Orlando’s many adventures and theme parks and witness the amazing differences for yourself. Remember, no trip to Orlando would be complete without visiting both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, as well as SeaWorld, if your itinerary allows it. Preferred Guest Resorts wants you to have your Best Vacation Ever, so here’s a little bit of the history when it comes to the main ambassadors.
The rivalry between Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort is based in theme park myth and legend, created largely by the fans of both parks. In fact, when Universal Orlando opened in June 1990, Walt Disney World Resort took out a full-page ad in the Orlando Sentinel, welcoming Universal Studios to the neighborhood. The close proximity of these two main theme park resorts, along with the pressure from other area parks like SeaWorld Orlando, has forced both parks to strive for visitors through continuous reinvention, but both know that they can attract the same groups of vacationers who want to visit both parks. SeaWorld Orlando’s advantage comes from being a water-based, marine-animal park and its two water-based parks (Aquatica® Water Park and Discovery Cove® Orlando), which have very little resemblance to the two mega parks, though it is not exempt from reinvention and techniques to draw visitors as well.
THE BIGGEST MYTH
A perpetuated myth for years has been that Walt Disney World Resort is best for small children, while Universal Orlando Resort appeals to teenagers and adults. The truth is both parks were founded on the premise that the entire family should be able to have fun together. Both offer a healthy mix of thrills and chills, children’s play areas and attractions appropriate for everyone in all age groups. The best part if that they are totally different in many respects; you just have to visit them to notice the distinctions.
Walt Disney World Resort is based on the most famous mouse, Mickey Mouse, and Walt Disney’s vision for a family dedicated theme park based on Mickey Mouse and all his friends that children and the young- at-heart have grown to love and appreciate. The art of animation and bringing those characters in a way that makes every visitor of every age leave feeling enchanted. Coming soon: Walt Disney World Resort is in the process of remodeling parts of the Magic Kingdom Park’s Fantasyland® Area.
Universal Orlando Resort is based on the movies and the fun of the silver screen over the years, with everything from popular old to contemporary movies, all set amid an Old Hollywood ambiance. Each has a distinctive appeal and any rivalry seems to come from visitors who judge it by the thrill rides alone. New at Universal Studios Florida: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem®
Many Orlando visitors enjoy the calm stroll through EPCOT as opposed to riding roller coasters at Islands of Adventure, and some naturists enjoy the wildlife and adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom as opposed to loud, raucous dinosaur simulators. The fact is, each place offers unique options to appeal to visitors, hoping to get their business.
PARK VS. PARK
Walt Disney World Resort has four separate theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Universal Orlando Resort has two: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, which has more of the coasters and thrill rides. Each park has an individual theme, such as Universal Studios Florida’s movie back lot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park’s blend of zoo animals and high-tech attractions. While both compete for visitors, both aim to be different and offer their guests unique experiences that appeal to families of all ages.
Both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort celebrate holidays and festivals year round. Walt Disney World Theme Parks host elaborate Christmas festivities throughout all four parks and dozens of highly regarded events, from EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Other popular Walt Disney World Resort events include the spring’s International Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT, the summer Star Wars Weekends fan convention at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the fall’s International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT.
Universal Studios created the horror film genre, its annual and world-renowned Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights® – featuring eight haunted houses, four stage shows and hundreds of street actors create an intense and immersive event, and its other popular festivities include incredible events such as Mardi Gras in the spring, a fantastic Summer Concert Series, and the wildly green and fun Grinchmas™ and Macy’s Holiday Parade™ celebrations over the holidays.
Preferred Guest Resorts has offered a brief breakdown of what to expect on your theme-park adventures to the park while vacationing in Orlando. The best part is that your prime accommodations with Preferred Guest Resorts’ premium partners of hotels, resorts and vacation timeshare rentals puts you at close proximity to run over to the park for a few quick rides, or a day of individual or family fun at any number of Orlando attractions. If you haven’t booked your Orlando vacation and accommodations, call your Preferred Guest Resorts reservation agent now at 1-800-656-2780 or visit us at bestvacationsever.com for a magical adventure to Orlando that could be your family’s Best Vacation Ever.
Preferred Guest Resorts is not operated by, nor affiliated with Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, or SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. As to Disney artwork: ©Disney. Universal Orlando Resort elements: ©Universal Orlando Resort. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Elements: ©SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.