Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dueling Theme Parks

You gotta love competition when it comes to theme parks, especially when we are talking about the big two; Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World.  Both companies are being pushed by each other to be better than the other.  As soon as one announces a new addition, whether it be a single attraction or an entirely new area of their park(s), the other one usually follows suit with their own announcement.

For example...Universal announced a few years ago that they were adding what has now become the savior of their Orlando park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Not long after that, Disney comes out with their own announcement regarding the expansion/renovation of the new Fantasyland area in the Magic Kingdom.  

The "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" attraction has taken the thrill ride experience to a completely new and immersive level.  As I have explained it to people, "it is Soarin on steroids." And not to be outdone, the newest and yet-to-be-opened "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" in the new Fantasyland is already boasting to have the "first-of-its-kind ride system."

These newest additions to Fantasyland including that new state-of-the-art attraction are slated to be opened sometime in 2014.  Well again not to be outdone and upstaged, Universal counters with the opening of the new Transformers: The Ride 3D and then double-counters with their announcement a few days ago of their newest expansion project; the addition of Diagon Alley which will be an automatic success with anyone who has followed the Harry Potter movies and books.  Universal also promises to deliver some new state-of-the-art ride experiences taking the thrill ride to another new level and is expected to be opened around the same time as Disney's newest ride next year.

For us as fans and park visitors...this is AWESOME!  I say...bring it on Universal and Disney.  My hope is that Disney soon announces a new expansion to the Animal Kingdom or to Hollywood Studios because as soon as they do, they will also be promising yet another new and exciting "state-of-the-art" immersive ride experience.  And, as soon as they do, you know what will be coming.  That's right...a counterpunch from our friends at Universal which makes the future look pretty bright for the fans of both Universal and Disney in my opinion.

So with all of this said...which new 2014 addition are you most excited about?  Disney's new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train?  Or Universal's new Diagon Alley area?