Universal vs. Disney

Universal vs. Disney

Alexa McClain, Journalist

Typically over winter break, my parents like to gift all of us kids with a trip to DisneyLand/California Adventures. Well this year’s trip looked a bit different. We were forced a different route because of precautions that Disney felt that they needed to take due to Covid. Instead, we changed it up a bit and went to Universal Studios, Hollywood. 


I can now successfully form an opinion on what I have concluded about the two amusement parks. They both definitely deliver fun with family and friends; however, there are some major differences. 


As most know, Universal Studios holds interest for mainly the mature audiences whereas DisneyLand captivates the hearts of its children and mature audiences. This is a broader statement but relates overall. Universal includes rides full of thrill for those adrenaline junkies while Disney includes entertaining and more “enjoyable” rides. 


I must say, I am a thrill seeker when it comes to amusement parks but overall, I think that DisneyLand might hold my vote between the two. 


While Universal Studios has virtual simulation based rides and an effect that makes it seem as if you are really experiencing the event first hand, I really only appreciated two of their rides, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Revenge of the Mummy”… one being only 2 minutes long.


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was all decked out at Universal Studios. It will allow any Harry Potter fanatic to live out their most magical dreams. Walking through the town of Hogsmeade plays a real life effect on you while it even features the life size and articulate Alnwick Castle which is the home of the famous Harry Potter ride. This ride is 4 minutes long and worth any wait. 


 Though the Harry Potter World is an amazing experience, Disney California Adventure makes me feel this way on multiple occasions. They simply have more attractions. Universal Studios holds a total of 10 rides but Disney has 49! 


Disney has Cars Land which is home to 3 rides, their main one being “Radiator Springs Racers”. This ride is 4 and a half minutes long and is insanely riveting! Here, you can meet all of the celebrity cars from the movies and they’ll even talk to you. 


Then there are the more calm but extravagantly made rides like “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “It’s a Small World”. These rides relieve your tired walking feet for an average of 15 minutes while still providing entertainment and excitement. 


Like Universal, Disney has motion simulators as well like the “Star Tours,” based on the film series Star Wars, and “Soarin’ over the World”, bringing your motion simulated flight throughout the globe. And if you thought that DisneyLand didn’t contain any thrilling rides, you would be wrong. Disney has one of my personal favorites, the “Indiana Jones Adventure.” This ride is spectacular in every way. 


And something that DisneyLand detains that Universal Studios doesn’t is their rides that engage with the people. One of the more famous ones are “Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters” which allows you to take part in the objective of the ride which is to shoot certain Toy Story targets. Something else that Disney has that Universal doesn’t is their spooky side which would include their “Haunted Mansion” ride. 


I really loved Universal Studios Hollywood and would have regretted not going. They showed my family a day of fun and adventure. Plus, they had an awesome tour that showed you where certain movies were shot like Back to the Future, Jaws, and Nacho Libre; however, Disneyland gives us more variety. All I can officially say is that if i get the choice again, I would pick another nostalgic round at Disneyland.