Disney World Vs Universal Studios – A Detailed Comparison

Disney World Vs Universal Studios

You and your family must be debating whether to spend your vacation at Disney World or Universal Studios this year. Thus, you must think wisely if you are to make an important decision. After reading this detailed guide on Disney World vs. Universal Studios, you will be able to choose your favorite destination much more easily!

When it comes to the rides and theme parks Disney World without a doubt surpasses Universal Studios. On the other hand, Universal Studios can help you save more money while also giving you and your family a good time.

To be fair, Disney and Universal are both amazing! But you must understand the similarities and differences between the two parks before you embark on your journey. Also, the purpose of your vacation is an essential tool to make a choice. So, to analyze the facts in detail, please read the entire article.

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Comparing Universal Studios And Disney World

Disney World is still a heartthrob for everyone out there. People even save money their whole lives to visit there once. However, spending your valuable time and money on Universal will not be a bad choice either.

Let’s get to know the two places better. Here is a detailed description and a comparative discussion of the two worlds.


So, Walt Disney started with his Disney World Resort in California, which later became a success. Then, he decided to expand the land and projects. But he was not able to complete this in his lifetime. Later, many entrepreneurs took the initiative, and Disney World opened for the first time on October 1st, 1971.

Even then, Disney World had only one theme park and three hotels. Today, there are several resorts in Disney World and many theme parks. The most notable ones are EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Now, Disney World has an area of about 25,000 acres, which is the size of two Manhattans!

On the other hand, Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, started in 1990. They had only one theme park then—Universal Studios Florida. Now, there are Islands of Adventure, the CityWalk, and a good hotel. The size is pretty small, about 840 acres only. However, you won’t be disappointed by this park in Orlando!

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The Ambiance

Disney is more kid-friendly than Universal Studios. They have a wide range of diversity in what they can offer you. They have joined franchises like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Avatar, etc. The rides are pretty fun too. The big thunder roller coaster, the Expedition Everest, and Space Soarin’ have unmatched experiences!

To be fair, Disney is huge, and you need to have a longer time to explore it at its best. But you can have a relaxed and chill vacation here with your family.

However, at Universal, the thrill rides and parks are so daring and frightening! You can feel a sense of energy at every corner here. But you will also experience the sweet ambiance of Disney World here too. If you love action, Universal Studios is definitely for you!

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The Wizarding World

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is exclusively a part of the Universal Studios at Orlando. Kids dream of walking through the paths of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade! And you can find this only at Universal Studios and not at Disney World. Many tourists come to Disney in the hope of finding something related to Harry Potter. But it is only at Universal Studios.

Besides, if you want to visit both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, you will require a two-park pass. Then, you can ride the Hogwarts Express, from Diagon Alley to another park in Hogsmeade!

You can travel through Hogsmeade and enjoy a delicious cup of Butterbeer, which is the dream of every Harry Potter fan. You can taste some Honeydukes’ delicacies and take some HP world back home with you! Also, at Olivanders, you can see which wand chooses you and then swish and flick with your magic wand!

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The Thrilling Rides

The Incredible Hulk Coaster, the VelociCoaster, Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, etc., are the most thrilling and daredevil rides at Universal Studios. They are designed for action lovers, teens, and adults!

Moreover, you can find thrill rides at Disney World as well. The Rock and Rollercoaster, the Tower of Terror, etc., are the most fun rides! But the rides here are basically designed for people of all ages, and also for handicapped individuals.

Dining Services And Shopping

You can eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Voodoo Doughnut, etc., at Universal Studios. For shopping, there’s Sephora cosmetics, Fossil watches, Hot Topic, etc. Besides, CityWalk entertainment is the perfect place for you to chill and relieve your stress.

Also, you can watch the on-site cinemas here, which are shown on 18 laser projectors. They have promised to provide the best sound and visual effects in union with Dolby Atmos. Furthermore, you can have a great time trying skydiving with the least possible risks at iFly here. An instructor will always be with you to guide you through.

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Actually, the prices don’t vary much at both Disney and Universal Studios. However, the resorts can be really expensive at Disney World. Here is a detail of the price list:

For Disney World:

Days StayingAdultChildren
194 to 94 $88 to 83 $
2188 $175 $
3274 $ 274 $

For Universal Studios:

Days StayingAdultChildren
196 $90 $
2155.99 $145.99 $
3165.99 $154.99 $

Is Universal Studios Worth Your Money?

A lot of people staying outside the US might think Universal Studios is not as fun as Disney. But this is a serious misconception. In fact, Universal Studios is just as much fun and will cost you much less! So, yes, Universal Studios is definitely worth your money.

Truth be told, people have been stereotyped as falling in love with Disney since their childhoods. Actually, the stories and gossip about Disney World have created this long-term place in everyone’s hearts. Going to Disney World is the dream of every kid; that’s a given. But if you have other options to consider as well, then why not?

In fact, most people don’t even know that Universal Studios has the same kind of theme parks, resorts, and dining services. Even better, it offers the same services at comparable prices, and sometimes the costs are much lower than Disney!

Universal Studios might be smaller than Disney. But the fun rides and wonderful parks can take your breath away. When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter joined Universal Studios, their reviews and crowds changed drastically!

Basically, Disney World is excellent for kids and people of all ages. But for family vacations, Universal would be a much better choice.

If you get to understand the comparison between the two parks better, you will understand why people root for Universal Studios! So, yeah, Universal Studios is really worth your money. Hence, read the next part to understand this better!

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Both Universal Studios and Disney World are in tough competition with each other. As you can see from the above discussion, Universal Studios has a lot to offer and is no less than Disney World, even though it is much smaller. If you are a Potterhead, you must visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios!

But if you love a little magic and love in the air, Disney is your choice! The best thing would be to travel from one park to another if you have some time and money on hand. I hope you have gained some perspective on Disney World Vs Universal Studios from this article. Also, make sure to check out our full guide to planning a Disney World vacation before you leave.


Heather Noyes, the visionary behind this website and a former Disney travel agent, has woven her lifelong passion for Disney into the fabric of her daily life. Nestled just 3 miles away through the enchanting trees lies Cinderella's Castle, a magical neighbor to Heather's everyday adventures. From her earliest days, Disney has captured her heart, and this enduring love has translated into the meticulous planning of numerous trips for her family, friends, and cherished clients, all destined for the enchanting realm of Walt Disney World.

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