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  • [Question] New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

    With Universal buying the land at Wet and Wild, there is a possibility in the next 5- 15 years Orlando gets another gate. My question is with three theme parks, would this totally change DHS, Epcot and Animal Kingdoms number? Would a third USO park change WDW from a place people spend most of their trip to a place where they just spent half or a day or two?

  • #2
    Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

    There isn't much a third gate would offer that wouldn't already be available to build in IoA or USF. The fact of the matter is, more gates doesn't mean better. I think its likely we shall see a Universal branded waterpark, but I don't think a third gate is something that should even heavily be considered.

    And as history has proven, people will always go to Orlando for Disney World. Its just a matter if they make it off property for a few days to do something like Universal or Sea World. Its doubtful that a third park would suddenly dent WDW attendance as IoA and Harry Potter have not.

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    • #3
      Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

      I always thought that if Universal bought Wen n Wild, they should use the land for the Universal offices, and then use space by their current offices for a new build from the ground up water park, or other attractions.

      I think Wet n Wild is pretty below the standard for a Universal park.

      They know more than I do, but I doubt just re-branding Wet n Wild would have much of an impact on attendance or anything. They already include it in some ticketing options n stuff.

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      • #4
        Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

        Well, I’m going to USO and not visiting Disney for the firsttime. I have only 5 days in Oct (last Orlando visit 2007) and with Halloween HorrorNights, Harry Potter, Simpsons, and Transformers vs. New Fantasyland going to USO over WDW is a nobrainer. Once Star Wars and Avatar open I’ll visit WDW.

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        • #5
          Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

          I used to say there would never be a 3rd gate. But... Never say never... because times are changing.

          I think a 3rd Gate, if positioned properly could do great harm to WDW.
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          • #6
            Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

            Universal Orlando Resort is not really concerned with beating Walt Disney World in the attendance game. There are more effective ways to build the business. Where Universal has made a dent is in changing how people visit Orlando. Universal Orlando Resort is no longer the place one goes in between or after trips to Walt Disney World, but where many more people are starting their vacations. This is a win because Universal is nailing it in regarding to guest spending. People spend more upfront and they are even spending money Disney had given up trying to get, assuming people did not have it spend. A third gate would play more into this strategy than just trying to be the biggest.

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            • #7
              Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

              Originally posted by lazyboy97O View Post
              Universal Orlando Resort is not really concerned with beating Walt Disney World in the attendance game. There are more effective ways to build the business. Where Universal has made a dent is in changing how people visit Orlando. Universal Orlando Resort is no longer the place one goes in between or after trips to Walt Disney World, but where many more people are starting their vacations. This is a win because Universal is nailing it in regarding to guest spending. People spend more upfront and they are even spending money Disney had given up trying to get, assuming people did not have it spend. A third gate would play more into this strategy than just trying to be the biggest.
              Exactly. Universal wants first dollars spent in Orlando, giving Disney the left overs. Universal wants to be the BEST not the biggest.

              And I think they are doing exactly that.
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              • #8
                Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                This isn't as bad as you think it is. I definitely agree that more doesn't necessarily mean better, but I think that Universals rapid development of new attractions is definitely putting Disney on the spot. By creating these new attractions, it forces Disney to find other ways to outdo Universal, which is almost a Godsend for us. Unfortunately, they aren't doing the best job.

                Universal, Sea World, and Disney do rely on eachother for attendance which means that a little competition between all these companies benefits all the theme parks in the area. I say this because there are many, many guests who usually book a few days at one company and spend a few days at another.

                It will be interesting to see Universal's future moves because I'm impressed with their ability to kick Disney in the pants... and they do it at Disney quality too.
                DisneyTwins
                Since May 2003

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                • #9
                  Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                  I think you are reading too much into this land acquisition. The property at Wet and Wild is an O.K. size for a water park but much too small for an actual theme park, plus it is on the other side of the interstate from the rest of Universal.

                  I realize that is not the basis of your question however. Does Universal pose any immediate threat to WDW by all of its recent and proposed expansion? Perhaps, but the thing to realize is that all of this is cyclical. Universal cannot maintain this sort of growth for long without pausing to get back a return on its investment. In the meantime I believe that Disney will be moving into a period of some major new development on its properties while Universal slows its growth. Then people will be wondering the same about Universal that they are wondering about Disney today.

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                  • #10
                    Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                    That land was bought so Universal could tear down Wet 'n' Wild. Universal wants to expand their on-site hotel selection. Getting more people staying on property is now Universal's main goal. And people will WANT to stay, because of how nice the parks are. Universal is planning a very unique transportation system to connect that area with the rest of the resort. It should be pretty amazing when all is said and done.

                    But to answer the poster's original question:

                    It's not going to harm Disney. I'd love to say it would, but this really isn't what will harm Disney in the long run.

                    What will harm Disney? Disney itself. Disney needs to get their act together in WDW. Until they do that, their attendance will be stagnant, just like this year.
                    -Bill

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                    • #11
                      Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                      Originally posted by Bill View Post
                      What will harm Disney? Disney itself. Disney needs to get their act together in WDW. Until they do that, their attendance will be stagnant, just like this year.
                      Exactly it will take the shareholders saying something to really change the way the WDC is currently doing business in the parks.
                      The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                      -George S. Patton

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                      • #12
                        Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                        Originally posted by DisneySam View Post
                        Does Universal pose any immediate threat to WDW by all of its recent and proposed expansion? Perhaps, but the thing to realize is that all of this is cyclical. Universal cannot maintain this sort of growth for long without pausing to get back a return on its investment. In the meantime I believe that Disney will be moving into a period of some major new development on its properties while Universal slows its growth. Then people will be wondering the same about Universal that they are wondering about Disney today.
                        I disagree Sam, it takes money to make money and Universal realizes this. They know that if they consistently outlay $150 - $250 million every 18 - 24 months then they'll get a big boost in park attendance (perhaps even astronomical boost if tied to the right franchise, merchandising strategy, etc.) once the attraction opens. Especially since any new ride also benefits from from recent Universal capital outlays; people are just feeling they're getting their money's worth and seeing "cutting edge".

                        Yet Disney, and I'll say it again, moves at "glacial pace" and simply isn't investing anything of substance into WDW theme park attractions. The New Fantasyland attracted some new attendance but I think it could be considered a dud. Had they only built another ride or two then it would easily be getting accolades but pound wise, penny foolish.

                        Disney perceives the return on investment to be more riskier on a park ride/attraction then say a cruise ship or a DVC resort or a Disney Springs, hence they balk at putting the money into rides or expansive new lands. It's as if they seem to rely on the "classics" to carry the weight of the parks and that is bad new and a big mistake.

                        While I won't plan a trip to WDW to specifically see the Jungle Cruise, I would plan a trip to see the "re-imagined" Jungle Cruise. I won't plan to a trip to see WDW's new queue lines but I would plan a trip to see a Haunted Mansion with dramatically improved show scenes (kudos to the recent rehab - 40 years later). But, even this kind of plussing of the show, as simple as it would be to accomplish (and cheap relative to a new attraction), comes at glacial pace from them.

                        I laugh when I read board critics applaud WDW because they don't refurbish their rides as often as DLR does because they "don't want to disappoint the fans by having a classic e-ticket closed during a visit". The reality, is that they don't have enough other E-tickets available because they've been too stingy to build them that if one of the classics is being refurbished people will complain because not enough in the park to fill the void (at least for the daily prices being charged).

                        Universal is eating Disney's lunch for them. Go ahead and build us another interactive game or a Princess Meet and Greet or a spinner ride - I can't yawn loudly enough at these "new offerings". Soon, WDW is going to be an also-ran on the theme park landscape with costs that can't be sustained - the DLP of the U.S.

                        Just because they're investing in China does nothing for the home crowd. The "shelf life" is well past for most attractions at Epcot, DHS and DAK, let's sprinkle some pixie dust here. Otherwise, while Universal is different than the Disney experience it doesn't mean it is less engaging. In fact, today's youth didn't grow up on Davey Crockett, Disneyland, Wonderful World, etc. If Universal ups their game with the new social networking crowd that could care less about the nostalgia of the past, then WDW will have some real problems on their hands. Uni is cool - Mickey is for "little kids"!
                        Last edited by disneytom; 08-08-2013, 07:51 AM. Reason: typo

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                        • #13
                          Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                          Originally posted by Rave View Post
                          There isn't much a third gate would offer that wouldn't already be available to build in IoA or USF. The fact of the matter is, more gates doesn't mean better.
                          Tell WDW that.. Many WDW loyalists say "Yeah.. Disneyland is great and all but WDW has four parks! It's more of a destination.." Spread out them attractions WDW! Wouldn't want the kind of ride concentration CA gets or anything

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                          • #14
                            The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

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                            • #15
                              Re: New Third Gate at Universal Orlando effect on WDW

                              You would think it'd start sending a message if their hotels are full but they start losing the merchandise/food war...

                              I mean I go there to stay but I have only gone to the parks once out of my last three visits...if Disney starts losing business in one part of their empire, you would think they would start doing something to correct that.
                              The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
                              -George S. Patton

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