The Battle of the Amusement Parks: Universal vs Disney


Attraction Tickets

Disclaimer: The following is an Opinion Piece from The Echo’s Editorial Section. An opinion piece is one in which a writer expresses a firmly developed opinion that is supported by study, reasoning, and circumstantial evidence. It’s a writer’s approach of expressing both what they believe and why they believe it. As a result, any opinions stated in by-lined editorials reflect the author’s views, not the administration or student body of GALA.

Amusement parks: we all know and love them. They’re where your parents take you on your birthday, graduation, or wedding – you go to an amusement park any time there’s a celebration. But, with all these amusement parks around your area, it’s hard to track which is the best. Of the dozens of amusement parks, Universal Studios and Disneyland are two of the most popular in California – but which is better?

To start things off, ticket prices. Everyone wants to save a pretty penny, so it’s important when going to a theme park that it isn’t outside your budget range. For Universal, excluding all-day passes, one adult ticket costs $114, while a child ticket costs $108. That said, children under two years and younger can enter the park for free! Universal sums up to a pretty reasonable price for a group of two to four people. Excluding all-day passes, Disney has similar ticket prices to Universal, with a bit of an upcharge. While children three and under are admitted for free, Disney tickets can be up to hundreds of dollars more expensive than Universal admission. Price wise, Universal is the way to go.

Next up, attractions. A good theme park has to include many things to do to keep you entertained. Parks with a good variety of rides are typically fan favorites because they keep you entertained for long periods. For Universal Studios, when you search for rides and attractions, 20 options pop up. There are many more rides and attractions than just those 20; this is just what the website shows. For Disney (excluding resorts and hotels), there are about 80 rides and attractions listed on the website you can hit. Both parks have their respectable attractions and rides. However, if you’re looking for a more diverse variety of rides and attractions, I would lean toward Disney.

Next up, food! After a fun day of riding roller coasters and throwing up on loop-the-loops, you’ll be famished, so your next goal is figuring out what to eat to fill you up so you can throw it back up at the twisty turnies. The fun part about food at an amusement park is that you don’t have to eat a full-course meal; you can always buy an ice cream cone, churro, or cinnamon roll. According to Universal’s website, they have 59 places to grab a quick snack or a full-on meal, while Disney has 123. So food-wise, if you’re looking for a variety of places to eat, go with Disney. If you’re looking to not get lost, go to Universal.

Finally, personal preference. If you asked me which of the two I prefer the most, I would say Universal Studios. I’ve been there many more times, and it brings back nostalgic feelings every time I go. Geographically, it’s closer to me, which is perfect because I deal with car sickness and can spend more time at the park, and less time on packed freeways. I may get canceled on Twitter for this, but in my opinion, I just like Universal more than Disney. However, your choice between the two isn’t mine to make. It’s ultimately up to you. So what do you think? Do you prefer Disneyland, Universal Studios, or a different park altogether?