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Disney Slowly Realizing What It's Going Against as Top Florida Rival Unveils Monstrous New Park

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To say that Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has been having a rough go at it lately would be a gross understatement.

Even before the House of Mouse got into an ugly spat with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, it was watching attendance at its own Disney World begin to lag.

Compounding matters, Disney’s top rival in the area, Universal Studios, has been seeing its own profit margins go up.

And that financial windfall for Universal almost assuredly played some role in the company’s newest, major announcement: the poorly named Universal Epic Universe.

Odd naming conventions aside, Universal’s new theme park looks to be a genuine, bona fide competitor to Disney World.

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You can watch the company’s big announcement for yourself below:

Now, you may be saying, “Hasn’t Disney always fended off Universal, given Universal Orlando is a big, old theme park in central Florida?”

And the answer would be “Yes!”

Have you been to a major theme park in the last three years?

But (and I cannot stop harping on how bad this name is… sorry), Universal Epic Universe appears to be quite a bit bigger foe — literally — to Disney than Universal Orlando ever was.

“Epic Universe represents a tremendous addition, almost doubling the size of Universal Orlando resort,” Mark Woodbury, CEO of Universal Destinations and Experiences, said in the Tuesday video.

Woodbury added: “This gives us the opportunity to bring people to Universal Orlando for an entire week of the most incredible experiences they can imagine.”

Epic Universe will encompass not one, not two, not three but five “parks” or areas.

For comparison, Disney World features four parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot Center.

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But notice that all those parks sort of fall into the same Disney-fied genre of attractions.

There won’t be nearly as much of a redundancy issue in Epic Universe’s five areas, per the park’s new website.

Those areas include:

  • Celestial Park: “Step into a lush, green world where thrills, entertainment, dining and shopping lead all who enter on an exhilarating journey of discovery.”
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Ministry of Magic: “From 1920s Paris to the 1990s British Ministry, explore international wizarding communities and the magic that connects them in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic.”
  • Super Nintendo World: “At SUPER NINTENDO WORLD you’ll experience a new way to play, from challenging Bowser on the Mario Kart ride to venturing through Donkey Kong Country and so much more.”
  • How to Train Your Dragon — Isle of Berk: “Take to the skies and soar with dragons as you explore the colorful Viking village at the heart of Berk. Take part in wild boat battles, feast like a Viking and more.”
  • Dark Universe: “From the experiments of Dr. Victoria Frankenstein to a shadowy landscape where monsters roam, Dark Universe is a world of myth and mystery.”

(This writer is particularly excited about the thought of a theme park based on horror movies.)

Look, there’s obviously no guarantee that Epic Universe will have enough oomph to dethrone Disney World when it comes to being the premiere destination for overpriced family vacations.

But Disney, especially given all of its ongoing calamities, can seldom afford a shiny, new rival encroaching on its customer base.

Universal Epic Universe (Again. That name…) is slated to open in 2025.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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