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Top Disney Competitor Just Unveiled Something That Should Have the House of Mouse Terrified

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One of the worst-kept secrets in the entertainment industry is that the once infallible Walt Disney Company is in genuinely dire straits, on a number of fronts.

At a fiscal level, the Disney brand is obviously and presently tarnished after a particularly rough 2023 at the box office.

On a human level, people have loudly spoken with their wallets and search histories that they’re not particularly enamored with what the company’s offering these days.

Even on an internal level, Disney is a bit of a mess right now.

An ugly board room proxy battle has been brewing between the current contingent of Disney leadership and outside investors determined to fix what’s ailing the media titan.

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(The proxy battle will be resolved April 3, when a shareholder vote will determine the future outlook of the board.)

The one salve for Disney through this all is that its extensive network of theme parks were still considered industry leaders when it came to immersive, family-friendly — and yes, very expensive — theme parks.

By most reports, Disney’s parks saw a decrease in attendance, but an increase in how much money that visitors were spending. It’s effectively a wash, but for a company facing all of those aforementioned issues, a break-even is a rock solid option.

But now, Disney’s sprawling Orlando, Florida, theme park could be facing a rejuvenated rival, and that rival is coming straight for them.

Do you enjoy the theme park experience?

Universal Studios had already put the House of Mouse on notice when it first revealed its humongous new theme park, “Epic Universe,” back in early February.

Back then, the details were generally scarce apart from the usual corporate buzz words.

On Thursday, Universal revealed a much more detailed preview of one of the theme parks that will make up the greater whole of “Epic Universe.”

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The “Isle of Berk,” which is pulled directly from the popular “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise, will be one of five massive parks at “Epic Universe.”

Three of those park, including the “Isle of Berk,” are focused on established franchises like “How to Train Your Dragon,” Harry Potter and Nintendo. One of those parks will be a horror movie-focused one. And lastly, one theme park will occupy a more generic space.

Based on the Thursday post, the “Isle of Berk” appears to be a very Disney-esque, immersive experience tailored for younger children.

Unlike Disney, however, there isn’t an air of distress surrounding Universal, and the expectations for “Epic Universe” appear sky high.

And given how precarious of a precipice that Disney seems to be dangling over, suffering a massive blow to the one remaining business aspect that hasn’t gone sour could be disastrous — even for a veritable empire like Disney.

“Epic Universe” is currently slated to open in 2025.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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