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Will Universal Overtake Disney in the Parks Battle?

In the race to be the dominant name in the Parks battle, it seems like Universal might be set to overtake Disney.

The Disney Parks are a household name. Between Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort, they have carved out their spot as one of the best places for a Theme Park visit. They’re also among the best places to get that magical Disney vacation and Disney experience.

Walt Disney World Resort/@DrewDisneyDude

However, while Disney has been one of the most prominent names in this market for a while, Universal is slowly catching up to them. And Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had something to say about it.

A Universal Park is also an experience to write home about. Universal Orlando Resort is home to many thrilling and epic attractions that have taken the world by storm over the last few years. You can experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and much more at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal’s City Walk.

Roberts spoke at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference 2022 and shed some light on the topic. The CEO specifically covered the growth of Universal’s Parks, saying the company is “gaining” market share on Disney.

Universal Studios/Universal

Roberts said,

“We’re then going to open [Nintendo] in Orlando in an entire new park, huge scale, called Epic Universe, kind of the size of Universal now, a whole another park, hotels, restaurants in 2025, ’26 period, massive construction going on now. We’re investing in this business all over the world, and we’re playing offense.”

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts/The Hollywood Reporter

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts/The Hollywood Reporter

Roberts went on to acknowledge Disney’s presence in this market. “Clearly, there’s one other company, Disney, that has a fabulous parks business,” he said. We’re gaining share. The ingenuity and the service and the customer satisfaction, it has never been better. And so again, we’ve looked for signs of slowdown, and I’m sure there will be moments. But right now, it’s allowing NBC to make these other investments not just in Epic Universe and in Nintendo but also in Peacock and elsewhere so that we’re not taking money from one pot to put it in another. This is very much transforming the company with its own balance sheet.”

Universal is investing in the Parks game and its showing. It is set to open its Super Nintendo World in 2023, after which Super Nintendo World will open in Epic Universe in Orlando. And to add some context to Roberts’s remarks, in Q2, Comcast’s overall revenue rose 5.1% to $30.0 billion compared with $28.5 billion in the year-earlier period. NBCUniversal boosted topline growth, as revenue jumped 18.7% to $9.45 billion.

Universal is upping their game. The real question is, will they now beat Disney out?

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