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'It's just us and Disney' says Universal's Tom Williams on theme park rivalry
POSTED 23 Sep 2019 . BY Tom Anstey

It really is us and Disney, as far as parks go in terms of competition
– Tom Williams
Tom Williams, chair and CEO for Universal Parks and Resorts, has spoken on competition between the theme park operator and its greatest rival Disney, saying Universal's greatest strength is creating products that appeal to wide demographics.

Primarily going head-to-head in the competitive Orlando market, Universal recently announced plans for a fourth gate in Florida with its multi-billion-dollar Epic Universe attraction.

Joining Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay, Universal's fourth property will offer increased competition to Disney, which operates four theme parks, two waterparks and the Disney Springs retail complex in the Orlando area alone.

"I think everybody understands between a destination park and a regional park," said Williams, speaking during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. "Six Flags will be a regional park, Cedar Fair and so forth. SeaWorld is not quite the player that they used to be ever since Blackfish and so it really is us and Disney, as far as parks go in terms of competition."

Instead of competing for visitors, Williams says that Universal is instead focusing on its biggest strengths in a diverse audience.

"It's all about having a product where the kids are saying, 'mommy, daddy, we want to go see that' and to have the adults saying it as well," he said.

"I think we've really targeted the right segments demographically. It's no secret to anybody that Disney owns the very young ones. We don't try to compete for that. We have something for the younger sibling in the family group to do but we're not going to try to go head-to-head.

"It's not a matter of going how fast can you go or how high can you drop. It's more about telling the story in a way that immerses the visitor in the experience and gives them a desire to do it again and again. There are a lot of repeat visits, so I think that having the right IP as we do between Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination Entertainment as well as some properties that we license, means we can offer the best of the best to our visitors."
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NEWS
'It's just us and Disney' says Universal's Tom Williams on theme park rivalry
POSTED 23 Sep 2019 . BY Tom Anstey
It really is us and Disney, as far as parks go in terms of competition
– Tom Williams
Tom Williams, chair and CEO for Universal Parks and Resorts, has spoken on competition between the theme park operator and its greatest rival Disney, saying Universal's greatest strength is creating products that appeal to wide demographics.

Primarily going head-to-head in the competitive Orlando market, Universal recently announced plans for a fourth gate in Florida with its multi-billion-dollar Epic Universe attraction.

Joining Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay, Universal's fourth property will offer increased competition to Disney, which operates four theme parks, two waterparks and the Disney Springs retail complex in the Orlando area alone.

"I think everybody understands between a destination park and a regional park," said Williams, speaking during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. "Six Flags will be a regional park, Cedar Fair and so forth. SeaWorld is not quite the player that they used to be ever since Blackfish and so it really is us and Disney, as far as parks go in terms of competition."

Instead of competing for visitors, Williams says that Universal is instead focusing on its biggest strengths in a diverse audience.

"It's all about having a product where the kids are saying, 'mommy, daddy, we want to go see that' and to have the adults saying it as well," he said.

"I think we've really targeted the right segments demographically. It's no secret to anybody that Disney owns the very young ones. We don't try to compete for that. We have something for the younger sibling in the family group to do but we're not going to try to go head-to-head.

"It's not a matter of going how fast can you go or how high can you drop. It's more about telling the story in a way that immerses the visitor in the experience and gives them a desire to do it again and again. There are a lot of repeat visits, so I think that having the right IP as we do between Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination Entertainment as well as some properties that we license, means we can offer the best of the best to our visitors."
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
RELATED STORIES
Universal Beijing gets 2021 opening date


Universal has announced that its multi-billion dollar theme park development in Beijing, China, will open in 2021.
Interactive scorekeeping wristbands planned for Super Nintendo World


Interactive wristbands that interface back to a user's Nintendo game console look to be part of plans for Super Nintendo World, which is due to open at Universal Studios Japan theme park in Q2 2020.
FEATURE: News report: Epic Universe


Universal announces plans for the single largest theme park investment in its history
FEATURE: Rides: Monsters, myths and motorbikes


We take a look at some of the biggest ride openings for visitor attractions worldwide, including Universal’s new Hagrid coaster
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V&A renames childhood museum as part of £13m redevelopment
Construction work has begun on a £13m redevelopment project which will look to transform the V&A Museum of Childhood into the UK’s "premier national museum" entirely dedicated to children.
Tokyo's Harry Potter studio tour will have Fantastic Beasts universe
The Harry Potter studio tour attraction, planned for the Japanese capital city Tokyo, will span a total of 322,000sq ft when it opens to the public in 2023.
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TechnoAlpin

The TechnoAlpin SnowRoom is the most attractive and effective way for customers to cool down from h [more...]
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IDEATTACK is a full-service planning and design company with headquarters in Los Angeles. [more...]
RMA Ltd

RMA Ltd is a one-stop global company that can design, build and produce from a greenfield site upw [more...]
Triotech

Triotech was established in 1999. The company is based in Montreal, Canada and has additional offi [more...]
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Future-proofing ticketing solutions with TOR Systems
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24-25 Nov 2021

Scotland’s National Tourism Industry Conference

EICC, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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