In the ever-evolving world of theme parks, competition is fierce. And with the recent announcement of Universal’s Epic Universe, set to open in 2025, the question on everyone’s mind is: How will Disney World respond?
It’s a valid concern considering Disney currently has nothing new planned for 2025 or 2026. In this blog article, we’ll delve into the possible strategies Disney could use to respond to the opening of Epic Universe.
The Rise of Epic Universe
Universal’s Epic Universe has been making headlines since its official unveiling in August of 2019. With an impressive introduction video that has already racked up over a million views, Universal has set the stage for what is sure to be a massive marketing campaign leading up to the opening in 2025. But as excited as fans are for this new addition to the theme park landscape, it begs the question – what will Disney do to stay competitive?
Sleeping at the Wheel
It’s no secret that Disney has been dominating the theme park conversation for the past few years with major openings like Toy Story Land, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, and Pandora: The World of Avatar. However, as of now, they have nothing new on the horizon for 2025 and 2026.
This leaves a significant gap in their offerings and allows Universal to take center stage with Epic Universe. And while it may seem like a thankless task, Disney needs to take action if they want to remain competitive.
One possible strategy for Disney could be to offer more competitive pricing. With Universal likely to spend a lot of advertising dollars on promoting Epic Universe, Disney could swoop in and offer cheaper deals to attract visitors. This could include discounts or special promotions for international visitors who may already be planning a trip to see the brand new theme park in Orlando.
Bring Back the Perks
Another approach Disney could take is to bring back perks that were removed during the pandemic. These could include things like Magical Express, free transportation from the airport to the hotel, and back. While these may seem like small details, they can make a big difference for guests considering where to book their vacation.
Disney could also bring back popular holiday offerings such as the Dream Lights for the castle or the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios. These additions may seem insignificant, but they hold sentimental value for many guests and could sway their decision on where to visit.
Adding Additional Value
Disney could also add value for guests by offering one free Lightning Lane per day per person if they book a Disney hotel and stay on property. This would be especially effective if they see Epic Universe drawing away some market share in 2026. By adding this perk, they could entice visitors to choose Disney World over Universal, as it provides a form of compensation for not having a new attraction in 2025 or 2026.
Enhancing the Magic: Entertainment as Disney’s Competitive Edge
In the realm of entertainment, Disney has the opportunity to leverage its unmatched storytelling and beloved characters to maintain its competitive edge. This includes bringing the original Star Wars legacy characters to life at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and crafting captivating new parades and performances. By emphasizing live entertainment and interactive character experiences, Disney aims to solidify its position as an unparalleled provider of magical moments.
But perhaps the most significant action Disney could take is to start planning and building new attractions for 2027, 2028, and 2029. With Epic Universe set to dominate the conversation in 2025 and 2026, Disney needs to be prepared with something new and exciting to offer in the years following. They need to regain their place as the company driving hype and attracting visitors to their parks.
The Bottom Line
The theme park industry is all about competition, and it’s safe to say that Universal has stepped up its game with Epic Universe. While Disney may have dropped the ball by not having anything new planned for 2025 and 2026, all hope is not lost.
By remaining price-competitive, bringing back perks, adding value for guests, and looking ahead to future projects, Disney can still make an impact and remain a top contender in the industry.
In conclusion, the opening of Epic Universe in 2025 is sure to have a significant impact on the theme park landscape. Disney World must respond accordingly if it wants to remain relevant and competitive.
However, with clever strategies and careful planning, there’s no doubt that Disney can rise to the challenge and continue to be a leading force in the industry.
As Walt Disney himself once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” So let’s keep an eye on what Disney has in store for the future and see how they respond to the mighty Epic Universe.
What do you think Disney World’s response to Universal’s Epic Universe should be? Do you believe Disney should focus on expanding their existing parks or creating an entirely new experience to compete with Epic Universe?