Orlando Resorts: Walt Disney World vs. Universal Orlando

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The Modern Travel Agency


    Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando: which of the two Orlando resorts should you visit? Our quick guide has answers for you. 

    Or, if you want personalized recommendations tailored to your travel preferences, book and plan your trip with Fora. We’ll not only help you decide between the top two Orlando resorts, but we’ll take out all the hassles of booking, optimize your itinerary and hook you up with insider intel to help you get the very most out of your thrills-filled vacation.

    Which Orlando resort should you visit: 3 things that might help you decide between Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando

    This isn’t a one-is-clearly-better-than-the-other situation. Both of the top Orlando resorts offer an incredible experience. But there are differences. 

    Here are three tips to help you decide between the top two Orlando resorts.

    1. Both offer an amazing experience whether you’re visiting as a family, flying solo or anything in between

    More than ever, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando have something for everyone. So whether you’re planning an awesome family vacation, a romantic couple’s trip or you're enjoying an adventurous solo vacation, you can expect to have a great time.

    This is especially true if you plan ahead. Skyrocketing popularity has crowded both Orlando resorts — and as fun as a spontaneous adventure might be, it’s a risky bet. It’s very easy to miss coveted attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios if you go into the parks without a plan. This is also true for things like restaurant reservations, shows and character meetups. 

    Our beginner’s guide to Walt Disney World and 5-day Universal Studios Orlando itinerary offer more tips for exploring either park. But if you want maximize your time, connect with Fora to plan and book your trip.

    2. Both Orlando resorts offer world-class accommodations & plenty to do (but Disney has an edge here)

    Image courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando

    One thing out of the way, first: there are a lot more Disney hotels in Orlando than Universal Studios Orlando hotels (these two guides cover suggestions).

    However, both Orlando resorts offer a great range of accommodations and extras beyond the theme parks to enjoy. And regardless of which resort you visit, you can expect fantastic dining options and a variety of amenities across budget and travel preferences. 

    Convenience, fun and comfort are clear priorities at both Orlando resorts.

    (Curious about the best luxury resorts at Walt Disney World? Check out our guide.)

    3. And both are home to exciting worlds to explore, like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel & more

    For many, choosing between the two Orlando resorts has every bit as much to do with the entertainment franchises they own as the overall experience they offer. And it’s almost as if Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are locked in a perpetual chess battle to add new rides and experiences based on popular movies, TV and so on. 

    Okay, there’s no “almost” about it — the two resorts are totally trying to one-up each other to the benefit of travelers. Just to name a few, Disney’s Star Wars, Pixar and Avatar worlds compete with Universal’s Hogwarts, Jurassic Park and Minion lands — and there are way more and counting (Super Nintendo World is slated to open at Universal Orlando in the near future, for example). 

    The cool thing is that both parks offer a great compliment of worlds to step into, so regardless of which Orlando resort you choose, you’re primed for a fun adventure. This brings us to our next point…

    (Want a full breakdown of which properties belong to which Orlando resorts? Connect with Fora.)

    Is “both” an option?

    Totally! While you may end up sacrificing some of the excitement at one resort for the other, you can totally plan a trip that includes visits to both Orlando resorts.

    This does necessitate some tricky travel planning (that we’d be happy to assist you with) to save time on commuting between the two resorts, but there’s no reason you can’t split a vacation between Disney and Universal — it really is a matter of preference. And if you can’t decide…

    Can’t decide which Orlando resort to visit? Connect with Fora

    Even the most thorough guide isn’t a great substitute for planning your vacation with a travel expert. If you truly want to maximize your vacation at either — or both — Orlando resorts, connect with Fora to plan and book your trip. From handling the hassles of booking to building awesome itineraries, trusting your vacation to a Fora Advisor is a sure bet to unlocking the trip of a lifetime.

    Need more Disney, Universal or Orlando travel inspiration? Check out these guides, too:

    This article has been fact-checked by Fora Advisor Chantel Lanier, an expert on travel to Orlando, Florida.

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