Difference Between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios

Film franchises have a lot of reputable and instantly recognizable characters which they can be sold very easily as tourist attractions. This is why they create parks themed with such characters and rides.

Walt Disney World and Universal Studios both are theme parks open to the general public which house various elements of appeal while also differentiating between each other on the basis of the history of their franchises.

Walt Disney World vs Universal Studios

The main difference between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios is that Walt Disney World is located in Florida whereas Universal Studios is located in California. Walt Disney World is purely an entertainment hub whereas Universal Studios is also a film studio still in use, along with being a theme park.

Walt Disney World vs Universal Studios

Walt Disney World, simply called Disney World, is a gigantic theme park and entertainment complex operated by the Walt Disney Company, which is responsible for the creation of some of the most iconic cartoon characters in history such as Mickey Mouse and Cinderella.

Universal Studios is a film studio and theme park whose main attraction is the tours of Hollywood sets of great movies. It is one of the oldest Hollywood film studios still in use, responsible for big titles such as King Kong, Jurassic World, and Minions.

Comparison Table Between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios

Parameters of ComparisonWalt Disney WorldUniversal Studios
LocationIt is located in the Bay Lake region in Florida, United States.It is located in San Fernando Valley, Universal City, California, United States.
Establishment DateIt opened on October 1, 1971.It opened on June 7, 1990.
AttractionsIt has cartooned theme parks, water parks, specially ticketed events, and resorts.It has small movie-like environments such as Waterworld, Simpson’s ride, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
SizeIt covers an area of approximately 25000 acres, of which only half is in use.It covers an area of about 415 acres of land.
TurnoverThe Walt Disney Company’s turnover in 2020 was about 65 Billion US Dollars of which 16.55 came from Walt Disney World.Universal Studio’s estimated revenue is about 385 Million US Dollars.

What is Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World, also known as Disney World, Walt Disney World Resorts is an entertainment complex and theme park in the Bay Area region of Florida, United States.

It is sprawled across a campus of over 25000 acres of land of which only half has been put to use.

It is a support project alongside Disneyland, California to capitalize on the massive brand recognition and use the massive fan following The Disney Company has to make more and more profit.

The main attractions of the park include 4 theme parks named Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studio, and Disney’s Animal World.

It became the most visited vacation spot in 2018 crossing over 58 million visitors annually. It also has two water parks named Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

The most popular monuments inside Walt Disney World are the Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom, and The Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was opened on October 1, 1971, and it comprises 31 Disney-themed resorts with different characters and environments from the Disney cartoons. It also has a shopping center named Disney Springs.

What is Universal Studios?

Universal Studios (Hollywood) is a film studio and theme park located in the San Fernando Valley in California. The region is also called Universal City. Universal gets the credit for being the oldest and largest film studio still in use.

It opened on April 30, 1912, and as a theme park on July 15, 1964. Its main attractions include Motion simulators such as the Minion Mayhem and Despicable Me.

One of the biggest reasons people visit it is the Studio Tour which is a tram ride that leads people to different built film sets used in Universal Studios’ movies.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the largest themed area of the Upper Lot and is also loved massively by Harry Potter fans. It features an animatronic thrill ride titled Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

In the Lower Lot of the Studios, the main attractions are 3D rides. The most notable ones are Jurassic World, Revenge of the Mummy, and Transformers: The Ride 3D.

The Jurassic world ride goes through the actual sets used in the movie and the ride ends on an 84 feet drop.

Its tagline is “The Entertainment Capital Of LA”.

Main Differences Between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios

  1. Walt Disney World is much larger than Universal Studios in terms of infrastructure and investment.
  2. Universal Studios is based around movies and television shows generally for a bigger audience whereas Walt Disney World is more aimed towards kids who love cartoons.
  3. Walt Disney World is located in Florida (US) and Universal Studios is located in California (US).
  4. The rides and themes at Universal Studios are more thrilling and risky whereas, at Walt Disney World, the themes are more suited to the whole family including young audiences.
  5. Walt Disney generates much more money than Universal Studios and therefore is expanding really fast whereas Universal Studios make much less and are more restricted in the choices available to them.
Difference Between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios


Both the parks have a huge name among the resorts and theme parks in today’s world but where these two take over their competition by using people’s nostalgia and memories of their fond characters and environments to compel them to have a revisit.

Walt Disney excels in marketing to kids and younger audiences using the themes of children’s cartoons and sets based around movies even adults would have watched in their childhood.

Universal appeals to the more mature audiences by their movies and sets which are extremely thrilling and adrenaline-filled.


  1. https://repository.asu.edu/items/22000
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/scr.1984.3536941
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