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The playing field in Central Florida’s theme park wars has been somewhat leveled by the coronavirus pandemic, with all parks suffering major losses.
But a new report claims Universal Orlando is seeing an increase in attendance and currently getting more visitors than Walt Disney World.
Analysts from Deutsche Bank said they looked at proprietary geo-location data to make their estimates.
The analysts say Universal Orlando is seeing an “uplift in admissions” especially on Saturdays. Saturday attendance is down 64% from 2019 crowds, but it’s still the best figures since Universal reopened.
As for Disney, the analysts say it’s operating at 80% less than last year with Epcot and Animal Kingdom outperforming Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
As for why Universal may be doing better than Disney, theme park expert and blogger TJ Muscaro says a big part of Disney’s usual magic is unavailable right now.
“You go to the character meet and greets, you go for the parades, you go for the shows, you know, especially the fireworks and unfortunately, they can’t do that right now,” Muscaro said.
Muscaro says the fact that Disney is requiring reservations, not allowing park hopping and has not reopened it’s water parks may also be reasons it’s not attracting as many guests as Universal.