Rides, shows, hotels, shopping, dining, character meet-and-greets — there's a lot to consider when choosing between Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. And it can certainly be confusing to understand all the differences between them.
In case you need some help navigating the vast world of amusement parks, TravelAge West has compiled a collection of content designed to make you a theme park insider. From top theme park attractions to convenient hotels, tasty treats, magical shows and more, you'll have plenty of recommendations for your clients' amusement park fun.
If you're really wondering where to start, check out our Travel Agent Guide to Matching Theme Parks to Family Clients.
Or, if you just want to know what's new, here's a look at Disney and Universal's big theme park updates for 2021.
Note: This page was updated on July 20, 2021. Some attractions and offerings featured in these stories may be temporarily altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with the individual parks for the most up-to-date information.
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park make up the magical options at Disneyland Resort, along with three on-site hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district. Among the newest offerings visitors will find here is the Marvel-themed Avengers Campus, which opened June 4, 2021, at Disney California Adventure Park. If you or your clients haven't had a chance to visit yet, check out our Inside Look at the New Avengers Campus for a sneak peek.
Want to know more about Disneyland's attractions and offerings? Here are a few stories with helpful insight and tips:
- How to Navigate Disney's Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue
- A Look at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- A Review of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
- What Clients Can Eat, Drink and Buy at Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
- Brunch Like Royalty With Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures
- A Look at Disneyland Resort's Pixar Pier
- Inside Out Headquarters at Disneyland’s Pixar Pier
Looking for Disneyland selling tips and unique trip ideas? We've got a few ideas for you there, too:
Walt Disney World Resort
Between Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park (not to mention Disney's Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks; the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment district; and a slew of magical hotels), there's a near-infinite amount of fun to be had at Walt Disney World. While some park features can be found at both Disneyland and Disney World (including Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge), there are plenty of totally unique offerings, such as Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom — be sure to tell clients to try the bioluminescent beverages there!
Wondering where clients should stay for optimal exploring? Here are a few of the hotels in and near Walt Disney World:
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is home to three parks: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay waterpark. Visitors can explore Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter; test their nerves on the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster; indulge in endless dining, shopping and entertainment options as they wander Universal CityWalk; and much more. Travel advisor tip: Are you part of the U-Preferred Agency Program yet?
Not sure what to do at Universal Orlando? Here are a few key rides, shows and treats:
- Attraction Review: Universal's Volcano Bay
- The Bourne Stuntacular, a Cutting-Edge Stunt Show
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Start the Day at Today Cafe at Universal Orlando
- Harry Potter-Themed Food and Drink (and Other Unique Theme Park Eats)
- Quick Look: "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon"
Universal Studios Hollywood
From the dinosaurs of "Jurassic World" to the Minions from "Despicable Me," attractions and experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood run the gamut from kid-centric to adult-sized thrills. Iconic offerings include the park's famous Studio Tour, as well as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, CityWalk and so much more. And travel agents, don't forget to check out the U-Preferred Agency Program.
Here are a few helpful tips for planning a Universal Studios Hollywood visit:
- 4 Great Hotel Options for Universal Studios Hollywood
- A Look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Butterbeer, Unique Elixirs and Other Theme Park Treats to Try
- Development Plans at Universal Studios Hollywood (and Other Parks) for 2021
- DreamWorks Theatre and Hello Kitty at Universal Studios Hollywood
More Theme Park Magic in California and Florida
Looking for a different kind of theme park thrill? Something here might spark just the right idea.
Disney Attractions Around the Globe
Clients looking for international theme park options can choose from Disney parks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris. Here's a look at what they offer:
Credit: 2021 Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: 2021 Walt Disney World Resort