WDW’s crazy ticket prices

We are planning on doing more than UOR for our trip. I also live close to a bunch of amusement parks in PA. I was at Universal as a teen and I’ve been to Dutch Wonderland, Hershey Park and such. UOR was much better and I imagine has improved over the years.

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I don’t think any of those areas are much more themed than the focus areas of our local amusement parks. Dorney Park has similar spaces for Snoopy/Peanuts, etc.

Not being able to enjoy riding thrill rides isn’t a choice, personal or otherwise. I assure you ds would far prefer to have the ability to enjoy them with the rest of the family.

That said, an amusement park is primarily about thrill rides and since UOR is mostly thrill rides it is much more amusement than theme.

While it is closer to a theme park than the vast majority of amusement parks, it is still just an amusement park.

Oh I agree UOR is far better than Hershey and Dutch Wonderland, but outside of Suess Island and Diagon Alley/Hogsmede, the theming isn’t much different than Dorney Park, Sesame Place, or Great Adventure.

I guess we have to agree to disagree. UOR is, to me, most definitely a theme park. The theming is incredibly detailed beyond anything I’ve seen at any amusement park.

Just one example of an area that we spent time in just kind of exploring details.


I think yall are splitting hairs here. Is UOR better than your average local theme park? Sure. But does it give you that same magic you feel at disney? Does it have the coherence that disney somehow manages to create out of all these disparate experiences (frontierland and tomorrowland?!)? For me, no. Simpsons area is cool, but universal sort of feels like they took the leftover IP and hodge podged it together. “Let’s see, what doesn’t disney own? Betty boop? Sweet, throw that in too! They’ve got Indiana Jones, let’s see, we can’t get 007, but Bourne will do! And let’s do a SpongeBob parade but no ride and remember fast and the furious and oh Jimmy Fallon wants a show? Whatever! Bring it on!” The exception is obviously HP, and I think they have a huge opportunity w jurassic park especially since dinoland USA sucks. And I do really love universal. But it doesn’t feel like disney does for some reason.

It’s hard to pinpoint why disney feels more coherent than UO, but it somehow does. Nostalgia? Scent memory? I’d love to figure it out so I could logic my way into going to the much more reasonable UO instead. But only when my 3 yo is old enough, those parks are worthless for the under 8-10 set.

UO is lots of fun and has incredible thrill rides. Disney fills me with childhood wonder. :woman_shrugging:


I don’t disagree with you. In fact, I still prefer Disney over UOR. My family feels the opposite. I just was saying UOR is not at all the same as a typical amusement park. It is definitely a theme park. And, in fact, UOR’s WWoHP forced Disney to up their game. Without WWoHP, I doubt we’d have the immersion we see in Pandora and SWGE.


Yep re swge and pandora. I guess I’m saying you’re both right. It’s not just a typical amusement park, but it’s also doesn’t have whatever that thing is that makes disney disney. Emotional intelligence? Idk.

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Hi @JJT . Can you please elaborate here? I am holding 4 Platinum AP’s with an expiration of 2029 and 4 Platinum AP’s with an expiration of 2099. (I guess they are considered “Legacy” passes now.) Has WDW changed the expiration date on these AP’s?

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I think that some of what you are feeling is nostalgia. I can’t tell you the number of people I meet IRL, including my parents, who mix up WDW and UOR after they have been there. That wouldn’t happen if UOR didn’t have some of the qualities of Disney (my parents haven’t been to UOR in years). Now I do know people who love Disney and we have had many shared discussions. I love Disney and definitely feel the nostalgia. I would love to go back some day in the future. But I will say that this last trip a month ish ago was a little different. It was the first trip I felt lacked the Disney magic from CMs (other than our servers at Trex and Sci Fi). They weren’t rude or anything. but they definitely weren’t the same.


No, they haven’t changed the expiration of vouchers already out there (as far as I know) - just that newly purchased ones don’t have the long expiration dates: they expire after 1 year.

You can use the full value of an expired AP voucher towards the purchase of a new one after that, but you’d have to pay any additional amount to cover whatever price increases occurred after you bought the now expired voucher.

I’m holding a voucher that expires in 2030 myself - my understanding right now is that when we activate, we’ll get whatever the equivalent services are at the time. I have a Platinum Plus, so should get water parks and more, plus Photopass included.

That of course assume Disney doesn’t make a change in their policy on the vouchers - but IMHO, when we bought the vouchers, that implied a contract for specific things. So, if they decided not to include the Photopass add-on on activations, could be interpreted as a breach of contract and get messy if people complain. (I would.) But, I suppose anything is possible!

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Wait - I just re-read your post: EXPIRATION of 2099?? That was a thing?! Wowza.

Think of the future value if you held onto them - I’d have to put them in a trust for my future grandkids; I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot of parks when I’m 134. :smiley:


Here are my very important opinions.

There is something magical about Disney World for sure. But there is something very special about Universal. WWOHP is the largest, most immersive and most emotionally resonant place to me in Orlando. It beats anywhere in WDW. It has better rides than any WDW themed land and more wow factor (the Castle!) than any WDW themed land.

WDW is overall far bigger and requires much more time to do well. WDW’s dining options are far better and more organised.

UOR is far better value for money. As a foreigner I can buy an affordable annual pass and it makes sense for me to do so. That is not true of WDW. The hotels are much better value and the top tier offer much better perks.

I think WDW is in trouble. I’m hearing complaints about it all over the place. It is losing its magic and I keep hearing people talking about transferring more of their vacation time and dollars to UOR.

If you take away too much magic, what is left?

WDW has dropped the ball before. WWOHP was a game-changer for UOR. And it has not rested on its laurels. In the last few years alone we got both Hagrid and VelociCoaster. Hagrid is the best themed rollercoaster in Orlando and maybe the world. VelociCoaster is the most thrilling rollercoaster I’ve ever been on and it has possibly bumped my all-time top two rollercoasters into second and third.

Meanwhile, what the hell is happening at WDW? What the hell is going on in old Future World? Why is it taking so long? Tron? Is that ever happening? The railroad has been out of commission for how long? Stargate and the tacos? The ever-increasingly nuts nickel-and-diming …

Meanwhile, UOR is building a third gate.

If people fall out of love with WDW, that’s going to be a huge deal.

So, two trips to both this year. 2023: maybe I really will go to Tokyo. And DLP isn’t the same. At all. But it’s got things going for it. It’ll be in my rotation.

WDW had better watch its back.


I agree with a lot of what you’ve said.




Unfortunately, WWHOP is all atmosphere and thrill rides. While my ds16 was happy to use the wand, grab some ice cream & butter beer, and soak in the atmosphere, …there was nothing for him to do other than the train back and forth.

That is a pricey ticket to ride a train back and forth.

…and yes I completely get it. I REALLY love the WWHOP area. I was one of the early readers of the series and reread every book as the next one was released. They did an amazing job with the space. The rides are excellent and you really feel like you walked into the books/movies. But, it is difficult to enjoy when dragging a bored 11yo along.

That said, WWHOP isn’t family friendly unless everyone does thrill rides. Ds was 10 or 11 when we were there. At that age you can only do so much “atmosphere” before they need to enjoy a ride/attraction.


The railroad being closed is ridiculous during the 50th anniversary. That is a signature Walt attraction. I mean, they can’t at least have it go back and forth between Frontierland and Main Street?

We saw the Tron up close when driving the cars in Tomorrowland and my mechanical/electrical DH said the track looks about done. Maybe just some detail stuff left. He’s no expert on building coasters though. He took a picture of it and it’s on his phone or I would post it. We saw a couple of guys working there. Maybe some were hidden, but I thought there would be more of a construction crew. What is taking them so long?


If you’re going to be reductive, what is SWGE? Or Pandora?

(I’m not being argumentative. I’m just saying. WDW is not as obviously Number 1 as I might once have thought.)

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I think it depends on your child. DS9 (now DS10) enjoyed walking through SWGE and even TSL, even when we didn’t do an attraction. I’m not sure if he will dig Harry Potter, as he doesn’t like the books, but he knows his brothers enjoy them and he knows vacations are for the whole family. He’s a Hulk fan and knows that he will get to ride that attraction, as long as it’s open.

I understand the whole not wanting to do thrill rides situation. But for those who can do them, UOR would be worth it. They don’t have those kinds of themes and attractions here in PA.

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I would say that both SWGE attractions can be considered thrill rides. My friend, who came with us, has back issues and couldn’t ride either attraction. She enjoyed looking around though. She could only ride Navi in Pandora.

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Not even Flight of the Hippogriff, the family coaster?

Great article if you’re interested: