This week’s SATURDAY SIX is a very special one. A little over a year ago I was introduced to the Disney Hipsters podcast via the TouringPlans Podcast Network and I became an immediate fan. They are refreshingly different from the seemingly hundreds of Disney podcasts out there that just recite Disney press releases and while they have a true passion for Walt Disney World they never shy away from pointing out the bad along with the good. When they announced their first ever trip to the Universal Orlando Resort earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to get their unique perspective on the theme parks and staying onsite after years of being “Disney Only” fans. Today Disney Hipster Adam Ferretti is here to examine six of the assumptions they had about Universal before going on the trip and whether or not they held up after the vacation. As always, clicking on any picture will open up its full size version, so with that out of the way I will see you, Dear Reader, at the end of the article and hand the reigns over to Adam…
The Disney Hipsters, Andrew and Adam, with Krusty the Clown.
As Disney nerds going into Universal, we had tons of preconceived notions on what to expect. We thought we would discuss six of those assumptions.
ASSUMPTION # 6 – Universal Team Members Would be Inferior to Disney Cast Members
This assumption was very wrong. As a rule, the team members were super friendly, helpful and amazing. We expected the customer service aspect and general employee/guest interactions at Universal to be less than great. We ended up being really surprised by the enthusiasm of the team members at both the parks and our resort (Royal Pacific.) This was especially true of performers inside both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
Universal pays their team members a bit better (we have heard) and gives them more freedom when doing their jobs. This results in guest interactions that come off as way more genuine along with performances that were truly engaging (check out the hosts of Disaster or the Horror Make Up show for great examples.) Disney is more controlling on Cast Member behavior, including what they can and cannot say. Sometimes this makes Cast Members seem like they’re faking it, resulting in their performances being generally stale and boring (see The Great Movie Ride).
Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show. (photo by Trygve Nelson)
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Last week was a big week for our Podcast Network…a huge week…a monumental week…okay, it was the first week. We at Touring Plans along with a group of ultra-talented partner podcasts launched a brand new network. If you’re just catching up with it now, the network is easy to understand: There is one podcast feed that delivers you daily doses of theme park discussion.
That wonderful podcast feed can be found at a multitude of places. It originates at podcast.touringplans.com, where you can direct download or listen on-site to any of our podcasts. The feed is also on iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry, and Windows Marketplace and searching for TouringPlans.com Podcast Network will get you to it. Remember to subscribe so you get all of the amazing content as soon as it’s posted!
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