Reader poll doubleheader: Disney guest service vs. Universal guest service & AVATAR vs. Harry Potter

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After a few weeks off, our reader poll blog posts are back, and they’re returning with our biggest battle to date! Screw up your courage and get ready for this:

 

Disney guest service vs. Universal guest service

If you’re reading this post, you’ve likely been to both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando — and for better or for worse, you likely have a distinct impression of how their customer service was during your visits. Now we want to know, where did you find the most exceptional service? Do your best not to let any one specific incident cloud your judgement; we’re looking for your overall choice given all the interactions you’ve had throughout all of your visits.

If you’d like to elaborate on your experiences, feel free to use the comment section at the bottom. Now the moment of truth…

 
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[socialpoll id=”2173602″]
Note: You don’t have to sign into a social network to vote, that is just a feature offered. If you prefer to vote anonymously, click your selection in the poll and when you see the pop up, click “Keep vote anonymous”.

[/wptouch][wptouch target=”mobile”][socialpoll id=”2173602″]
Note: You don’t have to sign into a social network to vote, that is just a feature offered. If you prefer to vote anonymously, click your selection in the poll and when you see the pop up, click “Keep vote anonymous”.[/wptouch]

 

 

AVATAR vs. the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

In a surprise blog post overnight, Disney revealed new details and artwork for their AVATAR expansion at Animal Kingdom. Similarly, this week new artwork surfaced for Universal’s Harry Potter expansion currently underway at both of their parks.

I’ve had the impression all along that most people weren’t too excited about the prospect of exploring the world of AVATAR at Disney — but I’m thinking twice now that the artwork we published on Facebook has become one of our most ‘liked’ posts ever. So now I need to ask the following question of our readers…

 
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[socialpoll id=”2173601″]
Note: You don’t have to sign into a social network to vote, that is just a feature offered. If you prefer to vote anonymously, click your selection in the poll and when you see the pop up, click “Keep vote anonymous”.

[/wptouch][wptouch target=”mobile”][socialpoll id=”2173601″][/wptouch]

 

 

Previous poll: Your favorite time of the year to visit Universal Orlando Resort? With 73 out of 203 votes (36%), the fall season wins (because of Halloween Horror Nights, of course). But ‘Whenever it’s slow’ was a close second with 52 votes (25.6%).

View all of our reader polls

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JamesGalliford
JamesGalliford
October 12, 2013 2:01 pm

I think anyone that thinks Disney is giving better service than Universal is talking about the past..the long ago past. Just got back and the Disney parks couldnt compare to the job Universal was doing

Amy Bethi Duggan
Amy Bethi Duggan
October 12, 2013 1:41 pm

Disney for better guest services, uni for potter!!!

John Golterman
John Golterman
October 12, 2013 1:43 pm

Harry Potter of course 🙂

Suzanne Torrey
Suzanne Torrey
October 12, 2013 1:45 pm

Harry Potter for sure! I was quite surprised by the terrific service at Universal too. It remains to be seen how Disney will sort thru the new system that’s replacing the GAC, but it doesn’t look good to me…

Kevin Strachan
Kevin Strachan
October 12, 2013 1:46 pm

avatar land is a horrible idea, beastly kingdom would have been a much better idea

AnnaTheresa Treppiedi
AnnaTheresa Treppiedi
October 12, 2013 2:01 pm

Potter, always. 🙂

Brad Hilsenhoff
Brad Hilsenhoff
October 12, 2013 2:10 pm

Our trip a couple weeks ago we went to Disney and both Universal parks and BY FAR, Disney has much better service… As far as Potter or Avatar, Im not a fan of either so I dont care.. I hope the rumor of Lord of the Rings coming to Disney is true tho!!

Julie Laughlin
Julie Laughlin
October 12, 2013 2:17 pm

For me, it has depended entirely upon the employee helping. I’ve had good and bad interactions at both places this year. But the second question is no contest – Harry Potter all the way.

Chris Turner
Chris Turner
October 12, 2013 2:36 pm

Disney for service and size but potter wins every time…

Lucy8_
Lucy8_
October 12, 2013 3:36 pm

Really happy with the new offerings at Animal Kingdom but HP2.0 will blow everything out of the water.
As for service it was a touch call but I went with Disney in the end. Manly because of the “bubble” you get once you arrive on site. I’ll revisit my vote after my first time on site at Universal next year.

Ron Ferguson
Ron Ferguson
October 12, 2013 3:17 pm

I’m sure Avatar will be great but HP wins there. However if roumours of a new area devoted to Lord of the Rings at Disney Hollywood Studios prove true it’s a whole new ballgame!

James Kennedy
James Kennedy
October 12, 2013 3:23 pm

I am deaf myself and universal guest service are brilliant and easy to understand but when we given caption equipment back on end of the day and was suppose to get our despoit back but we waited for ages and explain to other staff and they made some error so they should be more aware and do right way next time

Karen Mather
Karen Mather
October 12, 2013 4:08 pm

Customer service at both Disney and Universal is very good. However, Disney pips Universal for the best customer service. The staff are always cheerful and friendly, and the cast members on each ride play their parts perfectly and help to create the correct atmosphere. The same is true for hotel staff, always smiley and happy to help.

Susan Cavanagh
Susan Cavanagh
October 12, 2013 5:11 pm

Disney – cleaner, better service and better staff

Joanne James
Joanne James
October 12, 2013 7:16 pm

Disney guest service was awesome now it has downgraded to be the same as Uni resale so very disappointing 🙁 ( specifically for disabled / special needs kids ) avatar !

Eileen Wilson
Eileen Wilson
October 12, 2013 7:26 pm

Disney wins on service every time!
Not interested in HP or Avatar.

Eileen Wilson
Eileen Wilson
October 12, 2013 7:28 pm

Whats GAC?

Alexander R. Rodriguez
Alexander R. Rodriguez
October 12, 2013 8:12 pm

Disney till Comcast took over Uni. NOW it is Uni……

Rob
Rob
October 13, 2013 9:10 am

So many pepole say disneys staff is so friendly I have had atleast 3 run ins with staff who  were rude or simple did not want to be there. Also to thoughs who say disneys cleaner if anything your wrong you might think universal dirty but thats the floor you rarely find any trash! As for the parks avatar does look cool but harry potter all the way!

Cassy
Cassy
October 14, 2013 8:12 am

Disney has better service. I would say that HP is better, but I have never seen Avatar so that probably isn’t a fair judgement. I prefer to visit in the fall because it is slow and has cooler weather. (Not for HHN though as I’m a bit of chicken when it comes to the horror department.)

Bianka
Bianka
October 14, 2013 10:28 am

Disney has way better service than Uni.  Uni is dirty and their employees always look miserable. I just got back from both Disney & Uni and Disney blows them out of the water. I won’t be returning to Uni, I will return just to see the finish HP area and than that’s it. I have no reason to go the park does NOT appeal to me.  As for HP vs Avatar. HP land is nice (small but lovely) hard to judge something when Avatar land hasn’t even been built so will have to wait and see. But HP doesn’t appeal… Read more »

AshleighNoad1
AshleighNoad1
October 14, 2013 11:48 am

I’ve had amazing guest service at both – and this is coming from an ex-Cast Member!

ChristineMotto
ChristineMotto
October 14, 2013 6:06 pm

I have to say this is a hot topic with me right now. I have been to Disney many, many times and for the most part any issues typically have been immediately addressed with satisfaction or above and beyond resolution. We are planning a trip to both locations – Disney & Universal (staying on site at both locations also) Any time I have had an issue or needed to talk to a cast member about changes to my reservation or issues. I have always been able to talk to a “real person” with Disney. However, I recently called Universal (last… Read more »

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer
October 14, 2013 7:12 pm
Reply to  ChristineMotto

I’m not trying to influence your votes, but your predicament intrigues me. When I worked in Universal’s vacation package department, there wasn’t even a way for guests to leave a message when we were closed. I wonder if you got the right number.
If you see this message, try

ChristineMotto
ChristineMotto
October 14, 2013 9:38 pm

OrlandoInformer I’m sorry, I should have been more specific with my post. The reservation I was referring to was NOT a vacation package, but a dining reservation that was made awhile back. Now we are just a couple weeks out from our trip and they sent me an email stating my ressie was cancelled with NO explanation. They left a phone #: (407) 224-4012.. with the email to call if I had any questions. Well, duh…lol…I thought when I read it. Of course I have a question – Why did YOU cancel my ressie!?!  Anyway, some people may not thinkk it is a… Read more »

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer
October 14, 2013 9:49 pm
Reply to  ChristineMotto

ChristineMotto Yes, this explanation makes much more sense. Many guests have found Universal dining to be a struggle. I’m guessing that you were planning on dinner at one of their in-park full-service restaurants (Finnegan’s, Lombard’s, Confiscos or Mythos) — if so, likely the reason for the cancellation is because often Universal’s in-park full-service restaurants are not open for dinner, and schedules can change. I’m not excusing their lack of communication, just providing a reason. Anyway, Blue Man Group is awesome, so I’m happy that those are now you’re arrangements. By the way, here are a few tips you may find… Read more »

ChristineMotto
ChristineMotto
October 15, 2013 12:30 am
Reply to  ChristineMotto

OrlandoInformer ChristineMotto First and foremost, I want to thank you so much for the link. I love reading all of the insider’s info on your site. It has all been so helpful with our planning. I am hoping to use some of your tips for HHN while we are there also. Yes, our dinner ressie was for Mythos. The park is open until 7pm that evening and our ADR was for 6pm. Anyway, we are going to try to get a walk up on the off chance we get can in, it will just be a bonus for us at this point.… Read more »

johnd252
johnd252
October 16, 2013 1:12 pm

Guest services at USF when you are not yet in the Park are horrible. You are made to stand in the HOT sun for as long as it takes! In our case about 45 minutes the last time. Every time I go into the USF and see those people waiting in the brutal sun I feel for them.

Jon Fleecs
Jon Fleecs
October 12, 2013 9:48 pm

Disney has much better service & cleaner too.

Rachel Burke
Rachel Burke
October 12, 2013 11:23 pm

I love Universal and never had a bad experience with them but while at Disney last week I just feel that Disney goes out of their way to be nice. Every cast member I stopped in the parks to ask a question were extremely nice, the housekeeper we saw every morning always told me to have a magical day. It really put me in a great mood.

Heather Stock
Heather Stock
October 12, 2013 11:53 pm

Disney is way better then universal

June Begbie West
June Begbie West
October 13, 2013 12:57 am

Universal is the best at everything except hotel cost! But I Love it anyways!

Suzanne Torrey
Suzanne Torrey
October 13, 2013 2:06 am

@Eileen Wilson- a GAC was the Guest Assistance Card. That was the way Disney parks dealt with those who required special accommodations due to mobility or other limiting factors. Unfortunately, the system was horribly abused and was changed this week. There were also complaints by those who simply didn’t like that others needed to bypass long queues or needed alternate entrances. The new “way” sounds like it will make it difficult if not impossible for a lot of us to spend and enjoyable day in the parks. I travel with just 3 in my party, but have seen large parties… Read more »

Rüdiger Jöns
Rüdiger Jöns
October 13, 2013 4:50 pm

we from germany and i must say Disney is better,Seaworld and Aquatica was not good

JohnnyUltra
JohnnyUltra
February 18, 2014 8:23 pm

Disney’s service is the benchmark in the industry. They have more hotels, parks and benefits such as transportion, golf, tours etc, and maintain a high level service on average than many other of their competitors. But that being said, i’ve had my issues having gone to disney over 30 times. But management has exceeded my expectations when ive had any problems.

About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the owner of Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.