Theme park battle brewing between Disney World and Universal

ORLANDO, Fla. – Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are digging in for a theme park battle in which visitors will end up the likely winners.

Central Florida's largest resort destinations are set to debut big-time attractions this year in an effort to increase attendance and dollars.

A lot of dollars.

The Motley Fool wrote about the brewing war between Mickey's crew and Harry Potter's squad that could get underway by Memorial Day.

After laying low for years while Universal out-imagined the Disney Imagineers, Walt Disney World is getting back in the ring with the debut of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom.

The new "land" at the park was inspired by the hit movie "Avatar" and will feature two major attractions.

Avatar Flight of Passage will let visitors fly aboard a winged banshee and soar through Pandora, while the Na'vi River Journey will take families on a trip down a "mysterious, sacred river that flows through the bioluminescent rainforest."

Pandora: The World of Avatar will also feature new themed-dining options and, because it's Disney, plenty of shopping opportunities.

No firm opening date has been set for the Avatar land, but the Motley Fool notes the only blackout dates listed among the resort's new Florida Resident ticket offer are May 27 through June 9, specifically at Animal Kingdom. The move leaves many to wonder whether the land will open May 27.

Not to be outdone, the folks at Universal Orlando are anteing up an entire water park that is reportedly unlike anything ever created in the theme park universe.

Just from drawings and images, Universal's new Volcano Bay is already drawing raves from thrill-seekers. Set to open May 25, the park will be home to four massive water slides, including the four-person Krakatau Aqua Coaster.

If speed and water don't mix for you, there will be plenty of gentler, more peaceful rides at Volcano Bay.

Universal Orlando will also debut its new TapuTapu wearable technology which will enable visitors to "virtually" wait in line for water coasters while enjoying other areas of the water park.

So the lines have been drawn. Which side are you on?  Walt Disney World?  Universal Orlando?  Both?

Yeah, both sounds great! 


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