Comcast is coming for you, Disney

Comcast‘s (CMCSA 1.95%) It may seem like Universal Studios is taking a sabbatical from the theme park arms race in Central Florida, but it has bigger plans across the country.

Universal announced Wednesday that it will build a small theme park in Texas aimed at young families. Not forgetting the teens and adults, either: Plan a year-round hangout attraction in Las Vegas.

If you can’t wait that long, continue west. There are definitely near-term buzz about his original movie theme park in California. Super Nintendo World, in association with the Japanese gaming giant Nintendo (NTDOY) 1.47%) — will open next month inside Universal Studios Hollywood. Then we come to 2025, when the highly anticipated Epic Universe theme park will open outside of Universal Orlando in Florida.

Comcast once tried to buy walt disney (DIS 3.61%). He now settles for coming hard to the kneecaps of his rival.

The man poses in front of the exclusive globe of Universal Studios.

Image source: Universal Studios.

You must be this tall to ride

In the eyes of theme park enthusiasts, Universal Orlando is taking it easy in terms of new attractions coming online in 2023. Disney World announced earlier this week that its Tron Lightcycle/Run coaster will open in Magic Kingdom on April 4.

Located between Universal Orlando and Disney World, SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS 2.28%) has Pipeline, billed as the world’s first “surf roller coaster,” debuting at SeaWorld Orlando in the spring. Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando also introduced new screaming machines last year.

Universal Orlando has now gone 19 months without a major new addition. It has closed or is about to close several attractions to make way for future experiences. Its only big attraction that will be released this year will be the minions-Villain-Con Minion Blast theme, where guests will be armed with interactive blasters while riding a slow-moving transporter mechanism. Is Comcast really bringing a mobile gateway to a roller coaster fight?

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The calm will not last long. Epic Universe will have many roller coasters in richly themed areas based on popular franchises. Comcast hasn’t offered any concrete details beyond saying a larger Super Nintendo World is coming to Epic Universe, but construction and speculation is happening in plain sight.

There is no timetable for the family park in Frisco, Texas. Concept art suggests that it will be based on properties from animation studio DreamWorks and Illumination. It will take time to build. The year-round horror-themed experience opening at the Area 51 entertainment district in Las Vegas will likely open sooner, but no date has been announced.

Family park in North Texas and favorite Las Vegas attraction find Comcast moving out of their defined markets to offer regional attractions. It’s something that Disney has failed to do in the past.

His DisneyQuest concept faltered before opening a third location. On a smaller scale, the media giant has closed most of the Disney stores across the country. Will Comcast succeed where Disney failed?

Your move, Mickey

Moving on to a different question, will Disney follow suit with regional, location-based entertainment experiences or take on the Epic Universe with a new park in Florida?

One of my top five 2023 predictions for Disney two weeks ago was that it will announce a fifth Disney World theme park. The company recently said it’s perfectly fine with the current capacity of its rides, but it will need more ammunition after 2025 to avoid losing market share to its neighbor Epic. Help could be on the way.

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Theme park strategy specialist TouringPlans reports that a Wednesday planning meeting for Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District discussed the possibility of two minor parks and one major park for the massive Disney World complex. We still can’t get our hopes up. Florida lawmakers voted to dissolve the power of Disney’s own regulatory agency last year, so it could be the top theme park operator reaffirming its approvals for long-term plans before handing over the keys to local taxpayers. .

However, after a wild week of announcements from Disney on Tuesday and Comcast’s Universal on Wednesday, perhaps there are more fireworks to set off. There is never a dull moment in the world of travel and tourism stocks, but this week has been a particularly interesting one.

Rick Munarriz has positions at SeaWorld Entertainment and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has positions and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast, Nintendo, and SeaWorld Entertainment and recommends the following options: $145 long calls in January 2024 at Walt Disney and $155 short calls in January 2024 at Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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