Universal Orlando Trolls Disney World’s Reservation Policy With A Great Back To The Future Joke

 Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown and Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future
Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown and Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future

There are lots of brand accounts on Twitter that like to go beyond simply providing information and enjoy having some fun, frequently at the expense of their competition. In the theme park space, there’s no account quite as good at the zingers as the one for Universal Orlando Resort. They like to take shots at Disney now and then, and their most recent swipe has clearly hit a nerve.

Universal Orlando combined a classic Back to the Future reference with a shot at the Disney Parks reservation system, reminding guests that while you need to take extra steps to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World even after you’ve bought a ticket, that’s not the case for Universal parks. No reservations are needed.

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When theme parks reopened during the pandemic they had their capacity strictly limited to better aid in social distancing. This resulted in most theme parks, including those run by both Disney and Universal, instituting a reservation system. But as capacities increased back to normal levels, Universal did away with its reservation requirements. Disney, however, did not.

This has been something of a sticking point for theme park fans. The reservation system is seen as a significant inconvenience that results in frustration. Some people don’t understand it and don’t realize until they arrive at the park that they don’t have a reservation. Others can have difficulty getting into the park they want because reservations fill up.

This becomes all the more frustrating when you’re, for example, an Annual Pass holder who can’t get a reservation, despite the fact that people buying standard day tickets still can. This particular issue has resulted in a pair of lawsuits against both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.

The reservation system also has frustrating side effects. Prior to the pandemic guests with park hopper tickets could move between Disneyland or Walt Disney World parks at their leisure all day long. Now park hopping only starts after a few hours, due to the fact that free park hopping would render the reservation system moot.

Universal Destinations and Experiences, the recently rebranded Parks division, has been making big strides in recent years to become an even bigger player in the themed entertainment space. The third gate in Orlando, Epic Universe, is currently under construction, and the division is expanding outside of Orlando and Southern California with a new family-oriented park recently given the go-ahead in Texas, and a horror-focused location set for Las Vegas.

From these big moves to small things like not having a reservation system, Universal Orlando Resort has seen attendance in its parks grow significantly. People do seem to appreciate these steps that simply make visiting the parks easier.

For its part, Disney Parks continue to claim that the reservation system is necessary, and also a benefit to guests as it helps manage crowds. Evidence of this has been slim at best, and a lot of fans would likely still make the trade to just make visiting the parks simpler.