Is Disney Worried About Universal's Epic Universe Park Stealing Disney World's Business? Here's What Bob Iger Says

 Bob Iger in Disney Shareholders meeting video.
Bob Iger in Disney Shareholders meeting video.

2025 is going to be a big year in the theme park industry when Universal Orlando Resort opens Epic Universe, its third theme park. The new location will almost certainly be one of the most advanced and impressive from a technology standpoint. Based on what we know about Epic Universe, we fully expect guests will flood the new park to be among the first to experience the new attractions, but Disney CEO Bob Iger isn’t worried about Epic Universe’s potential impact on Walt Disney World, as he believes the new park might actually be a benefit.

Theme park vacations are expensive, so it’s not hard to imagine that people are going to have to choose between visiting Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. The brand-new theme park might be the determining factor for a lot of those potential guests. But when asked about the potential impact of Epic Universe on Disney World, Bob Iger told MoffetNathanson’s Media, Internet & Communications Conference that he’s not losing sleep over the park because overall tourism in Orlando is likely to increase with Epic, and Disney has already done a lot to draw in guests. He said…

As we’ve seen in the past, when Universal’s expanded it does bring more visitation to Orlando. That’s fine. We've had competition from them for a long time. I'm mindful of what they're doing. But I’m confident. I like our hand. I’m confident in what we’ve built and I’m confident in what we’ll continue to build. It's not something that should be distracting to us or anxiety-provoking.

Iger certainly isn’t off-base in his claim. There is certainly a bit of “rising tides lifting all boats” that happens when something new arrives in Orlando. While Universal will certainly see the majority of the benefit from Epic Universe opening, it doesn’t mean that people won’t also visit Walt Disney World on the same trip. Disney World is still Disney World

And the park certainly has been giving vacationers a reason to visit. Just in the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of new attractions at Disney World, including a major overhaul of Epcot that included three brand-new attractions: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Moana: Journey of Water. They also opened Tron: Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom and will be opening Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at the end of June.

And we know more is coming. Disney has committed to spending $60 billion on the parks over the next decade, and that will include a new Tropical Americas land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and an entirely new land at Magic Kingdom. There are going to be plenty of reasons for people to check out both Disney World and Universal Orlando for the foreseeable future.