We are long-time Disney devotees, and that won't be changing anytime soon, but we just got back from a twelve day vacation that included five days/four nights at Universal Studios and I can say without question that we were BLOWN AWAY by Universal and I have no doubt that our future trips to Orlando will all also include time spent at Universal Studios. We were impressed by: 1. The hotels, particularly the Royal Pacific, where we stayed for four nights. While we usually stay DVC at WDW (an obvious side effect of owing 800 DVC points), we have stayed in nearly all of the Deluxe hotel properties as well and the room at RPH was at least comparable, if not more nicely appointed, than any WDW hotel, and for a significantly better price. The ability to eat in all of the restaurants at the hotel without having to plan months in advance was another nice benefit, and the food (particularly Emeril's Tchoup Chop and the sushi bar) was excellent. It was clean, the pool was nice, the service was prompt and friendly, the parking was convenient, it was an all-around positive experience. 2. The Express Pass was just phenomenal. Let me say that again: It was PHENOMENAL!!! It enabled us to see everything we wanted to see, multiple times in many cases, during a very busy time of year without having to plan our day around slips of paper with designated return times. It also allowed us to do rides that perhaps only one or two members of the family wanted to do without having to worry about splitting Fastpasses or timing them correctly, so for example I was able to ride all the roller coasters by just jumping in line while my wife and children got a snack or hit the restroom, and ten minutes later I was off and ready to move on as a family to another ride. I know why the concept cannot work at WDW, due to the number of hotels, but WOW, was it a nice experience! 3. The service was every bit as good as WDW. We had Universal employees be kind to our children, chat with us about our backgrounds, etc. in the same way as we are accustomed to at WDW. I'm not sure why I expected surlier service, but it did not materialize and, in some cases, we had experiences that surpassed customer service experiences that we had on the same trip at WDW. 4. The theming. Again, I expected (probably from reading too many Universal-denigrating threads on the Dis) Universal to be a barren wasteland of rides, concrete and the unwashed masses. For the most part, it was comparable, in my opinion, to the four parks of WDW, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter exceeded, by a very large margin, anything at WDW in terms of its comprehensive theming as well as the quality of its rides, its merchandise, its food service options and in every other way I'm not thinking to list. There is, in my opinion, simply no comparison in terms of the immersive experience at WWoHP to anything at WDW, and I finally "get" what people mean when they say the FLE is underwhelming by comparison. 5. The rides. They were a lot of fun. From the WWoHP, which enthralled us all, to the new Minion Mayhem & Simpson's rides, we had our fill of thrill rides, but the Seuss Landing part of IOA was equally fun and engaging. After riding Red Fish, Blue Fish, I made my wife laugh when we rode Dumbo and I said "it's a lot more boring without the Seussical rhymes and water spraying at us" but it is true, Universal found a way to make even kiddie rides more engaging, in my opinion. 6. The discounts. My lord, between AAA and our newly purchased APs, I don't think there was a place at Universal where we didn't get a nice discount on what, to me at least, already seemed like pretty fair prices. The only thing I didn't like was the seeming inability to get a glass of water at any of the quick-service restaurants we went to. I drink tap water not to save money because of my quasi-hippie desire to leave the planet a better place, so having to buy a bottle of water defeats my entire goal. Not a huge deal (and I ended up buying the refillable drink bottles, instead, which worked almost as well and gave us nice souvenirs) but it was annoying at times. Again, our new-found love of Universal does not take away from WDW, and in my opinion the two compliment each other exceptionally well and will push each other to keep both of their games high, but I now completely understand why some people love Universal as much as others love WDW. We love them both, and are so happy that we gave Universal a try!