There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, and, outside the theme park world, we’ve seen plenty of examples of the No. 2 brand poking a little fun at the No. 1 brand. Pepsi and Coke, Marvel and DC, Burger King and McDonald’s, and . . . Universal and Disney? That’s right. While you won’t find any references to Universal at Walt Disney World, Derek Burgan—author of the weekly “Saturday Six” column on touringplans.com—has cataloged a whole bunch of funny jabs at the Mouse House down the street.
Men in Black Alien Attack’s Preshow Jabs
The entire facade and framing story for Men in Black Alien Attack is a spoof on Disney’s iconic attractions from the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair, as re-created in the 2015 film Tomorrowland. Before being ushered into the “elevator,” and again as they exit, guests hear a scrap of narration that pays tribute to Walt’s groundbreaking educational rides like Carousel of Progress and Ford’s Magic Skyway.
The Simpsons Ride’s Queue
The Simpsons Ride is a hilarious send-up of all theme parks (including Universal). You’ll see giant posters referencing several Disney rides, including The Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. Once you get inside the building, the first preshow is filled with hilarious nods to Disney attractions, including The Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents, and even Kitchen Kabaret.
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls Jabs
One of the most underrated attractions in all of Universal, Dudley Do-Right’s queue and ride are filled with clever gags that fit right in with the spirit of the old Jay Ward cartoons. Keep an eye open for the movie posters making fun of such films as Star Wars and Three Men and a Baby. While most people don’t think of Three Men and a Baby as a Disney film, it was actually the first hit of CEO Michael Eisner’s reign.
Standing in front of Duff Brewery in Springfield are the Seven Duffs topiaries. A takeoff on Disney’s Seven Dwarfs, the Seven Duffs are pretty much the exact opposites of Disney’s lovable dwarfs. While the dwarfs are short, the Duffs are tall. All of Disney’s dwarfs talk except one (Dopey), but only one of the Seven Duffs talks (Surly). The names of the Seven Duffs are Dizzy, Tipsy, Sleazy, Queasy, Surly, Edgy, and Remorseful, and together they are one of the best photo ops in the park.
Shrek 4-D’s Queue
The Shrek 4-D queue is filled with fake attraction posters that reference Disneyland rides: Great Moments with Mr. Farquaad (Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), Enchanted Tick Room (Enchanted Tiki Room), and Donkbo (Dumbo) are just some of the great posters you’ll see while in line.
Jurassic Park River Adventure’s Queue
Without a doubt, the most famous Walter Elias Disney quote of all is: “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing— that it was all started by a mouse.” Guests in the Jurassic Park River Adventure queue have an opportunity to see Universal have a little fun with this quote during the cheesy video loop playing. The narrator says, “But in the words of our founder, John Hammond, ‘I hope we never lose sight of one thing—that it all started with a mosquito.’ ”
Bonus Lost Disney Reference
In the preshow of the now-extinct Twister: Ride It Out attraction, a wrecked automobile hung suspended from the ceiling. Squashed to the car’s spinning tire: a classic Mickey Mouse ear hat!
A big thank you to Derek Burgan of Saturday Six fame for the pictures.
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