Plus, police make quick arrest in Center City stabbings.

Mickey Mouse at Disney World, which is just down the road from Comcast’s Universal Studios (Getty Images)

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Disney World Has a Comcast Problem Thanks to Universal Studios

Around here, Comcast is mostly known as the company that delivers cable TV and internet services to your house. But let us not forget that Comcast bought NBC Universal more than a decade ago. That means Comcast is very much in the television and movie business — and Comcast did very well at the Oscars last month — as well as the theme-park business, via its Universal Studios parks around the world.

The best-known theme park in the universe is, of course, Disney World. But Comcast’s Universal Studios have been slowly nipping at the heels of Disney. That’s thanks, in no small part, to the Harry Potter rides and experiences Universal offers. There’s also plenty for fans of Jurassic Park and those Minions.

Comcast’s Universal presence in Florida — just down the road from Disney World — is in the middle of a massive expansion. And this expansion comes while Disney World lags behind in terms of major new developments. That, and Disney World turned some smiles upside down with recent price increases and more on the way.

“It is a classic case of the smaller rival taking on the industry leader,” write Wall Street Journal reporters Jacob Passy and Robbie Whelan in this in-depth analysis of the rivalry that dropped over the weekend, ominously headlined “The Threat In Disney’s Backyard.”

The authors go on to explain that while Disney is currently way ahead of Comcast in terms of revenue — Disney’s division that includes theme parks posted $32.5 billion last year compared to Universal’s $8.95 billion for the corresponding division — Universal has positioned itself to flip Disney World fans. And even if families don’t opt to go to Universal instead of Disney World, what if families who used to spend five days and all their vacation dollars at Disney World suddenly decide to do three days at Disney World and two at Universal?

Some notable comments on that story:

Feedback from co-worker just back from an Orlando spring break trip: Universal was great, Magic Kingdom a dud. Too crowded and overpriced.

Legitimate and concerning culture war issues aside, Disney is unparalleled. Iconic timeless characters and a unique and unforgettable vacation experience. There’s something for everyone.

You forgot to mention that some of us will never spend another dollar on Disney anything ever again. Their trans and queer programming directed at children was the end for me.

Absolutely zero interest in artificial attractions such as these. My travel is focused on experiencing the history, culture, and art of our own country, and other countries and regions of the world.

I have to agree with the last commenter. Never been to Disney World. Never been to Universal. Am so glad that my kids never showed any interest. Zilch.

Center City Stabbings

The crime-talk of the weekend in Philadelphia was most definitely the stabbings that took place in Center City on Saturday. First, a 24-year-old woman was stabbed in the chest and a finger near 13th and Chancellor streets around 8:30 on Saturday morning. And just after noon, a one-year-old boy was stabbed in the arm in the Rittenhouse Square area. On Saturday night, police arrested Takeira Hester in West Philadelphia and charged her with the crimes. Fortunately, none of the injuries were fatal. There’s reportedly an open warrant for Hester out of New York, where she allegedly stabbed a person who was trying to break up a fight on the subway.

By the Numbers

60: Years ago today that MLK delivered a speech at Cheltenham High School. He was paid $1,000 for the appearance.

60: Years ago tomorrow that Wawa opened its first convenience store. Why am I telling you this today instead of tomorrow? So you can plan on stopping by your local Wawa for a free cup of coffee. Wawa says it will give away about 1.5 million coffees of any size to celebrate the anniversary.

145,298: Fans who attended the two-night WrestleMania 40 event in South Philadelphia last weekend. That’s not counting all the folks who came into the city for some of the other festivities, like the wrestling matches that happened in the middle of a shut-down South Street. Officials are already angling to bring WrestleMania to Philadelphia again. Prior to WrestleMania 40, Philadelphia hadn’t hosted the wild show for 25 years.

11:59 p.m.: Today’s deadline for filing your taxes. Well, that’s the deadline for filing online. If you’re filing on paper (do people even do that anymore?), you need to get your envelope postmarked before your local post office closes today.

Local Talent

Congrats to Dionicio Jiménez, the chef behind Kensington’s much-lauded Cantina La Martina. And he just earned a rare four-star review from Philly Mag restaurant critic Jason Sheehan. As if it wasn’t already hard enough to get a table there, Jason.

Congrats are also in order for the Philly filmmaking team behind the hit sports documentary Kelce, which is all about you-know-who. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences just nominated the film for two Sports Emmys, one for Outstanding Long Documentary and one for Outstanding Editing. We’ll find out the winners on May 19th. If you still haven’t seen Kelce, you can do so here.

And From the Weekend-Wrap-Up Sports Desk …

For their next-to-last regular-season game on Friday night, the (mostly healthy!) Sixers (then 45-35) started Kyle Lowry, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Joel Embiid against the Magic (then 46-34). And guess what? It was close — right up until Tyrese heated up at the end of the first quarter, which ended with us up 40-27. Hey, have you seen Joel’s new AT&T commercial? Pretty cute!

Orlando battled back to within five toward the end of the first — and Joel headed to the locker room after wrenching his knee. Yikes. At the half: 68-61 us, with some help from a technical foul on Franz Wagner for mouthiness. Joel came back, thank God, in the second half, and the lead stretched back out, though Joel was a little gimpy. This was fun, though!

He had 32 points in the final, much needed seventh straight win: 125-113. But he was out for Sunday afternoon’s season finale vs. the Nets, also played at home, so starters were Oubre, Maxey, Mo Bamba, Lowry and Harris. The report said keeping Joel out was a “precautionary” measure. Tyrese was hot from the jump, and the Sixers set a healthy lead before the Nets climbed back up and we chilled off. End of the first quarter: 23-22 Nets. The Sixers started hitting threes, though, and led 55-44 at the half. The Nets were cold through much of the third, and a Buddy Hield buzzer-beater let the Sixers grow an 81-64 lead. A 10-0 Sixers run in the fourth quarter helped them stretch things out to a 107-86 win. You want to know the complicated course of things henceforth in the playoffs? Here you go! For now, play the song.

How’d the Phillies Do?

On Thursday night, Ranger Suárez went six scoreless innings against the Pirates, struck out eight, gave up two walks, and allowed just two hits at CBP. A fourth-inning homer by Alec Bohm was key, and Brandon Marsh tacked on an insurance run in the seventh on a long fly ball off the top of the fence. Hold on, let’s take another look at that. Yup, it’s a two-run homer! Then Nick Castellanos got on, and Bryson Stott whacked his first homer of the year! Bohm had a wild catch to end the game at 5-1 Phils.

On Friday night, debuting their new City Connect unis (which are ugly as phuck), Cristopher Sánchez was on the mound and walked three and had an error and a wild pitch in the first inning, putting the Phils in a 1-0 hole. He’d notched five K’s by the end of the third, but he allowed another run in the fourth before Brandon Marsh doubled and Bryson Stott hit a blooper that pitcher (and former Phillie) Bailey Falter misread, bringing Marsh home.

Sanchez had retired seven in a row by the close of the fifth but came out after the sixth for Yunior Marte, and the Pirates got another after his pitch crossed up J.T. Realmuto  and hit the catcher in the wrist, laying him flat: 3-1. With two outs, Marte then walked the bases loaded on a timing violation. Double yikes. But he struck out Oneil Cruz to end the pain. Damn, two more added in the eighth, off Ricardo Pinto. We loaded the bases in the bottom half vs. Aroldis Chapman and got one in on a walk, but Marsh struck out to end it. And that was the final: 5-2.

Saturday’s 4:05 start saw Spencer Turnbull taking the mound, and it was déjà vu all over again as Pittsburgh jumped out to a 1-0 lead. But Schwarber led us off with a long homer to center to tie things up, and Trea Turner followed that with a double. After two quick outs, Nick Castellanos singled him home for the lead. Oneil Cruz gave the Pirates the lead with a two-run homer at the start of the fifth, and that brought on Matt Strahm, who struck out five Pirates in a row through the sixth.

Gregory Soto came on for the seventh and got Cruz to hit into a double play. In our half, Schwarbs walked and took second on a passed ball by Chapman, then third on a fielder’s choice. After Harper walked as well, Bohm singled to tie things up. Pitching change! Colin Holderman struck out Castellanos and got Stott to fly out. Jose Alvarado got through the eighth unscathed, but so did Hunter Stratton. On came Jeff Hoffman and got ’er done; Jose Hernandez pitched the ninth for Pittsburgh and gave up a Schwarbs single. Whit Merrifield came on to run for him, Turner walked, Hernandez made a wild pitch to advance the runners, and then made another wild pitch — but Harper struck out, and there was one last pitching change, for Roansy Contreras, with Castellanos at bat.

Maybe you stayed indoors to watch Sunday’s series finale. But the rest of the world was in the glorious outdoors, enjoying a perfect spring day. Me, I was digging up dandelions and thistles from the lawn at my kid’s new house. And that was a wise decision, as the Phils got a 9-2 shellacking by the Pirates. We were actually ahead 2-1 until starter Zack Wheeler had a disastrous sixth inning, giving up a grand slam and opening the gates of hell. Just about the only bright spot was Trea Turner’s homer. A three-game home series with the Rockies kicks off today at 6:40.

Any Doop News?

The Union managed to preserve their undefeated season in an away match vs. Atlanta United — barely — with a stunning 2-2 comeback tie on a Mikael Uhre goal in the 73rd minute and a stunner from Kai Wagner in the 77th.

That was the good news; the bad news was another injury to goalkeeper Andre Blake — just back from concussion protocol — in the first half. Thank heaven for next weekend’s bye.

The Flyers also played.

Victor Fiorillo

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