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Does Disney Own Universal? | Fun Facts & Ownership History

Disney and Universal both have a complicated ownership history with Disney owning many franchises like Marvel and The Simpsons, which appear at Universal theme parks, there's a ton of confusion on who owns who!

This guide will detail everything Disney owns and where Universal might fit into the picture!

Questions We'll Answer About Disney and Universal Ownership:

  • Who Owns Disney?
  • Who Owns Universal?
  • Does Disney Own Universal?

 Disney Headquarters

Who Owns Disney?

On November 12th, 1957 the Walt Disney Company would IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

This means that Disney would become a publicly traded company - shares could be bought and sold by literally anyone. Quite literally anyone could "own" a portion of The Walt Disney Company.

Small World Ride Facade

While Walt and Roy were majority shareholders for an extended period, Disney soon become like most publicly traded companies with a huge variety of different owners.

Fast forward to today, some of the major owners of Disney company stock include Vanguard Group at 7%, BlackRock Inc. at 6%, and State Street Corp at 4%. 

Most of these large owners of Disney stock are corporate holding and investment companies, while the rest of Disney stockholders are made up of high-net-worth individuals, other investment companies, and the general public!

In short: Disney is owned by the shareholders - which means even you can be a part owner of The Walt Disney Company! 

Downtown Disney Courtyard

Below are some well-known and more surprising companies that Disney owns:

  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Disneyland Paris Resort
  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Lucasfilm
  • Marvel Entertainment
  • 20th Century Fox
  • National Geographic
  • ABC
  • ESPN
  • Freeform
  • The Muppet Studio

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance

Who Owns Universal?

n 2011 General Electric would sell a majority stake in NBCUniversal to Comcast and then the remaining stake in 2013 to allow Comcast to become 100% owner of NBCUniversal.

NBCUniversal is still the subsidiary under which Universal Pictures and Universal Parks & Resorts which includes Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida as well as other Universal theme parks exist. 

Comcast NBCUniversal Logo

Comcast has pushed Universal into one of its biggest phases of expansion ever with multiple new theme parks, movies, and other various entertainment offerings. 

While Comcast is mostly known as a cable and internet provider, the company has become an entertainment giant in the last decade and also owns some other notable properties listed below:

  • Peacock
  • Illumination (the studio that created the Minions franchise)
  • DreamWorks (the studio that created the Shrek franchise)
  • Focus Features
  • Telemundo
  • Fandango

Universal Studios Hollywood Sign

Does Disney Own Universal?

If you've followed along through our details of who owns Disney and Universal, by now you know that Disney does not own Universal!

While Disney does have a theme park called Hollywood Studios, which is often mistaken for Universal Studios, the two companies are very different from each other. 

While there have certainly been rumors about Disney purchasing Universal and vice-versa over the years, Disney currently does not own Universal and isn't in a position to do so. 

The Walt Disney Company and Comcast (who owns Universal) are roughly the same sizes, so one acquiring the other would be a huge financial challenge.

However, the companies could one day join forces through a merger, creating a mega entertainment company, but we here at Theme Park Center think this is unlikely to happen soon!



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