Is Disney Accidentally Paying for Universal’s Massive Theme Park Expansion?

Published: February 15, 2024

In a time when the theme park arms race is heating up, could Disney possibly be helping out a competitor?

Disney World

Universal Orlando Resort is getting ready to open its latest park, Epic Universe and the whole theme park-going world is going crazy with anticipation (us included). While Disney has plans for its own expansion, is it possible The Walt Disney Company is helping Universal build Epic Universe? Maybe.

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Late last year, Disney acquired the remaining stake in Hulu from Comcast for a whopping $8.61 billion. While Disney got complete ownership over a streaming platform it has big future plans for, it may have inadvertently helped Universal Destinations & Experiences challenge the Disney Parks for theme park supremacy.


Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and the Universal Destinations & Experiences division that operates the Universal theme park resorts. While the Hulu deal doesn’t directly involve either Universal’s or Disney’s theme park divisions, we have to consider the bottom line, especially when nearly $9 billion is being moved around.


Obviously, insinuating the Hulu deal funded Epic Universe is nonsensical and erroneous, but that doesn’t change the fact that Universal is spending massive capital to compete with Disney, and $8.6 billion certainly helps.


With all that said, Disney shouldn’t be sweating. According to The Orange County Register, Disney’s recently announced joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox Corp. to launch a new app that would combine all of their sports platforms (ESPN, TNT, Fox Sports, etc.) and doesn’t require a cable TV subscription would be devastating to Comcast. “Since Comcast is the nation’s largest cable TV provider, that’s a real threat to Comcast’s business. Remember, Disney’s new sports alliance does not include Comcast’s NBC, so there’s no backend protection for Comcast there.” 

The Register concluded that the deal ultimately could have a trickle-down effect that affects the intellectual property limitations Universal theme parks might face in the future. So while Universal gets the biggest boon right now, Disney may get the last laugh when it’s all said and done.

Universal Orlando

The Disney-Universal power struggle is a fascinating juggernaut battle with several twists and turns, so stay tuned here at DFB for all the latest updates!

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Do you think Disney or Universal is currently winning the theme park battle? Let us know which side you’re picking in the comments below!

The post Is Disney Accidentally Paying for Universal’s Massive Theme Park Expansion? first appeared on the disney food blog.