Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American

Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American

Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks' Greatest Rivalry ➹ [Reading] ➻ Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks' Greatest Rivalry By Sam Gennawey ➮ – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Universal Studios never really wanted to get into the theme park business They wanted to be the anti Disney But when forced to do so, they did it in a big way Despite the fits and starts of multiple o Universal Disney: The Unofficial Guide PDF/EPUB or Studios never really wanted to Disney: The ePUB ´ get into the theme park business They wanted to be the anti Disney But when forced to do so, they did it in a big way Despite the fits and starts of multiple owners, the parks have finally gained the momentum to mount a serious challenge to the Walt Disney Company How did this happen Who made it happen What does this mean for the theme park industry In Universal Versus Disney, his newest Universal versus PDF/EPUB or work to investigate the histories of America s favorite theme parks, seasoned Disney author Sam Gennawey has thoroughly researched how Universal Studios shook up the multi billion dollar theme park industry, one so long dominated by Walt Disney and his legacy.


10 thoughts on “Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks' Greatest Rivalry

  1. Brian Brian says:

    This was a good read but a little bit of confused one The title is misleading, the book implies it is about the feud between Disney and Universal, but in actuality, the book is reallyabout Universal s history in the theme park industry I enjoyed hearing about the conception of the rides and the various changes that occurred to the park I kept hoping the book would have been longer andin depth but no dice Overall, it was an interesting read I hope the author will cover the histor This was a good read but a little bit of confused one The title is misleading, the book implies it is about the feud between Disney and Universal, but in actuality, the book is reallyabout Universal s history in the theme park industry I enjoyed hearing about the conception of the rides and the various changes that occurred to the park I kept hoping the book would have been longer andin depth but no dice Overall, it was an interesting read I hope the author will cover the history of Disney World proper


  2. Natalie Natalie says:

    This book had a lot of potential I decided to read this in the hope that it would be a nice companion to Disney War, James B Stewart s 2005 book about Disney under Michael Eisner, since the book is marketed as an inside story of the rivalry This book is not what I hoped for Instead, this felt like a chronological history of Universal parks I was hoping for insider drama surrounding the race to create a studio themed park in Florida but this book barely scratched the surface.This book was This book had a lot of potential I decided to read this in the hope that it would be a nice companion to Disney War, James B Stewart s 2005 book about Disney under Michael Eisner, since the book is marketed as an inside story of the rivalry This book is not what I hoped for Instead, this felt like a chronological history of Universal parks I was hoping for insider drama surrounding the race to create a studio themed park in Florida but this book barely scratched the surface.This book was published in 2014 and it already feels really out of date It discusses the Wizarding World expansion and does go into depth on the development of Islands of Adventure and the themed lands which I did find interesting The most shocking part of this book is how many of the creatives and executives who worked on these projects ended up being really bad people I won t go into too much detail but Gary Goddard is featured heavily and he is an absolute piece of human garbage and abuser of children by many accounts google him at your own risk I also found it interesting that Edgar Bronfman Jr., heir to the Seagrams fortune, was also once owner of the Universal parks Sure, Universal s current owner, Comcast, isn t great but at least they are no longer owned by Bronfman who has been convicted of insider trading and whose sisters were huge supporters of Keith Raniere and the NXIVM sex cult I m sure there are many other problematic people featured here but I think I ve ranted enough for now Overall, I would give this book 2 stars If you are looking for the history of Universal parks, you ll probably enjoy it The book is very bias to Universal and spends most of the time explaining rides and attractions in exhausting detail This is cool if you are looking for information on rides attractions that have closed but it very skippable if you are already familiar with the ride attraction There was interesting information but I found many parts of it to be wordy and exhausting If you are looking for an in depth analysis of the 1980s 90s competition between Disney and Universal, I would not recommend


  3. Brad Linden Brad Linden says:

    This was a fun read It s a thorough history of Universal, starting with the movie studio opening in Hollywood in the early 1900s Since Universal in Hollywood didn t set out to be a theme park, there s a great story to it s slow evolution as it pioneered the studio tour , then tried various behind the scenes shows and demonstrations, and then many years later the theme park rides Disney enters the story when Universal toys with creating an East Coast studio tour the competition quickly ram This was a fun read It s a thorough history of Universal, starting with the movie studio opening in Hollywood in the early 1900s Since Universal in Hollywood didn t set out to be a theme park, there s a great story to it s slow evolution as it pioneered the studio tour , then tried various behind the scenes shows and demonstrations, and then many years later the theme park rides Disney enters the story when Universal toys with creating an East Coast studio tour the competition quickly ramps up, there s thrilling corporate backstabbing, and both companies get very serious The good news is that the result is cooler Florida parks than were originally planned If you re not a theme park nerd, you ll probably want to skim through later parts that are basically written descriptions of rides, but the overall history, competition, and stories from people who were part of it all make for an engaging read


  4. Daniel Butcher Daniel Butcher says:

    I have a general philosophy about a Disney vacation Why leave property I take long vacations where I spend nearly all of my time if not all under the Disney umbrella But during my last trip I did discover that I could have some fun without being in the Disney zone at all times So I am beginning to ask myself if there might be things in the entrainment industry outside of Disney that I would consider sampling But would I ever consider visiting Disney s biggest theme park rival Universal vs I have a general philosophy about a Disney vacation Why leave property I take long vacations where I spend nearly all of my time if not all under the Disney umbrella But during my last trip I did discover that I could have some fun without being in the Disney zone at all times So I am beginning to ask myself if there might be things in the entrainment industry outside of Disney that I would consider sampling But would I ever consider visiting Disney s biggest theme park rival Universal vs Disney The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks Great Rivalry by Sam Gennawey details the foundation and expansion of Disney s theme park rival Universal s introduction to entertainment actually goes back to December 3, 1913, when Carl Laemmle opened his film studio to the public allowing them to see movies being made In 1915, Laemmle expanded his lot Universal Studio even further and began to stage a fake disaster for those who took the studio tour In 1958, Music Corporation of America MCA would purchase the Universal Studio lot and the studio tour would grow under the leadership of Lew Wasserman and his associates such as Jay Stein The MCA team would regularly work to create attractions that could attract locals and repeat business whie making the best commercial possible However, MCA saw their tour as an attraction that complimented not competed with Disneyland With the expansion of Disney into Florida in the 1970 s, the Universal team looked to build a production studio and studio tour that could again complement Disney theme parks However, with the naming of Michael Eisner as Disney CEO, Disney announced their own movie theme park, which would become Disney MGM Studios with attractions that seemed to duplicate Universal s plans for a Florida park With Disney s own announced park, the Universal team began a quest to build a park to challenge Disney with partners like Steven Spielberg The quest would not be easy as MCA changed hands through corporate sales Gennewey discusses Universal s failures, delays and eventual success in building a theme park that could rival Disney with Universal Orlando I really enjoy Sam Gennawey books, and his books always come across as serious history to me His use of footnotes and extensive research makes it clear that his books are a step beyond the typical book directed for Disney fans but are also books that could be used by academic historians Universal vs Disney is the kind of book that could be used in a theme park history course, and probably will be in the future And it has the tone of an academic monograph His writing is clear and easy to understand My chief criticism of his writing is that his chapters tend to stop abruptly I really wish he had provided a summary paragraph that captures the tone or theme of his chapters It would provide the reader both a review, but a sense of closure and likely foreshadowing of what is to come One of the things that I really hoped for was a discussion of the Universal Orlando contract licensing Marvel characters As a Marvel Disney fan this contract fascinates me since you can see Captain America at the competition and not on Disney property Gennawey does give over five pages to the discussion of Marvel, but the majority of this information is about attraction development especially The Amazing Spider Man A Web Slinging 3 D Ride and not contracts And the Disney purchase of Marvel and the limitations in place for Disney s use of Marvel properties is not detailed I would have liked to see mention of the Avengers themed monorail for example I assume that this conversation was limited by two things First, Universal vs Disney really is a book about the Universal theme parks And honestly that felt like a good choice to me so Gennawey did not have to repeat material from books including his own The Disneyland Story Since my knowledge of Universal and MCA history is quite small the book felt new and fresh to me Second I doubt that the details that I want about the Universal Marvel contract are really available for public review As I mentioned, there is not as much Disney history as I expected Disney s presence is always there throughout the book, but Disney is a supporting actor not the co star of the book Disneyland and Walt Disney World is discussed as a complimentary and different type of attraction a theme park not a studio tour And until Eisner s arrival at Disney, Universal was really not attempting to promote themselves as the same type of experience as what Disney offered But Eisner really did serve as a catalyst for two entertainment companies While his leadership was taking Disney to new places, the image of him as a villain was taking Universal into the theme park industry with the hope of challenging Disney and embarrassing Eisner personally Eventually the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would finally reach a level of theming beyond Disney s high standards, forcing Disney to go to new places years after Eisner was no longer with Disney Mistakes were made If Universal had the proposed Knight Rider A Team stunt show they hoped for, it would have had me through the gates years ago Sadly the show would never be And perhaps it was mistake on my part never visiting a Universal theme park Universal vs Disney has shown me a history of a theme park that started four decades before Disneyland opened And I can truly say that I know understand how Disney both positively and negatively influenced the development of a non Disney park Review Copy Provided by Keen Communications


  5. Sharon Sharon says:

    Very detailed history of the development of Universal Some comparisons to Disney and a timeline of their development Most of it was not what I was interested in so if it only were for me I d rate a little lower But well written and could be interesting to the right person.I ve never been to either Disney or Universal so that also affected it My main purpose in reading was to find out what it s like for practical reasons My favorite part was when he described the development of the Harry Pot Very detailed history of the development of Universal Some comparisons to Disney and a timeline of their development Most of it was not what I was interested in so if it only were for me I d rate a little lower But well written and could be interesting to the right person.I ve never been to either Disney or Universal so that also affected it My main purpose in reading was to find out what it s like for practical reasons My favorite part was when he described the development of the Harry Potter world which is what I m most interested in


  6. Chris Turner Chris Turner says:

    This was a fantastically interesting read To see how Univeral studio developed its park from a studio tour to a theme park was really interesting The title is a little misleading, as the Disney point of view is a very minor point of this book It makes comparisons and at the end you are left with a distinct sense that Universal have struggled to compete with Disney and eventually drawn level The book covers the rides and while I m not a theme park fun, I am a major film fan and therefore foun This was a fantastically interesting read To see how Univeral studio developed its park from a studio tour to a theme park was really interesting The title is a little misleading, as the Disney point of view is a very minor point of this book It makes comparisons and at the end you are left with a distinct sense that Universal have struggled to compete with Disney and eventually drawn level The book covers the rides and while I m not a theme park fun, I am a major film fan and therefore found it interesting seeing their approach


  7. John Gregory John Gregory says:

    Very, very dry Useful as a reference for the parks but a dull read.


  8. Andy Andy says:

    There are a bazillion books about the history of Disney and those parks It was greatly refreshing to find a book on the Universal side of Theme park business.


  9. Paul Paul says:

    A lot of people think that the world of theme parks begins and ends with Disney, and judging by the books you ll find in the travel section of most retailers, so do a lot of publishers Sam Gennawey s book does a great job of demonstrating this this just isn t so There s another giant in the theme park industry, and Sam introduces us to how it got to where it is today Much like his other recent book The Disneyland Story , Sam has written a concise and throughly researched history of the Univ A lot of people think that the world of theme parks begins and ends with Disney, and judging by the books you ll find in the travel section of most retailers, so do a lot of publishers Sam Gennawey s book does a great job of demonstrating this this just isn t so There s another giant in the theme park industry, and Sam introduces us to how it got to where it is today Much like his other recent book The Disneyland Story , Sam has written a concise and throughly researched history of the Universal Studios theme parks, providing a brief summary of the California studio prior to the Studio Tour, how the tour was developed and how it changed to meet the expectations of guests, and how the industrial tour in California developed into a true theme park The book also tells how Universal came to Orlando, and how competition led Universal to expand its offerings at both parks Sam has managed to capture the feel of a corporate culture that from the beginning was the antithesis of Disney s, and how that culture influenced the rides and shows Universal offered to the public Sam also shows what factors shaped the rivalry between Disney and Universal, and how the rivalry has affected what s been offered and what will be offered to guests of both companies parks Sam s book provides a glimpse of how the Universal parks headliner attractions were created, how they sometimes didn t quite work as planned, and he brings us to meet the people that brought those rides and shows to the public, as well as sharing a few of the tricks and technology they used to enhance them.My main quibble with Universal Vs Disney is with the book s title although the book covers how and why Disney and Universal became rivals, the rivalry is tangential to the story, not the story itself Hopefully, the book will eventually regain its working title of The Universal Story , because that s what this book is really all about Aside from that and limited information in the text about Universal s international theme park expansion where Universal competes as vigorously with Disney as it does in the US , there s little in this book that detracts from the story Sam wants to tell.Sam Gennawey has added another gem to his collection and of books about theme park design and history, and I m glad someone s finally telling readers about the other iconic California and Florida theme parks that have had such an influence on the theme park industry Sam has mentioned recently that he intends to focus his future work on his other great passion, urban planning while I wish him luck, I hope he ll change his mind There are a lot of stories about the history and development of theme parks left to tell


  10. Ray Palen Ray Palen says:

    This did not turn out to be the book I expected I figured it would be a cute comparison of coasters and attractions between the two theme park giants Instead, author Sam Gennawey himself a planner specializing in Theme Parks takes us back to the very beginning in an eye opening look at the history between Universal and Disney.Universal Studios enjoyed much success and wanted to translate this into a tour of their Hollywood film base While Disneyland, Marineland and Knotts Berry Farm were This did not turn out to be the book I expected I figured it would be a cute comparison of coasters and attractions between the two theme park giants Instead, author Sam Gennawey himself a planner specializing in Theme Parks takes us back to the very beginning in an eye opening look at the history between Universal and Disney.Universal Studios enjoyed much success and wanted to translate this into a tour of their Hollywood film base While Disneyland, Marineland and Knotts Berry Farm were enjoying much success on the theme park front Universal had no interest in this In fact, Walt Disney sent some of his best men to help Universal get their Hollywood tour off the ground.Things changed decades later in the 70 s when the monster attractions took off for Universal Jaws and King Kong They now saw an opportunity to immerse their guests in their films the same way Disney had been doing for decades The gloves finally came off when the then President of Universal accused then Disney Chairman, Michael Eisner, of stealing the film studio tour idea with the creation of Disney MGM Studios now Hollywood Studios.Whether this was true or not, the fans are the ones who benefit from this gigantic game of one upsmanship Every time one does something on a grand scale the other has to top it and everyone wins The only critique I have is that Gennawey spends far too much time on Universal and their growth and far less on Disney Even so, this was a well researched and very interesting read


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