An image of Marvel's Spiderman ride at Universal (Spiderman is a Disney property, BUT there's more to the story)

No, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) does not own Universal or Universal Studios. Universal is owned by the Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

If you’re looking for an answer to this question, you may be curious as to whether Disney owns Universal Studios theme parks. Again the answer here is now, in fact, the two parts are direct competitors and have some interesting overlap.

Disney Characters in Universal Studios Parks

My family loves both Disney World and Universal Studios. An interesting thing that I became aware of when I took a VIP tour of Universal Studios is that theme park character rights are pretty crazy! Specifically: Universal Studios has a number of Marvel characters (Marvel is now owned by Disney) featured in Disney World, but can’t feature those same characters in the California parks. Wild right?!

The reason for this is that the rights to the characters are effectively Universal’s east of the Mississippi, but belong to Disney west of the Mississippi.

Along those same lines Disney now owns the streaming rights to the Simpsons, but not the theme park rights, so you have Krusty and the gang featured prominently at Universal Studios on both coasts.

There’s a full podcast episode dedicated to this topic if you’re looking to learn more:

Disney / Universal Frequently Asked Questions

There’s a number of specific questions people have related to Disney’s relationship with Universal Studios.

Is Universal a part of Disney?

No. Universal is owned by the Comcast Corporation, Disney is the Walt Disney Corporation.

Who owns Marvel Disney or Universal?

Disney owns Marvel and the rights to movies and TV series as well as theme park rights west of the Mississippi, but Universal does still own the rights to Marvel characters east of the Mississippi.

Who is Universal Studios owned by?

Universal Studios is owned by the Comcast Corporation.

Does Disney or Universal own The Simpsons?

Disney now owns the Simpsons and their streaming rights, but Universal still owns the theme park rights to the Simpsons.

Does Disney own Universal Records?

No, Universal Records is owned by the Comcast Corporation.

Does Disney own Universal Theme Park?

No, Universal theme parks are owned by the Comcast Corporation.