Universal Versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks' Greatest Rivalry

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AdventureKEEN, Oct 5, 2018 - Performing Arts - 336 pages
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"They started out as friends. Universal Studios did not set out to challenge The Walt Disney Company in the theme park business. It was happy with its hugely profitable industrial tour of the busiest back lot in Hollywood. Unlike the fantasy environment of Disneyland, Universal provided an authentic expeirence not found anywhere else. Walt Disney was so excited that he lent Universal some of his best people to help out. Then they became competitors. In 1979 Universal announced it was going to build a new motion picture studio and tour 10 miles north of Walt Disney World. When Michael Eisner and Frank Wells assumed leadership of Disney in 1984, the decided to preempt Universal's plans by opening Disney-MGM Studios first. Suddenly Universal was forced to either retreat or take Disney on. Lew Wasserman, legendary head of Universal's parent comapny MCA, would not back down. Instead, Universal came out swinging, determined to compete head to head and even to surpass Disney. Now it's personal. How did this happen? Who made it happen? What does this mean for the theme park industry? In Universal vs. Disney, his newest work investigating the histories of American theme parks, Disney author and historian Sam Gennawey tells how Universal Studios shook up the multibillion dollar theme park industry, one so long dominated by Walt Disney and his legacy. The book is filled with exclusive interviews with those who created the Universal theme parks, as well as riveting insider perspectives on Disney's response."--

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About the author (2018)

Sam Gennawey is the author of the newly released history of Walt Disney's first ever destination attraction, The Disneyland Story. Gennaway is also the author of Walt and the Promise of Progress City, a contributor to Planning Los Angeles and other books, and a columnist for the popular MiceChat website. His unique point of view built on his passion for history, his professional training as an urban planner, and his obsession with theme parks has brought speaking invitations from Walt Disney Imagineering, the Walt Disney Family Museum, Disney Creative, the American Planning Association, the California Preservation Foundation, the California League of Cities, and many Disneyana clubs, libraries, and podcasts. He is a senior associate at the planning firm of Katherine Padilla and Associates, and he lives in Pasadena, CA.

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