Walt Disney vs. Universal Studios: Which employer is more entertaining?

Susanna Kahr

Not a single child- or even the most brooding adult- can resist their favorite movie. With Disney and Universal, we don’t speak in singulars, with every person having a long list of favorite movies, shows, characters and universes. We all know what they are; we have all seen them before, and they are here to battle. We have Disney with classics from Mickey Mouse to Cinderella to even your favorite Avengers sequel. With Universal we have the biggest blockbuster movies like Gladiator and our favorite comedies like Bridget Jones’s Diary. Neither one of these fall short on things we know and love, but what about them as employers? Does Disney bring the same magic and sparkle into their workplace as they do their movies? And does Universal pull of the big stunts with their employees, or do they fall short? Let’s see what they’re saying on kununu:

Walt Disney: Is this the happiest place on earth?

There isn’t a single person who can resist a heart-felt, magical Disney classic. Since its first full-length feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, the film studio has been a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world. Opening the first theme park Disneyland during the studio’s Golden Age introduced a whole new realm of possibilities for Disney lovers to experience their favorite characters in real life, earning the slogan “The Happiest Place on Earth.” But is Disney still, so many years later, considered the happiest place on earth in the eyes of employees? One employee seems to think so commenting, Truly Magical Career.” Others agree with this, praising the career opportunities Disney provides and feeling as if they are able to chase their dreams while having great relationships with their colleagues and managers, fitting well with the coveted themes of Disney. An ex-employee, however, shares an opposite opinion on the management saying: the leaders do not even communicate amongst each other. The general consensus seems to be that employees feel valued for their very hard work, which they feel is exciting. These aspects are reflected in the pay, as it seems that employees feel fairly compensated. When it comes to inclusion and equality, employees and ex-employees alike agree that there is plenty of inclusion for all races and ethnicities, as well as for LGBTQ+ employees: “We even have gay days and pride month and merchandise!“ An important aspect rated quite high on kununu is environmental friendliness, scoring a 4.08 (out of 5), with employees saying: “We actually recycle on property, run 2 parks entirely on solar power, turn food scraps into fuel and compost.” Overall, Disney receives favorable reviews. Whether it’s absolutely the happiest place on earth for everyone is never certain, but with an overall approval rating of 3.81 with high scores in Inclusivity, Workplace Safety, and Company Image, we can be sure it is at least for many. Does Universal pick up the slack with its blockbuster man-power? Before we find out, take a look at the employee scores for Disney:


Universal Studios: Are employees universally satisfied?

Disney might be home to some of our favorite superheroes and princesses, but Universal Pictures does not fall flat when it comes to entertaining. Founded in 1912, Universal has become not only a major superpower as a movie studio, but much like Disney, a theme-park giant, opening Universal Studios for movie lovers as a chance to experience what goes into the making of their favorite blockbusters. But does Universal rank as high with their employees as they do with their rollercoasters? One employee loves the theme-park perks saying on kununu: “The company lets me experience the new attractions before the general public. I also get guest tickets every year that I can use for friends and family.” Fun perks aside, some employees believe that management and communication could be far better with comments like: “Management is not that great needs improvement.” and “Managers are there when needed only.” Along with some mixed opinions on management, one employee believes that climbing up the ladder is difficult, something Disney employees are contrarily very satisfied with. When it comes to the social aspects of working at Universal, employees are very satisfied with their helpful co-workers and see them as family. One employee says: “My coworkers make me feel welcome and happy while I’m working.” Gender equality gets a solid score of 4.0, with an employee stating: “Equal chances, equal pay,” showing that Universal walks the walk. Although there are some harsh opinions, Universal gets high scores in Company Culture, Inclusivity, Company Image and Gender Equality, bringing their overall score as 3.88, overall higher than our rival, Walt Disney. Let’s compare the scores and look at the board for Universal:


Disney vs. Universal: Whose magic shines the brightest?

It was a close, close battle and it’s easy to see that both Walt Disney and Universal Studios have enough magic and fantasy to spare for their overall satisfied employees. Since there can only be one winner, we congratulate Universal for their close win!



Viewing the kununu scores overtime, it is clear to see that these two giants have been battling it closely for years now, with Universal keeping a steady lead. Higher overall scores in Company Culture, Inclusivity, Company Image and Gender Equality weighed in their overall score of 3.88, beating Disney with a score of 3.81. That doesn’t mean we are putting away our Mickey Mouse hats and keeping them in the attic forever. Disney is still a true contender in the game and we are happy they take good care of their employees. Watch out Universal, maybe your reign won’t last forever.


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