Universal Orlando Makes Major Move Against Disney World

in Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

universal disney

Credit: Universal (left) Disney (right)

Walt Disney World Cast Members have been in union negotiations since October, fighting for increased wages and better benefits. So far, Disney has been unmovable, refusing to meet demands.

In the midst of this fight, Universal announced that they would be increasing their pay rate to $17 an hour, effective starting in June of this year, along with a selection of improved benefits like insurance and retirement offerings. Now it seems as though Universal Orlando has taken another move against Disney.

Guests riding Flight of the Hippofriff in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Not only has Universal been competing with Disney across the board, announcing a new year-round entertainment offering in Las Vegas and a family-focused Park in Texas, but they’re also working on expanding their Florida Park with Epic Universe, set to open in 2025. With many people starting to point out issues with Disney’s upkeep of their attractions, more and more people are looking to Universal as it fights to overtake the theme park giant.

In a move seemingly directed at Disney’s refusal to negotiate with their Cast Members, Universal Orlando has announced an updated attendance policy, in a “direct response to feedback from [their] Team Member Satisfaction Survey.” Universal’s attendance policy operates on a point based system, requiring a minimum number of points to remain in good standing with the company, with call-outs and tardiness removing points.

Now, Universal will allow team members to earn points for consistent good attendance and is lowering the amount of points required to stay in good standing. They’re also lowering the amount of points team members will lose for calling out or being tardy. This is a major move by the company, showing an incredible amount of respect and understanding for their team members.

universal team member
Credit: Universal

However, the move also benefits Universal in the long run. Adjusting the points system works to keep employees in good or decent standing when it might have placed them in a position for termination previously. This is a decided effort for the company to retain team members as the Park prepares to open Epic Universe in the next few years.

Universal's Epic Universe
Credit: Universal Orlando

While Disney fights to maintain its status as the number one theme park, Universal is making major moves to topple their reign. In the last few months alone, Universal has made strides towards retaining their employees and bringing new ones on. How Disney will respond remains to be seen.

in Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

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