Is the Grinch Disney? Who Owns It and Where To Watch

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In honor of Theodor Suess Geisel, I thought about writing this in rhyme.

Spoiler alert: I made it about three lines, deleted it and started over. That rhyming business is tricky.

In fairness to me, Dr. Seuss – aka Theodor Geisel – made up a lot of words whenever he needed a rhyme. I mean Zimpahone? Poogle-Horn? Mount Crumpit? Really, Ted?

In fairness to Dr. Seuss, he was a genius. I am not.

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Who created the Grinch character?

A lot of folks, if you can believe it, at a certain point begin to go through life without thinking much about the massive and genius output of Dr. Seuss, the creator of the Grinch.

Of course, these people are typically adults.

Sure, around Christmas time they may watch the live-action version of the Jim Carrey holiday classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or the animated film which features Benedict Cumberbatch, now known for his role as Doctor Strange and Rashida Jones.

Some people still prefer the old – and mercifully short – Boris Karloff’s Christmas Classic animated version of the Grinch.

Lorax at Universal Studios
The Lorax and other Seuss characters can be found at Universal Studios, not Disney World (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Is the Grinch on Netflix or Disney?

At my house, we have several streaming platforms including Disney Plus, where you will likely find none of the Grinch films. But no matter what streaming service you have, you should be able to find some version of the Grinch at Christmas time.

Usually, you can find the Grinch on streaming services like Peacock, HBO Max, Apple TV, Hulu, FuboTV or Amazon Prime video. That said, streaming services are subject to change. The Just Watch app is a great guide for showing you which streaming service has the movie you want to see.

But for most of the year, we don’t often think about “Green Eggs and Ham”. Or “The Places You’ll Go” or even “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”.

I have three kids who are surely outgrowing regular Seuss encounters. However, I still come home frequently to “Cat and the Hat” TV shows’ cartoon hijinks. Or perhaps, the abominable Mike Myers movie.

My kids are as apt to binge the Grinch movies in April or August as they are in December.

I, myself, have been known to declare “I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees” when of course, a suitable moment arises.

Speaking of the Lorax, my youngest daughter – at around 4 – became enamored of the Taylor Swift-starring vehicle that also featured the voice work of Danny Devito and Ed Helms.

We remain something of a Seuss family.

As a result, I find myself a bit baffled when I run across people who haven’t given the good doctor much thought since they left the second grade.

In particular, what does that mean for Orlando? Well, what does any major, well-known fictional property means for Orlando? It’s the possibility for intellectual property.

Seuss Landing at Universal Studios, Florida
The entrance to Seuss Landing at Universal Studios in Orlando (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Who owns the rights to the Grinch?

In short, it’s Universal. In the theme park game, intellectual property is king.

A well-known IP can lead to a themed land, rides, restaurants, meet and greets and merch. That’s why Universal clings dearly to its Marvel characters whose movie rights belong to Disney. It’s why there’s a Star Wars land and a Harry Potter world and Avatar and more.

In Orlando and beyond, IP is gold.

But it wasn’t always that way. Back in 1998, repurposing popular IP into a theme park land was a relatively new idea.

After Theodor Giesel went to the big housamawhatsamachiatolismo in the sky, there was an auction for the rights to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

As a result, Universal Pictures Studios won the rights for up to $9 million.

Seuss Landing at Universal
Inside Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure in Universal’s Orlando Resort (photo by Morgan Overholt/

It’s the fifth paragraph that specifically notes the sea-changing inclusion.

The Times reported:

The size of the deal underscores the value that entertainment conglomerates place on characters and stories already well-established with the public. Beyond capitalizing on the Seuss properties in movie theaters and on home video, Universal stands to benefit significantly from exploiting the potential family franchise in its theme parks and merchandising businesses. The studio’s new 110-acre Islands of Adventure theme park attraction in Orlando, Fla., opening next summer will feature Seuss Landing as one of its five themed islands.

And so the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat and Sam and his green eggs belong to Universal and not Disney or Six Flags or any other massive theme park, at least in the United States.

But for the record, Canada has its own Grinch deal.

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Does Disney have rights to the Grinch?

No. The Grinch is not at Disney. You can’t find the Grinch in Walt Disney World Resort or at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

But you can find him at Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure in Universal’s Orlando Resort in the theme park. It is where the hit Christmas movie brings the source material to life.

The classic story of the Grinch and the human-like creatures who taunt his very existence is at the top of the Christmas movies list for many families. In fact, in our house, on Christmas Eve, it’s even more popular than “Home Alone” or other popular movies of the season.

My family has a love and fascination with … with … with the Grinch (said in Jim Carrey’s voice when he’s talking to Cindy Lou). 

Honestly, I am a little surprised Universal doesn’t keep the green curmudgeon and his Whobilation celebration, the Grinch musical, around for the whole year instead of just the Christmas season.

Seems like an opportunity lost to have the Christmas trees and the Christmas lights and celebrate the festive season year-round.

Instead, the curmudgeonly Grinch and the town of Whoville’s Christmas shows are a holiday season attraction. It traditionally appears after Thanksgiving and goes back to the snowy mountain sometime in the new year.

Suess Landing Universal
Suess Landing at Universal Orlando (photo by James Overholt/

Where can you find the Grinch at Universal?

But the good news is, even without the Who-pudding or the Who-roast beast, you can have fun year-round on Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure.

There are four kid-friendly rides including The Cat and the Hat and the Caro-Seuss-el. It’s a shame Ted passed away before he could help with the naming of some of this stuff. Caro-Seuss-el? That’s as bad as something I’d come up with.

There are also restaurants, including the Green Eggs and Ham Café and the Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop (I told you).

There are also two character meet-and-greet locations. So you can catch up with your favorite Seuss fictional character or two including The Cat in the Hat, Sam I Am, Thing One and Thing Two and the Grinch.

Have you been to Seuss Landing? Let us know in the comments.

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for LLC – the parent company of and

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