Universal Parks and Resorts
SATE '11 Orlando Conference Committee
SATE panel (producer): Universal Creative: From Autobots to Decepticons, Minions and the 8th Wonder of the World
Michael McGuire joined Universal Parks & Resorts in 1992 as Project Coordinator on the Jurassic Park River Adventure project although his career really began with Universal 30 years ago at Universal Hollywood as a Tour Guide. Over the years Michael has held various roles with some of the most iconic companies in the entertainment industry. His 35 year career has been spent mainly in operational and coordination roles with companies such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Ice Capades, Hemdale Productions, Knott’s Berry Farm, ABC Entertainment, Walt Disney Strategic Planning & Development, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the State Bar of California.
Born and raised in Southern California Michael began his career at Magic Mountain in 1974 as an exotic animal handler working with the big cats under the direction of Frank and Beverly Lamping. This role soon lead to becoming animal handler on the classic television show Let’s Make A Deal providing the production with a variety of exotic animals including Ginger, a mountain lion he raised from a cub.
Michael joined Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Operations in Orlando in 1976, relocated to Disneyland in 1979, and Knott’s in 1980 where he was wardrobe manager for the Knott’s Ice Spectacular. That same year Michael joined the Long Beach Civic Light Opera Association and Grand Opera Association where he worked on over 20 shows and live performances in Long Beach and the Los Angeles area.
During his time at Disneyland, Cicely Rigdon legendary head of Guest Relations for Disney Parks, invited Michael to join her exclusive team of Guides to become one of the first male Disneyland Tour Guides. A few months later, Michael decided to expand his experience by joining Universal Studios as one of Hollywood’s classic Tour Guides. In 1984 Michael rejoined Disney as Entertainment Supervisor, EPCOT Center where he was responsible for the technical production of live performances, special events, and marketing tours.
In 1986 Michael joined IBC Entertainment/Willy Bietak Productions first as tour coordinator for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, then moved into a role as talent coordinator for the Ice Capades, Torvil and Dean on Ice, and several ABC television Ice Capades variety shows. But with the Los Angeles riots of 1992 Michael was recruited by the board of the California State Bar to coordinate Project Law Help LA, a coordinated effort which brought the community and local businesses together with FEMA, the SBA, local bar associations, and the court systems.
In late 1992 Michael rejoined Universal’s MCA Recreation Services as project coordinator for the Jurassic Park River Adventure, Hollywood followed by T2:3D, Orlando.