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An empty Disneyland during COVID-19 in March. (Photo: Disney Youtube Screenshot)

Disney to Relocate 2,000 Jobs From California to Florida

Job move comes after over a year of Disney parks in California being forced to shut down by the state over COVID concerns

By Evan Symon, July 15, 2021 9:42 pm

Disney Officials announced on Thursday that 2,000 jobs will be relocated from California to Lake Nona in Orlando.

According to the Orlando Business Journal, all 2,000 jobs being moved will come from Disney’s headquarters in Burbank and will be slowly moved to Orlando over the next 18 months. The Lake Nona campus, which is currently being built, will specifically draw in non-Disneyland related personnel in the Parks, Experiences and Products division.

“The Walt Disney Company has always been a strong community partner and leader, and it’s exciting to see Disney Parks, Experiences and Products significantly expanding the number of professional positions based in the Orlando region, with their plans for a regional campus in Orlando’s Lake Nona, one of our region’s premier centers for innovation,” said Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani on Thursday.

While the Walt Disney Company headquarters is to remain in Burbank, with the 2,000 relocated jobs constituting less than 5% of the current number of Disney jobs in California, many within the company and in Southern California areas that depend on Disney theme park jobs remain worried that Disney could wind up following a trend of Californian companies moving their headquarters to other states.

During the pandemic, several companies in California moved their headquarters to other states, such as Oracle moving from Redwood City to Austin and HP Enterprise moving from the Bay Area to Houston. Companies that moved gave several reason for their departure, ranging from better business opportunities back East, lower tax rates, a desire for more employees to work remotely, and more flexible work policies post-COVID.

“I wouldn’t say the move of all these jobs is solely because of California policies,” noted Los Angeles business relocation specialist Vanessa O’Donnell to the Globe on Thursday. “There’s a lot of talk about jobs moving out, but California has also been bringing in a bunch of new jobs too, like GM building a new campus in Pasadena and the film industry bringing in more and more jobs after the pandemic scattered them out. So it’s not just that.”

“Disney is building a big campus there because there is open land. In SoCal, there’s not exactly a lot of it left. Plus with Disney having a bigger theme park presence in Florida, it makes sense that jobs have gone out there. Notice no executive or admin jobs are really going out there.”

“It’s still not great California lost this many jobs, but it’s obvious that they still want to be headquartered in California. They just don’t want all their park people in a place that kept theme parks shut down for months longer than Florida and cost them a lot more theme park revenue too. Disney was furious at California over that, and it might be showing through now with this move.”

Burbank residents were also concerned over the move.

“That’s 2,000 good-paying jobs gone,” said Rick Moreno, who owns a cafe in Burbank near Disney offices, to the Globe. “They always come out during lunch time. That’s a lot of people to lose, and we’re all going to feel that pinch, especially during lunch hours.”

The move of the 2,000 jobs is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2023.
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5 thoughts on “Disney to Relocate 2,000 Jobs From California to Florida

  1. “The idea that businesses are leaving California because of higher taxes and more regulation is a myth”.
    Said former State Senate Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, around the time Waste Connections (2020 annual revenue of $5.5 billion) moved from Folsom to Texas.

    At the time of the move 10 years ago, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ronald J. Mittelstaedt told CBS13 that the reasons for the move were “…the cost of doing business in California. Highest tax rates in the nation. Until recently very expensive real estate. Tremendous regulation and really a broken legislature”.
    Yet the people under the Golden Dome’s response was “Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you”. And in ten years they haven’t learned a thing, except how to cheat at elections better.

  2. Disney should be pushing back at this draconian governor and legislature by withholding donations, but then they run the risk of being cancelled by this communist coup that is being perpetrated on the American people by a corrupt election process.

  3. DizneiKorps sowed the wind through donations to CA state pols for decades. Now they are reaping the whirlwind. While I am sorry for the employees who are being cut loose or forced to move, I’m not weeping any tears over the impact on the company; maybe they will learn something in the long run.

  4. I wonder how many jumped at the chance to relocate and have it paid by disney to do so. I surely would jump at the chance.

    1. Amen to that Orwell!!!

      Lake Nona is REALLY nice and the golf is GREAT around there…

      A buddy just landed a job there and I contacted him today to share what a blessing this might be, to escape the fascist tyranny of California governance!!!

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