Disney Parks Study Shows Impact of Company on Florida’s Economy

A new study released today shows the magic Disney makes for guests at its parks and resorts and on its cruise ships translates into a strong economic impact not only in Central Florida but across the state.

The $18.2 billion in annual economic activity generated locally by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts accounts for a staggering 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product for the entire state.

Of the 7.2 million Floridians in the workforce in 2009, more than one out of every 50 had a job that can be directly or indirectly tied to the operations of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Locally, 6 percent of all jobs in Central Florida can be attributed to Disney’s operations.

“As our business at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts keeps growing, the bottom line impact for Florida is the more than 160,000 jobs and $6 billion in compensation directly and indirectly associated with these jobs that help power our state’s economic engine,” said Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The ripple effect created by our operations resonates throughout Florida as families across the state use their earnings to purchase goods and services from the diverse businesses both large and small that make Florida such an amazing place to live, work and play.”

The impact of Disney’s operations in Central Florida and across the state includes:

  • Jobs – Walt Disney World Resort directly employs more than 62,000 cast members. Statewide, the total number of jobs created indirectly and directly by the operations of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts tops 160,000.
  • Compensation – In Central Florida, cast members at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts earned a total of nearly $1.8 billion during FY2009. Across Florida, when direct and indirect jobs are taken into account, more than $6 billion in paychecks can be attributed directly or indirectly to Disney’s operations.
  • Purchasing by Disney – Each year Walt Disney Parks and Resorts purchases more than $2 billion worth of goods and services. Nearly $1 billion is paid to vendors with a presence in the state and approximately $500 million goes to vendors in Central Florida.
  • Spending by Disney Guests – Spending by Disney guests at businesses outside the resort area totaled nearly $1.7 billion in FY2009. This includes hotel and lodging expenditures; meals at local restaurants; retail purchases; and transportation expenditures.
  • Taxes – When taking the amount Disney pays in taxes and subtracting the cost of various government services used by guests and cast members, the net benefit to Florida and all localities is more than $400 million. In Central Florida, for example, Orange County sees a net benefit of more than $100 million and Osceola sees a net benefit of nearly $10 million.

The study was commissioned by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and conducted by the outside consulting firm Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics.

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