Disney to relocate 2,000 Californian jobs to central Florida

The Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue can be seen at the end of Main Street in Disneyland in Anaheim. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Walt Disney Co. plans to relocate around 2,000 Southern California stations to a new facility in central Florida, in a move the entertainment giant says would solidify operations and promote collaboration among staff.

Disney has yet to identify the 2,000 positions that will be transferred to the Lake Nona community, but company officials have said this will primarily involve employees from the Parks, Experiences and Products division. The move to Florida has been in the works since 2019, Disney officials said.

“Develop our already important [Disney parks, experiences and products] Florida’s footprint makes sense, “said Josh D’Amaro, division president, in a letter to staff Thursday.” In addition to the favorable business climate in Florida, this new regional campus gives us the opportunity to consolidate our teams and to be more collaborative and impactful both from a creative and operational point of view. “

Disney already has more than 60,000 employees working in central Florida.

D’Amaro and other Disney officials have stressed that the Burbank-based company is not abandoning Southern California, where its film and television divisions are located. The 2,000 jobs that will be relocated represent less than 5% of Disney’s total workforce in California, according to Disney officials.

Employees whose jobs are relocated to Florida will be offered relocation assistance, Disney officials said. The move will take place over the next 18 months, they said.

The announcement came just a month after Disney opened its new superhero-themed six acres. Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park. In 2019, Disneyland opened its billion-dollar Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, the biggest expansion in the park’s history.

The decision to relocate California posts to Florida appears to have been made before Disney’s 2020 appointment of Bob Chapek as new chief executive, replacing longtime frontman Bob Iger. D’Amaro was promoted to take over Chapek’s role overseeing Disney’s theme parks. Iger became executive chairman of the board.

Disney officials also note that the company plans to continue investing in its Anaheim parks with a proposal to upgrade and renovate the resort on its existing 490-acre footprint.

The plan, baptized Disneyland forward, calls for the addition of new attractions, shops and restaurants in underdeveloped areas of the existing resort, particularly around two Disney hotels to the west of the theme parks and on the site of a parking lot to the east of the complex.

The project requires the approval of Anaheim city officials to rewrite a specific plan approved by the city in the 1990s that defined areas of the resort for attractions, hotels, and parking.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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