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Walt Disney Crucial to Florida’s Economy

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Walt Disney’s World Resort employs over 62,000 people. (Photo: Peter Togel)
Walt Disney’s World Resort employs over 62,000 people. (Photo: Peter Togel)


  • Walt Disney Parks generate $18.2 billion in economic activity in Florida; 2.5% of state GDP
  • Walt Disney World Resort generates 2% of all jobs statewide
  • Disney’s worldwide success is heading to China for first time, with a $4.4 billion theme park planned for 2015

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts generates $18.2 billion in economic activity in the state of Florida, according to a study by Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics.

The report, commissioned by Disney, showed that the Florida-based theme park accounted for 2.5% of the state’s gross domestic product.

Walt Disney’s World Resort employs over 62,000 people and some 160,000 jobs – 2% of all jobs statewide – are related to all of Disney’s activities. In central Florida, around 6% of jobs are linked to Disney.

In 2009, Disney’s payroll totaled $1.8 billion for the state of Florida. Disney spends over $2 billion in goods and services, with almost $1 billion going directly to businesses based in the state.

China Targeted for Expansion

On the back of the success of its various theme parks throughout the world, Disney is now targeting the exploding economy of China. By 2015, it aims to have completed construction on a $4.4 billion park in Shanghai.

The 225-acre complex will be based on the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida.

China is one of the only countries in the worldwide consumer market that does not have a Disney TV channel or Disney stores. For many of China’s 1.3 billion people, it will be their first contact with Disney.

Key Statistics – United States Economy (source: CIA World FactBook)

  • GDP: $14.72 trillion in 2010, compared to $14.33 trillion in 2009, second highest in the world
  • Public Debt: 59% of GDP in 2010, compared to 53.5% in 2009
  • Employment & Labor: 9.7% in 2010, compared to 9.3% in 2009. Labor force of 154.9 million (managerial, professional and technical fields: 37.7%; sales and office: 24.2%; manufacturing, extraction, transportation: 20.3%; other services: 17.6%)
  • Leading Industries: petroleum, steel, automobiles, aerospace, telecommunications

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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