Disney commissioned a study through Oxford Economics on the company’s economic impact in Florida. The study found the Walt Disney World Resort as well as Disney Signature Experiences including Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line generated $40 billion in economic impact across the state. Disney also contributed more than a quarter of a million total jobs in fiscal year 2022. The fiscal year 2022 results are before Reedy Creek Improvement District became the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
The study found that 1 out of every 32 jobs in the state involved Disney, totaling 263,000 direct and indirect jobs. Disney’s direct workforce across the state was 82,000 jobs. In Central Florida, Disney directly supports 1-in-8 of all jobs, and for every direct job on-site, an additional 1.7 jobs are supported across Florida. Disney has also contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to local nonprofits throughout its history, and Disney cast members donated more than 233,000 volunteer hours in Florida in fiscal year 2022.
Florida’s unemployment rate is the 21st lowest among all fifty states at 3%. Without Disney’s job impact, the rate would jump to 5.4% and make Florida the second-highest unemployment rate in the country.
“My connection with Disney World runs deep having been a cast member myself in its opening years, and what remains true after all this time, is Disney’s immense and positive impact on its employees and our community at large. In serving this community as long as I have, I can confidently say that Disney’s contributions have resulted in the progress and prosperity of Florida and all who call it home.” – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings
As for tax revenue, Disney generated $6.6 billion in tax revenue, including $3.1 billion in annual state and local tax generated by Disney, visitors, employees, and third-party businesses. This makes Disney one of the largest taxpayers in the region. The annual state and local tax helps fund local schools, law enforcement, public safety, parks, roadways, and more. Disney paid and collected a combined $1.1 billion in state and local taxes to Orange and Osceola Counties as well as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
The study also found Disney was able to support small businesses in Florida. Disney contracted 2,500 small businesses to supply products and services to Disney World. These businesses include local painters who help maintain Cinderella Castle, a family-run vendor that supplies some sweet treats, and more. Disney also has over 160 third-party businesses operating on property. James Petrakis, owner of The Polite Pig at Disney Springs, is one of those third-party small business owners and has seen massive growth stating, “From day one, the experience and the relationship that Disney has offered us is better than anything I’ve ever seen. Our business has grown in the last three years by about 25 to 30%. We are pushing numbers that we never expected out of fast-casual.” Across the country, The Walt Disney Company contracts a total of 8,500 small businesses.
As previously announced, The Walt Disney Company wants to turbocharger its investment in parks over the next ten years with Florida being a key part of the business. Disney said, “If history is any indication, when Disney invests in Florida, its residents and business benefit.”
Again, the study was commissioned by Disney and conducted by Oxford Economics. To quantify the economic impact of Disney in Florida, Oxford Economics prepared a comprehensive model using multiple primary and secondary data sources to quantify the impacts arising from multiple channels of spending attributable to Disney. Impact modeling was based on an IMPLAN Input-Output (I-O) model for the State of Florida, and the results of this study show the scope of Disney’s impact in terms of revenue and operational spending, as well as total economic impacts, including total business sales, employment, household income, and fiscal (tax) impacts.