Open in App
Orlando Sentinel

Disney regional hub at Lake Nona could bring 2,000+ jobs with $120K average salaries

By Austin Fuller, Orlando Sentinel,

Families gather for a selfie in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Monday, May 17, 2021. A new Disney campus in Orlando’s Lake Nona community will be home to more than 2,000 employees relocating from California, the company revealed Thursday afternoon. Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel

A new Disney regional hub in Orlando’s Lake Nona community will be home to more than 2,000 professional jobs relocating from California, the company revealed Thursday afternoon.

The average wage for the positions is $120,000 annually, according to Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership president and CEO.

“It’s a big day for Disney,” Giuliani said. “It’s a big day for Lake Nona. It’s a big day for Orlando.”

Most of the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products professional roles based in southern California that are not fully dedicated to Disneyland Resort, or in some cases the international parks business, will be asked to relocate to Orlando, said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

The move to the Orlando campus is expected to take place through the end of next year. The company did not release a specific location or opening date.

“As someone who has moved with my family from California to Florida and back again, I understand that relocation is a big change, not only for the employee but also for their families,” D’Amaro wrote in a letter to staffers. “Therefore, moving these roles to Central Florida will take place throughout the next 18 months, providing flexibility in timing to accommodate individual situations and needs.”

D’Amaro was promoted to chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products last year from his role as president at Walt Disney World, which he took on in 2019. Before that, he had been president of Disneyland Resort since 2018.

Disney’s Lake Nona campus has been in the works since 2019.

“This new project will create a dynamic environment to support our expanding business — a brand-new regional campus which will be built in the vibrant Lake Nona community of Orlando, Florida,” D’Amaro said in the letter. “With more than 60,000 Cast Members, Imagineers and employees, Central Florida has long been home to many of our businesses including the Walt Disney World Resort and most of our Disney Signature Experiences team.”

Lake Nona is a master-planned community developed by Tavistock Development Company southeast or Orlando International Airport. It is home to facilities like Nemours Children’s Hospital, University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine, and companies like driverless shuttle business Beep.

“With Disney’s move and large investment in our community, we are delighted to welcome one of the world’s most recognized brands to Lake Nona,” said Tavistock president Nick Beucher. “By choosing to build a new regional campus in Lake Nona, Disney will become part of this smart city where cutting-edge ideas turn into realities.”

Dennis Speigel, founder and CEO of Cincinnati-based International Theme Park Services, said Florida is a better state for a corporation than California.

“Florida is a friendlier work-environment state than California is,” Speigel said. “That’s what it comes down to.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a statement the announcement highlights continued collaboration in the community.

“We are excited to have Disney expand here with high-paying jobs in Central Florida and into Orlando’s Lake Nona community, spurring further investment in our city,” Dyer said.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Local California State newsLocal California State
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0