The Walt Disney Company recently announced it would be moving 2,000 jobs to the central Florida neighborhood of Lake Nona. The move comes as both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have reopened and have continued to increase capacity at their respective theme parks. With the reopenings comes the lure of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations starting October 1, and the debut of the all new Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure.
Employees who will be asked to relocate will mostly be part of the Parks, Experiences and Products division who don’t have full dedication to the Disneyland Resort. This also includes some roles that work with Disney’s international theme parks. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and other Disney officials have said that the Burbank offices are not completely leaving Southern California, where the film and television divisions of the company are located. In fact, the 2,000 jobs that are being relocated are less than five percent of Disney’s staff in California.
The move comes as Disneyland is also looking for approval from the city of Anaheim for a plan called Disneyland Forward. The ambitious plan calls for new attractions, shops and restaurants to be built by Disneyland’s teams in underdeveloped areas of the existing Disneyland Resort footprint. The areas Disneyland is looking to develop include around two resort-owned hotels west of the two theme parks and on a current parking lot east of the resort.
The relocation of jobs will not impact Disneyland as much as it will impact those working at Walt Disney World. All of the Disneyland Resort specific roles within The Walt Disney Company will remain located in Anaheim and Burbank. Positions that are flex jobs between the two resorts or do not deal with the resorts at all, including shopDisney merchandise, publishing and Disney Cruise Line are all likely to be part of this move.
Another segment that’s likely to be part of the big move is Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Imagineering has had a home at 1401 Flower Street since 1965 and now with the move of many of these jobs to Central Florida people are concerned with what will happen to the building that holds so much history for Disney. While the future is yet to be known for the site at 1401 Flower Street, the future of Walt Disney Imagineering is bright. With two new fireworks shows and multiple attractions opening at Walt Disney World over the next year it’s sure to be an all hands on deck situation once entire teams get moved to the new Lake Nona facility.
The historic move will take place over the next 18 months, and employees will be offered moving assistance if they are asked to relocate.