The Walt Disney Company is moving much of its Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division management from the Los Angeles area to central Florida, company officials announced today.
The move will affect some 2,000 cast member positions and happen over the next 18 months, company officials said. Disney's theme park division management will be moving to a new regional campus located at Lake Nona in the Orlando area.
"Initially, our new campus will be home to more than 2,000 Cast, Imagineers and employees - driving further collaboration and creativity and allowing us to better integrate our business and functional teams," Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro wrote in a letter to cast members. "While we are still determining exactly which of our team members will be based there, we expect that most Southern California-based DPEP professional roles that are not fully dedicated to the Disneyland Resort or, in some cases, the international parks business, will be asked to relocate to this new Florida campus. Certain corporate roles that primarily support DPEP, along with a few other select enterprise functions will also move to this campus."
Disney will notify all affected cast members by November 1, with transfers to be completed by December 2022.
Universal Studios hemorrhaged talent when it moved Universal Creative from the LA area to Orlando years ago, as many businesses do when they relocate to new metropolitan areas. After all, many people make the decision to live somewhere based upon more than a job. So while positions might be moving east to central Florida, many cast members may choose instead to seek new work at home rather than to move - which no doubt will save Disney money both in not having to pay relocation and in paying lower entry-level salaries for replacements in Florida.
The move has been rumored inside Disney for some time now and may have contributed to some of the recent retirements and departures from the company of long-time cast members.
"As someone who has moved with my family from California to Florida and back again, understand that relocation is a big change, not only for the employee, but also for their families," D'Amaro wrote. "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. I recognize that many of you will have to make a significant decision in the coming months and we are committed to approaching this project and all who are impacted with the utmost care and compassion. I want to personally assure you that we will provide the necessary information, assistance and relocation resources to support those of you that will be affected."
Ultimately, this represents less than five percent of Disney's full-time jobs in southern California, given that the Disneyland Resort-specific jobs as well as film, television, streaming and corporate management operations will remain in the Los Angeles area.
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