If DeSantis drags Disney down | WUGT News Business


If DeSantis drags Disney down

If DeSantis drags Disney down

The economy of Florida could suffer if Disney, Florida's biggest tourist attraction, decides not to invest in the state as a result the Ron DeSantis saga.

Posted by on May 24, 2023 530

Conventional wisdom holds that you should never get into a fight that you can't win. But, looking at the ongoing feud of Disney and Gov. Florida's Ron DeSantis is on shaky grounds.

Disney's latest decision was to cancel a $1 billion project in Florida after more than a decade of increasing its budget. The corporate campus was expected to bring more than 2,000 new jobs to Florida, but reports say that Disney's relationship with Florida is one of the reasons the project was scrapped.

Richard Foglesong told Insider that DeSantis had more to lose as this incident showed. It all depends on how he can put a positive spin on it. Foglesong wrote the 2003 book "Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World & Orlando."

DeSantis has been the target of political backlash for the Disney spat. Republican colleagues have accused him of being unfriendly to business, and he has lost his job in the state. Disney could lose Florida a lot of money depending on how the ongoing battle plays out.

Oxford Economics found that Orlando tourism generated $75.2 Billion for central Florida in 2018. Disney, with its four theme parks and two water parks, dominates tourism in the area.

Disney employs 75,000 people in Florida, making it the second largest private employer in the state behind the Publix supermarket chain. This is according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Disney's media and entertainment division will generate more revenue than its other divisions, which will make $55 billion in revenue for the fiscal year 2022.Disney's parks, experiences, and products brought in $28,7 billion, or 33% of its total revenue.

Disney has many locations around the globe that attract tens or hundreds of millions of visitors each year.

In 2019, Disneyland in Anaheim California attracted around 28.5 million visitors to its two parks. Disneyland Paris, which Disney owns 43 percent of, attracted 9.7 million visitors in the same period, while Shanghai Disneyland brought in 11.2 million. Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland, which are owned by Oriental Land Company under intellectual property license from Disney, had 32.7 million visitors last year. Hong Kong Disneyland, which Disney owns 48 percent of, attracted 6.5 million visitors during the 2019 fiscal year.

He noted that a large number of Disney World visitors -- around 70% -- were repeat guests. This is a great credit to Disney, but it also puts pressure on the company to continue investing in the Florida resort. Otherwise, they risk losing customers and hurting Orlando's economy.

"The challenge is how many times guests will return to the same rides and attractions?" Foglesong added that Disney attracted repeat visitors because of its constant expansion. "One could credibly claim that the buoyancy in the Orlando economy is dependent on Disney's investment or reinvestment in new rides and attractions because people won't return without it."

Disney is the largest tourist attraction in Florida. This benefits other businesses and tourism-related businesses as well as central Florida's economy. Disney's Florida resort and other theme parks could suffer if it does not reinvest.

Foglesong added that the average Disney visitor would spend four days in Disney parks, followed by two days at Universal Studios and one day at SeaWorld Orlando.

Deadline reported that Disney's chief parks officer, Josh D'Amaro said that the company still plans to spend $17 billion on Florida in the next ten years and that the fight between DeSantis and Disney has not hurt Disney's businesses.

Foglesong stated, "They won't just stop coming back to Disney World. They won’t come to SeaWorld, Universal Studios, or the roadside tourist attractions."

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