New Study Shows Disneyland Resort's Economic Impact to Southern California

This post contains affiliate links and our team will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.

Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics (ALME) have announced the results of an economic impact study that shows that the Disneyland Resort is a leading contributor to the local economy, a major creator of jobs and a critical driver of California’s tourism industry.

A MODERN ICON (ANAHEIM, Calif.) –– Peter Pan sits atop the drum float, a tribute to the original 'Main Street Electrical Parade' in the all-new after dark spectacular. 'Paint the Night' is full of vibrant color and more than 1.5 million, brilliant LED lights and features special effects, unforgettable music, and energetic performances that bring beloved Disney and Disney●Pixar stories to life. (Paul HIffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Specifically, the report shows that spending from the millions of visitors to the Disneyland Resort each year who stay in the Anaheim Resort Area and other nearby locations, combined with the significant purchases of those local businesses, plus a payroll of 55,300 direct and indirect employees, collectively result in nearly $5.7 billion of economic activity throughout Southern California.

The Disneyland Resort, its visitors, employees and supporting third party businesses also generated more than $370 million in state and local tax revenues in fiscal year 2013.

The comprehensive study estimated fiscal year 2013 direct and indirect (multiplier) impacts using the highly regarded IMPLAN economic modelling system. Direct impacts include employee wages, vendor expenditures, third party operator revenues and offsite spending by guests. Regional economic multipliers are utilized to calculate additional output, spending and job growth that result from spending within the Disney value chain.

“The Disneyland Resort has demonstrated its ability to grow amidst lukewarm growth in the State of California since the theme park’s last economic impact analysis was conducted for fiscal year 2009. As a prime example of its impressive growth performance, total employment at the Disneyland Resort grew at a rate of 34.3 percent between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2013, far faster than the 6.7 percent employment growth for the State of California during the same period,” said Ford Scudder, Chief Operating Officer at ALME.

Additional findings from the study include:

Annual Payroll and Employment

  • The Disneyland Resort directly employs approximately 28,000 (approximately 26,450 at the time of this study) and an additional 3,700 on-site third party employees. Disneyland Resort activity contributed to the creation of more than 25,000 indirect jobs in the Southern California region for a total of more than 55,000 jobs.
  • Total annual wages, including Disneyland Resort’s annual payroll, induced and indirect employment in the Southern California region, are in excess of $2.2 billion.

Geographic Benefit

  • The economic impact and indirect jobs created by the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim Resort Area significantly benefited communities throughout Southern California, from Ventura to San Diego Counties. Approximately 99 percent of Disneyland Resort’s employees live in Southern California.

Tourism Impact

  • Spending attributable to the Disneyland Resort and its visitors represented nearly a third of the estimated $9.6 billion Orange County tourism industry in 2013.
  • Spending by Disneyland patrons at establishments outside the Disneyland Resort totals almost $1.4 billion annually. These expenditures include accommodations, food and beverages, retail and transportation. This patron spending directly supports an estimated $364.2 million in earnings and 9,300 local jobs.

Tax Revenues

  • The Disneyland Resort, its visitors, employees and supporting third party businesses also generated more than $370 million in state and local tax revenues in fiscal year 2013.
  • Orange County communities are estimated to receive about $203 million in annual tax revenues generated by the Disneyland Resort.
  • Disneyland Resort accounted for $44.5 million in direct revenue to the total general fund of the City of Anaheim during fiscal year 2013. In addition, Disneyland Resort contributed $4.5 million in additional taxes to the Anaheim Tourism Improvement District.

“The Disneyland Resort was a significant contributor to California’s nearly $109.6 billion tourism market for FY 2013,” said Scudder. “Disneyland continues to be one of the top reasons why people choose to visit Southern California.”