Disneyland Resort Creates $8.5 Billion Economic Impact in SoCal

Study by Cal State Fullerton Economists Shows Disneyland Resort Creates $8.5 Billion Economic Impact in Southern California

Overall Economic Impact Increased by 50 Percent Since a 2013 Study

Anaheim, Calif. — A recent study by three Cal State Fullerton economists determined that in the fiscal year ending in 2018 Disneyland Resort created $8.5 billion in economic impact and more than 78,000 jobs in Southern California. The study confirms that Disneyland Resort continues to be a major generator of jobs and catalyst for Southern California tourism, while driving significant municipal and state tax revenue.

The study by Anil Puri, Aaron Popp and Adrian Fleissig of Cal State Fullerton’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting shows that Disneyland Resort’s economic impact has jumped by 50 percent since 2013, as a result of its continued investment and business growth. The resort’s $8.5 billion in economic impact to Southern California is generated by the millions of visitors who stay in the Anaheim and Orange County area and their offsite purchases totaling $2.5 billion at local businesses.

“Tourism is one of the major and growing segments of the economy as consumers shift more of their spending to leisure activities. Disneyland Resort has shown phenomenal growth,” said Puri, director of the Woods Center. “Disneyland Resort also plays an important role in propelling the economy forward through programs like Disney Aspire, a free education program, and other programs offering skills for economic mobility and advancement.”

Disneyland Resort’s impact on jobs in Southern California has grown at a 7.2 percent average annual rate since 2013, surpassing the rate of job growth in the same region. Disneyland generates more than 78,000 jobs in Southern California. More than 57,000 of those jobs, or 73 percent, are in Orange County and account for 3.6 percent of all jobs in Orange County.

“Since 2013, Southern California has seen average employment growth of 2.3 percent per year, according to the State of California’s Employment Development Department,” said Popp. “Disneyland’s overall effect on employment has risen at more than triple that rate.” 
The study, which focused on the fiscal year from October 2017 to September 2018, also determined that Disneyland Resort, its employees, visitors and supporting third-party businesses, generated nearly $510 million in annual state and local tax revenue, an increase of more than $136 million in tax contributions, or 6 percent average annual growth since 2013. Nearly $162 million in tax revenue went to Anaheim’s general fund.

Josh D’Amaro, president of Disneyland Resort, shared some of the CSUF economist’s findings during a keynote at a Sept. 13 OC Forum luncheon. The study outlines Disneyland Resort’s economic impact on the seven-county Southern California region and throughout the state, along with direct, indirect and induced impacts, which the economists estimated using IMPLAN, an input-output model.

Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting at Cal State Fullerton, issues economic forecasts and analyses at the national and regional level, provides policy advice on economic issues and conducts independent and sponsored research, often including graduate and undergraduate students of CSUF’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. The center’s objective is to facilitate effective public and private decision-making related to significant economic and policy issues.

Anil Puri is the director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting and a professor of economics in Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. He specializes in economic forecasts and policy analysis.

Aaron Popp is an assistant professor of economics in Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, and a research associate at the university’s Woods Center. Popp teaches courses in macroeconomics and research methods. His research focuses on macroeconomics and computational economics.

Adrian Fleissig is a professor of economics in Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, and a research associate at the university’s Woods Center and its Center for Demographic Research. He teaches courses in econometrics and macroeconomics, and is a leading forecasting in the region’s housing market.

About Disneyland Resort: Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s three hotels are the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 973-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. With 31,000 cast members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County’s largest employer and generates $8.5 billion for the Southern California economy. The Resort has welcomed more than 800 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955.