GLENDALE (CBSLA) — Ask anyone what the happiest place on Earth is, and they'll likely say Disneyland.
But the company that has created magical experiences for both kids and adults for decades recently announced it would be moving some 2,000 Walt Disney Company jobs from the Burbank/Glendale area to Orlando, Florida, to cash in on $580 million in tax credits expected to be paid out over the next 19 years.
The jobs include positions in finance, human resources, technology, communications and imagineers — with average salaries of $120,000.
The company said it favored Florida for its business-friendly climate, better housing prices, lower income tax, less crowded schools and better roads with less traffic.
But Loyola Marymount Professor Fernando Guerra, founder of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles, said the move ultimately came down to money.
"Capital and corporations are not loyal," he said. "They are not people, they don't have emotions, all they care about is the bottom line and that's why the move is gonna happen."
Guerra said shifting jobs to Florida only benefits that state and not the U.S. as a whole.
"The existing 2,000 employees, it's not better for them because half of them, or more than half, will lose their jobs and many will decide not to go over," he said.
A spokesperson for the company said the new campus would create a dynamic environment to support the expanding business, but the move could mean a decline in revenue for local businesses like Pho Hot.
Managers at the Vietnamese restaurant said several of their customers work at a nearby Disney office that will be impacted by the move.
"It's probably gonna decline about 15% to 20% for our business," Phong Thong, a restaurant worker, said. "Hopefully we'll get more customers."
A spokesperson said with the Walt Disney World Resort and other key offices already located in Orlando, the move only made sense.
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