The companies that make Orlando one of the most visited vacation destinations in the nation also spearhead entertainment innovation used across the globe. A culmination of industry and education has exploded into a burgeoning tech economy that supports not only the region’s massive theme park and attractions industry, but the expanding footprints of many other major corporations including Lockheed Martin, Darden Restaurants, Siemens and more.

Looking to expand your business to Orlando?

If growth is in your plans, you’ve come to the right place.

“Orlando has become a hub where hospitality and travel tech providers [like Flip.to] put their primary and secondary offices.”

Edward St Onge

– Edward St. Onge, founder of Flip.to and former CEO of TravelClick

THE THEME HERE IS SUCCESS

Major Headquarters in Orlando

IAAPA logo

IAAPA relocated its global headquarters to Orlando in 2016.

Universal Orlando logo

Universal Orlando Resort is headquartered in Orlando with 25,000+ employees.

Darden logo

Darden Restaurants is one of many restaurant headquarters in Orlando.

Wyndham_Destinations_Logo

Wyndham Destinations chose Orlando for its global headquarters in 2019.

TALENT IS OUR MAIN ATTRACTION

Workforce & Talent Pool

The leading theme park companies have built specialized technical and creative teams to build the next generation of entertainment experiences. Disney and its Orlando-based Imagineering group, for instance, employs 232 experts in 3D modeling, software development, computer-aided design and visual effects. Universal, meanwhile, has more than 120 people with the same skill set on the books. Orlando’s entertainment powerhouses along with media companies such as Electronic Arts Tiburon and Golf Channel create the need for a talent base with the right combination of technical and creative skills. And to meet this demand, Orlando universities are expanding their contribution to the talent pipeline for the hospitality, theme park and attraction’s technology ecosystem.

Rosen College of Hospitality
Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Photo credit: UCF

Rosen College of Hospitality Management

UCF

The University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management is one of the largest and fastest-growing hospitality programs in the nation with more than 3,500 undergraduate students.

The DAVE School students working behind-the-scenes of Universal Orlando Resort. Photo credit: The DAVE School.

Digital Animation & Visual Effects

The DAVE School

The Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School, located in on the backlot of Universal Studios, produces skilled graduates in the fields of digital entertainment and interactive media.

Full Sail digital media students
Digital animation students working on a project at Full Sail University. Photo credit: Full Sail.

Nationally ranked for game development

FIEA & Full Sail

The Princeton Review places UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy and Full Sail University in the top graduate programs to study game design.

Hard Rock cafe orlando
Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando’s themed multimedia interior design. Photo credit: Crunchy.

Themed Experience

Programs

UCF and the University of Florida (UF) offer qualifications in Themed Experiences. At UCF, the degree is offered as a track in its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. UF offers a Master of Science in Architectural Studies with a concentration in Themed Environments Integration

“The themed-entertainment industry is one of Florida’s largest employers. Our goal [at UCF] is to work with the parks to ensure that our students are being trained to fill the creative positions they need.”

Jeff Moore

– Jeff Moore, dean of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Central Florida