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At Disney World, adult visitors increasingly mix remote work and play


Mickey Mouse welcomes visitors near an entrance to Walt Disney World on February 01, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. 

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

When working remotely on a laptop, technically, a worker can be anywhere. They could even be at Disney World.

From Disney bloggers and freelance journalists to tech industry professionals, travel agents and people with double monitors at Epcot, adult Disney World fans are documenting their remote work habit from inside the parks in social media posts.

It’s a phenomenon that has gained steam since around 2022, with a post-pandemic surge of people returning to the theme parks and the rise of both remote work and jobs in which people never truly sign off.

“People want to move to Orlando, they want to feel like they live in Disney World,” said AJ Wolfe, who has been writing about Disney parks, including via her popular Disney Food Blog, for more than 15 years. “You’re closer to the place that makes you happy, and you can access it much more quickly when you’re done working.”

Wolfe has been working in the parks and advising people where the best places are to work within them for almost as long. Since the parks reopened in late 2020 after Covid-19 forced their first-ever extended closure, Wolfe said she’s been noticing more people purposefully choosing to work remotely from inside Disney World.

“Lines are blurring between conventional workspaces and leisure time across the board,” she said. “I think people are adopting and looking to adopt a situation where they can work at the same time they’re experiencing something they enjoy.”

Disney World’s committed and vociferous fan base — there are dozens of online communities and creators dedicated to almost everything about the parks — has wrestled with the remote work practices.

The emerging practice has drawn some disbelief — and criticism. In late April, an Orlando resident posted on the Disney World subreddit about setting up a workspace at a cafe that opened in 2022 in Epcot. The thread had to be locked after users started complaining that the remote worker could be taking up a table that other guests wanted to use to eat (the post was from a Tuesday afternoon and the cafe appeared mostly empty).

Disney has also installed more places throughout the resort where people can charge their phones, since the mobile Disney World app has become an essential part of the experience — guests use it to bypass lines, order food, scan tickets, check wait times and more. Many counter service and cafe-style restaurants inside the parks have places to charge your devices. The newer wireless charging ports, like at the Epcot cafe, and outlets have in turn provided a place for people to plug in their tablet or laptop.

“I think they also probably realized that would also benefit folks who have just moved to Orlando to be closer to the parks and need some place to work,” Wolfe said.

Walt Disney World didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The rise of remote work at Disney World is accompanied by the steady growth of online content related to Disney Parks in general. Wolfe, who is working on a book about the “Disney Adults” phenomenon, said online “side hustles” related to Disney World are becoming more common.

Some of the people who have posted about working inside Disney World also offer travel-planning services to other Disney fans. Dozens of people have full-time jobs creating daily content about and from within the Disney parks, posting on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and blogs. They are almost never officially affiliated with The Walt Disney Co. They often fall somewhere between independent media and professional fans.

Separately, there are even more people who don’t make money from posting about Disney, but instead find community from sharing their Disney experiences online.

“It’s that vibe of ‘Epcot is my coffee shop,'” Wolfe said. “Instead of ‘I’m going to close my laptop and start watching Netflix,’ it’s like, ‘I’m going to close my laptop and go on Spaceship Earth.'”





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