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Disney parks to consolidate some operations

Walt Disney Co said it will consolidate some “back of house” operations, including menu planning and ride design, at its two US theme parks to try to offset the effects of the global economic downturn.

The reorganization is effective immediately and will result in new job cuts, but the company would not specify how many.

Disney Parks Chairman Jay Rasulo said “economic realities” required the company to focus and streamline its operations in a way that “eliminates redundancies.”

Earlier this month, Disney's parks division reported a 24% drop in quarterly operating income and a 4% revenue decline in part due to slowing consumer spending.

The new organization calls for Walt Disney Imagineering, the parks' engineering and design teams, to be consolidated into a single group that handles attractions for all parks.

The company also will create a single domestic group to handle behind-the-scenes services such as maintenance, menu planning and security, for Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Last month, Disney Parks and Resorts offered voluntary buyouts to 600 parks executives at the US parks to trim its administrative costs as hotel bookings slipped at its parks.

The company received “a satisfactory response” to that offer but did not divulge the number of executive positions that would be eliminated. (Reuters)