Walt Disney Company earns $1 billion in 3 months

ORLANDO, Fla. - Central Florida's largest employer reported big profits on Tuesday.

For the first three months of 2012, the Walt Disney Company said it earned more than $1 billion.

That is up 21 percent compared to last year.

The big money makers include the sports cable channel, ESPN and the theme parks.

Orlando visitor Jorge Perez said he's already thinking about coming back.

"I find Epcot very educational," said Perez. "I want to come back with my kids."

Park attendance at Disney World and Disneyland had a profit margin of 7.7 percent, which is the highest since 2008.

Most of that was from international travelers, which now accounts for 22 percent of park business.

Brazilians make up the biggest portion.

Disney told WFTV that it's hiring 30 more Portuguese-speaking employees for the summer.

Occupancy numbers at Disney's hotels is at 82 percent, which is up 2 percent from last quarter.

"I am overwhelmed at how good we're doing," said Abraham Prizam, UCF Professor at Rosen College.

Hospitality experts told WFTV the numbers are unusual, considering that the economy isn't stable yet.

"In simple terms, they all want to have fun. They are sick and tired of hearing the bad news day in and day out," said Prizam.

But experts said keeping the numbers up depends on international travelers such as Perez, who is already planning to come back in six months.

"We will do it for sure. We will be right here," Perez said.

However, Disney lost $200 million when the movie John carter bombed at the box office in March.

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