Gwendolyn Rogers, Owner Of The Cake Bake Shop Featured In Forbes

Women Entrepreneurs Are Flocking To Walt Disney World And It’s Increasing Business

The Walt Disney Company has been a place of growth and advancement for women for decades. In fact, in the 1940s, Walt Disney told his team of male animators who were working on Dumbo at the time, “If a woman can do the work as well, she is worth as much as a man.”

Fast forward over 80 years, and Disney is still showcasing women, this time at it’s Orlando theme parks. The Walt DisneyDIS -0.6% World Resort is known for its themed entertainment offerings, attractions that draw fans from around the world, and dining that immerses guests in the worlds of beloved movies and characters. But there’s another side to the Most Magical Place on Earth that many people don’t know about: women entrepreneurship.

Today if you were to walk around Disney Springs or Disney’s BoardWalk, you’d come face-to-face with storefronts and restaurants that are owned by women entrepreneurs. One new experience that’s currently being built is The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers in the same place where Disney’s ESPN Club restaurant used to be at Disney’s BoardWalk.


The Cake Bake Shop at Walt Disney World is Roger’s third restaurant, and is expected to open in early 2024. “I am a small business owner, and I'm a mom, and I love to cook,” says Rogers. When visitors walk into the new bakery and restaurant, Rogers hopes that they feel like they’ve been transported to a different place.

For Rogers, her journey from at-home baker to a Disney storefront is special. She started by making baked good for her family. “I slowly built up a business and I was working in my house and the next thing you know I was outgrew my house and it just became a bigger thing than I ever thought than it ever would be,” she says. Her first shop took two and a half years to build, and after opening it had a line out the door and down the sidewalk. “That's how I knew I was onto something so good.”

The Disney location of The Cake Bake Shop hasn’t been without challenges. The shop was announced in 2022, with an original opening date of late 2023. The project has since been delayed to early 2024, but for Rogers the hurdles in business are part of the journey. “I think that the best lessons in life are things that were really hard. But when it's hard I smile through it, because I enjoy the process so much that I don't mind and it makes me a better person,” she says.

Alongside Rogers, other women entrepreneurs have moved into Disney Springs, allowing the businesses to reach a wider audience. 

Megan duBois
I write about The Walt Disney Company with a focus on theme parks.