The Walt Disney Company seems to be on everyone’s lips recently.
The ongoing battle between the Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued earlier this week when Disney announced its plans to cancel a $1 billion campus for its Cast Members. The new project at Lake Nona would have moved Disney’s theme Park headquarters (including 2,000 employees) to Florida.
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Lake Nona is a 17-square-mile community about 20 miles east of Walt Disney World and less than 9 minutes south of Orlando International Airport. The Disney campus would have included six office buildings, two flex space buildings, and a central plant totaling over 1.8 million square feet of space. The Disney Parks division of The Walt Disney Company would’ve utilized the campus. The move was previously delayed from a 2023 move-in date to 2026.
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A Mayor’s Statement
After learning that Disney had decided not to proceed with the Lake Nona headquarters for its theme Park division, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings released a statement. In his view, Demings directly holds Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responsible for the situation.
“It is unfortunate that Disney will not be moving forward with construction of the Lake Nona campus. However, these are the consequences when there isn’t an inclusive and collaborative work environment between the state of Florida and the business community. We will continue to work closely with our valued partners at Disney.”
NEW: In a statement, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings says it's "unfortunate" Disney won't move forward with Lake Nona.
"…these are the consequences when there isn’t an inclusive and collaborative work environment between the state of Florida and the business community." pic.twitter.com/LfJRccqw09
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 18, 2023
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There has been much debate over whether or not Disney’s decision to cancel the plans resulted from a hostile environment within the state of Florida (and its government) or whether it’s due to the company looking to cut costs. During a recent earnings call, it was announced that they had lost $4 million subscribers to Disney Plus, and last week, their stock took a 9% dip following the news.
Regardless of Disney’s reasons, this decision will undoubtedly impact The Walt Disney Company and the state of Florida.