Disney CEO Bob Iger sends a subtle message to Ron DeSantis that his retaliation against Disney may impact future spending in Florida

May 10, 2023 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday May 10, 2023 4:50pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Speaking during opening comments at today's quarterly earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger sent a subtle but powerful message to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Referring to previously announced plans to spend more than $17 billion at Walt Disney World in Florida over the next 10 years, Iger said, "We have a number of other growth and expansion opportunities at our parks and we are closely evaluating where it makes the most sense to direct future investments."

Bob's comments appear to be a clear indication that DeSantis' targeted retaliation against Disney may impact the company's plans in Florida.

Later in the call, Iger shared more on the battle with DeSantis and asks if Florida wants Disney to 'invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?'

Disney claims in its lawsuit filed in a federal court that there has been "A targeted campaign of government retaliation-orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney's protected speech-now threatens Disney's business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights."

Read more about the latest on Disney's lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Discuss on the Forums

Get Walt Disney World News Delivered to Your Inbox

View all comments →

flynnibusMay 27, 2023

That choice does not have to do with the park demand trend. It has to do with the aftermath of buying fox and multiple other studios and their dtc strategy.

Vegas Disney FanMay 27, 2023

I agree, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this and likely won’t be the last either, Disney raises prices and changes policies until attendance suffers, then they offer discounts, then once people have gotten used to the new system they raise prices and change policies again until it affects attendance, then offer discounts, and the cycle repeats. I think the pushback just took longer, and is hitting a little harder, this time because pent up Covid demand kept the parks busy despite the higher prices and crowd management schemes, now that everyone has had 2 years to make their delayed trips the sticker shock is really setting in.

drizgirlMay 27, 2023

I didn’t say they were toast. But this does seem different. When is the last time they laid off 7000 employees?

flynnibusMay 27, 2023

They are behaving like they do every period… adjusting based on demand to either promote or shape it. They have immense powers to adjust … and they do. And those changes can help reduce the severity of a trend. Wait to see how they end up before you consider them toast

drizgirlMay 27, 2023

Disney knows how the summer and fall bookings look. And is behaving like it doesn’t look good.

Jrb1979May 27, 2023

I think that the bad word of mouth and the nickel and diming has caught up to them.

TraumaMay 27, 2023

What do you think ?

Jrb1979May 27, 2023

What is going on that this is happening? It can't be the economy if people are still traveling to Orlando. It can't be the political storm as they aren't avoiding Florida. Why are people avoiding Disney all of a sudden? Has all these changes caught up to them?

Tha RealestMay 27, 2023

The airport data shows people had no problem going to Florida this weekend. These data points show people have no problem going to Orlando theme parks this weekend…but just not WDW.

flynnibusMay 27, 2023

Inmm not saying things aren’t soft - but you are also assuming what it will mean in their results before they do their management of it. They have a far better picture than us and they have a ton of knobs to try to react with. So when they get to the point the floor is dropping in the report lets discuss then.

TraumaMay 27, 2023

Velocicoaster with longer wait times than anything at Disney. UH-OH

TraumaMay 27, 2023

My buddy is at cedar point. I told him he would have to buy express pass but he didn’t believe me.

Jrb1979May 27, 2023

They haven't reported huge drops yet. Judging by reports this weekend the parks a quieter than normal. Compare that to Universal and SeaWorld where they are busier than normal. https://queue-times.com/parks Look for yourself.

flynnibusMay 27, 2023

None of which was on the list provided. But the parks are not reporting huge drops. The starcruiser wasn’t going to be saved by iger in this short time period. It’s sacrifice vs rework is on his watch… but I don’t see an announcement of starcruiser changes making the market pivot on their company outlook. Saving billions will