Disney will delay its move to a new campus in Lake Nona until 2026 amid the company's battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

9 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday June 15, 2022 6:44pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company has today confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that it has delayed plans to move 2000 of its employees to a new campus in Lake Nona, Florida.

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro originally announced the new regional campus in July 2021 that was planned to serve as a Central Florida regional hub for the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment. It is now delayed until 2026.

Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler told the Orlando Sentinel today that the expected opening date for the Lake Nona campus was pushed to 2026 to "give people more time" and accommodate the construction timeline for the new offices.

These latest developments follow escalating tensions between DeSantis and Disney CEO Bob Chapek regarding Disney's opposition to Florida's HB 1557, also known as the 'Don't Say Gay' bill, and the Florida Governor signing a bill to disband Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Located in Lake Nona, the new campus was planned to complement Disney's operations in Southern California and its regional hub in the New York City area and be home to more than 2000 Cast, Imagineers and employees. The relocation to Florida was originally planned to be operational by the end of 2022, and has been in the planning stages since 2019.

In a July 2021 memo to staff, D'Amaro said, "While we are still determining exactly which of our team members will be based there, we expect that most Southern California-based DPEP professional roles that are not fully dedicated to the Disneyland Resort or, in some cases, the international parks business, will be asked to relocate to this new Florida campus."

He continued, "Expanding our already significant DPEP footprint in Florida makes sense. In addition to Florida's business-friendly climate, this new regional campus gives us the opportunity to consolidate our teams and be more collaborative and impactful both from a creative and operational standpoint."

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Sir_Cliff1 day ago

Indeed. It's puzzling to figure out what their market analyses would be telling them about the viability of these services. It seems like we're in a slightly irrational phase in which everyone feels streaming is the future and so everyone is starting a streaming service regardless of whether there is any business case for doing so. More and more, I am beginning to think Disney has actually been very smart in using its size and resources to move so aggressively into the streaming business pretty much at the top of the pile. Personally I find their original content still a bit narrow in its focus on Star Wars and Marvel, but it's both understandable and a pretty subjective view.

MisterPenguin1 day ago

There are indeed too many services. And it's sadly laughable that some companies have just been starting to do streaming in the past year thinking they can catch up to the big players who are successful, or, who have deep pockets and can take a loss for years and years to come. If you're depending on your streamer to turn a profit on its own and you're not Disney, Netflix, Apple, or Amazon.... you're in for a world of hurt. The big players have invested in their own infrastructure so that they aren't paying a licensing fee to use someone else's connections. And they have a deep library already and are spending really big for new content. So, you go ahead Tubi and Roku... let's see if you can catch up to that. That's why we're now seeing these joint ventures: Peacock and Paramount in Northern Europe; and Disney and Starz in Latin America. Remember, at one time Hulu was created so that Disney, Universal, ATT (Times Warner), and Fox could pool their resources to provide streaming and compete with Netflix (and other Live TV streamers popping up). But in the Balkanization of streamers, some are realizing they really can't go it alone. The next phase is for the smaller streamers to find dance partners.

Sir_Cliff1 day ago

Maybe I'm wrong, but it already feels there are too many services at this point. Here, they tend to bundle what is essentially cable TV with your Internet package, so you already have a fair amount of things you would get on streaming services (the bundle I have has most of the HBO programming, for example) that you can watch at your leisure. Beyond Netflix and Disney+ that have a broad selection of acquired and original content you can't get elsewhere, I really don't see how any of these other services can find much of a market. Another point is that even just Europe is a very diverse place, with different languages, cultures, and entertainment ecosystems. My impression is that there will be a limit to how many American streaming services the average French, German, or Italian person feels they need.

MisterPenguin1 day ago

FYI, y'all: We have dedicated thread for all things streaming here: https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/all-things-streaming-vod-ott.952038/post-10252403 And for Disney streamers here: https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/disneys-streaming-services-disney-and-hulu-espn-star-hotstar.951364/post-10295180

MisterPenguin1 day ago


Sir_Cliff1 day ago

Very good analysis from both of you and I don't really have much to add, though it has struck me lately how it seems like Disney has been talking about needing content and distribution going back to the Eisner era and the Capital Cities/ABC purchase. With streaming and Disney+, they finally seem to have a convergence of content and technology that allows then to have control over both to an extent that they seem perhaps the best positioned to survive the inevitable thinning down of the streaming landscape. I'm even beginning to more positively evaluate the Fox purchase by Iger in this context! This is probably not so much a concern for those of you in the US, but I am interested to see how this plays out globally. At present, it really seems like Netflix and Disney+ are the two big global streaming services, with Amazon Prime and AppleTV trailing behind. I do occasionally see ads for HBO Max and Paramount+ here in the Netherlands, but they seem very marginal. I know in Australia there are some local streaming services that seem to purchase content from services not present in Australia, so perhaps there will be more of a patchwork of services in local markets after the big 2 or 4 with the others concentrating on the US market. I don't know what that means about the longterm viability of these services, but I would think Disney+ in particular also has the advantage of global reach that few can compete with. With Star being bundled into Disney+ here, it's quite a nice service as you get things like Chip'n'Dale Rescue Rangers, but you can also watch the back catalogue of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia if the mood takes you.

MisterPenguin1 day ago

Indeed. Netflix's strategy was the web/app model of loss-leading spending to nearly monopolize a niche in the market, and then, when you do monopolize it, start charging or start raising prices or sell ads. /Amazon has entered the chat /Google has entered the chat /MoviePass has left the chat Netflix had, at one time, a virtual assurance that every big theatrical release would eventually be 'free' on their service (the HBO model). In addition, since they had the streaming infrastructure, they started to be a library for popular TV shows (The Office, Friends). But now, almost all big movie studios now exclusively 'feed' their corporate-related streamer: Universal to Peacock Paramount to Paramount+ Warner Bros to HBOmax MGM to Amazon Lionsgate/Summit to Starz Disney/Pixar/Marvel/LucasFilm/20th Century/Searchlight to Disney+ And all the TV channels moved their libraries to their related streamer: FX/Fox/ABC/Disney channels to Disney+ NBC/Universal to Peacock Discovery to HBOmax CBS to Paramount+ This left Netflix with: Sony movies in the pay1 window (they go to D+ in the pay2 window) A few properties that some studios are still willing to license to them Dropping huge buckets of money to buy from independent studios Dropping huge buckets of money to commission a made-for-Netflix movie or series So, once all the other streamers/studios stripped Netflix of their properties, Netflix now has to compete in creating new content. And it does. A lot. But, Disney/Hulu is spending a lot more for new content, and Netflix's current woes means it has to cut back. Anyway... Starz is about to be eaten up by any suitable buyer. Warner Bros Discovery (HBOmax) is dysfunctional and in chaos. Paramount+ has lots of content from a lot of channels (and Showtime) and has yet to consolidate it all. Peacock could just become the channel of The Office and Friends and chug along forever. Amazon has so few new hit shows, but, it can chug along forever based on Amazon Prime people alone (and Daddy's cash reserve) AppleTV shot themselves in the foot for not buying any studios' libraries, but planning on solely being successful by creating new content on their own That leaves the Disney Bundle the most sound competitor.

UNCgolf1 day ago

Oh, I'm not talking about what Netflix did in terms of spending money on new content. I'm talking about the people (both investors and company executives) who believed that the success of Netflix 5+ years ago wasn't a unique circumstance that can't really be replicated. That's not to suggest that streaming services are doomed to fail (far from it) -- just that a single service that had nearly everything in one place was always going to be more successful than multiple services with fragmented content.

Prince-11 day ago

Feel free to provide some back up for this claim.

flynnibus1 day ago

Netflix threw all that money at it because THEY KNEW they had to have content they controlled and be the place to tune into to get it. The challenge is .. in the earnest of needing speed of developing that independence, they went hog wild and tried to buy their success and speed. Money can move mountains, but it doesn't always create greatness. None of it was trying to build the wrong thing in the wrong place - It's simply that building a collection of great is hard and takes time. Netflix was trying to shorten that cycle by being willing to go fast and furious. Other studios and networks had decades of assets... Netflix wanted similar but on a shortened time schedule. Disney used their deep pockets to build their warchest of content, widen their appeal, and buy distribution.

UNCgolf1 day ago

I wouldn't be surprised to see streaming basically turn back into cable, albeit with fewer channels. I could see companies coming together and offering a bundled subscription to give you access to, say, HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Paramount+ all for one slightly smaller payment instead of having to pay for each separately. Another potential outcome is a major contraction where companies decide they are better off taking licensing money for their older IP and something like the Netflix of 5-10 years ago is reborn.

UNCgolf1 day ago

Yeah, but that's the whole thing. Having everything in one place was the reason Netflix was Netflix. As soon as that market splintered, it was going to be impossible for Netflix to maintain the same level of success even with a bunch of successful original content. That should have been obvious to everyone -- investors were stupid for thinking otherwise, but it's not the first time they've wildly thrown money at something that was clearly illogical.

Ayla1 day ago

πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ He's also done at noon every Friday.

JoeCamel1 day ago

Those Monday zoom meetings must be something after a few four day weekends....