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

Jun 15, 2022 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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Aries1975Jun 02, 2023

^^^^ This 100% I am not a realtor, or in sales of any sort. But if I had a business relationship with someone who may need my services, it would be advisable to contact them.

mktMay 23, 2023

Many thousands with remote jobs did just this. Even Florida at its most expensive is still comparatively cheaper than NYC or Socal/SF, especially if you’re earning NYC/Socal/SF wages.

LilofanMay 23, 2023

FL/GA stateline, law enforcement stopping vehicles with NJ/NY plates from entering the Sunshine State during summer 2020.

pdude81May 23, 2023

You don't think that transferring (presumably) good jobs to a lower cost of living state when the company is willing to pay for relocation might have factored in? It would be a rather odd route to go get a job in Anaheim if you really wanted to live and work in Florida. I would say that article might have more to do with a realtor cold calling people he recently got a commission from trying to get them to sell their houses near Orlando, and they told him to take a hike.

drizgirlMay 23, 2023

During Covid many did just that.

MrMichaelJamesMay 23, 2023

I hate to say it but those that moved from CA to FL probably did it more for the political environment in FL compared to CA and because it is something they believe in more than the Disney or job aspect. No one just ups and moves all the way across the country for cost of living issues before a job is actually there.

mktMay 21, 2023

Probably due to cost of living issues.

JMcMahonEsqMay 21, 2023

You have an interested author to be sure. But in general would it be surprising that people who were the first ones to make the move, would rather stay in Florida, rather than uproot again and move across the country for a second time?

WDWFanRayMay 21, 2023

Since everything on this mornings Realtor feed was about how to respond positively to questions about the Disney pullout, I’m going to say that this story, written by a real estate agent, should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I think very few would cutoff their guaranteed $132,000 (average relocated workers pay) job in California, to gamble to find something similar in Florida, especially with the higher paying jobs starting to dry up here.

Figgy1May 21, 2023

That and several who have made the move even if off record

Figgy1May 21, 2023

Just me but I trust nothing a realtor says. I want everything from them in writing, under oath and notarized. One who makes Youtube videos about how wonderful a location is maybe less so. That said there may be some truth to what he said as they did move well before any deadline and before ground was broken

BrianMay 21, 2023

I'd guess he's speaking to his experience, but he almost certainly doesn't have each of the people who made the move as one of his clients. I'd have preferred to see the author of the article get at least one other real estate agent in on the conversation.

lazyboy97oMay 21, 2023

It would make sense. These are the people who agreed to make the move and do it early before the campus was built. Although making an article out of one real estate agent’s discussions with past clients seems a bit silly. How many people out of 200 is this person actually talking with?

Tha RealestMay 21, 2023

He’s a realtor, so some boosterism for the vibrancy of the local real estate market is to be expected. I think this is also the guy that, every few months, signal boosts the EPCOT hotel stuff.