Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings releases statement on Disney pulling out of Florida HQ project blaming the 'environment between the state of Florida and the business community'

17 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Thursday May 18, 2023 3:46pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings has released a statement on today's news that Disney is abandoning plans to create an east coast headquarter complex in Lake Nona Florida.

Mayor Demings said, "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.”

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 before being delayed, and has been in the planning stages since 2019.

In an email to employees today, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro cited "changing business conditions" as a reason for canceling the Lake Nona project.

Today's move by Disney should send a clear message to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that the company is clear that its spending in the state of Florida will be affected by DeSantis' actions. Referring to previously announced plans to spend more than $17 billion at Walt Disney World in Florida over the next 10 years, Iger recently 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."

Discuss on the Forums

Follow WDWMAGIC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for more Walt Disney World news and updates

View all comments →

Aries19752 days ago

^^^^ 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.

mkt12 days ago

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.

Lilofan12 days ago

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

pdude8112 days ago

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.

drizgirl12 days ago

During Covid many did just that.

MrMichaelJames12 days ago

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.

mkt14 days ago

Probably due to cost of living issues.

JMcMahonEsq14 days ago

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?

WDWFanRay14 days ago

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.

Figgy114 days ago

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

Figgy114 days ago

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

Brian14 days ago

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.

lazyboy97o14 days ago

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?

EPCOT-O.G.14 days ago

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.