For more information please call  800.727.2766


Disney Changes Course on New Florida Campus Given DeSantis Charge Against Company

The Walt Disney Co. announced that it is canceling plans to build a new office complex in Florida that would have cost an estimated $1 billion and moved $2,000 plus Disney jobs to the state. The company cited "new leadership and changing business conditions" in making the change.

However, just a week before, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company’s ongoing issues with Florida Governor Ron DeStantis "raised questions about the company's continued investment there." The issues between DeSantis and Disney began after DeSantis signed a Florida law banning the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public school classrooms from kindergarten through third grade (DeSantis has since expanded that law). Disney publicly opposed the law, which made DeSantis angry. He denounced the company as the "Magic Kingdom of woke corporatism." DeSantis wanted to get even, so he signed a bill last year to help him seize control of Disney's self-governing district near Orlando that the company has been running since the park first opened in the 70s. While DeSantis was looking elsewhere before his appointees took over Disney's district board, the Disney-allied board signed a long-lasting development agreement that drastically limits any controls by the board over the company and its district. DeSantis did not like being thwarted and introduced a bill to nullify its previous agreement with Disney regarding overseeing Disney World. Disney has sued DeSantis and Florida for DeSantis’ “war of retaliation” against the company “weaponiz[ing] government power.”

The New York Times reports that Disney's dispute with DeSantis "figured prominently" in the decision to cancel the upcoming project. Disney has created thousands of jobs in Florida, brings around 50 million visitors to Florida annually, and is the state's largest taxpayer, per Iger.