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Disney Just Pulled Out of Orlando, Florida in a HUGE WAY

disney lake non campus

Disney just pulled out of Orlando, Florida, in a major way, and the House of Mouse’s current feud with Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis may be to blame.

Credit: Disney

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about Disney pulling the massive Walt Disney World Resort out of Florida. Some of that talk has come as suggestions, some as wild ideas, and some as heartfelt invitations from leaders in other states.

RELATED: FBI Steps into Disney’s “Plans” to Move to Another State

Fans who thought such a move was a crazy, unimaginative idea would have been correct, mostly. But today, The Walt Disney Company announced some equally interesting news that includes a massive move on Disney’s part–a move out of Florida. While Disney’s decision to move its Walt Disney Imagineering headquarters to a new location in Lake Nona in Central Florida seemed “imminent,” The Walt Disney Company reportedly announced on Thursday afternoon that it has scrapped those plans–plans that included a hefty price tag of more than $1 billion.

Journalist Brooks Barnes with The New York Times was one of the first to report the news in a tweet:

News: Disney just pulled the plug on the $1B complex in Lake Nona Orlando where 2,000 employees were supposed to work Iger hated the plan to relocate Imagineering there from California and, of course, the fight with Gov. DeSantis over Walt Disney World.

According to Barnes, Disney CEO Bob Iger was not of fan of the plan to move Imagineering to Florida, even before the DeSantis vs. Disney battle began its elevated brewing.

The announcement was first made in an email from Disney’s President of Parks, Experiences, and Products, Josh D’Amaro. The email explained that The Walt Disney Company has decided “not to move forward with construction” of the Lake Nona Campus in Orlando, Florida. D’Amaro went on to say that “This was not an easy decision, but I believe it is the right one.”

The email can be seen below in its entirety:

lake nona campus josh amaro email

Credit: Disney

 

The new location was to have been spectacular, according to Nonahood News:

The Lake Nona project would house Walt Disney Imagineers and more professionals in the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products division who are not fully or exclusively dedicated to working on Disneyland in California. The Walt Disney Company purchased land in Lake Nona for $46 million to create a 60-acre regional campus with 1.8 million square feet of development. Construction of the regional campus was initially expected to be completed in November 2022, alongside the construction of an age-restricted community in Sunbridge to alleviate concerns about housing availability. According to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, the relocation of these 2,000 employees was to take place in the 18 months following the announcement. However, since this news broke, the relocation has faced some challenges.

The decision was met with pushback from some Imagineers, and some of those who were opposed to the move resigned from their roles shortly after the move was first announced in 2021.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!