The Walt Disney Company plans to stay in Florida until 2024 and beyond

disney world florida
Credit: Canva

To say that there exists unrest between Florida Republicans and Disney would be a vast understatement, but it isn’t having the effect on Disney that many thought it might.

Credit: Canva

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Earlier this year, Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill began to gain traction in the state legislature, a group of Disney employees urged Disney CEO Bob Chapek to make a statement against the proposed legislation in Florida.

While Chapek’s first response was to make no statement, saying that doing so in business historically does not bring about the desired result and can simultaneously hinder positive change, the head of The Walt Disney Company made a statement against the bill shortly before it was passed by the Florida Senate and Florida House.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law at the end of March, and immediately Disney fired back with a statement in response to the new law:

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”

DeSantis Disney World

Credit: Disney/ABC

DeSantis responded by saying that Disney had “crossed the line” in its response and that Disney’s “woke ideology” might cost Disney its special privileges in Florida, referring to Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. Only days later, legislation was proposed to dissolve Reedy Creek at Disney, and on April 22, a law passed that will effectively dissolve Reedy Creek and a handful of other special districts in Florida.

Now Disney and Governor DeSantis seem to be engaged in a culture war with no end in sight. A lawsuit filed in response to the law to dissolve Reedy Creek was struck down almost immediately, leaving those interested to wonder “what comes next?”

Reedy Creek

Credit: Wikipedia

The discourse between Disney and DeSantis only gets murkier when you consider that Disney just recently announced the relocation of approximately 2,000 Burbank, California-based employees of The Walt Disney Company to Lake Nona in Florida. Questions have swirled in the skies above Florida and California in recent days about the future of Disney’s plans in Florida, as many wonder if Disney will keep its business in Florida in the midst of the current clash of the Titans, as it were, or move to another, more “Disney-friendly” state.

RELATED: After Florida votes to dissolve Reedy Creek, Disney receives bid to build new theme park resort in South Texas

But according to recent job postings on Disney’s Careers webpage, The Walt Disney Company has no plans of stopping the journey eastward from California to Florida at this time–or anytime in the near future.

An advertised position for New Experience Development Executive with Walt Disney Imagineering was posted on May 3. The posting gives details about Imagineering and about requirements for the position, and at the very end of the job posting under the heading of “Additional Information,” the posting reads, “This role will initially be based in Glendale, CA but will relocate to Orlando, FL in late 2024” in bold print.

disney careers homepage

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

According to this posting, the Imagineering position will be based in Disney’s Glendale offices first, but the candidate must be agreeable to a Florida transition more than two years from now.

Disney’s decision to move thousands of jobs to its new Regional Campus at Lake Nona in Florida from Glendale, California, was announced in late 2020, and the move began in fall 2021. Imagineers were given the option to move to Florida or stay in California, but the decision to stay in Burbank would be met with the understanding that the shift is happening, and those who wanted to stay away from Florida would–at some point–no longer have their jobs.

Imagineers who have already made the transition to Florida, as well as those who are in the process or will be soon, will begin to populate Disney’s Lake Nona Campus. Imagineers and other Walt Disney Company employees who are not directly tied to Disneyland Resort in California will make Lake Nona their new workplace home, though the transition is one that will take place over an 18-month period of time, according to Disney’s Josh D’Amaro.

Josh D'Amaro

Credit: Disney

Disney’s new Regional Campus will be among Campuses hosting employees that represent Beep Mobility Solutions, Chopra Global, Cisco, GE, GuideWell, Hitachi, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, leAD, Limitless Minds, Lilium, Nemours, Signet, Siemens, Signature Flight Support/BBA Aviation, SimCom, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, U.S. Tennis Association, Veterans Affairs Administration, Verizon, View, and other companies.

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!