In an expected turn of events today, Disney Parks, Experiences & Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced via email that Disney’s planned office complex in Lake Nona, Florida is now canceled. Walt Disney Imagineering and other DPEP Cast Members will not be forced to relocate to Florida as planned. The cancellation comes as a great relief to Cast Members worried about moving to a state that now allows medical providers to deny care to LGBT+ people based on any moral or religious belief, among a host of other laws passed to target that community.
Disney’s very public feud with Florida Governor and alleged former Guantanamo Bay torturer Ron DeSantis has escalated to multiple lawsuits. After former Disney CEO Bob Chapek made a delayed and belabored stand against DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DeSantis vowed retaliation against his state’s largest employer and taxpayer.
D’Amaro’s email indicated that employees who had already made the move to Florida will be offered assistance to come back to California. Bob Iger’s return to the company’s CEO post in 2022 sparked a wave of hope that the Florida move would be canceled, and ongoing legal battles with DeSantis all but cemented the Lake Nona complex’s fate.
Walt Disney Imagineering will remain in its Glendale home at 1401 Flower Street.