Billion Dollar MISTAKE? Big OOPS For DeSantis!

( – The decision by Disney to abandon its idea for a new $1 billion Florida campus could have far reaching consequences for other construction projects in the area.

In 2021, Disney purchased land in the Lake Nona community and its new campus was announced. In response to the announcement, 2,100 apartment units were built and about 200 employees had begun moving to the area to help construct the new project. There are still 1,200 units under construction. Currently, 95 percent of the multifamily housing in the development is being occupied.

The Lake Nona development was set to be a regional hub for the Walt Disney Imagineering and the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division. The jobs created included roles in finance, technology and marketing. The move would have included moving about 2,000 employees from California to Florida, with many employees complaining they did not want to move from California to Florida.

CoStar Group Director of Market Analytics Lisa McNatt stated the high paying jobs would have greatly benefited the Orlando area.

On May 18, Disney announced plans for its new campus were being canceled, with Disney parks chief Josh D’Amaro citing “changing business conditions.” Canceling the plans to build the corporate campus in Florida comes as Disney moves to cut costs. Since March, Disney has laid off 6,500 employees. Disney also announced it would be closing its Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort at Disney World which opened just over a year ago.

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings called the cancellation of the project “unfortunate.”

Disney also scrapped the plan in part because of the return of Bob Iger as CEO and the ongoing battle between the company and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The battle with DeSantis began in March 2022 when Disney spoke out about a new law signed by the governor which limits discussion of gender ideology in public schools.

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