Disney Delays Relocation of 2,000 Staff From California to Florida, but Insists It’s Nothing To Do With DeSantis Feud

Toby Hazlewood

Some employees have already moved, regardless

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It emerged on June 16 that the Disney Corporation has delayed the move of 2,000 of its team members from California to Florida until 2026.

Disney insists that the delay is nothing to do with the ongoing feud between the corporation and Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, and instead has been caused by construction delays with their new campus being built near Lake Nona in Orange County, Florida.

Disney versus DeSantis

The feud started after Disney bowed to employee sentiment, and took a stand against the Parental Rights in Education bill - also known as the "Don't Say Gay" legislation. After that, seemingly in retaliation the governor signed a new law that proposes to revoke Disney's special tax status associated with their self-managed Reedy Creek district.

The governor has since clarified that Disney will still be expected to pay what it owes under the Reedy Creek agreement and that management of the district would likely move to the state government.

Disney employees aren't happy

Around 2,000 of Disney's employees are due to move across the country to Florida from California. The sunshine state saw radical population growth in 2021 - 220,890 Americans moved into Florida in 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and in part this was due to corporations recognizing the business potential of the state. Disney have benefited from this more than most and it makes sense that they would be wanting to increase their footprint in the state.

While Disney are now stating that the relocation has been delayed by the construction of its new Lake Nona campus, it has been reported that many employees had already sold their houses in California and were looking for new homes in the Orange County area. It suggests then that there could be more to the delay if Disney were previously supportive of their staff moving 4-years before the new campus is available.

Given that the average house in Los Angeles County costs $915,000 compared to just $343,000 in Orange County, it starts to seem obvious why Californians are keen to sell up and head east to Florida.

Hopefully those who are relocating will heed the words of Governor DeSantis who - in reference to his feud with California's Governor Gavin Newsom - warned that he's keen that they don't bring their same political ideas that have turned San Francisco into "a dumpster fire".

Do you think Disney is reconsidering its ties with Florida? Do you think Governor DeSantis is right to stand up to the Disney corporation as he has been? Let me know in the comments section below.

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