The Walt Disney Co. has delayed relocating nearly 2,000 employees to Florida due to construction delays regarding a new campus, the company said.
Plans to move Walt Disney Imagineering, consumer products, and other departments to the Orlando, Florida, area have been pushed back to mid-2026, WDW News Today reported.
The move, to take advantage of some $570 million in tax breaks, previously had been planned to be completed in 2023, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Disney made the announcement at an all-hands-on-deck meeting Tuesday, reported WDW News Today, which added that some employees became upset because they already had sold their California homes.
The news comes as Disney has been embroiled in a dispute with Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., over the state's Parental Rights in Education law, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
After Disney condemned Florida's new law and vowed to fight it, DeSantis signed a bill that dissolved Disney World's private government.
A Disney spokesperson said the delay in relocating employees to Florida was not related to the dispute with DeSantis.
Not everyone believed that.
"The delay moving WDI from California to Florida (which I expect to be canceled 'for reason') appears to be TWDC sticking it to Governor DeSantos of Florida. Also result of Californians stating they won't move to Florida. #LakeNona #DeSantos #TWDC," Jim Schull, a former Disney Imagineer, tweeted Wednesday.
The Times reported that some Disney employees, including theme park designers known as Imagineers who work in Glendale, California, were not happy with the prospect of moving. The Florida/DeSantis controversy then made the relocation even less attractive, according to the newspaper's sources.
A group of employees who staged a walkout in protest of Chief Executive Bob Chapek's handling of the Parental Rights in Education controversy used an open letter to demand that "no employee will be terminated when denying relocation" to Florida.
Earlier this week, Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, introduced legislation that would direct the Secretary of Transportation to revoke no-fly zones over Disneyland and Disney World, the Daily Caller reported.
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