Disney has canceled a $1 billion plan to expand its Orlando, Florida, operations amid its escalating war with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the move to the media on Thursday. Last week during an earnings-related call with analysts, the exec wondered, “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?”
The 10-figure office complex near Walt Disney World would have brought more than 2,000 jobs to the region, according to an estimate from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Disney previously planned on building the Lake Nona Town Center for more than 1,000 employees to be relocated from their Southern California offices. The employees were mainly from their prestigious Imagineering team, which works to develop theme park attractions.
When Disney’s Josh D’Amaro, the theme park and consumer products chairman, announced the plan to move east in 2021, he cited “Florida’s business-friendly climate.”
While some employees went as far as quitting ahead of the proposed move, about 200 Disney employees had already relocated to Florida from California.
Disney’s latest move demonstrates how far the company is willing to go in their battle against DeSantis and his anti-LGBTQ agenda.
In March, the company sued DeSantis for trying to whittle away at Disney World’s autonomy, calling it “a targeted campaign of government retaliation.”