Disney has made the decision to cancel a major construction project in Orlando, Florida, which would have involved building a nearly $1 billion office complex called the Lake Nona Town Center. The development would have brought over 2,000 jobs to the region, with an average salary of $120,000 per year. The project also included the relocation of more than 1,000 employees from Southern California, primarily from a department called Imagineering, which collaborates with Disney’s movie studios to create theme park attractions.
The cancellation of the project comes after Disney faced resistance from employees who were unhappy about the relocation. Despite the objections, Disney had planned to proceed, partly due to a tax credit offered by Florida that would have allowed the company to recoup up to $570 million over two decades for constructing and occupying the complex. However, the company has now cited “changing business conditions” as the reason for scrapping the Lake Nona project.
The ongoing feud between the company and Governor Ron DeSantis and his supporters in the Florida Legislature played a significant role in the decision to cancel the project.
Approximately 200 Disney employees have already relocated to Florida from California as part of the planned project. D’Amaro mentioned in an internal communication that the company would explore options for these employees, including the possibility of returning them to their previous location. Initially scheduled to open next year, the Lake Nona project faced delays and had its move-in date pushed back to 2026.