Previously, there were reports that the Walt Disney Company would soon start moving more and more of its operations from California to Florida.
At that time, the Orlando Business Journal reported that Disney was seriously considering moving certain operations from the Golden State to the Sunshine State:
Sources with knowledge of the deal tell OBJ nothing has been signed, and it isn’t clear which Disney divisions (NYSE: DIS) or how many people would move to Lake Nona [an Orlando-area master planned community]. The discussions come as many big-name California firms like Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) in recent months have revealed relocations to Southeastern cities, which are seen as more business- and tax-friendly.
Although it was not confirmed that this move was a result of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s pandemic restrictions, Disney executives like Executive Chairman Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek have developed a frosty relationship with state officials. This is due, in large part, to the fact that Disneyland Resort remains officially closed because of stringent pandemic protocols.
Now, the state of Florida has announced that they would welcome more Walt Disney Company offices. Per a Fox Business report:
“Disney already has a proven track record here,” Chief Financial Officer of Florida Jimmy Patronis told “Fox & Friends First” Wednesday. “We just like to allow them to grow and expand their business”…
…Patronis believes that one of the reasons why companies are departing California is because of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s leadership.
“Gavin Newsom is nonresponsive. Businesses are fleeing his state,” Patronis said.
At this time, Disney has not confirmed which divisions could possibly make the move from California to Florida.
What Disney departments could be moving?
Walt Disney World Resort operations are, of course, already ready based in Florida and it is unlikely that any local Disneyland Resort offices will be moved away from Anaheim, simply due to the convenience of being located near Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.
Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios also have their own headquarters, including Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch.
Perhaps the most likely scenario, though again, Disney has not confirmed, is that certain operations related to the ever-growing Disney+ streaming service will be relocated at some point in the not-too-distant-future.
The vast majority of Disney’s film and Disney+ production currently takes place on the company’s 51-acre lot in Burbank, CA, so there is certainly potential for some of those operations to relocate, particularly as Disney’s focus on streaming content continues to expand.
What do you think? Would you like to see Disney move more operations to the Southeast?