The Walt Disney Company has many tentacles as an entertainment giant, but its flagship property is still Walt Disney World in Orlando.
And despite its ongoing saga with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the property isn't going anywhere.
Disney Parks Chief Josh D’Amaro said the highly publicized verbal battle of words with the governor has had little to no effect on business, and that the company plans to invest $17 billion in the state of Florida in the next decade.
The feud began last year when a chagrined governor was upset that Disney publicly challenged one of his policies about the teaching of sexual orientation to schoolchildren. It became known colloquially as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law and the differences have escalated ever since, with DeSantis stripping Disney World of a self-governing status in retaliation.
D’Amaro’s remarks came in a public forum and when asked if the feud had any effect on Disney’s bottom line, he said: “It has not. As you’ve seen in our results, the progress we’ve made coming out of Covid has been exceptionally strong.”
He added that the recent cancelation of a $1 billion office complex at Disney had nothing to do with the governor and more to do with current economic conditions. The campus, which would have been a headquarters or home base for the company, much like Apple, would have brought hundreds of new jobs and probably millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.
Nonetheless, “We’re thinking pretty aggressively about where we can take things in Florida,” he said. “I’m excited about what’s in store.”
It will be interesting to see what Disney World does next in Florida after last week's surprising news that come September, the resort will close it's immersive Star Wars hotel experience only a little over a year after opening.
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