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Disney World Moving: What’s Behind The Magical Shift?

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While many rumors have been spread about Walt Disney World Resort relocating to another location, it is doubtful that the infamous theme park will be moving. These rumors are not unfounded, as Florida Governor Ron Desantis and Disney CEO Bob Iger are constantly in battle. This article will examine the major issues between the Florida gov and Walt Disney World. Furthermore, the article will highlight where Disney World could move to and the pros and cons of that new location.

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Major Issues between Florida and Disney World

There are a number of areas that are sparking issues between Florida and Disney World. One of the significant issues is the “Don't Say Gay” law established by Ron DeSantis regarding sexual orientation, parental rights, and gender identity. After DeSantis came out with the law, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated opposition after many Disney employees pushed the CEO to do so. Further issues must deal with the state's economy and the want to put Disney into a special tax district.

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1 Billion Dollar Development

Walt Disney Company originally planned for an impressive one billion dollar investment in Florida. This would include a new office development, a division from California moving into Florida, and even creating more than 2,000 jobs. However, after Gov Ron Desantis started his “anti-business,” Iger and Josh D'Amaro, theme park, and consumer products chairman, it made Disney's decision easy to pull the plug.

The project would have been placed near Lake Nona Town Center, bringing more than 2,000 jobs to the region and an average salary of $120,000. The Lake Nona Campus would have brought jobs to the area and employees from California. Walt Disney Company could have recouped as much as $570 million over 20 years of tax credit for the building and complex residence.

Disney even sued Governor Ron Desantis and other governors for a targeted campaign of government retaliation. Iger argues that Disney would invest, employ, and pay more taxes through a conference call with analysts in April.

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Would Walt Disney World Ever Leave Florida?

According to engineering consulting firm AECOM, Disney World drew about 60 million visitors in 2019. Moreover, Disney is also one of Florida's largest taxpayers — contributing to $780 million in state and local taxes in 2021. “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes?” Disney CEO Bob Iger inquired during a May 2023 company earnings call.

Disney World, sprawling across more than 40 square miles, boasts four theme parks, 31 hotels, water parks, golf courses, a bustling shopping and dining complex, and sports facilities. Let's remember the intricate network of roads, picturesque lakes, Monorail and Skyliner routes, and other infrastructural marvels crafted by the company. It's essential to underscore that this expansive resort is not a movable entity that can be conveniently loaded onto trucks and relocated. Even if Disney could transfer specific segments of the resort, it would demand an additional investment of countless billions of dollars.

Furthermore, Disney is a substantial employer in Florida, with a workforce of 75,000 individuals. Over the course of several decades, they have meticulously recruited and nurtured a population finely tuned to fulfill their specific employment requisites. If Disney were to contemplate relocation, any prospective new site would need to house a workforce precisely tailored to meet the company's operational needs.

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Disney World Moving to Texas?

While it is improbable, there are a few pros to moving to the great state of Texas. One of the major pros would be the easy fact of the land available in Texas. Furthermore, the infrastructure built in Texas, like the major cities with highways and airports, could be used to accommodate a significant addition to the region. However, the location has a few cons, particularly the weather. Many people may need to understand that even in Texas, snow and ice could impact the weather months. Further issues would be transportation. Many guests prefer to drive to Disney World, particularly along the East Coast, making it unlikely that they would make the drive to Texas.

New Orleans

This rumor is logical, with the standing theme of Mardi Gras and the French Quarter already imitating New Orleans while in Florida. Aside from the look and feel of New Orleans, the move would be a logistical nightmare. The infrastructure would need a lot of investment to operate the many theme parks. Further issues would be the weather since New Orleans rests below sea level. Finally, New Orleans is famously an adult town, which is different from the vision of Disney World.

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Georgia

The rumors for Georgia make sense as the geography is relatively the same, along with great weather, compared to where Disney World currently is. Furthermore, the transportation issues mentioned early in Texas for those who drive in would go away. However, there are issues with the airport, as it is already one of the busiest in the world. Aside from the airport, the traffic would be intensified as I-75 is already a nightmare in Atlanta.

Major issues with a relocation for Walt Disney World

Relocating Disney World would present a myriad of challenges and issues, including:

Enormous Infrastructure

Disney World encompasses extensive infrastructure, including theme parks, hotels, transportation systems, and utilities. The logistical nightmare of dismantling and reassembling such a vast complex would be staggering.

High Costs

Moving Disney World would require an excessive investment, potentially reaching billions of dollars. This includes physically moving structures and rebuilding them in a new location.

Workforce

Disney employs a massive workforce, many of whom have been with the company for years. Finding, hiring, and training a new crew to match the existing expertise would be a significant challenge.

Customer Impact

Disney World's loyal customer base would be disrupted by a move, potentially losing visitors. The transition period could harm the park's reputation.

Local Economy

Disney is a significant contributor to Florida's economy. Moving the resort could have negative economic repercussions for the state, affecting businesses and communities that depend on its tourism.

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Navigating zoning laws, environmental regulations, and land acquisition would be complex and time-consuming.

Historical and Cultural Value

Disney World has historical and cultural significance. Moving it could result in the loss of these intangible aspects of the park.

Logistical Nightmare

Coordinating the transportation of massive structures, rides, and equipment would be a logistical nightmare, with potential damage or loss during the move.

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Customer Experience

Maintaining the high standards of customer experience that Disney is known for during a relocation would be highly challenging.

Uncertainty

Moving such a colossal entertainment complex carries inherent risks, and unforeseen issues could emerge, jeopardizing the operation.

Conclusion

Despite the many different rumors circulating the Internet, there are too many logistical issues to ever really become a reality for Walt Disney World Resort and the four theme parks to leave Florida. Many political stances in the different states are very similar to those in Florida, so there would be similar issues in different areas, with other issues like infrastructure or transportation. The only genuine possibility is for the Walt Disney World business to expand and build new theme parks (like Magic Kingdom Park) in addition to the Walt Disney World resort rather than leave Florida.

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