Lake Nona Cancellation Notwithstanding, Disney is Thinking “Pretty Aggressively” About its Future in Florida

josh d'amaro disney florida future

The Walt Disney Company is a name synonymous with family-friendly fun, magic, wonder, and dreams. However, behind that image is a solid company and corporate structure that has to make multiple business decisions that can take some of the whimsy and magic out of Disney’s image and remind us of some of the harder decisions the company needs to make in order to keep things running.

In that vein, one of the most prevalent pieces of news about Disney recently has been its feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The long, drawn-out battle has been raging for many months and has escalated in the Mouse House and DeSantis’s special hand-picked board filing lawsuits against each other. Most recently, Disney has made their position clear by canceling the Lake Nona campus move.

magic kingdom cinderella castle

“Partners” statue in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Whether it be the Disney community or larger invested parties, many have been quite invested in the goings-on of the Walt Disney Company, and recently we got some further insight into the situation.

Josh D’Amaro at JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference

Recently, it was announced that Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro would be speaking at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference. While the announcement itself was not necessarily well received by many fans, the formerly popular Disney Parks Chairman’s presence at the conference meant that the community would be getting a few updates about Disney’s stance on the current happenings in Florida.

Here’s what he said.

Josh D'Amaro

Josh D’Amaro / Credit: Disney

Read More: Bob Chapek Round 2? Josh D’Amaro’s Popularity Plummets

Journalist Ashley Carter shared some updates from the conference. Mr. D’Amaro addressed Disney’s cost-cutting efforts, the current Florida situation, and the cancellation of Walt Disney Imagineering’s move and the Lake Nona campus.

On Disney’s $5.5 billion cost-cutting strategy, Josh D’Amaro said fans can expect no cutting of frontline labor at the parks; while this has been a sentiment expressed before, it’s one Disney is doing well to reinforce, considering how understaffed the Disney Parks are, (and given Disney’s recent press about negotiations for Cast Member pay raises with the unions).

Disney CEO Bob Iger (left); Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right)

Disney CEO Bob Iger (left); Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) / Credit: Disney/ABC

Related: NEW: DeSantis’s Legal Team Files Motion to Disqualify Judge in Disney Lawsuit

Mr. D’Amaro reiterated that with respect to Disney’s fight with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “Some of the things that are happening, I assume you mean from a political perspective, etc, some of the things that have taken place have not impacted our business results.”

He also stressed when asked about the Lake Nona campus cancellation that much has changed at Disney since its announcement, including new leadership and business conditions, however the move would not impact Disney’s planned $17B investment in the Sunshine State. Mr. D’Amaro added that included in the $17B was the transformation of EPCOT, new Star Tours, and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

The Disney Parks Chairman opined, “We’re thinking pretty aggressively about where we can take things in Florida.”

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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