Disney Imagineering in ‘Chaos’ Over Planned Florida Relocation

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The hits just keep on coming for embattled Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Now Disney Imagineers in California who agreed to move to Florida are claiming that he can’t be trusted, and the whole division is in ‘chaos’ according to The Wrap.

Disney is pushing back its planned relocation to Lake Nona, Florida from 2023 to 2026, but it’s left a lot of California Disney employees in limbo.

“It’s pure chaos,” one current employee told TheWrap. “It really is.”

Apparently employees are “locked in” to their decisions to move or not move based on the original timetable. Many Disney employees chose to stay behind due to the time constraints but might have taken the opportunity to relocate had they had more time to prepare.

Likewise, others said “yes” and began looking for Florida housing and schools, only to have their plans postponed until 2026.

When the move to 2026 was announced last week, one insider said, “A lot of people were pissed.” As one former employee remarked, “This is messing with people’s lives and school plans.”

Almost everyone is blaming Bob Chapek, as everything is up in the air until his contract is renewed or not.

“The second you say ‘yes,’ the gears start turning,” one employee said. But if you had previously said “no” but are now reconsidering given the new timetable, the onus is on the employee to reach back out to HR to negotiate a solution, insiders said. In many cases, that employee’s role has already been filled in Florida — and off-site HR specialists hired to handle the overflow of cases are often proving unresponsive and unhelpful.

As more than one person reiterated, the move from 2023 to 2026 reinforced what many already felt: “You cannot trust Bob Chapek.”

Chapek’s contract is up in February of 2023, and many feel he may be ousted despite the recent firing of his most likely replacement, Peter Rice.

Declining stock value, an impending recession, a projected loss of 20 million Disney+ subscribers due to the loss of Cricket in India, and soft openings for recent Disney movies could be enough to push Chapek out the door.

But where that ultimately leaves Disney Imagineers and the Lake Nona facility is anybody’s guess. Disney has a tendency to backpedal on plans with little or no fanfare, especially those years out.

Should Chapek be ousted, or the financial winds blow in a different direction, it’s entirely possible that these plans will blow away like dust in the wind.

[Source: The Wrap]


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