Due to stricter coronavirus lockdown restrictions in California, the Walt Disney Company is reportedly considering a relocation of some of its headquarters operations to the Orlando area, Fox Business News reported on Wednesday.
Disney is the latest in an increasing number of companies thinking about moving some or all of their operations out of California due to the state’s tougher measures in response to the pandemic.
Both theme parks were shut down last spring at the start of the coronavirus crisis, but while Walt Disney World in Florida was successfully reopened months ago, California has not allowed Disneyland to reopen.
Disney was also able to safely reopen parks in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Hong Kong
“We are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disneyland closed despite our proven track record,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in November, during an earnings call with investors. “Our health and safety protocols are all science-based and have the support of labor unions representing 99% of our hourly cast members.”
The Orlando Business Journal added some specifics to the negotiations by reporting that “talks are underway” to relocate some of its office divisions to Lake Nona, a master-planned community in Orlando.
However, Disney’s official statement in response to these reports was vague, declaring that, “as the largest employer in Central Florida, we are always exploring opportunities for additional locations within the vicinity of our theme park but there is nothing concrete.”
Fox Business pointed out that even if Disney wants to relocate, there are logistical problems. One of the most glaring is that the vast majority of Disney’s studio production operations are in Burbank due to the ease of access to the Hollywood filmmaking community.
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