On April 8, 2023, a?story?published on Medium claiming that the Walt Disney Company had announced plans to move its theme parks in Orlando, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia. The claim spread amid Florida Gov. Ron Desantis' public?feud?with Disney, fueling speculation about the massive tourist attraction's future?in the state.
The Medium post began:
Disney World Leaves Florida For Georgia
In a stunning move, the Walt Disney Company has announced that it will be relocating Disney World from Orlando, Florida to a new 1000-acre parcel of land outside Atlanta, Georgia. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for August 2023.
While some Disney fans are excited about the change, others are expressing concern over the move. Many are speculating that the decision was made in reaction to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' recent frustration with Disney's policies, particularly its mask mandates and vaccine requirements. However, Disney executives have declined to comment on these rumors.
The new park in Atlanta will reportedly feature many of the same beloved attractions and characters as the current Disney World, but with a few new additions tailored to the Atlanta area. For example, visitors can look forward to a new "Gone with the Wind" ride, a "Coca-Cola World" exhibit, and an "Atlanta Braves" baseball experience.
The story was a work of fiction. There was no announcement by Disney to relocate its theme parks to Georgia.
A "parody" tag was attached to the bottom of the Medium post, an indication that its author intended its contents to be read as such. In addition, no reputable news publications reported about the alleged announcement. If Disney World theme parks were really moving out of Florida to another state, that move would be widely reported and analyzed.
The post claimed to be written by Matt R. Allen, a screenwriter who co-wrote the 2008 movie "Four Christmases." We reached out to his management to learn more about the Medium post, and we will update this fact check if we hear back.
It was true that high-profile people outside of Florida expressed interest in Disney World changing states. In April, North Carolina state Sen. Michael Garrett, a Democrat,?introduced?"Mickey's Freedom Restoration Act," a bill that would set aside $750,000 to create an 11-member commission to examine whether it would be worthwhile to "encourage family amusement parks" to expand in North Carolina with incentives, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.