Storm clouds gather over entrance to Walt Disney World

Since November of 2019, unpaid contractors have filed 16 mechanics liens against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, four of which claim over $1 million each.

The mechanics liens are flowing in from a wide variety of Disney construction projects in Orange County, Florida. A few of the projects include Project D, which is widely thought to be the construction of Star Wars Land, additions to Epcot, the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, Hollywood Studios, the Riviera Resort, and many more.

A mechanics lien is a legal claim for unpaid construction work. Mechanics liens attach to the property’s title, making the property difficult to sell until the contractor is paid for the labor and materials they provided to the construction project.

Over $5.6 Million Owed to Contractors on Disney Projects

In the wake of financial complications, construction halts, and COVID-19 restrictions, Disney Parks and Resorts has a stack of mechanics liens to deal with. The 16 mechanics liens currently attached to Disney properties show that $5,688,742.10 is owed to 13 contractors.

Two of the mechanics liens have been partially released, while the other 14 remain unpaid.

New Horizon Construction Services filed the largest claim, worth $1.19 million, on April 20th, 2020. Hired by former GC, Validus Construction Services, New Horizon worked on hotel renovations for the Saratoga Springs Resort. The property is located at 1970-1972 Broadway, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The total contract price was $1.76 million.

New Horizon started work on June 1st, 2019 and last furnished on January 25th, 2020. In accordance with Florida lien law, New Horizon served a notice to owner on Disney Parks and Resorts on January 10th, 2019.

Validus is currently embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Disney, and a new general contractor for Saratoga Springs has since been indicated.

The second highest lien was filed by Try-Cor Electric on May 18th, 2020. Although the original lien was filed for a total of $2.27 million, a portion of the overdue balance has since been paid. As of August 4th, the remaining balance due to Try-Cor is $1.18 million.

Try-Cor has a second mechanics lien on record for $25,111.13. It was filed on July 9th after $14,959 of the original contract price of $40,070.13 was paid.

Both of Try-Cor’s liens were filed after furnishing labor and materials for the Animal Kingdom Lodge project located at 2901 Osceola Parkway in Bay Lake, Florida. Neither of the claims have been released.

Hoar Construction filed their first of two mechanics liens on June 11th, 2020 for the amount of $1.56 million. Hoar was contracted by Disney for work on “Project M,” rumored to be the codename for a new Mickey Mouse themed ride at Hollywood Studios. The original contract price for this massive project was $56,857,054. Hoar first furnished materials for this project on August 15th, 2017.

Hoar filed a second lien just one day later, on June 12th, 2020, claiming $1,062,525 in unpaid labor. This lien is filed against Beatrix Orlando, a lessee on Disney property, for materials and labor for a project involving a massive 18,000 square foot restaurant with outdoor seating. Labor and materials for this project were furnished on September 19th, 2019. The original price of the contract was $2,807,188.

Additional liens against Disney Parks

Low-Temp Insulations Inc. filed a mechanics lien for $208,569.30 on January 29th, 2020. Low-Temp was hired by Whiting-Turner to provide and install insulated and architectural metal paneling for Project D at Hollywood Studios. Project D is thought to be the codename for a Star Wars attraction. The original contract price for this work was $2,372,267.45.

Dura-Stress Inc. filed a mechanics lien for $128,703.20 on November 4th, 2019. Dura-Stress was hired by PCL Construction Services to prepare shop drawings and engineering calculations for and manufacture, deliver, and install brace precast concrete panels for a project 201 S. Studio Drive in Bay Lake, Florida. The original price of the contract was $1,039,289.

Mace Peace Master Cleaning filed a mechanics lien for $103,549.65 on April 21st, 2020. Mace Peace was contracted by Validus Construction Services for drywall installation and related services at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.

D.C. Kerckhoff Company filed a mechanics lien on November 11th, 2019 for $92,534.37. D.C. Kerckhoff was under contract with Stowell to provide architectural cast stone for Disney’s Riviera Resort. The original contract price was $634,597.43.

Gale Insulation filed a mechanics lien for $19,600 on May 12th, 2020 for work on 1780 Avenue of the Stars in Orlando, Florida.

Total Air Solutions filed a mechanics lien claiming $22,632.88 on February 25th. Total Air performed HVAC work on retail space on 5202 East Buena Vista Drive in Buena Vista, Florida. Total Air filed a second mechanics lien for $9,468.32 on April 21st on the same property with the same general scope of work.

The Stowell Company filed a mechanics lien for $43,343.20 on April 15th. Stowell was hired by Validus for drywall, framing, and other related work on the Saratoga Springs Resort.

Tampa Service Company filed a lien for $3,749.33 on February 19th. Tampa Service was hired by PBS Paving for temporary labor help for a project on 300 E. Buena Vista Drive, Bay Lake, Florida.

Construction Contractor Services filed a lien on January 27th, 2020 to the amount of $25,125.78. CCS was hired by Fracta, LLC for temporary labor on the Saratoga Springs Resort.

BrandSafway Solutions filed a mechanics lien for $18,616.65 on December 31st, 2019. BrandSafway was hired by Hosanna Building Contractors to supply and install various materials for a property located at 950 Backstage Lane in Orlando.

Disney Construction Plans Not Curtailed by COVID-19

According to Forbes, Disney had approximately $900 million set aside for new construction projects through the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends in September of 2020. As a result of the coronavirus, however, Disney reported its first quarterly loss since 2001: a staggering loss of $5 billion.

Complications with the pandemic have caused Disney to close their attractions in July and halt all construction projects in March, which has had a negative impact on Orlando’s struggling tourism economy. In June 2020, Orange County received $2,629,400 in resort tax dollars, an 89.2% decrease compared to June 2019.

Some construction has resumed since July, including additions to Epcot and the Star Wars Hotel.

Additionally, the central Florida theme park resorted to furloughing a large portion of its workforce. Sources report that nearly 10,000 of the 18,000 housekeepers and food and beverage workers employed by Disney haven’t returned to work yet.

Losses and furloughs taken into account, six notices of commencement have been filed for construction projects possibly linked to the construction of a new resort called “Reflections” in April. Notices of commencement signal the beginning of a construction project. Balfour Beatty is the contractor listed on the permits and is the speculative general contractor for the planned project.

Additionally, permits were issued for construction to begin on a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, the demolition of Stitch’s Great Escape, and a footbridge that connects the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom.

Although projects are still being planned and work on some existing projects continues, there’s no telling how long their completion will be delayed.