Disney May Soon Wish It Hadn't Messed With Florida

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bless Disney’s heart. The Walt Disney Corporation keeps trying to overrule Sunshine State voters, but like David facing Goliath, Florida has smooth stones and a heck of an accurate slingshot at its disposal.


At the end of March, we learned that the outgoing board of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), the quasi-governmental board that the state set up back in the 1960s when Walt and Roy Disney and the Imagineers were building Walt Disney World, surreptitiously passed a set of covenants and development agreements intended to render the board of the new district, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), powerless.

You see, the CFTOD was the state’s response to Disney’s woke activism in the Sunshine State. The state legislature rescinded the RCID and its autonomy for Disney and replaced it with the CFTOD, whose board serves at the behest of the governor.

As I wrote at the time, Disney forgot who it was messing with. The state immediately hired a team of attorneys to comb through these agreements to find weaknesses to exploit, and the governor’s office filed a FOIA request for all the maneuvering the RCID board did in its cover-of-darkness activity. DeSantis has also requested an investigation into the board’s actions.

In the words of many a late-night commercial pitch-man: but wait — there’s more!

DeSantis and a group of state legislators held a press conference on Monday at the RCID administrative building — nice touch, amirite? — announcing plans to reassert control and undo the former district board’s shenanigans.


Related: Disney Tries to Stick It to Florida but Forgets Who It’s Messing With

DeSantis reiterated the fight over RCID, remarking that lawmakers decided last year that “this idea of one corporation having its own government in Central Florida is something that is no longer in the best interest of the state of Florida.”

“My mantra was, ‘You’re not going to have Disney have its own government in Central Florida. They’re going to live under the same laws as everybody else, pay their fair share of taxes, and honor the debts that they’ve accumulated over the years,'” he continued.

DeSantis also announced that the CFTOD board will meet this week to discuss revoking the RCID’s agreements, citing the “plethora of legal infirmities” within them. (Can you imagine him reading that in an El Guapo voice? No? Just me?) He added that, if the board can’t simply revoke the RCID’s actions, the legislature has “the authority to revoke development agreements in this exact type of instance. And so I’ve worked with both leaders of the House and Senate. There is a bill that will be put out in the Florida Legislature that will make sure that the agreements purported to be entered into by Disney are revoked and the people’s will is established and is upheld.”


The legislature is also looking at bills to put the inspection of Walt Disney World’s attractions, transportation infrastructure, and resorts under the state’s authority. Another idea the state is considering is moving the management of Walt Disney World’s utilities from the district to private control in order to “operate it more efficiently.”

The governor even joked about building on land that the former RCID controls — including putting up a state prison.

“Let it be known across this great nation that here in the free state of Florida, it is ‘We the People,’ not woke corporations” that “pushed far-left narratives and lies about our great state” who are in charge, asserted Rep. Carolina Amesty (R-Windermere) at the press conference.

Florida continues to put Disney on notice that the state will not bow to the far left and its corporate allies. In other words, this fight is far from over.

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