EXPOSED: Reedy Creek Improvement District Funneled Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to Disney

Photo by Chris Queen

As a kid, I used to think the coolest thing in the world would be to work at Walt Disney World. Spending all day in the immersive environments of the parks and resorts would be a dream come true, and I envisioned employee discounts on everything. Even as adults, my parents and siblings have half-joked on several occasions about pulling up stakes and moving to Central Florida to pursue those Disney dreams.

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Apparently, we were dreaming of the wrong things. We should’ve been dreaming of working for the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) because the former entity that had quasi-governmental authority over the Disney property and surrounding areas lavished millions of dollars worth of perks on its employees, funneling that money into Disney’s coffers at taxpayers’ expense.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CTFOD) has continued to do yeoman’s work proving that the RCID had outlived its usefulness and run its course. On Tuesday, the CTFOD board announced in a press release that it has reached out to the state inspector general regarding what it discovered about RCID’s scheme to shovel millions of taxpayer dollars back to Disney.

“For decades, the former Disney-run RCID used taxpayer funds to provide season passes and amusement experiences to its employees and their family members, cover the cost of discounts on hotels, merchandise, food, and beverages, and give its own board members VIP Main Entrance passes,” the release states. “In 2022 alone, it cost taxpayers over $2.5 million.”

The board also points out that “the scheme raises significant questions regarding self-dealing as the board members were only permitted a maximum of $100 per month in compensation per the Reedy Creek Improvement District Act.”

Related: Florida Tourism Board Member Reveals What’s REALLY Going on With the Disney Lawsuit

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It all stems from an invoice from Disney to the RCID that the CFTOD board found. It’s dated Dec. 31, 2021, and the total rings up to $533,522.00. You can see the full invoice at the bottom of this article, but let’s look at how it breaks down.

The first section of the invoice features charges of $492,382.96 for “Q1 FY22 Tickets.” The RCID staff and their families also received discounts on merchandise, food, beverages, water park usage, mini-golf, and something called “service awards” — all at the expense of taxpayers.

The second section of the invoice details over $33,000 in room charges for RCID employees. These charges include discounts at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort — all deluxe resorts where many hardworking Americans can’t afford to stay — along with stays at Disney-owned resorts in Vero Beach, Fla., and Hilton Head, S.C. Once again, these are basically government handouts.

“Immediately upon discovering the scheme, the CFTOD set in motion plans to eliminate it,” the board announced in the press release. “All CFTOD employees who require access to Disney premises to perform their official duties will still be able to access them.”

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Check out Disney’s invoice to RCID below:

Disney Invoice to RCID by PJ Media on Scribd

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