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How DeSantis’ Meeting with This Foreign Leader Can Connect to Disney Fight

DeSantis Disney Fight

Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss business relationships.

But from the Disney fan’s perspective, shaking hands in the picture below is a political leader struggling to wrestle power away from Disney and the leader of a nation whose Disney Resort is the only one in the world completely outside of the company’s control.

Becoming Disney’s first international Theme Park and Resort 40 years ago, Tokyo Disney Resort remains and has always been a Castle Park and Resort completely owned and operated by a separate company. Consisting of Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, several Resort Hotels, and the only Disney Resort monorail system outside of the U.S., Tokyo Disney Resort is entirely owned and operated by the Oriental Land Company (OLC).

Yet, ironically, Tokyo Disney is known among Disney fans as having two of the best Theme Parks in the entire family, hosting as many Walt Disney Imagineers and as much Disney IP as they can pay for. The Walt Disney Company may still be setting one-sided terms and conditions in its licensing agreements, but OLC still decides everyday operations.

Tokyo Disney

Credit: Disney

Related: OpEd: Disney’s Next Resort Should be like Tokyo Disney

Meanwhile, Florida has played host to the exact opposite situation for the past 50 years. Developing an area unofficially coined as the Theme Park Vatican City, Disney has created Walt Disney World Resort with unprecedented autonomy and government assistance.

Now, Governor DeSantis remains set on curbing Disney’s corporate strength in Central Florida. So far, that fight has consisted of restructuring the Reedy Creek Improvement District as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which features a new board of supervisors directed to act in the best interests of all Floridians.

Now, it should be stated that there is no official confirmation known to us if Governor DeSantis and Prime Minister Kishida spoke about Disney at all. But one has to wonder if any education on that Park situation was gained and if he found any inspiration for more unique ways to suppress the conglomerate’s influence in The Sunshine State and make sure the magical money-maker stays in “Florida-First” hands.

The Walt Disney Company only holds a controlling share of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida, and the Disneyland Paris Resort in France. The majority stake in Hong Kong Disneyland is held by the city-state’s government, and the majority share of Shanghai Disney Resort is owned by the CCP-backed Shanghai Shendi Group.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on this story as more developments come to light.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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