A meeting has officially been called in Tallahassee as the hour nears midnight for The Walt Disney Company’s free reign in the Central Florida land known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
According to the Orlando Sentinel,
“The Florida Legislature will convene a special session Monday to consider a state takeover of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. … The bill hasn’t been filed as of Friday, but DeSantis has said he wants the state to take over control of the district and ensure that taxpayers are protected from paying the district’s debts.”
When a bill for Reedy Creek’s reorganization is brought forward, it will first have to pass the House of Representatives before being introduced to the Senate. Considering the previous bill to dissolve Reedy Creek after over 55 years, along with four other special state districts, was passed in both Legislative Houses by a near super-majority vote, there is little doubt that this secondary bill will not see the same level of success.
Related: Disney World Fire Department Supports State Takeover of Reedy Creek
It should also be noted that there is more on the agenda for this special session than just Disney, including matters of immigration and continued relief for those affected by Hurricane Ian.
Since the initial bill was signed, it was made clear by Governor Ron DeSantis and then by insiders close to the situation that the special district will remain intact, preventing the area’s $1 billion bond debt from being put on the taxpayers of Orange County and Osceola County. In its simplest form, the legislation could ensure that the Board of Supervisors either includes or only consists of State-appointed members instead of those currently in charge who are only appointed by The Walt Disney Company.
Life within Reedy Creek, and at The Walt Disney World Resort, is expected to continue as usual.
“Disney would certainly be able to work within it and not have a problem,” speculated Sam Gennawey, author of “Walt and the Promise of Progress City.” “You would just see a little less innovation. You’d see a little slower growth. You’d see them sitting on a lot of assets they already have and not being in a rush. Only because of Universal would they feel like they have to spend any money.”
Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Company is expected to hold its Q1 2023 Earnings Call later next week.