Disney is Funding A Lawsuit Against…Disney?

Disney funding CFTOD Against Disney
Credit: Disney

Last month, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the Board handpicked by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to replace the Reedy Creek Improvement District, sent a referral to the Florida Inspector General against the Walt Disney Company. They complained that Reedy Creek employees received discounts and Disney World season passes. They called it a “scheme” to defraud taxpayers. 

Glen Gilzean Disney Diversity

Glen Gilzean, Ron DeSantis, and Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle

When Governor DeSantis first waged this feud with Disney, he wanted to protect Florida taxpayers from Disney’s special district. His stated goal was to ensure that all taxpayers were treated equally and needed to follow the same laws.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and Governor DeSantis said they were acting in the best interest of the taxpayers, but in both cases, they left out critical information. In Florida, 55 self-governing districts are not under fire from the governor. Of course, none spoke out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, known by its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

After cutting perks at Disney World for Reedy Creek employees, the employees spoke out against cutting the bonuses negotiated with the former Board and available to employees for life. The Board Members and unions are negotiating an agreement to return the benefits.

disney cftod board salary

The other fact that the CFTOD and Gov DeSantis leave out is that Disney is a taxpayer, one of the largest in Florida. Last year, Disney paid $1.146 billion in state and local taxes. But in the Reedy Creek District, Disney is the primary taxpayer.


According to recently released numbers, Walt Disney World accounts for 85 percent of the tax revenue collected in the Reedy Creek District. The CFTOD collected $185 million in taxes last year, with $161 million coming from Disney World. The remaining $24 million came from the businesses that support Disney World, like hotels and restaurants.

disney world florida

Credit: Disney

At the same meeting that the Board released its tax revenue, Administrator Glen Gilzean revealed that more than $5 million will be needed for legal fees in the feud with Disney this fiscal year. The Board has already spent more than $1.5 million in legal fees. So, the Board is taking money from Disney to pay for the lawsuit against…Disney. 

Disney currently has a lawsuit against the CFTOD Board in State Court and a lawsuit against Florida Gov Ron DeSantis and the Board in Federal court. And now we know that Walt Disney World funds both of those lawsuits.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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