Disney Tees Up Another Fight With DeSantis’ Board

Mickey Mouse and Ron DeSantis
Credit: Disney/ Gage Skidmore Flickr

After the embarrassment of the “King Charles III” clause, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has flexed its muscle over the Walt Disney World Resort area. Last week, the Board announced that it would lower the Mil rate in the District, presumably lower property taxes. At first, it appeared the Board was doing something nice for Disney, but at a closer look, it’s not quite that simple.

Ron DeSantis and Mickey Mouse

Credit: Flickr/Disney

Related: DeSantis’ Board Goes Full “Anti-Woke” Cuts All DEI Programs and Race-Based Hiring

The issue was that the property taxes within the District would remain pretty much unchanged because of increased property value. The gesture seems lost when you examine how much money the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District will collect.

But at that meeting, the Board announced that it was cutting $8 million used for extra police presence at Disney World and instead using that money for additional legal expenses. Those legal expenses come from its numerous court cases against the Walt Disney Company.

But yesterday, the Board announced it would follow in Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ footsteps and cut all DEI programs and race-based hiring practices. And it’s this decision that could lend itself to another legal battle with the Walt Disney Company.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis / Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Related: Disney Gets A Powerful New Ally in Fight With DeSantis

It turns out that the decision by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District does not have the power to instruct a private business, like Disney World, to stop its DEI initiatives or race-based hiring practices.

Legal Political Analyst Andrew Lieb told Newsweek:

To be clear, the Affirmative Action decision did not require the abolition of DEI, but it did signal that race cannot be a factor, whatsoever, in employment decisions whether in hiring, promotion, or otherwise, which likely occurred in the District prior to this ablution and which likely will result in lawsuits for reverse discrimination. That said, the District’s abolition of all DEI appears to only concern its government workers, and does not reach private businesses within the District.

However, in 2022, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE Act,” which outlawed DEI initiatives in Florida and curbed race-based hiring practices. That law is on hold as it works through the Federal Court system.

Walt Dreamer Statue

Walt Disney Dreamer Statue. Credit: Disney

So, where does this leave Walt Disney World? They can effectively ignore the new Board and its decision on DEI and race-based hiring. However, that decision may set up yet another legal battle with board members and Governor DeSantis. It’s yet another tricky legal decision for the Walt Disney Company.

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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