A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from Central Florida residents against Governor Ron DeSantis over his signing of legislation that terminated Disney’s special Reedy Creek Improvement District.
According to the Orlando Sentinel,
The complaint claimed Florida was violating a state law called the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, as well as a contractual obligation with Reedy Creek’s bondholders and Disney’s First Amendment rights.
The Federal Judge, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga, explained that her dismissal was based on several reasons, including the court’s “lack of standing over state issues” and due to the fact that the terminating law does not go into effect until July 2023.
Founded in 1967 on behalf of Walt Disney and Roy Disney, The Reedy Creek Improvement Act has become known as the “Theme Park Vatican City”–a special district which allows for self-governance outside of neighboring Orange County and Osceola County. The Act included special privileges and responsibilities for citizens of the district–AKA The Walt Disney Company–which spanned a spectrum from maintaining their own roads and fire department to their own nuclear power plant.
We at Disney Fanatic previously covered that Tallahassee’s Republican-majority government’s push to eliminate The Walt Disney Company’s special privileges after it announced its decision to use its corporate funds and influence to overturn Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation. A major focal point and a debated possible deterrent is the matter of tax-payer funding, with the citizens of Orange County at risk of having to fit the bill for Disney’s 27,000 square miles. That reportedly included a debt bond valued at just under $1 billion.
Read More: Debt: The One Thing That Could Save Disney’s Special Florida District
However, Governor DeSantis has addressed those concerns stating in an interview his certainty that it will still be The Walt Disney Company that is left with the bill and not the neighboring taxpayers.
He said, “They are Reedy Creek. It’s a fiction. They are paying money to run their operations … they will continue paying money to run their operations, and that will be true if the state is in charge of a district, if it’s dissolved to the locals, it doesn’t matter. That is going to continue to happen.”
Read More: Gov. DeSantis on Disney: ‘They Are Reedy Creek,’ ‘They’re Going to Pay Their Debts’
In the meantime, all things at the Walt Disney World Resort continue as they have been, and its newest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, opens to the public on May 27.
We at Disney Fanatic will keep an eye on this story and will update our readers on more developments as they come to light.