Journalist Ashley Carter has revealed that Walt Disney’s private district is getting closer to the chopping block this week, after Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that state legislators are going to be considering the prospect of terminating that district’s special rights.
JUST IN: Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that during their special session this week state legislators will also consider terminating all special districts enacted in Florida prior to 1968, including Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District.
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) April 19, 2022
Tensions have grown between The Walt Disney Company’s Walt Disney World Resort branch and the state of Florida recently, particularly due to the “Parental Rights in Education” bill (called the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill by its opponents) and Disney’s stance against the bill.
Disney has been vocal about opposing the Florida bill (partly, it seems, due to pressure from a significant number of Disney Cast Members), but Governor DeSantis didn’t take kindly to the Walt Disney Company’s involvement or Disney’s vow to repeal the bill.
“They do not control this state,” DeSantis said earlier this year. Part of Disney’s heavy involvement in Florida politics stems from the Reedy Creek Improvement District that it is now, according to Ashley Carter, in danger of losing. This district was created back in 1967 and, according to Click Orlando, “acts as Walt Disney World’s own government with two cities and land in Orange and Osceola counties”.
DeSantis drops a bombshell this morning: The legislature will discuss "termination" of Disney’s Reedy Creek self-governing district in this week's special sessionhttps://t.co/PecgtqYb1A
— Steven Lemongello (@SteveLemongello) April 19, 2022
News 6 political analyst Jim Clark has said that, because of this district, Disney World basically has its “own city out there. They can zone the way they want. They can do things the way they want. They can even build a nuclear power plant if they want”.
Jim Clark added that the tension between Florida and the Walt Disney Company, and the steps towards removing Disney’s special district, seem to stem from the disputes about the new bill. “I think that this is a feud that is escalating into a war between Florida Republicans and the Disney corporation which is the largest single-site employer in Florida,” he declared.
Yesterday was the 2nd meeting in a week w/fellow legislators to discuss a repeal of the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which allows Disney to act as its own government. If Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they should be regulated by Orange County. pic.twitter.com/6sj29Gj6Wz
— SpencerRoach (@SpencerRoachFL) March 30, 2022
Republican and Florida House member Spencer Roach said in the Tweet above that “if Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they should be regulated by Orange County”.
The idea that “the Most Magical Place on Earth” would be feuding with a state government might sound unexpected, but (according to Clark) “One of the reasons [Disney] came here in the mid-60s was the legislature’s promise that they could have self-government.” If that’s true, the removal of that self-government by the Florida legislature would definitely not bode well for Disney World!