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More Employees Flee DeSantis Disney District As It is No Longer “Functional”

calls grow louder for Bridget Ziegler to resign DeSantis Disney Board
Mickey Mouse and Ron DeSantis wave goodbye to CFTOD Board member. Credit: Disney and Gage Skidmore, Flickr

For over 50 years, the special District that governed Walt Disney World ran in the background, with the public knowing and seeing very little of it. But since the start of the year, the Board has been filled with appointees of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and every move the new Board makes has become public fodder. As the Walt Disney Company, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and Governor DeSantis duke it out in Federal and State Courts, the District that is left behind is losing employees en masse, and some worry that it is no longer a functioning government.

Disney warns if DeSantis wins First Amendment at stake

Credit: Disney/ Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Late last month, we reported that dozens of former Reedy Creek Improvement District employees have resigned from their positions since the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District takeover. But now, the exact damage to the District is starting to come into focus, and even more, employees are fleeing the once-productive District that ruled over the land that contains the Walt Disney World Resort.

According to an article from Jason Garcia, since the new Board took over for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, employees have felt “demoralized” and “stressed,” and the new Board “doesn’t trust the employees.” So far this year, 30 employees have resigned, including half of the senior leadership team in the District. In the past nine months, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has lost a combined 350 years of experience.

With the departure of so much experience and knowledge of the District’s inner workings, one employee said that it “no longer functions,” and the new leadership is “incompetent and unqualified.”

Florida Lawyer Calls DeSantis' Case 'Fairy Tales and Pixie Dust'

Credit: Disney/ Gage Skidmore, Flickr

But now, it seems that the situation at the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has gotten worse in the past two weeks. According to the Associate Press, more than 40 of the 370, or nearly 11 percent, have resigned, taking over 400 years of experience with them. When the AP spoke with some of the employees who left the District, the main reason they gave was that the once benign working environment has been “politicized” and filled with “political cronyism.”

A former facilities manager with three years of experience said in an employee exit survey last week:

When I first joined the District, I found an organization that strived to be the very best at serving our community, sought the very best employees and valued those employees above all else. I find myself leaving a completely different District. A District that prioritizes politics above all else and will gladly sacrifice its employees, its community and its work if there’s an opportunity to score political points.

After the takeover earlier this year, the Board, which was once filled with Disney employees, was filled by appointees of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. None of the current members of the Board or Board Administrator Glen Gilzean have any experience running a District the size and scope of Reedy Creek.

DeSantis Disney Board bending ethics rules

Images Credit: Disney, National Urban League, Gage Skidmore, Flickr

The Board ran into issues with the Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters after it cut Walt Disney World season passes from its budget. Those passes were given to current and retired employees as part of a perks package from the former Board. Instead, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District voted to give each employee $3,000 to use however they see fit. That cost will not cover Disney World’s season passes with no blackout dates.

Cuts to employees’ theme park perks are just the beginning of how the CFTOD is remaking the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has cut $8 million in funding from security at Disney World, cut $3 million in road improvements to pay for legal fees in its cases against Disney, and, in August, cut all DEI programs and race-based hiring programs in the former Reedy Creek District.

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.

3 comments

  1. To bad Disney World does not move out of Florida and leave.

  2. Disney doesn’t care about family values anymore it just wants to continue to push it Woke agenda and we the people are tired of them. But they’re board of trustees just don’t get it so now they’re getting hit in the pocketbook and that’s the only thing that matters to them..

  3. Hilarious. You’re blaming a type you don’t know for the gigantic success of what would have been the largest city in Florida IF not for Disney. Did you even know W.D. was gay? Or brilliant? I often find certain people wear masks. Is that why DeSantis has done his worst by Florida, my home?

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