New DeSantis-Appointed Board Prepping to Sue Disney, Says Disney Took Away Its Power

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Credit: Disney

In late February, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. The Improvement Act — which had been in place since the 1960s — essentially allowed Disney to function as its own government. The Reedy Creek board, which oversaw everything to do with Walt Disney World Resort, was replaced with a board of hand-picked DeSantis appointees. None of the current board members have experience in the theme park industry, and they are looking at making some MAJOR changes.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Credit: Orlando Business Journal

However, it looks like they may have a problem doing that. New reports state that, although Disney didn’t appear to fight the state takeover, they did make some big moves in the months leading up to it. Now, the board — called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Committee — says that Disney made deals that would last 30 years. Those deals even have language in them that says the deal will be valid no matter what another board says or tries to do.

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Credit: Disney

Now, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Committee is looking to sue the House of Mouse.

Bob Hazen, of the Orlando news station WESH, reported that the Tourism Board is hiring law firms to look into the agreements. The board finds the agreements suspect, as they were made not long before Reedy Creek was officially dissolved.

The new #DeSantis-appointed board of ‘Reedy Creek’ meets today, hiring law firms to handle ‘potential legal challenges’ for things the board did back when #Disney appointed the members. #WESH

They may want lawyers to challenge agreements Reedy Creek’s old board approved right before the DeSantis team took over. Things like the Developer Agreement that set in stone #Disney‘s rights over RCID property for the next 30 years, regardless of what a new board says #WESH

Board Member Brian Aungst Jr. spoke to The Orlando Sentinel, saying that Disney’s actions went against the “will of the voters.”

“We’re going to have to deal with it and correct it,” board member Brian Aungst Jr. said. “It’s a subversion of the will of the voters and the Legislature and the governor. It completely circumvents the authority of this board to govern.”

However, Disney’s spokesperson said that everything Disney did was within legal boundaries.

“All agreements signed between Disney and the district were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” an unsigned company statement read.

Magic Kingdom Disney World

Credit: Disney

Since the Tourism Board is relatively new, they haven’t made a ton of changes yet, but it is clear they want to have a big impact on Disney. They have indicated that one of their plans is to get rid of the names Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake and come up with a new name. Governor DeSantis has also indicated that, if Disney keeps producing what he calls “woke” content, the board may tighten the purse strings on projects at Disney World.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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