Ron DeSantis Will NOT Dissolve Reedy Creek, But MAJOR Changes Are Coming

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Mickey Mouse and Friends at Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Early last year, Disney found itself in a heated battle with controversial Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The trouble began when DeSantis and his fellow Florida Republicans passed the Parental Rights in Education Bill — a bill that critics slammed as targeting the LGBTQ+ community. After remaining silent for a while, then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against the bill and said that Disney would work to see it overturned. From there, things got worse and culminated in DeSantis and the Florida legislature dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

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It has been months since the dissolution of Reedy Creek was announced, but no one knew exactly what it meant. There were major questions about the constitutionality of such a move, where Reedy Creek’s debt would go, and how the area would be run. The Reedy Creek Improvement act allowed Disney to essentially govern itself, and be responsible for things like police, fire, electricity, road repairs, construction, etc.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Credit: Orlando Business Journal

On February 6, bill “HB 9B – Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties” was officially filed. The 189-page bill finally gives us a deeper look at what DeSantis is proposing for the area. Portions of the bill were broken down by theme park reporter Scott Gustin.

NEW: “HB 9B – Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties” has been filed. The bill proposes changes including renaming the district to “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”

Perhaps the biggest change being proposed is to the Reedy Creek Board. DeSantis had said that he was considering dissolving the district and creating a different special district to oversee Reedy Creek. We are now learning that DeSantis will not dissolve Reedy Creek and its board, but will put his own appointed people on the Board.

What is interesting is that none of the people on the Board will have worked in the theme park industry for at least the past three years.

The bill proposes a “Board of Supervisors” that will consist of five members “appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.”

It also says no person who has worked with/for a theme park or entertainment complex “within the past 3 years” can serve on the board.

Since the beginning, the word “dissolve” has frequently been used. However, the bill is clear that Reedy Creek will not be dissolved, but will operate under a new name. The new district will be called The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

There are tons of changes outlined in the document – but the end is interesting given that the word “dissolve” has been used so many times. It clearly states “Reedy Creek Improvement District is not dissolved as of June 1” but will continue in “full force” under its new name.

As the bill has just been filed, Disney has not yet responded to its contents or if it plans to fight the filing. Disney Fanatic will keep readers updated as things progress.

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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