Gov. DeSantis Wanted the State to Control Disney World Attractions, It’s Not Going to Happen

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

As many people are most likely aware, The Walt Disney Company is currently embroiled in a heated battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The trouble began when Disney spoke out against Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill. It has devolved into Disney suing Governor DeSantis, Disney suing the new board overseeing Reedy Creek, and the board countersuing Disney. The Governor has repeatedly claimed that Disney has been receiving special privileges for years. Disney is claiming that the governor is retaliating against them.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Credit: Orlando Business Journal

The fight between Disney and DeSantis has been going on for more than a year. During that time, the governor has made a number of threats against the House of Mouse. First, the governor threatened to end Disney’s special district — the Reedy Creek Improvement District. That officially happened in February 2023. The governor then said that he would consider putting a prison next to Walt Disney World Resort. He followed that up by saying that all Disney World rides and attraction inspections would fall under state control.

Don't Bring Ashes to Disney

Credit: Disney

Well, it doesn’t look like a prison is going to be built next door to The Most Magical Place on Earth. However, the monorail is now required to undergo state inspections. As for all the other rides and attractions at Disney World? It looks like that threat was an empty one.

According to a report from The Orlando Sentinel, the Florida State Legislature adjourned earlier this week, ignoring a bill that would put Disney World attractions under their control. The state legislature has been pretty consistent in its support of Governor DeSantis and the actions that he has taken against Disney. So, why would they ignore this bill? Most likely the lawsuit filed by Disney.

In defense of EPCOT

Credit: Disney

Per The Sentinel:

Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson appeared to support the idea at the time, but a spokesman for his office said this week that was not the case.

Brian Avery, an independent ride safety consultant, said Disney’s lawsuit against the governor and state filed the following week alleging political retaliation was a likely cause.

“I’m certain that the legal wrangling that is going on has possibly put some things in a full stop, or maybe a pause until they can regroup and maybe pick this up at a later date,” Avery said.

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Florida law currently states that theme parks with more than 1,000 employees and their own inspectors can self-inspect their own rides. Then they have to file an affidavit with the state, confirming that their attractions are all in compliance with regulations. DeSantis has said that the new legislation he wants to pass will only apply to Walt Disney World. Neighboring theme parks like the Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando will still be able to conduct their own self-inspections.

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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