Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is making significant changes to Disney’s self-governance status and Reedy Creek Improvement District, which are both situated in Walt Disney World, Florida.
Under the new bill that he signed today, the governing body’s board will be replaced with five members appointed directly by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Furthermore, the Reedy Creek Improvement District will be renamed as the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District,” and Disney will be accountable for paying off hundreds of millions of dollars in Reedy Creek’s outstanding debt.
Since the establishment of the Reedy Creek Improvement District in 1967, Disney has enjoyed the benefit of having its own independent government that oversees various aspects of the Walt Disney World property, including emergency services, infrastructure, and construction permitting.
DeSantis’ recent actions are a response to Disney’s public opposition to the Parental Bill of Rights law, which was enacted during the tenure of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek. During a recent speech, DeSantis mentioned that while Disney’s opposition to the bill was a “minor annoyance,” Florida would no longer be “inextricably linked to a California-based company.”
At a press conference held today at Reedy Creek Fire Station 4 near Disney Springs, selected speakers were featured to express their grievances against Disney in a political rally-style atmosphere. Among the topics discussed were misinformation regarding vaccinations, Disney’s mask mandate, park reservations, and Disney’s support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Upon signing the bill, DeSantis declared that “the reign of the corporate kingdom has finally come to an end.” He went on to say that he wants “Disney to remain true to Walt Disney’s vision.”
You can watch the press conference below.