DeSantis Board Suing Disney

DeSantis Epcot Monorail

The feud between the Walt Disney Company and Governor Ron DeSantis continues.


The Background

Originally stemming from the former Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, criticizing the Florida Parental Rights in Education law (after being silent about it), the House of Mouse has become a target of Florida’s governor.

Among the back and forth over the past year, DeSantis and the Republican-led legislature dissolved Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which gave the theme Park giant governmental powers and tax breaks.

reedy creek

Disney then tried to out-maneuver the Florida government by restructuring the district and transferring its power to Disney.

Ron’s Revenge

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sought to fight the changes, and further escalated his fight with Disney by threatening tolls, taxes, and even a state prison. He also made effort to give the state authority over safety inspections at Walt Disney World, including the Monorail transportation system.

Disney Strikes Back

Disney filed a lawsuit on April 26, suing DeSantis, the board, and other state officials in federal court, claiming “a targeted campaign of government retaliation.”

Now DeSantis’ board swipes back again, this time filing a lawsuit that will seek to “uphold and enforce the board’s April 26, 2023 legislative findings relating to the February 8, 2023 development agreement and declaration of restrictive covenants.”

In previous statements, Governor DeSantis has implied that he has no plans to stop the fight with Disney. Among his many arguments, one of his strongest claims is that Walt Disney World has been treated to government benefits that Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and other theme parks in Central Florida have never enjoyed. And he is just “leveling the playing field.”

SeaWorld sign

Credit: Disney Tips

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)