The feud between the Walt Disney Company and Governor Ron DeSantis continues.
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.
Disney then tried to out-maneuver the Florida government by restructuring the district and transferring its power to Disney.
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.”
The board/district is now suing Disney in state court.
"I'd like to make a motion to authorize a state court lawsuit to be filed by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts USA, Inc." – Martin Garcia, chair of the board. pic.twitter.com/g1v2DOzZnb
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 1, 2023
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.”