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Disney CEO Bob Iger Addresses Reedy Creek Concerns

Today, the newly returned CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, addressed concerns over the Reedy Creek Improvement District during a Town Hall meeting open to all Disney Cast Members.

In 1967, Disney filed the Reedy Creek Improvement Act with the local state legislature, which allows Walt Disney World to essentially self-govern the district and retain a significant amount of control over things like taxes, construction guidelines, and safety procedures divorced from Florida law. Initially, Disney filed the act so that it could construct Walt Disney World within two separate counties, Osceola and Orange County, without adhering to potentially conflicting regulations or at a cost to the local residents.

bob iger town hall

Credit: Twitter

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For example, the existence of the Reedy Creek Improvement District lets the Company, rather than the government, approve and manage essential services and infrastructure within the Walt Disney Resort across all four Parks: EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom. Plus, it even allows Walt Disney World to operate its own fire department within Reedy Creek!

However, the Reedy Creek District recently came under fire amidst the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” proposed in Florida after former CEO Bob Chapek made a statement in support of the Company’s numerous LGBT Cast Members and other employees. In fact, Florida governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, had previously announced plans for the state legislature to absorb the Reedy Creek’s responsibilities in retaliation with a new proposal filed just this month.

Reedy Creek Improvement District Sign

Credit: CNN

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So, will the Florida Legislature dissolve Reedy Creek? During a Town Hall meeting open to each Disney Cast Member, Bob Iger addressed the District’s possible dissolution. During the meeting, Iger said he was “sorry to see” Disney “dragged into that battle” with Governor DeSantis, adding that since his return he still needs to “get up to speed on Reedy Creek.”

In addition, he added that Disney and the state of Florida have both been important to one another since the opening of Walt Disney World, which necessitates their continued relationship. What’s more, Iger apparently has “no idea” what the consequences of losing the Reedy Creek Act would be “in terms of the business itself,” and lacks current details on the Company’s future actions, if any, about it.

bob-iger

Credit: Disney

All in all, Iger leaves us with a vague sort of response on the fate of Reedy Creek. However, he does note a regret that Disney and DeSantis came to conflict over the bill which seems to suggest Disney will fight to retain the District but come to some sort of resolution. What’s more, he spoke out in support of Disney’s LGBT employees and against the “Don’t Say Gay” platform, and Walt Disney World’s importance to the Florida economy certainly gives Disney a hefty bargaining chip to utilize.

Not to mention, if the Reedy Creek Improvement District was dissolved, Florida taxpayers could face a cost of up to $1 billion as the state government would absorb the District’s responsibilities as well as its debts and expenses. This would certainly decrease voter approval for DeSantis and his party in the upcoming 2024 elections.

DisneyTips will continue to provide updates regarding Bob Iger and the Reedy Creek Improvement District as they become available.

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.