Disney/DeSantis Feud May Benefit Disney Guests


It’s no secret that over the past year, there has been a lot of bad blood between The Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

bob iger

Credit: Disney

RELATED: Disney’s Bob Iger Threatens Florida

The Background

The feud began when Florida passed the Parental Rights in Education Bill, and then Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against it (after remaining silent).


Credit: Disney

The back and forth had since led to the dissolving of Reedy Creek Special District (that allowed Disney World government powers over its theme parks and resorts) and lawsuits filed by the Walt Disney Company and the board appointed by Governor DeSantis. In addition, Bob Iger, the current (but also former) Disney CEO, has spoken out against the Florida Government, Ron DeSantis, and the Parental Rights in Education Bill during shareholder meetings and earning calls. Governor DeSantis has also said (presumably joking) that perhaps the state of Florida would build a prison next to the Walt Disney World Resort. There are many other back-and-forth exchanges between the two parties, including other politicians and political pundits weighing in.


Credit: ABC

RELATED: DeSantis Board Suing Disney

What Could Happen…

However, one media member, Forbes contributor Caroline Reid, suggests that Disney World Guests could end up being the big winners in the fight.

Her argument is simple. If Governor Ron DeSantis wishes to strike back against the Walt Disney Company for getting involved in politics but doesn’t want to impact the tourism industry in Central Florida, he can sell the district’s land to a mall or another developer. She cites that the massive size of Disney World, although a selling feature for some Guests, also traps Guests in an area where almost all of their money goes to Disney World in one way or another. Reid points to the situation that currently exists just outside of Disneyland.

Folks Outside of Amorette's at Disney Springs

Credit: Disney

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Although that theme Park Resort remains pricey as well, it will never make the money that Disney World does. For starters, Guests don’t have to eat in the Park or on the property. They can easily walk across the street to Mcdonald’s to buy a burger that’s 1/3 the price of one sold at a Disney Park. Furthermore, Guests staying near the Disneyland Park can find affordable groceries and toiletries at Walgreens or other stores a walkable distance away. Meanwhile, Guests at a Walt Disney World Resort are often stuck having to purchase food and essentials at a Disney hotel gift shop. But if Governor DeSantis can get a shopping center that caters to Disney Guests or Cast Members, it may significantly impact theme Park and Resort prices. Also, it could force Disney World to lower the cost of some of its offerings to compete against nearby retailers or restaurants. It’s an interesting theory.


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But time will tell how things end between Governor DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company. It’s unclear what either of their endgame is and neither of them seems to be backing down anytime soon.

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…)