Ron DeSantis Takes Control of Disney District With New Law

Photo by Jayme McColgan on Unsplash

( – On February 27, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a new bill that puts an end to the Walt Disney World district’s self-governing status and instead creates a state-controlled district. This will as a result provide the governor’s mansion with more control over the theme park and its surrounding areas.

In his statement, DeSantis noted that it was a bad policy to allow a corporation to have control over its governance, especially if that corporation’s decisions could have effects on the entire region. He celebrated the move during the signing ceremony, saying that there will be a “new sheriff in town” and touting the importance of accountability. With the end of the self-governing legislation, Disney is now going to be subject to the same laws as everyone else in the state.

Previously Disney had control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a 25,000 acres area that has been self-governed by the company for decades. However, the district will largely remain as it is, with its “financial abilities and debt obligations intact,” according to ABC News.

The legislation to end Disney’s self-governance was first moved forward after Disney criticized the state’s Parental Rights in Education law, which would prohibit instruction regarding sexual orientation and gender identity to students up to the third grade. The law has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Following Disney’s push against the law, DeSantis called Disney “an unaccountable Corporate Kingdom.” With the new law, DeSantis will get to appoint a five-member board that will govern the Reedy Creek Improvement District over Disney.

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