Governor Ron DeSantis is an American politician serving as the 46th governor of Florida since 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he previously represented Florida’s 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2018. DeSantis is considered a conservative Republican and has taken various political positions throughout his career.
Governor Ron DeSantis has been in a dispute with Disney World after the company publicly opposed Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. In response, DeSantis appointed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board to strip Disney of its 55-year control over the special district in and around Disney World. He also signed a bill ending Disney’s self-governing status and special privileges in the Reedy Creek Improvement District. This has led to an ongoing legal battle between Disney and the state of Florida.
The Dispute between DeSantis and Disney World
The relationship between Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney World has been tense and contentious. The conflict began when Disney publicly opposed Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. In response, DeSantis appointed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board in February 2023 to strip Disney of its 55-year control over the special district in and around Disney World. This move marked the beginning of an ongoing legal battle, with Disney filing two lawsuits against Florida.
DeSantis’s Policies and Legislation Affecting Disney World
Governor DeSantis has implemented policies and legislation that directly affect Disney World. He signed House Bill (HB) 9-B, which ended Disney’s self-governing status and special privileges in the Reedy Creek Improvement District. This legislation imposed a five-member state control board, appointed by the Governor, and amended the Reedy Creek Improvement District charter to end Disney’s exemptions from the Florida Building Code, Florida Fire Prevention Code, and state regulatory reviews and approvals.
Disney World’s Response
Disney World’s response to Governor DeSantis’s actions has been to challenge them legally and publicly. The company has sued Governor DeSantis and his five board appointees in federal court, claiming that the governor violated the company’s free speech rights by taking these actions. Disney has accused DeSantis of orchestrating a “campaign of government retaliation” against the company and violating its protected speech.
The Impact on Disney World and Florida’s Tourism Industry
Governor DeSantis’s actions against Disney World and the Florida tourism industry could have several potential long-term effects. These include economic consequences, legal battles, reputation damage, a negative impact on tourism, and strained relationships with other businesses. Despite record-breaking tourism numbers in recent years, some of DeSantis’s controversial policies have led to a decline in tourism, particularly in the Orlando area.
Perspectives of Local Residents and Businesses
The perspectives of local residents and businesses on Governor DeSantis’s actions towards Disney World are mixed. Some residents fear that the feud could cast a shadow over their tranquil existence. However, others believe that DeSantis’s actions are in the best interest of the state and its residents. The ongoing feud has not impacted Disney World operations, according to the head of Disney’s parks division.
The feud between Governor DeSantis and Disney World is an ongoing issue affecting Florida’s political climate, tourism industry, and the operations of one of its largest employers. It remains to be seen what the long-term effects of this dispute will be, but it is clear that the actions taken by Governor DeSantis have significant implications for Disney World and the state of Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation?
The “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, officially known as HB 1557 or the Parental Rights in Education bill, is a controversial Florida law that bans classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in primary schools.
What is the Reedy Creek Improvement District?
The Reedy Creek Improvement District is a special taxing district created in 1967 that essentially allows Disney World to govern itself. It includes the land of Walt Disney World Resort and has its own governing board, which was previously controlled by Disney before Governor DeSantis’s actions.
What are the specific privileges that Disney World had in the Reedy Creek Improvement District?
In the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney had the power to create its own building codes, environmental regulations, and emergency services, separate from those of the state of Florida. This allowed Disney World to operate with significant autonomy.
How has the ongoing feud between DeSantis and Disney impacted the Disney employees?
While the text doesn’t provide specific details on the impact on Disney employees, such disputes can generally create uncertainty and stress for employees. However, Disney has stated that the feud has not impacted Disney World operations.
Has Disney taken any action beyond legal measures?
The text mentions that Disney has publicly opposed the controversial legislation and sued Governor DeSantis. While not specifically mentioned in the text, it’s likely that Disney is also using other strategies such as public relations efforts, lobbying, and internal communications to manage the situation.