Following The Walt Disney Company’s public condemnation of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Republicans from Florida, as well as others across the nation, have engaged in heated debate and retaliation against the company and its Parks.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been championing a bill that was passed that would dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special district established around Walt Disney World that allows them to fund and operate their own municipal services like fire prevention, water, roads, etc.
A few weeks ago, legislators announced they were working to halt Disney’s “No-Fly Zones”, which are placed over Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Both of these Parks are the only two in the country with such restrictions.
The Congressman cited a 2003 article from the Orlando Sentinel, which quoted pilots angered by the restrictions who felt Disney was taking advantage of post-9/11 terrorism fears to close airspace over the Park. He argued Disney wants to avoid airplane noise and aerial advertisement for other theme parks and entertainment options in Orlando.
“Disney tried to make that restricted airspace for years but couldn’t until now because the airspace belongs to the people, not to a corporation,” Joe Kittinger, a retired Air Force colonel, and Orlando aerial advertiser, told the Orlando Sentinel in 2003. “They’ve achieved it now under the guise of national security, and there is absolutely no reason for it.”
Although there has been fierce pushback toward The Walt Disney Company, it looks like Republicans’ efforts may be in vain. This attempt to remove Disney’s “No-Fly Zones” is unlikely to fly with Joe Biden as sitting President as well as the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives as reported by The Orange County Register.
Disney uses the “No Fly Zones” to keep the immersion at its maximum level. This keeps aircraft from buzzing around the parks as well as avoids damaging the infamous “sightlines” that you may have heard about in the Disney Parks. Removing them from Disney would be a big move not just for Disney but the Government as well.
Disney’s “No-Fly Zones” are not the only thing legislators have been taking aim at, with Gov. DeSantis attempting to take complete control over Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District as stated above.
The Reedy Creek Improvement Act essentially allows Walt Disney World to reside in Florida unregulated, acting as its own “government” in a way. The act involved creating a special taxing district that acts with the same authority as a county government. The legislation made the claim that landowners within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, primarily Walt Disney World, could be allowed to be solely responsible for paying the cost of providing typical municipal services like power, water, roads, fire protection etc. Local taxpayers, meaning residents of Orange and Osceola County, would not have to pay for building or maintaining those services.
Residents of the surrounding Osceola counties say dissolving Reedy Creek will likely lead to increased taxes for the residents of Central Florida to pay off Disney’s bond debt, estimated to be between $1 billion and $2 billion. A lawsuit was filed multiple times against Gov. DeSantis with concerned citizens voicing their opinions. “Stripping Disney of this special district designation will move these major regulatory burdens unto the county, thereby increasing the Plaintiff’s taxes, and will cause significant injury to plaintiffs,” the complaint states.
What do you think about Disney’s “No-Fly Zones”?