Ron Desantis Hit With Multi-Million Dollar Bill From Disney

in Walt Disney World

Governor DeSantis sadly looking at World Disney Castle

Credit: Inside the Magic

In the most recent update to the ongoing battle between Disney and Florida, Disney slams DeSantis with a big bill.

Family dining at 50's Prime Time Cafe
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Genie+ Hits Record Price in Walt Disney World

As reported by WdwmagicDeSantis’ Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) has received a bill from Disney for a whopping $2.5 million. This bill was revealed in a press release hosted by the CFTOD earlier today.

“The former Disney-run RCID used taxpayer funds to provide season passes and amusement experiences to its employees and their family members, cover the cost of discounts on hotels, merchandise, food, and beverages, and give its own board members VIP Main Entrance passes,” read the press release. It’s quite common for theme parks to offer special discounts and rates for their employees, and the Walt Disney World Resort is no different.

Cast Members working at Disneyland and Walt Disney World get special access to cheaper tickets and free passes.

According to the CFTOD board, Disney’s most recent bill was for nearly $500,000, which was supposed to cover tickets used by former Reedy Creek Improvement District employees in 2022.

The CFTOD states that it plans to eliminate theme park benefits for employees.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis giving a speech
Credit: ABC News

Disney & DeSantis

The battle between Florida Go.v Ron DeSantis and The Walt Disney Company dates back to 2020 and was sparked due to Disney’s stance on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, or the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Bob Chapek, who served as CEO during this time, was very outspoken about the bill, claiming that The Walt Disney Company did not support it at all.

This led to Gov. Ron DeSantis initiating a mission to destroy Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district formed decades ago that granted Disney the right to essentially self-govern itself in Orlando, Florida. Gov. DeSantis was ultimately successful, thus creating the new district (CFTOD). Despite this victory, DeSantis has not slowed down his attacks against Disney. DeSantis teased building a new state prison right next to Walt Disney World as well as raising taxes for Guests staying at any of the various hotels. DeSantis also introduced new regulations for rides and attractions, as well as the Walt Disney World Monorail.

EPCOT Line Monorail at Disney World
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Ditching Streaming For New Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ Releases

Disney did not back down easily, however, with The Walt Disney Company filing a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the new board for violating the 1st Amendment, among other things. DeSantis’ team countersued in an attempt to get the lawsuit struck down, but to no avail.

Disney eventually filed a second lawsuit against the new board for violation of the Florida state constitution. As for what happens between Florida and Disney, only time will tell.

The original Reedy Creek Improvement District included all parts of the Walt Disney World Resort, including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as Disney Springs and Disney World’s two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Under the former RCID, Disney enjoyed special privileges and benefits, most of which allowed the quick expansion and construction of multiple locations. Under the RCID, Disney also employed its own first responders.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more details!

View Comments (17)