Disney Company gets Struck Down Over DeSantis Lawsuit

in Walt Disney World

Ron DeSantis speaking, Bob Iger (Disney CEO) looking pensive.

The Walt Disney Company is attempting to alter its lawsuit against Florida amid its feud with Gov. DeSantis.

Entrance to Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: News 13

Related: Frontierland Closed Indefinitely at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

For over a year now, The Walt Disney Company and the state of Florida have been at war with each other. This war is a result of Disney’s public disapproval of Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a bill that has been heavily criticized by both private companies and the general public. Former CEO Bob Chapek was initially shy, not allowing the company to take a stance at all regarding the bill, despite The Walt Disney Company backing some of its sponsors. Eventually, Disney had no choice but to take a stand, and it stood firmly against Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida.

This caused a major shift in the relationship between Disney and the Sunshine State, with Gov. DeSantis seeking what is essentially revenge for this disapproval.

As a result of this feud, Gov. DeSantis stripped Disney of its self-governing status, completely demolishing Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. In 2023, the state of Florida took control of this district, with new leaders being appointed by Gov. DeSantis and a new name given to the district.

Disney did not sit in silence, however, with The Walt Disney Company issuing two lawsuits that were pointed toward both DeSantis and the state of Florida. Disney cites a violation of the First Amendment in its lawsuit. Over the weekend, Disney asked a judge for permission to amend its original lawsuit. Disney intends to narrow the scope of its federal lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis to just focus on the free speech issue, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel

Team Disney
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Related: Disney Abruptly “Kicks” Guests off Pirates of the Caribbean

On Friday, Disney asked a federal judge permission to amend its lawsuit, focusing on the First Amendment claim. The board that controls the new district, called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) is challenging the legality of the agreements in court. “Disney faces concrete, imminent, and ongoing injury as a result of CFTOD’s new powers and composition, which are being used to punish Disney for expressing a political view,” stated Disney’s federal court motion.

However, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor rejected Disney’s motion to narrow the lawsuit due to a procedural rule. This rule requires that attorneys for The Walt Disney Compan confer with DeSantis’ attorneys before filing such a request. Disney has the chance to rifle when and if this is completed.

Reedy Creek Fire Dept. truck in front EPCOT's Spaceship Earth at Disney World
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

Related: Disney Guests Trapped as “Worst” Situation Possible Happens

As we said earlier, this vicious battle between Florida and Disney dates all the way back to 2022, which was a very different time for both parties. In 2022, Gov. DeSantis was not a Presidential candidate. In 2022, The Walt Disney Company was guided by the leadership of Bob Chapek, one of the most controversial figures in the history of the company. Bob Iger took over the reins of CEO in late 2022, planting himself right in the middle of this feud.

This is a developing story. Make sure to stay here at Inside the Magic for the latest on Disney’s lawsuit against Florida. 

View Comments (3)