Desantis’ Disney Board Approves Major Price Increase for Taxpayers

in Walt Disney World

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with the Magic Kingdom Disney World Park in the background.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Things are getting more expensive in the Walt Disney World Resort area.

The former Reedy Creek signage inside of Magic Kingdom Disney Park in Disney World with Ron DeSantis looking shocked.
Credit: Inside The Magic

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Following Disney’s loss of power regarding its former Reedy Creek Improvement District, a major change has just been implemented by the new district.

Earlier in 2023, The Walt Disney Company officially lost control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), which allowed the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, to act as its own form of minor government. This was greatly beneficial to both The Walt Disney Company and the state of Florida, with the two forming a symbiotic relationship that lasted decades. The RCID was taken over by the state of Florida following a massive campaign spearheaded by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who sought to “punish” The Walt Disney Company for speaking out against his controversial new bill back in 2022. This bill is, of course, the highly debated Parental Rights in Education Act, more commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

After months of pushback from Gov. DeSantis and other conservative political figures, the state of Florida was eventually able to take control of the district, with DeSantis appointing a new board. The district was given a new name and is now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Disney did not back down easily, however, filing multiple lawsuits against Gov. DeSantis and the state of Florida itself.

Ron DeSantis speaking, edited to look like he is in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort.
Credit: Inside the Magic

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In the latest update to this feud, the DeSantis-backed district board has unanimously approved a 30% increase to building fees for the Walt Disney World Resort. This increase applies to other taxpayers within the district’s bounds as well but is undoubtedly targeted toward Walt Disney World, which includes four theme parks, dozens of hotels, two water parks, and a shopping center. This increase was announced earlier this week and reported here at Inside the Magic.

The increase will lead to a total of a $1.8 million increase in FY2024’s building fees.

According to CFTOD Chief Technical Inspector Kenny Locke, this increase is consistent with the district’s past conduct. The last time fees were increased occurred in 2016.

Glen Gilzean serves as administrator over the CFTOD and announced there were no new fee categories during the vote.

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Credit: Inside the Magic

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Brian Aungst Jr., a CFTOD board member, and Vice Chair Charbel Barakat, expressed concerns over this new fee increase but ultimately concluded that they were necessary.

Reports indicated that morale had dropped significantly since Florida took control of the district, with dozens of employees quitting over DeSantis’ alleged “toxic” work environment and the overall mismanagement of the new district.

Stay tuned here at Inside the Magic for future updates on stories like this one!

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