DeSantis Looks to Build Theme Park That Will Rival Disney World

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis smiling with sunglasses on with a theme park in the background.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made some interesting comments last week that have put him in the hot seat with those who oppose him and follow Disney World. The Florida governor appears to be looking to build a theme park that will rival Walt Disney World (WDW).

A glum-looking Ron DeSantis in front of Mickey Mouse moving suitcases at Disney World
Credit: Fox News/Inside the Magic

The Legal and Political Tension Between Disney and Ron DeSantis Heats Up

Just last week, dozens of employees from the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, now the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), quit after reports came out of “incompetency” from the district itself. The departures of employees signal dissatisfaction with the current leadership. The recently appointed board and its administrators have faced criticism for their perceived lack of qualifications and competency, and there is a prevailing sentiment within the new district that the values of honesty and integrity have eroded.

In other recent DeSantis news, WDW has accused the Florida governor of withholding evidence. According to the new information from AP News, In a legal submission, Disney claims that the recently established district has not provided documents for almost two months after Disney’s initial requests. Additionally, the community has failed to adhere to mutually agreed-upon deadlines and continues to retain discovery materials crucial for Disney’s preparation of its response to the summary judgment motion.

According to a new court filing last Monday, Disney called out DeSantis for “constitutional mutiny.” “Governor DeSantis and his allies are engaged in an ongoing constitutional mutiny,” said Disney. “They openly reject the foundational First Amendment rule that a state cannot deploy its official powers to punish the expression of disfavored political viewpoints.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle in the background as the sun sets.
Credit: Edited by Inside The Magic

A Ron DeSantis Theme Park? Maybe

Even after all this drama between WDW and Ron DeSantis, there is still some major news to be said about this feud that will likely last through the next Presidential elections next year. Newsweek released a new report and covered some fascinating and alarming information that the Florida governor said.

This year, DeSantis took control of the administrative jurisdiction within Disney World in Orlando and designated new administrators to oversee its operations, effectively terminating the company’s longstanding autonomy. When introducing the legislation in April, DeSantis casually mentioned the possibility of constructing a prison or a competing amusement park adjacent to Disney World. Although some sources reported this as a jest, Disney’s legal team informed the court this week that it signifies his intent to undermine the organization.

To directly quote what DeSantis said earlier this year:

“Come to think of it, now people are like, what should we do with this land?” he said. “People have said, maybe create a state park. Maybe try to do more amusement parks. Someone even said, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I just think that the possibilities are endless, and so that is now going to be analyzed to see what is going to make the most sense.”

An image to the left of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with a photo to the right of the Magic Kingdom castle with a vs. graphic in the middle.
Credit: Edited by Inside The Magic

The idea of a theme park built by a governor, let alone Ron DeSantis, is quite scary, especially if this ever took shape. The realistic approach would be that Ron DeSantis will most likely just keep the land and turn it into something much more productive than a theme park that will rival Disney World in Orlando. With SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort nearby, major corporations already take up the real estate for theme parks.

Still, one can wonder what a theme park built by Ron DeSantis would look and be like, to which I invite you all to comment in the section below: what would a DeSantis theme park look like, and what sort of rides would there be? What about a name? The Walt Disney Parks would have to dwindle in crowds for this proposed theme park even to come remotely close to being a rival to WDW. In Orange County, Disney reigns supreme.

But could CEO Bob Iger send the Walt Disney Company downward? Submit all your answers in the comment section below, and follow Inside The Magic for more news on all the Disney and DeSantis political and legal warfare.

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