DeSantis Disney Board Abruptly Cancels Final Meeting Before Court Hearing

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Ron DeSantis in front of Disney World Cinderella Castle with the CFTOD logo

Credit: DeSantis/CFTOD/Disney, edited by ITM

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board of Supervisors has canceled its final public meeting of the year without explanation, just as Governor Ron DeSantis prepares to appear at a court hearing against the Walt Disney Company.

Ron DeSantis with Mickey Mouse in a silver suit
Credit: NBC, edited by ITM

The CFTOD board of supervisors was handpicked by Governor DeSantis as part of his dissolution of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, the area of Central Florida where the Walt Disney World Resort is located and is widely considered to essentially operate as DeSantis’ authority in the area.

The final public meeting of the CFTOD is listed on the district’s website as being canceled, and all agenda items are rescheduled for January 24, 2024. While not directly connected with DeSantis dealing with a major lawsuit surrounding Walt Disney World, it is not surprising that the board would defer any actions until the results of today’s hearing are public.

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

Related: DeSantis Board Member a ‘No Show’ Following Disturbing Sex Scandal

Ron DeSantis will appear at the Joseph Woodrow Hatchett United States Courthouse in Tallahassee, Florida, to ask Judge Allen C. Winsor to dismiss a lawsuit from Disney that claims that the presidential hopeful violated the company’s First Amendment rights.

According to Disney’s lawsuit (which can be viewed in whole here), the governor dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which Disney had administered as a special tax district for decades, in retaliation for former CEO Bob Chapek’s public denouncement of the Parental Rights in Education Act, the controversial so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation that DeSantis has since signed into law.

Related: DeSantis Disney “Bribery” Audit Didn’t Include Almost a Million Dollars Given to Florida GOP

Glen Gilzean Becomes New Administrator for Disney’s Governing District, Will Earn as Much as a US President
Credit: Inside the Magic

Since then, the feud between DeSantis and Disney has exploded into multiple lawsuits, including one in which the CFTOD, led by board chair Martin Garcia and administrator Glen Gilzean, has accused the company of signing last-minute deals that stripped the new Central Florida body of its authority.

The board has also accused Disney of decades of “bribery” by providing Reedy Creek employees with perks and benefits like free annual passes and discounts, which the company has called “revisionist history” and “neither objective nor credible.” 

Inside the Magic reached out to the CFTOD for a statement on the cancelation but did not hear back by the time of publishing.

Is the CFTOD retaliating against Walt Disney World for political ends? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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