DeSantis Team Says Disney World Needs More Government Reform

in Walt Disney World

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looking sad in front of the Cinderella Castle at Disney World.

Credit: Inside the Magic

At yesterday’s meeting, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) board members discussed an audit into the financials of Disney’s former Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The new logo for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District
Credit: Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

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CFTOD chairman Martin Garcia made bold claims at Wednesday’s meeting, stating that The Walt Disney Company failed to pay impact fees within the district. This reportedly resulted in the surrounding area bearing the financial burden of public services.

The main theme of the meeting was that new regulations and reformations should take place within the district and that Disney failed to run certain aspects properly. Chairman Garcia stated that the Disney District needs more reformation and oversight from the government.

In early 2023, Disney lost control of its Reedy Creek Improvement District, with the state of Florida taking full control of the district. This transfer of power was a direct result of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ threats toward Disney after the company publicly spoke out against the highly controversial Parental Rights in Education Act, or the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. DeSantis immediately made The Walt Disney Company his primary target, with dozens of other conservative figures attempting to enact legislation that would hurt Disney and its theme parks.

Eventually, Disney would lose control of the RCID, which would be renamed to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, with DeSantis appointing new board members to take over.

Mickey Mouse statue with Ron DeSantis
Credit: Disney/Fox, edited by ITM

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Wednesday’s meeting also saw chairman Garcia claim that Disney’s Reedy Creek failed to fulfill multiple promises to the state of Florida over the years, such as building new housing. According to Garcia, the lack of housing caused avoidable quality-of-life issues for employees living and working in the district. At the meeting, Garcia claimed that the original Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was enacted in Florida in 1967, was a “Pandora’s box, a curse disguised in the form of a beautiful gift. Now that the truth is out, Florida lawmakers and government officials should expel the curse with more reforms to the district.”

Inside the Magic reached out to the CFTOD office for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publishing this article.

In the months since Florida took control of the district, Gov. Ron DeSantis has made several monumental threats against The Walt Disney Company, threats that would specifically hurt the Walt Disney World Resort. DeSantis teased new legislation that would affect how Disney operates its Monorail service, which transports guests to and from EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, as well as several hotels across the resort. DeSantis also teased building a new state prison right next to the resort, a move that would surely take away from the aesthetic of a place called “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”

A full copy of the CFTOD audit can be found by clicking here.

Stay tuned here for further updates on this story. 

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