Disney Lawyers Set Trial Date for Lawsuit Against DeSantis District

in Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Governor Ron DeSantis frowning with the Reedy Creek signage in the background with the Cinderella Castle to the right.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Parties representing both Disney and the DeSantis-backed Florida district have agreed upon a new court date this summer.

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

Related: Drunk Man Arrested After Violent Incident at Disney World Restaurant

In a new court appearance this morning, lawyers working for both Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) agreed to a preliminary timeline for the upcoming Public Records Act lawsuit, as revealed by the Orlando Sentinel in a new report. Disney filed this lawsuit against DeSantis’ CFTOD after the district allegedly withheld and failed to properly handle important documents.

The Walt Disney Company is also alleging that the CFTOD may have even destroyed some records.

Lawyers have agreed upon the following pre-trial timeline, which maps out hearings stretching from February 23 to June 24, 2024:

  • February 23rd: Amended pleadings and motions
  • April 12th: Completion of facts and expert discovery
  • March 1st: Written discovery, Mediation
  • June 17th: Pre-trail meeting
  • June 24th: Trial begins
Ron DeSantis superimposed over Cinderella's castle
Credit: DeSantis/Disney

Related: Haunted Mansion Ghost Effect Turned Off at Magic Kingdom, May Never Return

Disney’s battle with Gov. Ron DeSantis started all the way back in 2022, with The Walt Disney Company taking a stance against Florida’s controversial piece of legislation, now known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. After staying as quiet as possible, then-CEO Bob Chapek issued a statement denouncing the bill, claiming Disney vehemently disagreed with the new legislation.

Gov. DeSantis rejected Disney’s response, so much so that he would eventually spearhead a campaign to strip Disney of as many privileges as possible, at least within the state of Florida. Many conservative figures joined in, with DeSantis setting his sights on Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special ruling that allowed the Walt Disney World Resort to act as its own form of government in Florida.

DeSantis would ultimately be successful with this endeavor, stripping Disney of its RCID ownership. In 2023, DeSantis hand-appointed board member replacements to take over the new district, now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Stay tuned here at Inside the Magic for all updates on Disney and DeSantis’ legal battle. 

View Comment (1)