Florida GOP Leader Shoots Down Plans To Return DeSantis District to Disney

in Disney, Walt Disney World

Ron DeSantis laughing at Disney World

Credit: DeSantis/Disney

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District just got a powerful public supporter as Governor Ron DeSantis and his board of supervisors face a bill going to the state House of Representatives that would reinstate the House of Mouse’s authority over Walt Disney World.

Governor Ron DeSantis surrounded by fireworks as Disney Magic Kingdom
Credit: CBS/Disney, edited by Inside the Magic

After a failed attempt in November, Florida’s Orange County legislature recently passed a bill that aims to dissolve the CFTOD and bring back the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special tax area around the Walt Disney World Resort that allowed the company to act as the de facto government for decades.

Although Senator Linda Stewart (D) was stymied months ago by a mass walkout by Republicans, preventing the necessary quorum to pass a bill in the heavily Democratic area, her unnamed bill is now going to the House of Representatives. The bill can be read below:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://insidethemagic.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/CFTOD-repealed-bill.pdf”]

Related: DeSantis Board Takes Bids To Change Disney World Forever

However, Florida House Speaker Paul Renner (R) has come forward to publically say he will not support any attempts to revert the CFTOD to the former Reedy Creek, putting a very influential block in the bill’s way (per the Tampa Free Press). In comments to the press, Renner said, “I think we’ve gone on the right path at least, I don’t want to go back.”

The pro-Disney bill already faces an uphill battle when it goes to the House of Representatives. Unlike Orange County, the state House is heavily dominated by Republicans, who, like Speaker Renner, will likely support DeSantis and the CFTOD against Disney.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waving inside of a frame with the Cinderella Castle and the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue to the right.
Credit: Edited by Inside The Magic

Currently, the Florida House consists of 84 GOP members to 35 Democrats, meaning the bill would have to flip a historically huge amount of votes. Then, there’s the probability that DeSantis might take time off from his presidential campaign in Iowa to veto it.

But the mere fact that the CFTOD/Reedy Creek issue is being voted on at a state level shows how much the conflict between DeSantis and Disney has escalated. The tax district around Disney World is just one of the most prominent aspects of that ongoing battle, with Orange Count Commissioner Nicole Wilson describing it as “a “pawn” in a larger battle affecting the region, resulting in the departure of employees from “many of the (district) divisions that did things like the public works department.”

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’ New State Inspections Begin at Walt Disney World

It is currently not known when the CFTOD dissolution bill will go to a state vote, and what DeSantis’s reaction to it might be.

Inside the Magic reached out to Speaker Renner and Commissioner Wilson for comment, but has not heard back by the time of publishing.

Do you think the CFTOD bill has a hope of getting through? Let us know in the comments below!

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