Governor DeSantis Continues Disney Rampage, Dissolves More Districts

in Walt Disney World

Ron DeSantis laughing at Disney World

Credit: DeSantis/Disney

If you thought that Governor Ron DeSantis was done dissolving special districts in Florida just because he’s settled his beef with the Walt Disney Company, a new state law is here to say otherwise.

Ron DeSantis sitting in front of a flag.
Credit: Canva

DeSantis and the Reedy Creek Improvement District

The conflict between Governor DeSantis and Disney began over former CEO Bob Chapek taking a public stance against the politician’s signature legislation, the Parental Rights in Education Act (PREA), but it didn’t end there. Coming out against the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law cemented Disney as a “woke” company in the eyes of many conservatives, who had been growing wary of the Mouse for its attempts at DEI practices and LGBTQIA+ representation.

In retaliation to Disney’s public statement against the PREA, Governor DeSantis dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special tax area in Central Florida where most of the Walt Disney World Resort is located. This had huge legal and public consequences, as Disney filed multiple lawsuits against DeSantis and the newly formed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) board of supervisors.

A juxtaposition of celebration and exasperation: fireworks burst in joy above a magical castle at Disney World, while Ron DeSantis appears to let out a vociferous cheer or yell.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Related: No One Really Likes Ron DeSantis or Disney, New Study Finds

Just weeks ago, DeSantis, the CFTOD, and Disney World unexpectedly called a truce and signed a legal settlement that shelved its state lawsuits and definitively put an end to any plans to revive Reedy Creek. Although Disney still has a pending appeal against the governor in the 11th Circuit Court, it seems that things have quieted down enough for DeSantis to commit billions to expand the highway leading to Disney World and tacitly supporting CEO Bob Iger against his corporate foes.

But it seems that dissolving Reedy Creek has given the former presidential candidate a taste for getting rid of special districts.

Florida HB 7011

Since conceding the GOP nomination to former President Donald J. Trump, Governor DeSantis seems to have returned to Florida determined to leave his mark on the state.

Ron DeSantis with fireworks at Walt Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

While he was accused of spending more time campaigning in Iowa and other states than governing his home state during his run for the presidency, DeSantis has been working overtime to sign new bills into law and expanding infrastructure spending in Florida.

Some of these are more potentially controversial than others. For example, DeSantis is currently touting a new education bill that will turn the clock back on his own book-banning policies, which might rankle some people. Another will give frequent travelers in Florida a much-needed financial break. Still another will crack down on child predators, which is something that Disney apparently needs help with.

Related: DeSantis Partner Goes Missing, Discovered in Trashed Hotel Outside Disney World

Recently, Governor DeSantis signed an impressive 14 bills into law in one sitting, including HB 7011, which will dissolve four special districts like the former Reedy Creek. The text of the bill describes it as: “An act relating to inactive special districts; dissolving special districts that have been declared inactive and repealing their enabling laws; providing an exception to general law; dissolving the Sunny Isles Reclamation and Water Control Board and repealing the judicial order establishing the district.”

Ron DeSantis giving a speech in front of the Florida flag
Credit: Ron DeSantis via Instagram

Per the new law, the following Florida special districts will be dissolved on July 1:

  • Calhoun County Transportation Authority
  • Highland View Water and Sewer District
  • West Orange Airport Authority
  • Dead Lakes Water Management District

No one can say how long the peace between Governor DeSantis and Disney might last, but it seems clear that he wants to keep molding the state in his own image as long as he can.

Do you think the conflict between DeSantis and Disney is truly over? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!

The full text of HB 7011 can be read here:

View Comments (4)