Florida Attorney General Coming for Disney World Starbucks Locations

in Disney, Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

starbucks sign at disney's animal kingdom

Credit: Disney

Every parent knows that when you’re at a Walt Disney World Resort theme park, your first stop isn’t a ride or attraction but the closest Starbucks location. Coffee is a must after staying up late the night before and waking up early to get a Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane.

Credit: Disney

The morning Starbucks line is the first of many that parents will have to wait in at Disney World, but it might be the most rewarding and necessary to complete the day.

Most Disney World guests don’t realize that while Starbucks locations are on Disney property, they are still owned and operated by the Starbucks Corporation. As such, they must abide by all corporate rules.

Those corporate rules have gotten Starbucks in Disney World and across Florida in trouble with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis. Starbucks has diversity, equity, and inclusion training and hiring practices based on race, which may violate Florida law.

Moody appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show, which Florida Gov DeSantis guest-hosted, and said that she had filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and asked for an investigation into Starbucks’ hiring policies and DEI training.

A man in a suit and tie is smiling broadly in front of a colorful night scene featuring a lit-up castle and fireworks in the sky. The castle has intricate lighting and projections, creating a celebratory atmosphere.
Credit: Inside in the Magic

Moody said:

So many of these DEI policies that have been pushed in corporate America that were meant to address and prevent discrimination are now pushing policies and programs and initiatives that may in fact be unlawful employment practices, in fact becoming discriminatory themselves. We’re going to make sure that this quota for hiring and programs that cause every employee to determine whether they are the problem based on the color of their skin, whether that violates Florida’s anti-discrimination laws.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Stop WOKE Act in April 2022. It prohibits diversity policies or race-based hiring/diversity goals in hiring and does not allow DEI training in schools or for employees at private businesses or state offices.

Since the law went into effect, a Federal judge has ruled that parts of it, including the ban on DEI practices in private business, are unconstitutional because they violate the First Amendment. A Federal Appeals Court upheld that decision.

starbucks disneyland
Both Images: Credit Inside the Magic

Starbucks’ website openly advertises its DEI training and goals, and Moody used part of that website in her complaint to the Florida Commission on Human Relations. The website says that Starbucks’ “annual inclusion and diversity goals of achieving BIPOC representation of at least 30 percent at all corporate levels and at least 40 percent of all retail and manufacturing roles by 2025.”

The Walt Disney Company has also been sued for its DEI practices and race-based hiring by former White House staffer Stephen Miller. In his lawsuit, Miller claimed that Disney was “anti-white men and anti-Christian.”

This complaint will undoubtedly end up in the Federal Courts, where most of the law has already been struck down. However, it is a chance for Moody to continue railing against DEI practices and race-based hiring.

Don’t worry, Disney World fans, the Starbucks will still be there for you tomorrow.

What do you think of the Florida Attorney General going after Starbucks? 

in Disney, Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

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