Reedy Creek trash cans in Disney Springs
Disney World and the word “controversial” are no strangers to each other.
There have been several controversies with the company including a lawsuit with Scarlet Johansson, major changes to the theme parks, and more. One that is still impacting the company today is Disney’s response to what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law — this sparked the dissolution of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District which allows Disney to operate its own county government. Now, we’ve got an update on the Reedy Creek lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis.
A group of Central Florida residents filed a pending lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. According to the Orlando Business Journal, this lawsuit may be going to the state’s capital (Tallahassee) soon.
An attorney for the plaintiffs (the Florida residents) filed an “unopposed motion to change venue” for the case. There is currently no timeline for this change to be made.
This lawsuit was originally filed by 3 Florida residents in May of 2022 due to the burden the dissolution may put on taxpayers. They argued that Florida taxpayers would be “burdened with at least $1 billion in Disney’s bond debt” if Reedy Creek was dissolved. The lawsuit was originally dismissed by a judge just a few days later on May 10th, 2022, but the lawsuit has since been refiled.
Since former Disney CEO Bob Chapek was the one who commented on behalf of The Walt Disney Company when it comes to the “Don’t Say Gay” law, some wonder if things would change now that Bob Iger has returned to the position.
Bob Iger replaced Chapek as CEO in November 2022 after Disney executives were displeased with the results of the Q4 earnings call. Currently, it is unclear if this will have any massive changes, but Florida lawmakers are working on a compromise that would allow Reedy Creek to stay with a few modifications. Unless an agreement can be reached before June 2023, the Reedy Creek governing body will be dissolved.
However, DeSantis appeared on Fox News following Iger’s first town hall meeting back with Disney where he commented on the boomerang CEO’s thoughts. Here is the full statement of Iger’s response to a question about Disney’s role in political controversies:
“I was sorry to see us dragged into that battle. And I have no idea exactly what its ramifications are in terms of the business itself. What I can say is that the state of Florida has been important to us for a long time, and we have been very important to the state of Florida. That is something I’m extremely mindful of and will articulate if I get the chance. I think there’s a misperception here about what politics is. Some of the subjects that have been proven to be controversial as it relates to Disney have been branded political, and I don’t think they are. Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not.”
Speaking to Tucker Carlson on Fox News, DeSantis said, “I don’t care what a Burbank-based, California company says about our laws.” You can read more about his comments here.
Even though DeSantis and other Florida legislators have spoken about potential plans for the dissolution, no official plans have been announced.
If you want to read more about the dissolution of the Reedy Creek District, check out these posts below:
- How Bob Iger’s Return Could Impact the Reedy Creek District Dissolution
- “Chapek Screwed Up, But Bob Iger Doesn’t Have to Own That Screw-Up” — Update on the Reedy Creek Situation
- CEO Bob Iger Discusses Disney’s Controversies and Role in Politics
- Everything You Need to Know About How Disney World Operates Its Own Local Government
- What Would Repealing the Reedy Creek Act Mean for Disney World?
We’ll continue to bring you updates on the Reedy Creek Improvement District.