Well folks, it looks like Mickey Mouse has gotten himself into some hot water with Governor Ron DeSantis down in Florida. According to an amended lawsuit filed by the Walt Disney Co., DeSantis has been trying to void a 30-year theme park development agreement because of a tiff last year over a “don’t say gay” bill. Yeah, that’s right, apparently DeSantis didn’t appreciate Disney’s opposition to his bill and now he’s trying to stick it to the House of Mouse.
Disney claims that DeSantis violated its constitutional rights by dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which oversees its Florida resort property. DeSantis then went and passed some state legislation that gives him the power to appoint the members of the special district board. And as if that wasn’t enough, DeSantis replaced Disney-supporting board members with his own appointees who were clueless about the 30-year agreement. Talk about a sneak attack!
Walt Disney Co. accuses Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of violating its constitutional rights in the ongoing dispute over a 30-year theme park development agreement.
The 30-year agreement gave Disney World autonomy over what gets built on company property and surrounding land. But now DeSantis-appointed members of the special district board are complaining that the agreement curtails their power. Oh, boo-hoo! Cry me a river, folks!
DeSantis is really going after Disney with all he’s got. He’s talking about adding taxes to the parks and putting tolls on roads leading up to the resort. Also, even building a state prison nearby! Come on, DeSantis, let’s not get too carried away here. Are you trying to turn Disney World into a prison yard?
Disney’s not taking this lying down. In fact, they’re calling DeSantis out on his “patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional” actions. They even accused him of “a relentless campaign to weaponize government power.” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt.
But it’s not just Disney vs. DeSantis. The governor’s appointees to the board of the special district, now renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, are filing a countersuit against the company. It looks like it’s turning into quite the legal battle.
And to top it all off, this whole thing is happening right before Disney’s earnings call on May 10. So, not only is Mickey dealing with legal troubles, but he’s also got to worry about Wall Street. Talk about stress.
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Key Notes: The escalating battle between the Walt Disney Co. and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has reached new heights. Disney’s amended lawsuit claims that the governor’s moves to void a 30-year theme park development agreement are retaliatory strikes due to the company’s opposition last year to parental rights legislation.
The crux of Disney’s lawsuit is that DeSantis violated its constitutional rights by moving to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the public entity that oversees its Florida resort property. The 30-year agreement gives Disney World autonomy over what gets built on company.