DeSantis Signs Bill Declaring End to Disney’s ‘Corporate Kingdom’

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Bill ends district’s self-governing status and ‘places district into state receivership.’

After months of heavy criticism, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday signed legislation ending the Disney corporation’s self-governing status.

The bill effectively ends the Reedy Creek district’s self-governing powers and restores control of the area where the Walt Disney World resort is located back to the state.

“The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis declared Monday at a press event in Lake Buena Vista. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”

Fox News reports:

The bill, HB 9B, renames the Reedy Creek Improvement district, where Disney World is housed, to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that may only have term-limited members who are not recent employees or have been contracted by Disney in the past three years.

The governor explained, “Since the 1960s, they’ve enjoyed privileges unlike any company or individual in the state of Florida has ever enjoyed…They had exemptions from laws that everyone else had to follow. They were able to get huge amounts of benefits without paying their fair share of taxes.”

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DeSantis highlighted the bill, HB 9B, would level the playing field for other theme park resorts in the area, including Universal Studios and Sea World.

“How do you give one theme park its own government and then treat all of the other theme parks differently?” DeSantis asked the press. “So we believe that that was not good policy. We believe that being joined at the hip with this one California-based company was not something that was justifiable or sustainable.”

“My signature will also end Disney’s exemption from Florida building code and Florida fire prevention code. It will end Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and approval,” he added.

While the bill on its surface appears to restrict Disney overall, critics online pointed out it doesn’t go far enough and actually doesn’t end the woke corporation’s tax benefits.

In regards to the bill, the Miami Herald earlier this month reported:

The company will lose control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special favor given to Walt Disney World by the state in the 1960s. Instead of Disney choosing the five members of the board, which acts as a county government, the five will be chosen by DeSantis.

But the new improvement district will still have the same tax benefits it had before, such as the ability to issue tax-exempt bonds and other measures that have saved the company millions of dollars.

During the presser, DeSantis also touched on last year’s clash with Disney, which he has accused of sexualizing children and working with Communist China.

“Disney came out against something that was really just about protecting young kids and making sure that students are able to go to school learning to read, write, add and subtract and not having a teacher tell them that they could change their gender,” he said. “I think most parents agree with that but you know that was only a mild annoyance I think that what we came to realize after that dust settled on that was you clearly had a movement within the corporation itself.”

“I’m a dad 6, 4, and two and my wife and I know parents throughout Florida we want our kids to be kids we want them to be able to enjoy entertainment school without having an agenda imposed upon them,” he added.

So far, the market appears to have handled the news well with Reuters reporting: “Disney shares were up 0.4% on Monday.”

Watch DeSantis’ Monday address:

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