Ron DeSantis Continues On The Lawsuit Track, And Now He's Calling Disney World 'Devious'.

Ron DeSantis Continues On The Lawsuit Track, And Now He's Calling Disney World 'Devious'.

The battle between Ron DeSantis and Walt Disney World recently saw a major win for the Florida Governor, with the First Amendment lawsuit being dismissed in Federal court. The fight is far from over, however, and while the legal issues continue, so does the war of words, with DeSantis recently celebrating the law that transformed Walt Disney World’s special district, and calling the previous arrangement "devious." 

It’s been almost a full year since Ron DeSantis signed the bill that changed the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which had been in place since the 1950s, with the Central Floria Tourism Oversight District. The law replaced the existing board, made up of residents of the district, with people chosen by the governor himself. Yesterday DeSantis held a press conference (via AllEars) to celebrate what he saw as the successes of the law while calling Disney World’s plan to create the original special district “very devious” and claiming that Florida’s constitution wouldn’t even allow such a district to exist today.

The language is on par with what Ron DeSantis has been saying since the fight with Disney began. After the company came out against the Parental Rights in Education bill, known by opponents as “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis began his campaign against Disney World, including the end of Reedy Creek and enacting a collection of other laws specifically targeted at Disney World.

While other special districts exist in Florida, and a few of them encompass theme parks, it’s certainly true that the Reedy Creek Improvement District was unique. The original plans for Walt Disney World included a residential community, which, due to the passing of Walt Disney, never came to fruition. Still, the district gave Disney World unique authority, but also alleviated Florida taxpayers of the burdens of paying for the expenses for Disney World, as the theme park resort was ultimately responsible for providing many of its municipal services.

A series of lawsuits were filed in the wake of the special district being changed. Disney sued Ron DeSantis and the new special district in federal court, as well as suing the CFTOD in state court. The CFTOD is also suing Disney in state court over a land deal Disney World made with the previous district before the board was dissolved. The state lawsuits are still pending. Disney has appealed the federal lawsuit being dismissed, arguing that DeSantis violated the First Amendment rights of the Walt Disney Company by retaliating against the company for exercising its freedom of speech.

Disney has announced plans to spend $60 billion on theme parks over the next decade and has made no secret of the fact that it may choose to spend less of that money in Florida if it finds investing in Disney World too difficult due to the changes in the way the company does business.