Disney Losing Reedy Creek Governance Appears Imminent

Disney Losing Reedy Creek Governance Appears Imminent

The Mouse may be caged

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
February 7, 2023

In a special legislative session of the Florida Legislature,  the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), run by the Walt Disney Company, appears to have its days numbered.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has sought to curb the power of Disney in the state, and this may be the measure that does it.

First formed in 1967, the RCID gave Disney broad powers to do with its property as it saw fit. However, according to the press release, this created "an unaccountable Corporate Kingdom."

As such, this new legislation will permanently end Disney's self-governing status and impose several new restrictions.

Firstly, the State of Florida will be able to tax Disney for road programs just outside its boundaries.

Second, the company will have to pay nearly $1 billion in unsecured debt.

Third, State law will no longer give Disney preferential treatment.

Fourth, "an avenue" will be made to compel Disney to contribute to local infrastructure.

Easily the most drastic measure this bill will impose is the creation of a "state-controlled, term-limited board- with members appointed by the Governor."

According to WESH News, these five members would also be confirmed by the State Senate. Additionally, three will serve four years, while the other two serve two years.

Moreover, members cannot have previously worked for Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, or other theme parks as "an officer, executive, employee or contractor."

DeSantis had first spoken of repealing Disney's control over Reedy Creek this past April, saying that "what I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power."

On the other hand, Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-42) criticizes this move as "a clear power grab" by DeSantis in a recent tweet.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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