Select Page

Disney World vs. DeSantis: Legal Battle Escalates with Latest Blow

Disney World vs. DeSantis: Legal Battle Escalates with Latest Blow

Florida lawmakers have passed a bill that would essentially void Walt Disney World’s development agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special district that oversees the theme park and resorts. The state House of Representatives passed the land use bill in a 75-34 vote, and it will now go to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature. The 30-year development agreement ensured that Disney maintained a great deal of autonomy over land use on its property and that surrounding it, even after DeSantis led a successful state effort to take control of the special district and install the governor’s own appointees to its board.

This latest development in the ongoing dispute between Disney and the Florida government comes after the state installed its own appointees on the special district’s board, a move Disney claimed was an act of retaliation after the company opposed DeSantis’ parental rights legislation, known as the “don’t say gay” bill. Disney filed a federal lawsuit against the governor last week, contending that his actions violated the First Amendment and the Constitution’s contract clause, as well as the company’s right to due process.

The bill that passed on Wednesday includes a provision that prohibits the district from complying with the development agreement. More specifically, it bars special districts from complying with agreements executed within three months of a law being passed changing how a district’s board members are selected. The Disney development agreements were passed by the Reedy Creek board on February 8; DeSantis signed legislation giving the state control of the board on February 27.

Disney has contended that its development agreement, which includes a set of restrictive covenants, complied with the law. “All agreements signed between Disney and the district were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” the company said last month.

Lawmakers on Wednesday also passed legislation that would allow the state greater oversight over inspections of monorails at the theme park. The special district board, now renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, voted earlier this week to counter Disney’s lawsuit with their own state litigation.

DeSantis has made it clear that he believes that “no corporation is above the law and the people of this state,” and that “it is wrong for one corporation to basically corrupt a local government, run it as their own fiefdom, be exempt from laws and have all kinds of benefits that nobody else has.” In his remarks this week, he took another swipe at Disney’s opposition to the “don’t say gay” law, adding in a dig at the company’s dealings with the Beijing government.

The ongoing legal battle between Disney and the Florida government appears to be far from over, with lawmakers passing two bills on Wednesday that target Walt Disney World’s monorail and the development agreement enacted with the former board of its special district. The move comes despite Disney’s allegations in court that the GOP’s attacks violate the company’s First Amendment rights.

About The Author


  1. Frank stetson

    There’s an old saying: don’t shit where you eat.

    Chow down Ronnie boy. Many businesses will just look elsewhere to limit the risk of this mercurial monster.

    Disney would have to move a city, but will consider Ron in future investments. They already moved much of CA to FL high paying jobs too; they can move that again.

    Beyond retribution; just don’t see the good business in Ron’s actions. Seems very personal. Wouldn’t expect big business backing for his DC run.

    Since Disney is skewered him on every move, can’t wait to see their next shot. It’ll be the mouse that roared.

    • Robin Boyd

      Why should Disney have more rights than other comparable businesses such as Universal Studios? No matter what Disney does, it will not do harm to Florida or DeSantis.

      • Frank stetson

        Universal gets FL tax breaks.

  2. Frank stetson

    I’m watching the coronation and it strikes me; are these guys all in drag? Banned in Tennessee?

    And they are grooming, did you catch the children’s choir?

    • Tom

      No I did not Frank. What is going on there? I know Jack Daniels now promotes transgenders and that is causing an uproar in Kentucky. Not heard anything about TN other than those three mouthy legislators that two of them got kicked out and then reinstated while the third one was a white lady that got no discipline for the same mouthiness.

      • Frank stetson

        The Jack Daniels controversy is for an ad that was run two years ago and really just features run-of-the-mill drag queens in a funny ad. It’s great since there probably isn’t a liberal in all of JD.

        Tennessee bill three calls for the arrest of cross-dressers in the presence of minors. While they try to dress it up as going against drag queen library shows and such, if you read it carefully, it would cover any media type that is in view of minors from any access point. I.e. we arrest for Tootsie.

        The fact of the matter is all of this is tip of the iceberg. Let’s get real. What they’re really going after is the entire LBGTQ culture. They will start at the easiest point, the most vulnerable and the least likely to fight back if due to nothing but small numbers. So they start with the trans and drag queens. What they want is the entire gay community. You may say I’m paranoid, but we thought that about abortion, too. And now the entire south had bans.

        • Tom

          Well, like I said, I have not kept up on it. We will have to wait and see. In the case of the South, NC allows abortions up to 20 weeks. Cooper will veto a recent bill I just heard of last week. But there is a supermajority by +1 in both our lower and upper house so they will most likely pass it anyway. I remember someone telling me that it was not “pro-abortion” its “pro-choice” and that nobody chooses abortion. Seems to me that this situation is similar. Its not “anti-LGBTQ” its “Pro-children” and their natural development not being disrupted with non-biblical ideas that confuse their young minds (and I say that as a middle school teacher). And like in the abortion issue, I can honestly say that I do not know of anyone that chooses to go running down LGBTQ and wishes them any kind of harm. What I see is that many normal working class regular people choose for keeping our institutions traditional and biblical, and if the LGBTQs want what they want, fine, that is what closets, private households, and private clubs are for. :>)

          • Frank stetson

            Aren’t you at 12 weeks?

          • Frank stetson

            Bwhat? Sorry, I can’t even read the LBGTQ stuff.

            And yeah, I was wrong they pass the Senate, it is on the governors desk. He will veto, they will override, and it will be North Carolina law.

            The south is abortion free.

  3. Tom

    Well the majority of Floridians elected DeSantis because they agree with his beliefs and the way he thinks and views the relationship between the government and the governed. So I can understand why DeSantis did what he did, even though some may say it is retribution, we must remember that the FL legislature passed a law and Disney attacked first. DeSantis was not going after Disney until Disney attacked DeSantis and his bill which they renamed the “Don’t Say Gay Law”, and then they proceeded to be activists against the state with other attacks against a state elected offical, Ron DeSantis. What I am on the fence about is this issue of Disney being self governing. Is that some sort of agreement that goes into perpetuity? Hershey Park in Hershey PA is also a very large theme park but to the best of my knowledge is not self governing, it still listens and abides by PA laws. Same with King’s Dominion in VA. So it would appear that Disney is out of character with other theme park competitors and has an unfair advantage over them by being able to be self governing. Additionally, other theme parks to the best of my knowledge have not been activists against the state in which they reside. So in this one I am rooting for DeSantis. Disney has gotten to big for its queer britches, which I think they call pedalpushers, or clamdiggers, not sure if your tranny what they call them. Deuteronomy 22: 5-8.

  4. Mike f

    Doubt that desantis would have such an easy time being re-elected today. Folks were basically happy with his Covid response, even though more of them died because of it. His version of big government is not so popular in florida and even less so in the rest of the country. While he might somehow become the Republican nominee, his actions with Disney (and his other autocratic policies) ensure his defeat in a national election…

  5. Tony L Bell

    Disney like Bush Beer made it’s choice and now must endure the consequences of that decision.
    Disney had an especial working agreement with Florida for many years but has now frankly, bit the hand that fed it.
    The entire global “normalization of perversion” is exactly as it appears to be, a secular move against spiritualism.

    • Frank stetson

      That can work two ways. Tony, DeSantis is “banking” on Disney’s high exit cost. If they pull stakes, he loses FL’s largest employer and a lot of tourist bucks.

      Why would any company move to FL and be subjected to the trendy tastes of their mercurial governor? It’s just added risk.

      From SC to NM, smart states are probably already tendering Disney deals. You never know but for Disney, FL is a hostile environment now.

      I used to say DeSantis was Trump in a smarter looking suit. He just looks shabby now.

      This may be good politics, but it’s really bad business.

      • Tom

        Frank, I am not sure how but maybe you know. It came out in a news report yesterday that this deal that Disney had with the state of FL actually gave them a competitive advantage over their competitors in the area. How might that be? Any clues?

        • Frank stetson

          Yeah, Tom, I’m sure it’s a BBD. Remember, when they signed it, there was nothing there, and not a whole lot in Florida. Of course Florida bent over backwards to get Disney to buy all those acres.

          Let’s face it, the incredible vision that made this happen between Disney and Florida cannot be matched in America. They not only change Florida, they change the entire vacation and theme park industry in America. Think about where we were when he bought the land. Nowhere in American business can you see this type of long range thinking turn into actual product. It was an amazing feat.

          Why would Florida give the same deal to the next guy? They already had Disney. I believe what they say is that they’re similar “zones“ and tax deals not exact duplicates. Frankly, you’re hard-pressed to find any mid to large scale, business employer, paying taxes at all anyway. Look it up. Don’t know why, but not many of the big ones pay much at all if anything.

          Also, remember, at this point, DeSantis hasn’t really taking anything away from Disney. Remember, that’s the style of fluff, no stuff.

          • Frank stetson

            Actually, I take that back, take a look at Las Vegas, and what it took to make that happen. Not to mention the buried bodies…

            America is not very good at Long Range thinking. Our own standard processes starting with yearly business plans which are judged daily by the stock market preclude long range thinking. Japan, which is fine as often by the government doesn’t have this problem and that gave them great advantage against us in the 70s.

            Things like Disney and Vegas are just amazing stories, and should be revered, not destroyed for petty revenge and retribution over free-speech of all things.

            I am off and said that we would’ve never reach the moon given our planning processes and yearly reviews if Kennedy had not been assassinated. I am pretty sure we would’ve cut the budget well before we got there. Frankly, let’s face it, it was a pretty meaningless gesture to begin with. We could get rocks with robots, we can keep people in space without going to the moon, and learning to land without gravity, is far less exciting, and with the Russians do.

          • Tom

            Yeah actually I have been disappointed at the whole riff between Disney and Desantis. But its not just DeSantis, its the FL GOP that I think has a super majority. This is what happens when one party has a super majority. But still, the people are the ones that vote and make those super majorities. Yes it seems amazing how many big corporations do not seem to pay income tax. Their story is that if they did not get the big tax breaks and deductions, then they would have to pass that along to the consumer which would just raise prices. So I guess they are saying that we the tax payers are subsidizing their profits. Personally, I would like to see these tax breaks removed and see how much the prices actually go up. But then Bezos may not be able to afford another rocket ship. Seems ridiculous to me that my small single owner elder care management business could pay more taxes than Trump’s and Amazon’s businesses.

    • Keith K

      Idally, Disney and Busch should stick to what they do best. Selling their consumer goods and services. As a gay person, I don’t need a business advocating on my behalf especially when they don’t have a personal reason to be in on the fight..

      • Tom

        Good for you Keith K. I am a straight man who does not advocate for gay men. I leave them alone as long as they do not try to institutionalize homosexuality as a normal practice, and groom our children. I am for them having emergency room rights, employment rights, social security survivor rights, and many other rights if they have been legally married for at least 10 years, and other rights. I have gay friends and quite frankly (not Stetson) we never see the need to discuss our sexuality when we are playing golf or having a beer in the clubhouse. We all seem to get along pretty well and we do not push our views on each other. I agree with you. Businesses should stay away from social issues.

        • Frank stetson

          I don’t think Disney did anything that required retribution in this manner.

          They had an opinion on a Florida law, which backed up by the products they produce. Disney’s LBGTQ portrayals offer nothing for these people to fear. They are not overt about pushing any agenda, they are overt about treating everyone equally and fairly.

          And let’s get real, first, they come for the transgenders because they are the smallest and weakest and hardest for the terrified to understand. Then they go for the drag folks for the same reasons. If you let those pass, they will next come for the gays.

          And to say it can never happen is to say that abortion is legal in all 50 states as stated in Roe v. Wade.

  6. Frank stetson

    Think you have your gay phobic glasses on again… Disney did nothing except talk. After that, DeSantis and Company landed the first physical blow. Disney has only responded.

    DeSantis is all about breaking a deal for retribution. Disney is all about the ability for a company to have free speech. It is just speech. What’s wrong with that?

    In partnership with Florida, Disney took a fucking swamp and turned it into a tourist Mecca. They are the largest employer in the state. The fact that they got dispensations belies the magnitude of their investment. It is not unusual to give dispensation to attract business. Not at all.

    Everyone knows what was set up for Disney has been set up at a number of locations in Florida. It’s what they do. DeSantis is probably going down on this since he has self-incriminated himself in his own, albeit best-selling memoir. He pretty clearly states that this is all about retribution and attacking Disney, not just attacking what they said. It’s about revenge for speech. Otherwise he has many places he should be addressing the same. I only wish that it was his memoir…

    The fucker even got married at Disney. Guess he didn’t get groomed…

    • James Allan

      You made you point! The last line in your post wasn’t necessary but it tells the reader about your character and negative mine set.

  7. Robert Lambert

    Disney showed their cards, so to speak, when they revealed their agenda for indoctrinating children (NOT entertaining them, as they pretend) that they would have extended to the entire state of Florida, not just their “Reedy Creek” area, and as Gov. DeSantis has said, would counteract the will of the Florida voters. (How dare they not agree with everything Disney says or does? After all they are only the citizens of Florida; not the all-powerful Disney) Disney deserves to be reduced to what it should be; not the controller of the state, but merely a business that has to abide by the laws that the citizens of Florida allow to be the controlling influence. (NOT the edicts delivered by Disney)
    Some people might try to portray Gov, DeSantis’ and the legislature’s actions as “attacks” on this or that group, but those are lame arguments! The proof is that they resort to name-calling, as their positions sound weaker and weaker! Pathetic is all they resort to!

    • Frank stetson

      Name some children that were indoctrinated by Disney.

      Where is your evidence of such a stupid claim.

      It’s guys like you that end up in the Magic Castle trying to look up Cinderella’s dress. Stupid bastards.

      • Tom

        Frank, you have just forced my hand. Now I must confess.

        1) Yes, I was a dress looker-upper when I was six. Yes I really wanted to know what they had and if they were like me or different. I looked to expand my education and you and I both agree with education for our children. I looked because I was a healthy male with a healthy curiosity about the other gender. I did not look because I was confused. I did not look because I really wanted to wear their kind of panties. I did not look because I wanted to live a lie and try to make myself like them. And yes, I was disciplined for my upwardly roaming eyes – but in my Catholic School, they always let the girls go first. Had they let the boys go first we could not have looked. And our reader book was “John, Jean, and Judy” which was a fun book about healthy gender relationships having fun together. We had clearly defined male and female roles, dress, and activities, and we were taught why God designed it that way. Deuteronomy 22: 5-8.

        2) I am coming out now. I believe Disney has in the past attempted to groom me. When I was around six or seven, Mickey Mouse did hold my hand and we all sang “Its a Small World”. And they made me skip in rather gay fashion. Gay back then was not a naughty word, it meant happy back then. It was a good normal word. Homosexuals have stolen the word gay. And not so long ago they tried to make me feel that as a voter, if I did not vote for the candidate that represented the other person’s perversions as acceptable, then there must be something wrong with me, I’m not American even though I possess a DD-214 and fought for my country. They called me a homophobe, yet I have never been scared of a homosexual person, nor have I ever harmed a homosexual person or a tranny. I am simply a man who is convinced that we need to stay within God’s design, and the more we can do this, the better off we will have life. There is always a price to pay for deviating from God’s design and rules. I truly believe that I need to fear God and not worry about what man (or men who think they are women, or homos, or queers, or non-binaries) can do to me.

    • Tom

      I agree with your point that I think you are making that entertainment is being used as a delivery system for alternative ideas that against the way most parents want to raise their children. What should happen is that people who feel their kids are being groomed should not buy Disney, visit the park, or watch the movies. My son has cut out Disney Channel and does not allow Disney into his home. Good for him! I have always told Frank and other critics of mine, “I am not a homophobe, I am a Godophobe”. I do not fear any homosexual in this country. When I read the scriptures and see how many of these societies dabbled in homosexuality and other forms of immorality, it scare me for the USA. All of those societies fell, and immorality was a big part of the fall.

      • Frank stetson

        Oh, bullshit Tom. You can have your views, but all Disney is doing his portraying every day life in America. If that’s grooming, then every single bit of movie ever made his grooming something. Walking down the street is grooming something. Your kid may have drop Disney+, come on, tell us what channels he does have…

        Meanwhile, in the real world, in Larry’s backyard, in Florida, that wonderful state, Trump is holding his special conference. We are legitimate people will be talking with antisemites, who discount the holocaust, believe that the Roth Childs killed, Lincoln, and God knows what else. I wonder if Larry’s going?

        In the real world, this is the grooming we need to stop. We fought a war for stopping it. And now it reappears in Larry’s backyard. Beautiful Florida.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … Can’t get me out of your mind ,,,eh? I understand. Obsessions are cruel masters.

          • Frank stetson

            I feel for your problem.

  8. Robin Boyd

    DeSantis is putting morality above his own political interests. I’m sure that DeSantis believes that most Floridian citizens will support his efforts to prevent Progressives (Communists) from having control over Florida. This is the kind of opposition to Socialists and Progressives that is needed to get the U.S. back on track as the great nation we once were.

    • Tom

      I still think we are a great nation. But to your point, seems like society does not want a man who stands firm on his morals.

  9. frank stetson

    I promised a FL/NJ comparison to evaluate economic quality of life in FL. Summary is FL has great GDP, great growth, but suffers from the issues of being a service industry state. Low incomes, high prices, above average cost of living costs, threat of cataclysmic weather all affect the state and its economy. FL is a good place for business. Unfortunately, it’s mostly service oriented and they tend to come and go at the drop of a hat. Disney is an outlier and look what DeSantis is doing to that HUGE business. Following is the gory detail supporting the stuff above.

    Starting out with what started it out: Larry said, “the health care is outstanding. In Illinois I paid $100 per month for my Medicare advantage plan. In Florida, the same play has 0 premium.” On Healthcare, I do not doubt Larry got a BBD, but according to Forbes, FL does not and “Five of the 10 most expensive states for medical care are in the east, including West Virginia, FLORIDA, Maine, Delaware and New Hampshire.” It’s not good to be number two, Larry’s folksy anecdote notwithstanding.

    FL is ranked 4th worst, NJ is in the middle at 26th…. Larry’s anecdote is not typical which is a prime example of why good researchers do not rely on personal experiences as evidence as Larry often does.

    He also noted that FL’s incredibly high covid death rate could be blamed on all those old people as if premature death is more OK there…. Maybe DeSantimonious told him that. Truth is he’s wrong: VT has a higher median age and a strong record for refusing premature death of the elderly due to Covid. Case closed, anecdotes do not a statistical database make.

    Larry says DeSanctimonious is beloved, and I agree. IMO, the people are being fooled as today’s Republicans seem to enjoy as exemplified by their top choice for President: adjudicated guilty sex abuser and defamation artist Donald J. Trump. Here’s some more facts Larry can tell you are lies, but Larry won’t show you they are false. Because he can’t. Facts are our friends. Anecdotes are friendly stories. Starting with the good news:

    According to the Regional Economic Analysis Project, an egghead group of economic Phd’s and others, FL’s GDP is massive, almost twice NJ’s and number 4 in the nation to NJ’s number 9. That’s cool. It’s good to be grand. More important, FL’s GDP growth is over double NJ’s and also outpaces the US average. It’s beyond massive.
    Under DeSantis, this has just gotten better.

    Tom’s gonna love this site, Larry and Joe will probably not look: *’s%20annual,decade%20(2020%2D2022).*

    The good news ends there… Because as I said, Florida is a service-economy state, they have little diversity, lower wages, and less resilience to rapid economic changes. And then there’s the weather. Boom or bust — they are booming right now. Larry touts their business diversity, but shows little actual examples except that they have conclaves of similar people in apparent segregated areas like, as he calls them: “ Florida east coast is little New York/New Jersey — and the west coast is Little Chicago.” No doubt there’s “little Havana and little “poor black people town” too.

    Because it’s a service economy, wages are low. FL holds 20th position in 2022, NJ = 4th. That’s, on average, about $20K more per year in NJ. FL’s personal income also falls below the US average meaning you can make more money almost anywhere else.

    Now, FL incomes have risen in recent years; I am gathering that’s due to a new influx of millennials who garner higher wages. That’s good news. But “Over the past six decades some states have experienced extreme swings in growth, and often such swings have tended to coincide with the decades themselves,” if you look at FL’s wages, it’s a roller coaster of ups and downs. Like I said, service economy, and that’s an economy where people can come and go at a drop of a hat — either by personal choice, or by employment downturn. It’s easy to replace a minimum wage job.


    Bottom line: FL’s economy is booming but it’s a service economy which suffers from low wages and boom and bust cycles. DeSantis has done little to change that.

    For business friendly, FL ranks 11th, not in the top ten, but NJ is 42…sucks pondwater. For small business FL is better, number 4 although Motley Fool notes: “Florida has an excellent new entrepreneurship rate and good tax climate, but its business survival rate is mediocre, and the state shows increased risk from climate change.” Service economy effects.

    FYI: for Tom — NC wins, followed by SC… **

    Cost of Living by state puts FL at 32; NJ at 38 but remember that extra $20K you get in NJ… The COL difference is: “The cost of living in Florida is higher than the national average, ranking twentieth with a cost-of-living index of 102.8. The average living wage in Florida is $17.24, the minimum wage is $10, and the median household income is $59,734. Florida’s high cost of living can be attributed to its strong tourism industry, high demand for housing, and high property taxes.”