Back in April 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The special district had been around since 1967 and allowed Disney to function as its own form of government. DeSantis and the Republican-led Florida legislature voted to dissolve Reedy Creek after DeSantis and Disney began locking horns in March 2022.
As part of Reedy Creek’s dissolution, the embattled governor announced that the state would also be taking over the inspections of Disney’s most iconic transportation option — the monorail. Prior to the dissolution, Disney was able to have its own inspectors come in and make sure the monorail was operating safely. However, DeSantis said that that would no longer be acceptable, so he would send in state inspectors to do the work.
It’s been eight months, but that promise has finally come to fruition. According to ClickOrlando — a local news site — the Florida Department of Transportation has begun the process of regulating the Walt Disney World monorail:
“Being that this is the first time that the State has had oversight, FDOT is doing its due diligence to thoroughly complete the review while ensuring the safety of travelers,” said FDOT District Five Public Information Director Cindi Lane.
FDOT’s Structures Maintenance Office, which inspects hundreds of bridges and other structures across the state, has begun conducting field inspections of Disney’s monorail structure.
As part of that process, Disney has provided FDOT with safety manuals and other existing monorail documentation, Lane said.
While it may not seem like a big deal to have state inspectors looking at the monorail system, they actually hold immense power. FDOT inspectors can choose to suspend Disney World monorail service while they are doing their inspections. We do not know how long they could keep the monorails down. Thankfully, that has not yet happened.
Since the state’s takeover of Walt Disney World Resort and the Reedy Creek District, things have gone from bad to worse between Disney, Governor DeSantis, and his new board running Reedy Creek.
The board has tried to force Disney to dissolve its Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion program. The head of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District — Glen Gilzean — called the program “unAmerican.” However, just two years ago, he was praising Disney and its DEI program for all the positive work it was doing in the area.
The district has also lost dozens of employees, some of whom worked for Reedy Creek for decades. No member of the CFTOD board has any experience working in the theme park industry. Those who have left said that morale is at an all-time low and called the board “unqualified and incompetent.”
Disney is currently suing the CFTOD for violating its First Amendment Rights, as well as breach of contract.
Do you think Florida should have taken over the Disney monorail? Let us know in the comments!