Just when it seemed that the flames of fury in the Disney vs. DeSantis debacle were becoming only very hot embers, the chaos has been reignited following a discovery made earlier this week, and Gov. DeSantis vows the battle is far from over.
On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis warned The Walt Disney Company that things are not yet settled between the Sunshine State and the Mouse House. The warning came one day after it was revealed that the former Disney-selected board for the Reedy Creek Improvement District enacted a new development agreement and restrictions that appear to have stripped power from the governor’s new, hand-selected board.
The events transpired in February during a public meeting while DeSantis and Florida lawmakers met in Tallahassee for a special session to determine whether the state would take over Disney’s Reedy Creek District or dissolve it altogether. The apparent eleventh-hour move by Disney’s Reedy Creek board made headlines, especially as the board’s development agreement seemed to indicate that Disney World has definitive, active plans to build a fifth theme park, but after sifting through the facts surrounding the surprising discovery, it became clear that the board’s newly-adopted agreement was merely a power move, not an indication of Disney’s plans to add to its theme park repertoire.
The secret deal made between the former Reedy Creek board and Disney is now being investigated by the DeSantis administration. Four legal firms have been retained to assist in the matter, as the government intends to determine whether the deal is legally binding–and whether it was put into place legally.
“There’s a lot of little back-and-forth going on now with the state control,” DeSantis said on Thursday. “But rest assured: you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s more to come in that regard.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office has written a letter asking for documents, text messages, and email messages from and between members of the now-defunct Reedy Creek board. DeSantis’s office has since begun circulating the letter. Moody wants to gather “documents discussing an intention or goal of circumventing, avoiding, frustrating, [or] mitigating” to slide past Florida law.