DeSantis Signs Bill to Officially Void Disney’s Self-Government

governor desantis florida at podium
Credit: CNBC

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that officially ends Disney’s self-governing status once and for all.

RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis Gets Sued Twice in One Day

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference in the cabinet room at the close of the 2023 Florida legislative session Friday, May 5, 2023.

Credit: Tallahassee Democrat

On Friday afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis was quick to sign a bill into law that allows the board members he chose as part of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, to oversee all of Disney World’s 25,000 acres to effectively ignore development agreements that were approved by the previous board in a meeting in early February.

“Self-government is over,” DeSantis said as he signed SB 1604 into law on Friday, just one day after it was approved by the Florida. State Senate.

When SB 1604 was originally drafted, its focus was on land use law. But Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R) of Spring Hill added language to the bill that Gov. DeSantis wanted in it. The bill, which is now law, “allows a newly created independent district to not comply with any decisions made by the previous board up to three months before the new board was created,” per The Orlando Sentinel.

Though the verbiage in the new law doesn’t specifically mention the Central Florida Tourism Development District, or the old board, called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Sen. Ingoglia said that both were the targets of the bill.

Many of Florida’s Democrat lawmakers were opposed to the bill–even to the point of poking fun at Gov. Ron DeSantis and his “need” to “take on Mickey Mouse.”

Governor Ron DeSantis Is Angry About Disney Outsmarting Him

Credit: Kotaku

“When are we going to stop playing whack-a-mouse and focus on solving the real issues that Floridians face?” asked Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando. “This is really getting old, and I understand DeSantis’ presidential bid is tanking, and he needs to take on Mickey Mouse to look big and bad to his base, but really, Governor — just let it go.”

Friday’s move on the part of the Florida legislature is the latest in the ongoing feud between Disney and Florida lawmakers–a feud that began more than a year ago and for which there seems to be no end in sight.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!