“No Records Exist”: Disney Outsmarts DeSantis AGAIN

DeSantis Disney feud

Disney did not come to play in the ongoing battle with Governor Ron DeSantis. The House of Mouse and DeSantis have been going toe to toe since last year when Disney publicly opposed the Parental Rights in Education Act (dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by critics). 

Related: Disney Breaks Silence on Don’t Say Gay Bill 

To retaliate for their opposition, Ron DeSantis vowed that Disney would regret getting involved. He set to work to find a way to punish them and decided to dissolve their improvement district, Reedy Creek, and replace it with a board of his own choosing. The district essentially allowed Disney to operate their own government, which streamlined issues like zoning, building and construction permits, fire services, and infrastructure maintenance.

Disney vs DeSantis

Credit: Wikipedia

Related: DeSantis Land? Governor Seeks Control of Disney World

 DeSantis sought to bring all that under Florida state control, but Disney had a trick up their sleeve. Just before Reedy Creek was set to become the new plaything of DeSantis,  they struck an agreement with Disney that would circumvent the Improvement District almost entirely. The deal essentially made The Walt Disney Company judge and jury for all of Reedy Creek’s future decisions rendering the District powerless to do anything but maintain roads. People called it “a master class in dealing with bullies.” 

ron desantis standing at podium

Credit: Orlando Business Journal

Needless to say, Governor DeSantis did not like that one bit! He vowed to exact revenge, saying that Disney hadn’t seen anything yet, hinting that further retaliation would be coming. He even called himself “the new sheriff in town.” His plan? A criminal investigation into the backroom dealings that circumvented his power over Reedy Creek. 

Related: DeSantis: ” You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” 

It looks like Disney has outsmarted the Governor once again, though. Yesterday afternoon the Orlando Sentinel reported that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody had issued a records request regarding the deal brokered between Reedy Creek and Disney. The purpose was to examine them to determine if any criminal actions had taken place. The request specifically was seeking “documents discussing an intention or goal of circumventing, avoiding, frustrating, mitigating or otherwise attempting to avoid the effects of anticipated actions by the Florida governor and the Florida Legislature.” The records request also specified that “copies of emails, text messages, and other correspondence from board members, district employees, and other affiliates related to the deals.” should be turned over to the Attorney General’s office.

The records probe came up empty-handed, however. AG Moody was informed that “no records exist.” This means Disney was smart enough not to leave a paper trail, and for now, at least, it looks like they have outsmarted DeSantis once again.  



About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.