For those keeping track, add another lawsuit and more drama to the Disney vs. Governor DeSantis feud.
In a recent interview, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sat down with CNBC and urged the Walt Disney Company to drop its lawsuit against him and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. He also pointed out that he helped the Walt Disney Company stay in business by not shutting down the Magic Kingdom Park (or any theme parks) during COVID (unlike in California regarding the Disneyland Resort). He also claimed that he has moved on from the skirmish and is okay with putting it behind him.
Although some have debated whether or not his statements were an attempt to tone down the conflict or just an effort to help his presidential campaign, either way, it doesn’t appear that the Walt Disney Company is showing any signs of backing down.
The New Lawsuit
In fact, Walt Disney World Resort has started to countersue the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board (made up of Governor DeSantis appointees).
Previously, the Walt Disney Company’s lawsuit was a federal one that has received some pushback – at least on the legal side. However, this new countersuit is a state lawsuit, which may hold more legal water.
Disney is now countersuing CFTOD, seeking damages because the district refuses its "duty to perform" under "valid and binding" contracts. Disney requests the court rule against the district and "award other relief deemed proper." pic.twitter.com/JdVfHPb6me
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) August 18, 2023
Disney released a 55-page filing in which they countersued the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board for Breach of Contract and violations of the Florida Constitution. They also claim that Florida Gov Ron DeSantis never officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District – and instead just renamed it. Furthermore, if the district was never really dissolved, all Reedy Creek Improvement District contracts were still valid.
It seems like it is another attempt by the Walt Disney Company to prevent (or at least delay) the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District from having any power.
RELATED: DeSantis and Disney’s New MagicBand
The legal battle will likely continue for the next year through the Presidential Primary season (and election). Until then, we may never really know who “won.”