Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’s working to make changes at Disney World that will ultimately punish Guests who visit the Central Florida theme parks, and Disney has nothing to do with it.
In the latest development surrounding the Disney vs. DeSantis war in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced his intentions for Guests of the Walt Disney World Resort to begin paying even more for their visits. No, he doesn’t have the jurisdiction to raise ticket prices, and he is powerless to increase the price of Genie+ even more. He can’t demand that Disney World increase its per-night prices at Disney World Resort Hotels by 25%. But he does have some control over a few things that will affect Guests visiting the Central Florida parks.
“DeSantis claims the state will “look” at making YOU pay tolls to drive on roads near Disney and make YOU pay more in hotel taxes,” the tweet reads.
DeSantis claims the state will “look” at making YOU pay tolls to drive on roads near Disney and make YOU pay more in hotel taxes. https://t.co/1j1LQXHWZk
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) April 7, 2023
On Friday morning, Gary Fineout tweeted about new plans Governor DeSantis has in moving from only targeting The Walt Disney Company to putting a spotlight on those who support the company by visiting its Florida theme parks, located near Orlando. Fineout’s tweet reads as follows:
“Boom. @GovRonDeSantis vows Disney will not win battle with state. Says [Florida legislature] will void development [agreement] & says since Disney ‘opened’ things back up, the state will “look” at hotel taxes, look at putting tolls on roads, look at developing property owned by new district.”
Fineout goes on to say to quote Gov. DeSantis:
“’They are not superior to the people of Florida,’ DeSantis said during an evening appearance at Hillsdale College. ‘So come hell or high water, we’re going to make sure that policy of Florida carries the day, and so they can keep trying to do things. But ultimately, we’re going to win on every single issue involving Disney, I can tell you that,’ said DeSantis.”
According to Politico, DeSantis is looking at sticking Guests of the Walt Disney World Resort with some of the financial punishments he apparently intends to hand down, as they may soon be forced to pay tolls for roads used to access the Disney theme parks, and they may also see an increase in Florida’s hotel tax rate, which could impact the amount they pay for a stay at Disney World in a very noticeable way:
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday promised a new round of action against Disney in his ongoing dispute with the entertainment giant,” the post reads in part, “including looking at the taxes on Disney’s hotels and imposing tolls on roads that serve its theme parks.”
Such plans seem to indicate that DeSantis is pulling out all the stops to attempt to keep Disney from operating in the State of Florida.
Earlier in the day, DeSantis said that Disney “tried to pull a fast one on the way out the door.”
“That story’s not over yet,” DeSantis added. “Buckle up. There’s more coming down the pike.”
“[DeSantis’s] remarks on Thursday evening outlined that more immediate actions are pending,” the post at Politico continues. “DeSantis also said that the new district he appointed would explore developing property it owns that is adjacent to Disney property. He also contended that the Florida Legislature was prepared to void the development agreement that had been approved by the outgoing board.”
Last week, the Florida legislature discovered that while it held its special session in early February to determine whether the state of Florida would take over the district formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, rather than dissolve it completely, Disney-appointed board members with the district also met–and approved several restrictions that ultimately rendered the new board members, appointed by Gov. DeSantis, powerless to make decisions. They also approved a development agreement for the land owned by Disney.
The new restrictions and agreement have time on their side, as Disney’s board approved the changes with a “royal clause” that keeps them in place “until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of [the] Declaration.”
Time will tell if Gov. DeSantis is able to hand down punishments to Disney that ultimately target Guests of the Resort.