In DeSantis’ War, Disney is Fighting Fire With Fire

Disney Sues DeSantis

The Walt Disney Company has expanded its federal lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The company recently filed suit against the Governor, alleging that he has violated their constitutionally protected free speech by bringing government retribution against them for speaking out against his Parental Rights in Education Act (dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by critics).

governor desantis florida at podium

Credit: CNBC

Governor DeSantis and his allies have made increasingly off-the-wall threats against Disney, many of which they have acted on. The latest was to attempt to void Disney’s 11th-hour agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District that essentially rendered DeSantis’ move against them useless. Hours before the DeSantis-appointed board was set to take over, Disney and Reedy Creek made an arrangement that gave the Walt Disney Company final say over any Reedy Creek decisions.

Reedy Creek

Reedy Creek

DeSantis, however, didn’t take kindly to being outsmarted. On Friday, he and his allies in the Florida legislature passed a bill that targets Disney, specifically, because the exact scenario in the law’s verbiage is unlikely to occur again. The bill states that an independent special district is prohibited “from complying with the terms of any development agreement that is struck within three months before a law modifying the manner of selecting members of that special district’s governing body.” Essentially DeSantis and friends used the power of the Government to rewrite the rules to their liking.

According to CNBC, “The governor’s board members claimed the deals were unlawfully passed and undercut their power over the 25,000-acre area. But Disney says the contracts were crafted to help lock in its long-term development plans amid escalating tension with DeSantis and his allies.”

Desantis war on disney

In their amendment, Disney claimed that Governor DeSantis is escalating his “retribution campaign” by signing legislation that voids Disney’s development deals in Orlando, forcing Disney to seek government intervention to end the war between Florida and Disney. Governor DeSantis and his allies have no apparent intent to moderate their retaliatory campaign any time soon,” Disney added to the civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee in April.

The ongoing fight seems to have no end in sight. Each side claims to be correct and is unwilling to back down. Stay tuned right here at Disney Dining, where we will bring you updates as they happen.


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.