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DeSantis’ Disney District Ended First Responder Protection in Multiple Cities

Lake Buena Vista no firefighters
Credit: Reedy Creek Improvement District

It’s been nearly one year since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill that officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The controversial governor had been — at that point — at war with Disney for almost a year. The dissolution of Reedy Creek meant that Disney could no longer function as its own government, the state would have control.

reedy creek fire department building at disney world

Credit: Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District

Shortly after getting rid of Reedy Creek, Governor DeSantis hand-picked a new board. That board would lead what is now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The CFTOD board is full of DeSantis loyalists who have no problem continuing the battle between the governor and the Mouse House.

What many may not know is that there are two small cities that lie within the district — Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake. For months, Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake have been without essential services like fire protection, accounting, and information technology. The CFTOD board cut the cities off from those services months ago.

Walt Disney magic Kingdom park hopper

Credit: Disney

Thankfully, it looks like Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista will soon be independent of the district that has ostracized them.

Per WESH2 News:

City councils for Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake met Wednesday to update their transition away from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. Only a few dozen people live in the cities: they are loyal to Disney and live in homes on Disney property. For decades, their operations were intertwined with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was also controlled by Disney.

The agreement officially ends on Jan. 16. The cities’ manager, Randy Singh, says he believes he’s been able to find ways to replace most of those services, and is working to finalize a new agreement with CFTOD that would include fire protection.

Expedition everest disney world ride break down

Credit: Disney

Related: DeSantis’ Disney Takeover Hits the Parks

Thankfully, Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake have not been without police protection. They have a separate contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s, which the two cities have been paying for.

Since the dissolution of Reedy Creek, things between Disney, DeSantis, and the new board have only gotten worse. The CFTOD has tried to force Disney to end its Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion program. They have also tried to give no-bid contracts to companies whose leaders have been loyal to the Florida governor.

florida governor ron desantis disney lawsuit lose presidential

Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr

Related: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Pushes for Massive Overhaul of Disney World Attractions & Rides

Disney is currently suing the CFTOD board, accusing them of breach of contracts and violating the company’s First Amendment Rights. Disney has also recently filed a suit against the board for illegally withholding public records requested by Disney.

These lawsuits are in addition to the one Disney has filed against Governor DeSantis. Disney is suing DeSantis for violating its First Amendment Rights. Disney claims that DeSantis began punishing the company when ex-CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

DeSantis’ lawyers are arguing that it “doesn’t matter” if the governor punished Disney. DeSantis has admitted many times that he only started going after Disney because they said something that he didn’t like.

Disney did recently take a big step in possibly getting rid of the CFTOD. Officials in Orange County backed a bill that would eliminate the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and bring back Reedy Creek.

Do you think Disney should have cut Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista off from its firefighters? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

5 comments

  1. Governor DeSantis is the best governor in America. Florida is a model state for every other state. Making Disney pay their fair share just like every other special district. If he has a plan in place than it is a good one. Disney is not doing anyone any favors. Look at the price of Disney tickets and Resort rooms. Good thing he is not running Florida like California. How is it going in California? How many illegal immigrants are you paying to take care of now due the Dem Governor you have? Governor DeSantis protecting children, the state of Florida and it’s residents. All good things.

    • I agree with you about Desantis watching out for our children, What Disney is doing is totally wrong for children. But leaving the city without services is wrong. Desantis authoritarian attitude is also very wrong and his lies and misinformation is getting really OLD!!!

    • Obviously you don’t base your opinions on facts..
      Desantis is interested in his own goals. The only people he represents in Florida are the ones who do everything exactly as he tells them, without question. Desantis is supressing free speach, freedom of choice, and diiigently lowering the quality of children’s education by making sủre they are exposed to only hís biased beliefs.

  2. DeSantis is not a good governor. His policies are rooted in authoritarianism and nearly dictatorial. His decisions have made the quality of life in Florida worse. We need a governor that actually cares about education and people because we’re fostering very dangerous ideologies in school.

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