All the way back in April 2023 — which seems like a lifetime ago — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Reedy Creek had been in place since 1967 and essentially allowed Walt Disney World to function as its own government. Reedy Creek would pay its taxes, but they would not have to go through the red tape for things like permits and construction. They were also in charge of Disney World’s electrical grid, internet, first responders, and more.
After dissolving Reedy Creek, DeSantis hand-picked a new board and renamed the area The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
Since then, things have not gone well for DeSantis’ new board. Things with Disney have gone from bad to worse, with the two locked-in dueling lawsuits. Then, there are the mass resignations that are happening within the CFTOD. In less than a year, dozens of qualified employees — some of whom have been there a long time — have quit. They have reported that morale is at an all-time low, calling the CFTOD board members “unqualified and incompetent.”
Since its dissolution, thousands have been fighting to end the CFTOD and reinstate Reedy Creek. The first big attempt to legally bring back Reedy Creek was made in November 2023, but several Republican lawmakers walked out of the meeting. That meant that a vote on Reedy Creek could not take place.
But now, things have changed.
On Friday, January 5, Orange County legislators backed a proposal to bring back Reedy Creek. Orange County is one of the counties where the Walt Disney World Resort is located. State Senator Linda Stewart said that Reedy Creek is essential to the area, because the new CFTOD board is not being “transparent” and they have broken the way the district should operate.
While this is a big win for Disney in its fight against DeSantis and the CFTOD, the repeal is still a long way off from becoming a reality. Orange County is one of the most liberal areas in the state. So, it makes sense that Orange County legislators would back it. However, the deal has to pass through the State House of Representatives and the State Senate.
Both the state House and the state Senate are Republican-controlled, with many of the legislators supporting the dissolution of Reedy Creek. Legal experts think that it is unlikely that they would vote for the reinstatement of Reedy Creek.
Would you like to see Reedy Creek make a return? Let us know in the comments!