Florida lawmakers filed a bill on Monday that will save an original piece of the Walt Disney World Resort, which was scheduled for demolition, though it will be given a new name.
During a special session on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis and lawmakers in the Sunshine State introduced House Bill 9B, which, if passed, will keep intact an original part of Disney World, originally incepted by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney in 1967.
House Bill 9B is titled the “Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties.” The bill was filed on Monday during the special session that was called to determine the fate of Disney World’s special tax district, which gives the Central Florida parks the ability to self-govern.
The district had been in jeopardy of being dissolved completely following the passing of a statute in April 2022 by the Florida legislature that would end all special districts formed in Florida before 1968.
“I am announcing today that we are expanding the call of what they are going to be considering,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a press conference in April. “Yes, they will be considering the congressional map, but they also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968, and that includes [Disney’s] Reedy Creek Improvement District.”
DeSantis went on to say that he “[doesn’t] support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful” and that Disney had “been able to wield a lot of power.”
House Bill 9B is lengthy, but the biggest part of the takeaway so far is that if it’s passed, Gov. DeSantis will appoint board members himself to oversee the activities of the Reedy Creek special district. The bill also calls for the renaming of the district to “The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”
NEW: "HB 9B – Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties" has been filed. The bill proposes changes including renaming the district to "Central Florida Tourism Oversight District."
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) February 6, 2023
Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District has the authority and responsibilities assigned to any county government, and its jurisdiction lies in both Orange and Osceola Counties. The district’s jurisdiction includes the cities of Bay Lake, Florida, and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, as well as unincorporated Reedy Creek land.
For more information on the bill, click here.
As this is a developing story, we will continue to bring news related to it as updates become available.