DeSantis Loses To Disney?

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

During a public meeting on Wednesday, the board selected by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to oversee the governance of Walt Disney World revealed that they discovered new “11th-hour agreements” which would allow Disney to set its own utility rates for its Orlando theme parks.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District stated that they learned about these agreements following negotiations with a Disney subsidiary in February to extend its contract through 2032. Chairman Martin Garcia specifically noted that they had learned about the agreement on Friday afternoon and that it “relates to our utility services.” He proceeded to note that it was necessary for them to examine the legality of the agreement, which essentially allows Disney to “set their utility rates.”

He proceeded to comment that this is the first time that he has ever “heard of such a thing.”

Previously the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District revealed that in March Disney and the Reedy Creek Improvement District, whose board was fully replaced by new members handpicked by DeSantis before leaving the board, restricted the board’s power and gave a lot of control back to Disney.

On March 29, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District had stated that prior to the bill that DeSantis signed which gave the state control of the Reedy Creek district, which had previously granted Disney its own self-governing authority in Florida for over 50 years, the district had signed another deal with Disney which gave the company control of its development rights and special privileges. This essentially means that the company is going to be allowed to continue being self-governing.