DeSantis Ends His Years Long Feud With Disney and Look Who Won

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

( – The resolution of a longstanding legal dispute between Disney and a tourism board in Central Florida, supported by Governor Ron DeSantis, was announced recently. This agreement, ratified by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, puts an end to the litigation that has been ongoing for almost two years.

Bryan Griffin, the communications director for Governor DeSantis, expressed satisfaction with Disney’s decision to withdraw its legal challenges against the newly established Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. He emphasized that the agreements Disney attempted to enforce at the last minute were recognized as invalid and not legally binding. Griffin highlighted the principle that no corporation should have the authority to govern itself, expressing a forward-looking stance to collaborate with Disney and the District to foster economic development, support family-oriented tourism, and ensure accountable governance in the area.

The conflict originated when Disney criticized the Florida legislation known as the Parental Rights in Education Act, leading to the DeSantis administration’s annulment of the special tax district previously controlled by Disney. This district had granted Disney significant autonomy over its theme parks.

Jeff Vahle, President of Walt Disney World, expressed relief at resolving the legal disputes with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. He mentioned that this agreement marks the beginning of a positive relationship with the District’s new leadership and will benefit all parties involved by facilitating substantial investments and generating numerous jobs and economic opportunities in Florida.

The lawsuit initiated by the DeSantis-appointed board aimed to annul prior agreements made by the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which were perceived as overly advantageous to Disney. The new board contended that these agreements lacked impartiality and were hastily approved by the former board.

Charbel Barakat, vice chair of the board, stated that the establishment of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District was intended to introduce public accountability and transparency to a key Florida destination. He expressed pride in the achievements of the District and enthusiasm for future collaboration with Disney and other Central Florida businesses to enhance the region’s reputation for top-tier attractions and responsible management.

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