Central Florida Tourism Oversight District seeks “superior authority” over Disney World’s former Reedy Creek Improvement District

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board is set to introduce Resolution No. 639, which aims to claim superior authority over the former Reedy Creek and amend changes made by Disney. The resolution would replace the Planning Board with a Board of Supervisors who would be the final decision-making authority for the District, with no appeals allowed.[0] The proposal will be reviewed at the board’s meeting on April 19.[1]

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s Board of Supervisors, which will assume control of Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, intends to propose a resolution granting them “Superior Authority” over the district. The board’s resolution states that the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s Board of Supervisors is the “superior authority” over planning, zoning, and land development regulations for the entire special district, including within the city limits of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista.

The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, handpicked a new board to oversee Disney World’s infrastructure.[2] This power was granted thanks to a new law meant to punish the Walt Disney Company for speaking out against Florida’s parental rights in education legislation.[2] The Reedy Creek Improvement District was renamed as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District by the law.[2]

According to a resolution, DeSantis’ board has put forward the idea of dubbing themselves as the “superior authority” with jurisdiction over the entirety of the Disney World zone.[1] This move is the latest attempt by DeSantis’ administration to target Disney.[3] Ashley Moody, the Attorney General of Florida, has formally requested public records including text messages, emails, and other relevant documents from the former board members of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.[3] In addition, DeSantis requested that the state inspector general investigate Disney’s exertion of influence, which entails examining the potential involvement of the corporation’s executives, personnel, or representatives.[3]

The governor has been in a feud with Disney since last year when Disney executives publicly opposed the Parental Rights in Education Act, the legislation LGBTQ rights groups and Democrats have derided as “Don’t Say Gay,” because it limits classroom instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation.[1]

Both Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, situated in the district, are home to a mere 53 individuals, all of whom are thought to have strong affiliations with Disney.[4] City councils and mayors are elected by the cities.[1] Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista shall not issue any development orders or permits or execute development agreements, according to the resolution.[5]

Currently, members of the Planning Board are limited to serving three-year terms, but the proposed amendment seeks to eliminate these term limits. Additionally, the modifications would eliminate the existing restriction of board members serving only for a maximum of three years.

Disney has said that all agreements signed between Disney and the district were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida Government in the Sunshine law.[6] However, DeSantis and his appointed board members are consulting with four different law firms over the matter.[7]

DeSantis has pledged to void Disney’s actions to maintain its power, and he would also consider taxes on hotels, new tolls, and developing properties.[3] During a visit to Michigan last week, DeSantis stated that although it may have been true that Disney controlled Florida for the 60 years leading up to his own governorship, they will not continue to do so while he holds office as sheriff.[7]

0. “DeSantis’s Reedy Creek Board Introduces “Superior Authority” Resolution to Fight Back Against Disney” Inside the Magic, 11 Apr. 2023, https://insidethemagic.net/2023/04/reedy-creek-desantis-board-superior-authority-jc1

1. “DeSantis’ Disney World board to consider resolution asserting control” Brunswick News, 11 Apr. 2023, https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/national_news/desantis-disney-world-board-to-consider-resolution-asserting-control/article_aba4ee2e-be59-52da-9d48-5368a9fe8cf7.html

2. “State-controlled Disney World government board seeks to regain more control” Florida Politics, 11 Apr. 2023, https://floridapolitics.com/archives/602446-state-controlled-disney-world-government-board-seeks-to-regain-more-control/

3. “DeSantis’ board wants ‘superior authority’ over Disney World” Business Insider, 12 Apr. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/disney-world-desantis-special-board-proposes-superior-authority-2023-4

4. “DeSantis-appointed Disney board hits back in fight for authority of cities in district” Washington Examiner, 12 Apr. 2023, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/desantis-appointed-disney-board-hits-back-fight-authority-cities-district

5. “Reedy Creek board poised to claim ‘superior authority’ over land planning around Disney” The Business Journals, 11 Apr. 2023, https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2023/04/11/florida-reedy-creek-district-resolution.html

6. “Why Building A Fifth Theme Park In Florida Could Give Disney A Happy Ending In Its Battle With Ron DeSantis” Forbes, 10 Apr. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinereid/2023/04/10/why-building-a-fifth-theme-park-in-florida-could-give-disney-a-happy-ending-in-its-battle-with-ron-desantis/

7. “DeSantis’ hand-picked board is trying to claw back ‘superior authority’ over Disney World after the previous b” Business Insider India, 12 Apr. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.in/politics/world/news/desantis-hand-picked-board-is-trying-to-claw-back-superior-authority-over-disney-world-after-the-previous-board-hamstrung-its-power/articleshow/99441525.cms

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top