The Escalating Feud Between Florida Governor DeSantis and Disney: A Battle Over Politics and Power

The ongoing feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney has escalated, with the entertainment giant reportedly preparing to take its fight with the governor to the next level.[0] The battle began nearly a year ago after Disney opposed the Parental Rights in Education bill, which limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.[1] DeSantis then threatened to strip the district where Disney is based of its self-governing status and replace the board overseeing the area.[2] However, a Disney-allied panel signed a long-lasting development agreement that drastically limits the governor’s control, and DeSantis has said state legislators are drafting legislation to nullify the agreement.[3]

The governor has also proposed legislation that would revoke any deal Disney made with the previous board, subject the company to state inspections of all its rides, and give the state-run board control over undeveloped land around Disney.[4] He even suggested the board should investigate raising taxes on Disney and converting land in and around the Orlando theme parks into a state park, a competing amusement park, or a state prison.[5] The latest move by DeSantis has drawn criticism from other Republicans, with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie questioning DeSantis’ conservatism and maturity.

Meanwhile, Disney executives have reportedly called on lobbyists to keep tabs on any Florida bills that could hurt the company and to start “aggressively working against them.”[6] The company is also pushing lobbyists to step up their efforts to influence the Republican-controlled state legislature and to target land-use related bills that could hurt the company.[3] However, Disney’s stocks have taken a tumble since the legislature first moved to dissolve the special tax district in 2022.[7]

DeSantis’ attacks on Disney have become a political headache, with his potential 2024 Republican presidential primary opponents, including former President Donald Trump and Chris Christie, using it to go on the attack.[8] Despite this, DeSantis has made his fight with Disney a core part of his political identity, devoting a chapter to “The Magic Kingdom of Woke Corporatism” in his new book.[9]

The battle between Disney and DeSantis has sparked debate over the role of corporations in politics and the power dynamic between corporations and government. It remains to be seen how the conflict will be resolved, but it is clear that it has become a significant political issue in Florida and beyond.

0. “Gaming the government is not going well” CNN, 18 Apr. 2023,

1. “DeSantis-backed board moves closer to nixing Disney pact” POLITICO, 19 Apr. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis Accused of ‘Public Corruption’ by Former GOP Lawmaker” Newsweek, 22 Apr. 2023,

3. “Disney tells its lobbyists to step up fight against DeSantis and his allies in Florida” CNBC, 20 Apr. 2023,

4. “Amendment filed to regain control over Disney deals” News 13 Orlando, 19 Apr. 2023,

5. “Disney Sees Ron DeSantis’s Prison-Complex Threat and Raises Him a “Pride Nite” Extravaganza” Vanity Fair, 18 Apr. 2023,

6. “Disney leans into values amid Florida feud with DeSantis” Axios, 22 Apr. 2023,

7. “DeSantis ally Blaise Ingoglia says he sold his Disney stock before feud” Business Insider, 21 Apr. 2023,

8. “DeSantis Disney Board Meeting: Here’s How Governor And His Appointees Could Change Disney World” Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023,

9. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis loses again to Disney”, 20 Apr. 2023,

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