Disney Throws in Towel, Hands DeSantis Huge Win: ‘We Are Ready to Work Within This New Framework’

Disney is throwing in the towel and will not fight a bill that gives Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis control over its Orlando theme parks.

The bill passed both houses of the Florida Legislature this week and will create a new entity to assume the powers held by the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Reedy Creek was a sweetheart deal Disney got from Florida when it developed its massive theme park in the state.

Disney has been in charge of it since 1967.

The new entity, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, will be run by a five-member board appointed by DeSantis.

The state Senate will need to confirm the governor’s choices, however.

Many expected Disney to fight tooth and nail over DeSantis’s move but the president of Walt Disney World Resort, Jeff Vahle, said they will cave instead.

Vahle said: “For more than 50 years, the Reedy Creek Improvement District has operated at the highest standards, and we appreciate all that the District has done to help our destination grow and become one of the largest economic contributors and employers in the state.

“We are focused on the future and are ready to work within this new framework and we will continue to innovate, inspire and bring joy to the millions of guests who come to Florida to visit Walt Disney World each year.”

The bill passed the Florida House of Representatives on Thursday with a vote of 82-31. 81 Republicans and one Democrat voted “yes.”

All 31 of the “no” votes came from Democrats.

The state Senate approved the bill on Friday.

26 Republicans voted for it and nine Democrats voted against it.

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“It’s like Disney is operating in a low-security prison, where they can still do what they want to do but there’s guards around them at all times,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando).

“They can’t speak up against the governor ever.”

READ MORE: Disney to Slash 7000 Employees as ‘Woke’ Company Struggles

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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