Reedy Creek Resolution Reportedly In the Works as Florida Governor Says No U-Turns

The Reedy Creek Improvement District is the entity that allows Walt Disney World Resort to essentially be self governed. It allows for the ability to tax itself and also provide municipal services like providing roads, power, water, and fire services. This entity is set to be dissolved in 2023 currently. This happened in April after a feud developed between Governor Ron DeSantis and then Disney CEO Bob Chapek. The conflict was over a law that would not allow the teaching of LGBTQ issues in classrooms. It was commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

However, The Financial Times is reporting that Florida lawmakers are working on a resolution for the controversy about the future of Reedy Creek. With Chapek being relieved of his position last month and Bob Iger returning to the role of Disney CEO, there may now be a way to a resolution to the conflict. The potential compromise would leave the Reedy Creek Improvement District largely intact with a few modifications. This most likely would impact elements of the improvement district that never have been used, like the ability to build a nuclear power plant.

More than a half a million solar panels make up the new 270-acre solar facility that’s helping to power the magic at Walt Disney World Resort. The facility was built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar project developer Origis Energy USA. (Origis Energy)

“It’s easier to shift policy when you don’t have to defend the old policy,” Florida State Rep. Randy Fine, who drafted the bill to dissolve the district, told the FT. “Chapek screwed up, but Bob Iger doesn’t have to own that screw-up.” 

At this time, a spokesperson for DeSantis says that the governor “does not make ‘U-turns.’ The governor was right to champion removing the extraordinary benefit given to one company through the Reedy Creek Improvement District. We will have an even playing field for businesses in Florida, and the state certainly owes no special favors to one company. Disney’s debts will not fall on the taxpayers of Florida. A plan is in the works and will be released soon.”

The potential dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District could lead to a large financial burden for taxpayers as its $1 billion debt load could be transferred to the state.

While Iger spoke out against the bill as an individual, he has not done the same since returning to The Walt Disney Company as its CEO. When it was first introduced in February, Iger warned that the bill could “put vulnerable, young LGBTQ people in jeopardy.” As CEO, he has taken a more diplomatic approach to the situation. During a town hall meeting on Monday, Iger shared with Disney employees that he was ““sorry to see us get dragged into [the] battle” over Reedy Creek and needed time to “get up to speed” on the issue.

“What I can say [is] the state of Florida has been important to us for a long time and we have been very important to the state of Florida,” Iger added. “That is something I’m extremely mindful of and will articulate if I get the chance.” 

The bill that would dissolve Reedy Creek is set to go into effect in the summer of 2023. Many analysts expect that a compromise will be reached before it goes into effect.

Daps Magic will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available. What do you think should be done with the Reedy Creek Improvement District? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


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