Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro Comments on Reedy Creek Successor

The Reedy Creek Improvement District is no more. Instead, after a bill was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the district is now the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. This changes the governing arrangement for Walt Disney World Resort and the area surrounding it for the first time in over 50 years. Under the new arrangement, the Governor of Florida appoints board members for the district.

With all the changes, there are lots of questions about what the future will look like for the district and as a byproduct of that, Walt Disney World Resort. During a recent walking interview with the Orlando Business Journal, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro talked about the changes coming both inside and outside of the parks. During the interview, D’Amaro said that the upcoming opening of TRON: Lightcycle / Run is just the “tip of the iceberg” for what is coming from Disney.

During the interview, D’Amaro also addressed the future with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. “We will stay focused on what we have always done,” he said. “Look at how we run our business. Look at the investments we are making in our business. As long as I can keep providing that, take care of our cast members, the Central Florida community [and] take care of these guests … I’m in good shape. I can only control what I can control.”

D’Amaro refused to discuss the politics of this new arrangement during the interview. Instead he said, “The reality is we work with different people around the world at our different theme parks. So we know how to work with different people. For all those reasons, I have to look at the situation of where we are going — I believe in where we are going — and I hope the board sees the same.”

There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about the future and D’Amaro shared that he hoped the new board would see the value of working together with Disney moving forward. “If that new board understands the value that gets created here and how it positively impacts the Central Florida community, I think they will be aligned with our vision and will carry on the Reedy Creek soul that’s been in place,” he said.

The board for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District meets for the first time on Wednesday March 8, 2023. It is expected that the board will be addressing the compensation of first responders during its first meeting. Governor DeSantis has also indicated that he would like to see the board weigh in on Disney’s bigger picture decisions.

“When you lose your way, you have to have people who will tell you the truth. All these board members very much would like to see the type of entertainment that all families can appreciate,” DeSantis said shortly after signing the bill into law.

Walt Disney World Resort seeks to be a place that welcomes all people of all beliefs and backgrounds, D’Amaro said. This goes back to the opening day of Disneyland when Walt Disney said, “to all who come to this happy place, welcome.” D’Amaro said, “Will there be noise on the outside? Will there be different points of view that we may not like? Sure,” but noted that Disney will continue to find success as it continues to welcome all people irregardless of their beliefs. “I really believe that, so we are not going to get distracted.”

How exactly things will play out and what the relationship between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board will look like remains to be seen. A first glimmer might be given during its first meeting on March 8, 2023.

What do you think about Josh D’Amaro’s comments and the future relationship of Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board? Share your thoughts, predictions, and opinions in the comments below!

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