The feud between Florida and Disney continues to move forward as the DeSantis led efforts to clamp down on Disney expand. The newest step in this disagreement comes in the form of an amendment added to a transportation bill from the Florida Senate. This bill would have Walt Disney World Resort Monorails inspected by Florida officials periodically.
The Republican-controlled Senate Fiscal Policy Committee on Tuesday amended a transportation bill (SB 1250) to apply Department of Transportation safety standards to monorail lines that connect Walt Disney World resorts and parks. The vote was along party lines.
The bill is being sponsored by Senate Transportation Chairman Nick DeCeglie, a Republican from Indian Rocks Beach. He said that the oversight of the Monorail should be covered by the state since the system handles a large number of tourists daily. He noted that the department has oversight over the tram at the Orlando International Airport, adding, “I’m confident that the folks who are going to conduct these inspections are going to be qualified to do so.”
The amendment would require audits, compliance reports conducted every three years and an annual onsite evaluation. This new rule would cover “any governmentally or privately owned fixed-guideway transportation systems operating in this state which are located within an independent special district created by a local act which have boundaries within two contiguous counties.”
Currently most major theme parks in Florida, including Disney and others, do their own inspections thanks to an exemption in oversight from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This department only inspects amusement park attractions at facilities and parks that have fewer than 1,000 employees and lack full-time inspectors on staff.
This move by the Florida Senate comes as a feud between Florida and Disney continues to escalate after controversy erupted between the two over how Disney handled a bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill last year. Then Disney CEO Bob Chapek flip flopped on the issue in a public fumble that led to Governor DeSantis spearheading efforts to revoke the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Since then, the Reedy Creek Improvement District has been removed and replaced the the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. This new district has a board that was handpicked by the Florida Governor.
While the Governor was busy undoing Reedy Creek and replacing it with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Disney and Reedy Creek continued to work and plan for the future. A development agreement was signed before the transition. This has led to more controversy as both the board and Florida government have continued to try to undo this deal that gave Disney broad powers to continue to develop within the district and left the district with the responsibilities of things like road maintenance.
The board, the Florida Legislature, and Governor Ron DeSantis continue their efforts to undo Disney’s move but it appears that Disney has been careful to cross every t and dot ever i. With every roadblock that DeSantis and Florida discovers through deals made my Disney and Reedy Creek (and others), DeSantis seems to be doubling down even more in this efforts against what he calls the “woke” company from California. How this all plays out and ends up being resolved remains to be seen.
Daps Magic will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available. What do you think of this most recent development in this feud? How do you think it should be resolved? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!