Reedy Creek Improvement District

Florida House of Representatives Passes Bill That Gives Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Authority to Overturn Reedy Creek Contracts

The Florida House of Representatives has passed SB 1604, a Land Use Bill with an amendment that gives the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board the authority to overturn contracts that were approved by its predecessor, the Reedy Creek Improvement District Board. The bill was passed by a 75-34 margin and will now head to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk for signing into law.

This is one of several initiatives that are being spearheaded by Governor DeSantis and other Florida leaders against The Walt Disney Company with the primary goal of taking control of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. This amendment brought out opposition from Democrats who worry that legislating the ability to cancel contracts could create problems moving forward.

“When are we going to stop playing whack-a-mouse because our Governor is big mad that he got outsmarted by Disney?” said Rep. Anna Eskamani. She argued that the legislation is punitive to Disney. “Beyond the Disney drama, let’s just talk about the notion of canceling a contract that you don’t like. … This is a moment where we just got to call it out for what it is.”

On the other side, Rep. Toby Overdorf had a different opinion and said that Disney wasn’t playing by the rules.

“You know what? They did not follow the law,” Overdorf said. “So what do we have to do? We have to now make sure that we have guardrails so that the laws are followed.”

It appears that Disney has played by the rules and continued to move forward to aggressively protect its interests in Florida while Governor DeSantis and other leaders in Florida were focused on replacing the Reedy Creek Improvement District (more can be read about this here).

This isn’t the only legislation that is moving its way through the Florida State Legislature that is focused on Disney and Walt Disney World Resort. There is another bill that was passed by the Florida Senate that would give the state oversight power for the monorail system at Walt Disney World Resort.

These two bills are making their way through the legislature as there are also two court cases now filed by Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District regarding this controversy. The controversy initially began after Disney opposed a “Don’t Say Gay” bill last year. After this, Governor DeSantis publicly came out multiple times against “woke Disney” and vowed to retaliate and potentially control the content that Disney creates. Disney CEO Bob Iger has argued that the actions of DeSantis are “anti-business” and also “anti-Florida.”

There are quite a few different paths that this disagreement between DeSantis and Disney that are being taken right now by both Florida and Disney. Daps Magic will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.