Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

Board Appointed by Governor DeSantis Requests Ruling Against Disney Without Trial

The board for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis, has requested that a state judge rule against Disney without a trial. In a filing on Tuesday, the board asked a state judge for a summary judgment that would rule in their favor on five of the nine counts in their case.

This lawsuit was filed by the board against Disney to counter a development agreement that Disney signed with the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. The agreement stripped the new board of powers over design and construction for the district where Walt Disney World Resort resides. The Governor DeSantis appointed board argued that previous Reedy Creek Improvement District board didn’t give proper notice, lacked authority and unlawfully delegated government authority to a private entity. However, it seems there is plenty of evidence to the contrary for these things.

This is just the most recent update to this case that is one of two that are focused on the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. Last month, a judge denied Disney’s request for dismissal of this case. The other case is in federal court and was brought about by Disney against Governor DeSantis and other Florida leaders (including the new board for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District). It accuses Governor DeSantis of retaliating against Disney’s right to free speech and weaponizing government.

The conflict between Disney and Governor DeSantis began last year when Disney spoke out against legislation known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This led to Governor DeSantis retaliating and attacking the company verbally followed by the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. This was replaced by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District with a board that was appointed by Governor DeSantis. After the new board began its work, the development agreement was discovered. It stripped the board of many of its powers. Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature passed a law that gave the board the ability to nullify these agreements. This led to Disney suing the Governor and other Florida leaders in federal court. Almost immediately, the board countersued Disney.

While Governor DeSantis isn’t a part of the state lawsuit that was filed by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, he is still very present in the issue. It appears that both the Governor and the board want the lawsuits to go away. In a recent CNBC interview, DeSantis encouraged Disney to drop the federal lawsuit and said that he had moved on from the issue. It doesn’t appear that Disney has any intention of doing this.

It is unknown if Disney will respond to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board’s request for a sumary judgement on the state case. When it asked for the case to be dismissed, Disney argued that the case wasn’t relevent anymore due to the legislation that was passed. It could be that Disney lets this case play out and then waits for the federal case to determine the fate of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District.

What do you think of this new development in this feud? Do you think the judge should issue the summary judgement? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!