Monday, April 15, 2024

The Walt Disney Company sues Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others in Federal Court

April 26, 2023 — Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, US earlier today filed a federal lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other Florida government officials and appointees. Defendants listed in the suit include the Board and Administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), the state-run entity designated by DeSantis to supplant the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

According to the CFTOD website, which remains branded to the Reedy Creek Improvement District: “. . . . the District encompasses approximately 25,000 acres in both Orange and Osceola counties, servicing 24 landowners, including Walt Disney Co. and its wholly-owned affiliates . . . . The District is responsible to oversee land use and environmental protections within the District, and provide essential public services (e.g. fire protection, emergency medical services, potable water production, treatment, storage, pumping & distribution, reclaimed water distribution, chilled water systems, wastewater services, drainage and flood control, electric power generation & distribution, and solid waste and recyclables collection & disposal); regulate the EPCOT Building Code; and operate and maintain all public roadways & bridges.”

The lawsuit claims, among other things, violations of the company’s First Amendment rights and improper seizure of property by the State.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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