Ron DeSantis’ Office Responds to Disney’s Plans to Abandon Florida Headquarters

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office has responded to news that The Walt Disney Company will no longer build a headquarters for its theme park business in Florida. The news comes as Disney is in two legal battles over DeSantis’ actions to take over an Independent Special District that governs over Disney World property. Here’s the statement (via Scott Gustin):

    Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project, and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition.

    Given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.
    Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis Press Secretary

    Following retaliatory action from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and a rubber-stamp legislature, Disney has added Florida to a list of legal threats to the Company’s operations. Florida joins a list of international political, trade, and security policy threats like the ongoing actions by Russia, threats to Hong Kong by China, and instability in France.

    Dueling Lawsuits

    There are two high-profile lawsuits currently in the courts that take aim at a Development Agreement that Disney entered into with the previous Board of Supervisors of the then-named Reedy Creek Improvement District.

    Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board of Supervisors

    One lawsuit was filed by Disney World against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) Board of Supervisors, among others. The lawsuit asks the court to recognize the Development Agreement as valid and to recognize the series of events and bills that led to the State takeover of the Reedy Creek Improvement District as a violation of the First Amendment rights of the Company. Ultimately, Disney wants the State takeover of the RCID to be undone.

    In a separate lawsuit, the CFTOD is seeing Disney World, asking the court to recognize the Development Agreement as null and void, citing a series of contract infirmities.

    A State Prison at Disney World?

    Beyond the Development Agreement, DeSantis has threatened to build a State prison at Walt Disney World. In an April 17th press conference, DeSantis floated some ideas on how CFTOD could use its land should the Development Agreement be determined to be null and void. It sounds farfetched, but DeSantis floated the idea among a list of other ideas for land use such as building more amusement parks in the immediate area next to Disney World.

    What should we do with this land? And so, you know, it’s like, ok, kids – I mean, people have said, you know, maybe have another – maybe create a state park. Maybe try to do more amusement parks. Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I mean, I just think that the possibilities are endless.
    Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor
    A State Prison at Disney World? DeSantis Announces Plans to Undo Reedy Creek Contract & Expand State Targeting of Disney World
    In a press conference this afternoon, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his next steps in the fight with Walt Disney World

    On May 5th, DeSantis decided to get ahead of the pending court cases and simply sign a law to nullify the Development Agreement in what appears to be a flexing of executive might. Instead of relying on the court system to agree with the legal arguments of why the Development Agreement should be nullified, DeSantis signed SB 1604, a land use bill with a narrowly written amendment from Republican legislators to nullify the Development Agreement legislatively.

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Nullify Disney World’s Reedy Creek Development Agreement
    Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would nullify Disney World’s Development Agreement contract

    Following the stroke of the Governor’s pen, Disney World amended its lawsuit to include the bill in its argument against the state.

    State Inspections of Monorail System

    The latest action from DeSantis is signing a bill that Disney calls “precision-engineered”. HB 1305 is a bill that says the Florida Department of Transportation shall create safety standards and inspections of the Walt Disney World monorail system.

    Governor DeSantis Signs Bill for State Takeover of Walt Disney World Monorail Inspections
    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that would require the Florida Department of Transportation to take over monorail inspections

    To Invest or Not?

    In a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke out to “set the record straight” on Disney’s position on the ongoing fight with DeSantis and Florida Republicans. At the end of his long answer, which you can read in its entirety below, Iger simply asks “does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes or not?”

    Disney CEO Bob Iger: DeSantis’ Retaliation Is Not About Special Privileges, Does The State Want Us To Invest More or Not?
    Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke out about the ongoing battle between Walt Disney World and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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    1. Disney lost $2 Billion on the Galactic Starcruiser so I doubt Lake Nona will be a priority to spend another $1 Billion plus additional money to relocate employees. Disney is screwed and it has only itself to blame.

      • Actually, it’s about $115 Million; still not a small sum. The $2 Billion figure includes the cost to build both lands in CA and FL. The resort itself only cost about $115M.

    2. Disney is STILL and will CERTAINLY be a profitable and much desired company that generates wealth, influences culture, and provides family based entertainment for all ages. Fo not think for one second that it’s Orlando theme parks are in decline. So what if recent films leave a lot to be desired. Disney has been here before with the 1970’s coming to mind. They WILL rise again.

    3. I don’t think clueless one! When there stuck fighting against a self imposed Moran on a power trip! There going to be faced with Crap they shouldn’t have to be. The self righteous A H will loose in the long run!! The moronic idiot will Never become president and there are more Disney fans then there are DeStupid ones so he can play his juvenile’s games but in the end he is going to the loser he is! As Deserved!!

    4. Disney was, is, will always be a successful business just a dictator like DSantis wants cause damaged at employees expenses. That s good happen now we are creating a group called Democrats with Trump’s to make DSantis be unsucesfull candidate to the president in republican party. Mt. Trump will receive votes from Democrats with Trump’s.

    5. There prices are so high a medium family making $50, could not take there family’s there because the prices are so high and it’s high on everything includes food and drink hotel stays

    6. Do you know how much Florida is going to lose? Florida will lose more than 2 billion. Remember Disney is one the largest employers and economic powerhouses in Florida. DeSantis screwed himself. At the end of the day , DeSantis violated Disney’s first amendment right. Isn’t Florida supposed to “free”. To me Florida is becoming an authoritarian 3rd world country.

    7. Disney could just abandon all Florida parks and move its entire business to another state. There are a ton of states and other country that would give them the same rights they once held before DeSantis started to use the state as his own legal discrimination and illegal mob at one company. They can prove discrimination by all the things DeSantis has said which have be recorded by the news and his legal proceedings. If Disney moves it would be a disaster for the entirety of Florida all because DeSantis is a big baby.

    8. This governor is only starting imagine when he runs for presidential office……. i dont like a bit of what i see……. but i do imagine one day Disney packing to leave out off Florida. Boi oh boi not everyone is fit to be a leader!!!!!!!!!!😉 think before voting.

    9. You’re comparing Florida to Russia and China? You’re an idiot. DeSantis is enacting the will of the people in Florida. You’re invited never to visit our free state.

    10. Desantis is trying to ne good at Spin. Disney had a peak in March for stocks at about 110, but if you look at their year to date, they are still above where they were in January. There is no financial straits, disastrously falling stock orices, etc. Just some guy trying to making it look like he’s done something big.

    11. MoRon Desantis seems to be a very strong contender for Jabba The Trump’s stable genius award.

    12. Disney was just plain stupid to get involved in politics! You can’t win that game, you have to be neutral if you are a business! Then they compounded the stupid by not immediately saying, “You know what? Our bad. We are an entertainment company, we want to entertain everyone here.” Disney, stfu.

    13. Who knows how many Florida politicians were bribed to have allowed Disney to create an autonomous government in Florida. Of course Disney was good for the economy of Central Florida, but the time has come for change. Why should Disney have competitive advantage over Universal and other businesses?

    14. This is a possible scenario, if the governor continues with the attack and goes forward with the prison or similar projects then Disney will start the search to relocate. A huge investment but it is true businesses seek certainty on the cost of their human and material resources. The overly polarized environment is not good to attract new ventures.

      What is Florida without Disney, a place to bring new investments or just a swamp waiting for the next hurricane?

    15. Ron DeSantis is a disgrace and Disney I’ll fund a new governor very soon.The country doesn’t want what Florida is becoming nor do they want the idiots from there to be President. Disney will now start to invest new money in another location and I could see Disney World leaving Florida if things don’t go back and what will all those companies do with all those Hotels around the area. Destupid is using his power to get media attention for his own personal advancement and any judge or The Supreme Court will see what the guy is doing.

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