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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Walt Disney World President says Disney are Ready To Work with Gov DeSantis takeover of Reedy Creek

Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the 189 page bill, House Bill 9B which proposes that the State of Florida effectively take over and renames Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Today, Friday, February 10, Florida lawmakers have given final approval to Gov DeSantis power grab for Walt Disney World.

In the face of this news that will strip Disney of many of its powers, Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle has released a statement responding to the news.

"For more than 50 years, the Reedy Creek Improvement District has operated at the highest standards, and we appreciate all that the District has done to help our destination grow and become one of the largest economic contributors and employers in the state. We are focused on the future and are ready to work within this new framework, and we will continue to innovate, inspire and bring joy to the millions of guests who come to Florida to visit Walt Disney World every year."

Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle

Vahle's response comes at the GOP-led state Senate has voted 26-9 on the fast tracked bill that will allow the state take over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the government body that has given Disney unique powers in Central Florida for more than half a century.

Under the bill, the district’s existing board will be replaced by a five-member board hand-picked by DeSantis, all but handing power of the Kindom to DeSantis.

The bill will now be placed on Gov DeSantis desk within hours where he is of course, expected to sign it.

Florida Governor DeSantis

The189 page bill, House Bill 9B will see Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District re-named the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, a government-controlled district that will elect a board of supervisors, who will then propose a list of changes to the district’s power within one year.

The bill states that all 5 board members will be personally approved by DeSantis, with confirmation from the senate.

Plus, anyone who has been a theme park employee, officer or director in the past three years is prohibited from serving on the board, along with their relatives, meaning DeSantis will have a large say in the future of Walt Disney World, via the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

In effect, Disney will lose control of the district upon the creation of the board of supervisors, whom are selected exclusively by DeSantis.

Disney have largely remained silent on the subway, other than a statement earlier this week from Jeff Vahle, the president of Walt Disney World Resort, who said the company is “monitoring the progression of the draft legislation, which is complex given the long history of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.”

Vahle said “Disney works under a number of different models and jurisdictions around the world, and regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to providing the highest quality experience for the millions of guests who visit each year,”

Reedy Creek Improvement District

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