DeSantis appointees begin reshaping Disney World’s district

Lake Buena Vista, Florida –

The new overseers who will head Disney World’s revamped governing body Wednesday had good intentions about working with the company after being appointed by Florida Gov. He said he felt betrayed when he signed a contract that stripped him of most of his money.

“Our board wanted to work with Disney, but Disney decided they didn’t want to work with us. Chairman Martin Garcia said at the beginning of the Board meeting.

In response, he warned about what the DeSantis-appointed overseer, who now oversees Disney World’s sprawling Florida ownership, might try to achieve in the evolving showdown between the governor and Disney. issued: “Nothing is being considered at this time”.

Among the changes Board members made Wednesday were eliminating the Planning Authority and making the Board responsible for future planning. Acquire more land, monetize district assets, ban COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates, assert board “superior powers” ​​over districts, consider building affordable housing said it might consider. A Disney employee on the grounds of Disney World.

Disney World required masks and implemented social distancing protocols when it reopened in 2020 after being closed for months to stem the spread of COVID-19. has vehemently opposed vaccine mandates and has petitioned the state Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

Wednesday’s meeting continued the battle between future presidential candidate DeSantis and a Republican state congressman against Disney. It all started when Disney publicly opposed a bill critics called “don’t say you’re gay” in the state that would ban schooling about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergartens. up to third grade. In retaliation, Florida lawmakers passed a bill to reorganize the Disney World company-controlled government, which DeSantis signed, allowing the governor to appoint five members of the oversight board.Disney has previously controlled the Board for 55 years.

Last month, the new DeSantis appointees stripped most of the powers from the new board, giving Disney control over the design and construction of theme park resorts. He claimed to have made a quick decision by giving

At a meeting Wednesday, Garcia said the new supervisor last week discovered another “11-hour contract” between Disney and the previous supervisor that would allow the company to set its own utility rates. .

DeSantis and state legislators on Monday introduce legislation to require state inspections of Disney rides, an unprecedented move since Florida’s largest theme park operator was allowed to conduct its own inspections. And put more pressure on Disney. Lawmakers also plan to consider legislation to reverse the agreement between the former board supervisor and Disney.

Republican Senator Blaise Ingoria said he was sending a message to Disney.

Disney says all of its previous board agreements were legal and were approved in public forums.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said earlier this month that actions against the company, which threatens employment and expansion at Florida resorts, are not only “anti-business” but “anti-Florida.”

The new supervisor has hired a strong team of attorneys, including a former Florida Supreme Court judge, to challenge the agreement between Disney and the old board. They outlined a discussion as to why it was illegal, claiming it had not been properly notified and was self-dealing.

“Disney was involved in a fraud worthy of Scrooge McDuck,” said David Thompson, one of the attorneys.

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