Disney Prepares for Fight with Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. Quiet at a Mouse, Disney silently removed all power from the newly appointed board set to oversee Walt Disney World Resort.
The current supervisors of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District said at a meeting that their predecessors last month signed a development agreement with the company that gave Disney maximum developmental power over the theme park resort’s 27,000 acres in central Florida.
The series of agreements with Disney was approved by the former Reedy Creek board members.
Related: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Visiting Reedy Creek Fire Station Today to Sign Takeover Bill
Those agreements gave the company wide-ranging powers over the territory where the theme parks operate and prohibited the new board members from changing the terms. The new agreement is set in perpetuity “until 21 years after the death of the youngest current descendant of King Charles, or until Disney abandons the resort.”
The five supervisors were appointed by the Republican governor to the board after the Florida Legislature overhauled Disney’s government in retaliation for the entertainment giant publicly opposing so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, as well as lessons deemed not age-appropriate.
The new supervisors replaced a board that had been controlled by Disney during the previous 55 years that the government operated as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The new board members held their first meeting earlier this month and said they found out about the agreement after their appointments.
“We’re going to have to deal with it and correct it,” board member Brian Aungst said Wednesday. “It’s a subversion of the will of the voters, the Legislature, and the governor. It completely circumvents the authority of this board to govern.”
In a statement, Disney said all agreements were above board and took place in public.
“All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in the open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” the statement said.
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