The Orlando Sentinel has reported that Thomas DeWolf has passed away. If you’ve visited The Walt Disney World Resort since it opened in 1971 DeWolf played a part in that! Thomas DeWolf was an Orlando attorney who helped Walt Disney Co. purchase land needed for it’s then top-secret plan to build a theme park in Florida. After the purchase, DeWolf also drafted the state legislation setting up Disney’s unconventional government.
DeWolf was 91 when he passed away on July 27. A moment of silence was observed in his honor at the Reedy Creek Improvement District meeting that same day.
A law partner at a Miami form in the 1960’s, DeWolf was involved in the formation of five dummy corporations that handed the sales transactions when Walt Disney Co covertly bought land in Orlando that would later become Magic Kingdom park.
It was also DeWolf that drafted the legislation for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was established in 1967. This is what was used to set up Disney’s quasi-government. In the plan, two municipalities were created, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista. Bay Lake is where you will find the four theme parks that make up the Walt Disney World Resort while Lake Buena Vista makes up Disney Springs and the surrounding hotels.
From 1974 until 2011 DeWolf was a member of the Reedy Creek’s Board of Supervisors. For all but two of those years he served as the president.
He left that Miami firm and became an attorney for Disney.
DeWolf was preceded in death by his wife Norma Jean in 2015. The couple had two children, David and Laura. Are thought and prayers go out to Tom’s friends and family.
Source Credit: Orlando Sentinel