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Disney drops lawsuits against DeSantis-backed tourism district


Daily Caller News Foundation

Disney has dropped its lawsuits against a special district backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that revoked the corporation’s self-governing status in the state, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.

DeSantis signed legislation in February 2023 replacing Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, setting off nearly a years-long legal battle between the two entities. Disney has decided to drop the pending litigation on Wednesday, resulting in a win for the Florida Republican, according to multiple outlets.

“We are pleased to put an end to all litigation pending in state court in Florida between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District,” Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle told CNBC in a statement. “This agreement opens a new chapter of constructive engagement with the new leadership of the district and serves the interests of all parties by enabling significant continued investment and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and economic opportunity in the State.”

Disney is conceding that the last-minute agreements approved by the previous Reedy Creek board, which would’ve given Disney full control of the district’s development, are “null and void,” the National Review reported, citing DeSantis’ office.

“No corporation should be its own government,” DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin told the outlet in a statement. “Moving forward, we stand ready to work with Disney and the District to help promote economic growth, family-friendly tourism, and accountable government in Central Florida.”

Neither DeSantis’ office nor Disney immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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