Monday, February 13, 2023

DeSantis to sign replacement for Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government

Happy Monday the 13th! Since I blogged about the effects of the pandemic on Disney parks on 2020's Monday the 13th, it's only appropriate that I cover the effects of another plague on "The Most Magical Place on Earth," Ron DeSantis. The Florida Legislature following up on the repeal of the legislation authorizing the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government is the reason the story is back in the news, which I mentioned .yesterday. Watch WESH 2 in Orlando reporting Florida Senate passes bill to appoint new Reedy Creek governing board.

I'm glad WESH included Florida State Senators Linda Stewart and Geraldine Thompson pointing out how this bill meddled in the affairs of a private company and how it was retaliation for Disney standing up for its LGBT employees and customers.

WESH added more analysis in its next report, Bill to appoint new Reedy Creek governing board heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk.

I weighed in on the reasons DeSantis's action against Disney mattered last year.
As I first wrote in 2011, "America is quite clear about its screwed up priorities­. My experience has convinced me that the surest way to get Americans to act is to mess with their entertainm­ent." Retaliating against Disney in ways that might affect its ability to provide services for its guests has at least the appearance and maybe even the reality of messing with Americans' entertainment. This might not end well for DeSantis.

Another reason for the attention this story has attracted is its "man bites dog" aspect. Aren't Republicans supposed to be the business-friendly party? Well, they were, but this split has been building for a decade since I wrote about how Newt Gingrich threw big business under the bus while campaigning against Mitt Romney. Ten years later, the rift between Republicans and big business has opened up wide enough for everyone to see. Who knows? Maybe the Republican Party or at least DeSantis will fall into it. Break out the popcorn.
So, how did this end up turning out. The answer can be seen in the question Disney YouTuber Fresh Baked asked: Did Bob Iger just defeat DeSantis in the fight over Reedy Creek?

The era of Reedy Creek as we know it may be over, as the state of Florida approved a bill on Friday that would replace it. But is this still a win for Disney? I think so and I'll explain why.
His answer is mostly yes. DeSantis gets to say that he renamed the district to one that sounds like government is in charge of business and not the other way around and removed Disney's control of the board. On the other hand, the district still has most of the powers it had before, which helps Disney. The result salvages a win-win scenario for both Disney and DeSantis. This is as good an outcome as I could imagine given how it began as a surreal right-wing attack on the company, as I mentioned in 'SNL' satirizes 'Fox & Friends' in its Supreme Court cold open. Consequently, DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party didn't fall into the rift between them and big business.

By the way, this development has an unexpected silver lining, as the tweet quoting the Orlando Sentinel below mentions. That might just solve the housing affordability crisis facing cast members!

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