Disney: DeSantis and his allies kept retaliating against company during 2023 Session
Tour operators are scrapping trips to Walt Dsiney World until the COVID-19 pandemic settles down.

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The Governor and his allies keep targeting Disney with new bills, the company said in court documents.

The Walt Disney Co. is still building its legal case arguing that Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Republican lawmakers targeted the company for speaking out over a controversial law passed last year.

Disney has filed an amended federal lawsuit that mentions a pair of bills the Legislature passed in the just-ended Session that nullified Disney’s agreements with its old Reedy Creek board and required the monorail to be inspected by the state for the first time.

“Governor DeSantis and his allies have no apparent intent to moderate their retaliatory campaign any time soon,” Disney said in the latest version of the lawsuit.

Disney first sued the Governor and the DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight board members late last month. The board has since countersued Disney in Orange Circuit Court.

The Republican-controlled state government approved an amendment sponsored by Sen. Nick DiCeglie in a transportation bill requiring the monorail to be inspected by the state. DiCeglie argued the legislation was important state oversight after a Disney employee was killed in a monorail crash in 2009.

Disney countered in the lawsuit that it was the only company singled out in the bill.

“In what has now become a familiar practice, the proposed amendment was precision-engineered to target Disney alone, just as Governor DeSantis intended and previewed,” Disney said in the amended lawsuit.

DeSantis soon signed the other Disney-related bill (SB 1604) that went through the Legislature in 2023. The bill dealing with land use issues included an amendment retroactively canceling Disney’s agreements with its old Reedy Creek board — agreements Republicans argued were Disney’s power play to take control from the incoming state-run board.

Disney argued DeSantis was vocal about his intent to punish Disney when the Governor spoke to the media to mark the law’s passage.

“Without hesitation or prompt, Governor DeSantis admitted: ‘This all started, of course, with our parents’ rights bill,'” the lawsuit said. That refers to the law known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay,” which Disney spoke out against last year, drawing DeSantis’ anger.

The lawsuit also said, “In a separate interview that same day, Governor DeSantis trumpeted the unequivocal intent and perceived success of his retribution campaign: ‘Since our skirmish last year, Disney has not been involved in any of those issues. They have not made a peep. That, ultimately, is the most important, that Disney is not allowed to pervert the system to the detriment of Floridians.'”

“Having exhausted all other options, Disney is left with no choice but to bring this Complaint asking the Court to stop the State of Florida from weaponizing the power of government to punish private business,” Disney added.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Earl Pitts American

    May 8, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    I. Earl Pitts “Master Negotiator” American, can not tell anyone what to do.
    But if asked in a private conversation by The Mouse CEO if a 1.5 Billion Dollar campaign contribution from Disney to the next POTUS Ron Desantis would go a long way twoards smoothing over all the dook 4 brains things Disney has done I, Earl Pitts ” Master Negotiator” American, would give The Mouse CEO a wink and a nod.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “Mastet Negotiator” American

    • Elliott Offen

      May 8, 2023 at 2:54 pm

      👆 Report this pilled out drunk to FP for vandalizing the website with mental health illness.

      • John Barron

        May 9, 2023 at 12:22 pm

        Hahaha this is the only kind of support Meatball Ron can garner!!! He’s toast!!!

    • Rob Desantos

      May 9, 2023 at 2:18 pm

      Earl is right about one thing: Pay to Play is the Republican way. Bribes and grifts and corruption, oh my!

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 8, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Rhon DasPanties put himself in an unfortunate position where anything he says or does regarding Disney that Disney does not like, they are well position by Rhon himself to cry foul. Rhon is not sophisticated enough for the position Defelonious Javina Trump got for him. What on Earth makes Rhon think he could handle the US Presidency? Rhonda, why are you hitting yourself, Rhonda?

  • PeterH

    May 8, 2023 at 5:10 pm

    Disney lawyers should allow team DeSantis to delete tweets, emails and text messages!

    Disney can direct them at a later date to save all correspondence….. and only then will we learn who said what and deleted the post.

    Servers can retrieve electronic correspondence and individuals often copy a dozen people with their rant.

    The dirty laundry will eventually be seen and the whiff will be deplorable as expected.

    Republican dummies can’t defeat Disney.

  • Donald J Plump

    May 8, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    To Rhonda Pissantis,
    Have you never heard the phrase and it’s better to remain silent and have people think you’re a moron than open your mouth and remove all doubt. Shut up and do your job. You fascist piece of shit

  • Joe Peterson

    May 9, 2023 at 9:32 am

    The truth is The Governor has a long career in politics ahead of him. If it’s in the White House then a high level cabinet member.
    If you are Disney, do you really want to make enemies with someone that will hand pick his successor and good hurt the shareholders for decades to come.
    Yes, it is not about social issues it is about economics.

    • Rob Desantos

      May 9, 2023 at 2:21 pm

      Once Desanctus loses the ’24 primary and term-limits out of Florida, his political career is done: the man has no political allies with any kind of coattails to ride.

      His career ceiling will be a talk-show on OAN or Newsmax with Casey as his co-host.

Comments are closed.


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