Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board to hold special meeting on Disney lawsuit against DeSantis, others

Disney is suing Florida over a new law that would allow theme parks to reopen at limited capacity.

Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board to hold special meeting on Disney lawsuit against DeSantis, others

On May 1, the new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board will meet for the 3rd consecutive week following the year-long fight between Florida Gov. A lawsuit was filed by The Walt Disney Co. and Ron DeSantis on April 26, following a year-long battle between Florida Gov.

The board will meet in the morning to discuss Disney's recent lawsuit filed against DeSantis and the board of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which governs the land surrounding Walt Disney World.

The lawsuit alleges that the federal constitutional rights of the theme park giant under the Contracts Clause (Contracts Clause), the Takings Clause (Takings Clause), the Due Process Clause (Due Process Clause) and the First Amendment have been violated.

What will the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board meeting be about Disney's lawsuit?

According to documents, the district's meeting on May 1 will include a discussion by the board and instructions to its litigation lawyers, as well authorization to defend board members who have been sued in their official capacity.

The meeting was not announced and no official announcement was made that it would take place behind closed doors.

No one from Disney, DeSantis or the district was available to comment.

What Disney's lawsuit against DeSantis, the board and others claims

After more than an year of back-and-forth between Disney and the state, this lawsuit has gained a lot of attention.

The suit filed by the theme park giant alleges "a targeted government retaliation campaign -- orchestrated every step of the way by Governor DeSantis to punish Disney for its protected speech -- threatens Disney’s business operations and jeopardizes their economic future in this region."

Taryn Feske, the communications director for DeSantis, gave this prepared statement to OBJ shortly after the lawsuit was filed: "We do not know of any legal rights that a business has to run its own government, or to maintain special privileges that are not enjoyed by other businesses within the state." This lawsuit is another example of how they hope to subvert the will of Florida voters and operate beyond the law.

What was the origin of the Disney-DeSantis feud?

The Walt Disney Co., based in Burbank, California, protested against the controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill, also known by its opponents as "Don't Say Gay", which forbids the discussion of sexual orientation in school.

Industry experts claim that DeSantis was prompted by the backlash to pass a bill last year dissolving Disney's Reedy Creek special governing district this year.

Reedy Creek Improvement District, now replaced, was a 39-square mile governing jurisdiction as well as a special taxing district that was created in 1968 to govern Walt Disney World Resort land. It had the same authority and responsibilities of a county.

Disney's Orlando - What it owns


Walt Disney World is the number one visitor attraction in Orlando. More than 50 millions people have passed through its gates over the past few years, many of them repeat visitors.

Disney owns Blizzard Bay and Typhoon Lagoon as well as themed hotels, golf clubs, a timeshare property, a residential area called Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN Wide World of Sports.


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