DeSantis Celebrates One Year Since Triumph Over Disney [VIDEO]

Governor Ron DeSantis took another victory lap Tuesday commemorating the first anniversary of ending the Disney “corporate kingdom.” DeSantis celebrated the occasion with a nearly two-minute video posted to X containing a montage of news coverage from the past year.

The video begins with footage of DeSantis dissolving the Disney Company’s special tax district and several clips of news commentary criticizing the decision. Set to the tune of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy,’ the video then turns to footage of Disney’s defeat in court, which DeSantis hails as a “good story.”

The Governor said, “One year ago, I signed legislation ending what an independent audit found to be one of the worst examples of cronyism in modern U.S. history: Reedy Creek, a local government controlled by a single company; Disney.”

“While so many claimed ending the cronyism would be bad for Florida, the result has been transparency and accountability, including a reduction of taxes and local businesses being allowed to compete for projects, saving the district millions of dollars. The federal lawsuit filed by Disney has been dismissed and the new state board continues to initiate positive reforms.”

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In 2023, DeSantis signed legislation officially dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District and establishing the new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The move sparked a legal battle when the Walt Disney Company sued, claiming their First Amendment rights had been violated. The company had previously spoken out against the 2022 Parental Rights in Education bill.

In early February, the lawsuit was tossed by Federal Judge Allen Winsor, who ruled that the entertainment company lacked standing to sue DeSantis.

“As Disney appropriately acknowledges, the Legislature can determine the structure of Florida’s special improvement districts. […] [N]o one reading the text of the challenged laws would suppose them directed against Disney. The laws do not mention Disney.”

Disney has since moved to appeal the ruling, with a spokesman stating that the company is “determined to press forward with our case.”

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In a press conference following the decision, DeSantis touted his victory over the entertainment conglomerate and called for an “accounting” from critics.

“We knew that the legislature had authority to do it, I had the authority to sign the legislation as we did, and I would like to see an accounting from some of the people who last year were trying to say that somehow Disney had outmaneuvered Florida, or that somehow they were in the right on all this,”

DeSantis continued, “You heard a lot of squawking when they were able to use it to try to attack Florida or try to attack me. I don’t hear very much now that the case was summarily dismissed. I mean, they don’t have a case.”

According to the Governor, residents in the new district have saved more than $4.6 million due to a new contracting system and have received a 7 percent cut in property taxes for fiscal year 2024.

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