Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Roberto Machado Noah | Lightrocket | Getty Images
Forget Disney princesses. Mickey Mouse may have proved who is the true king of Florida.
disney apparently thwarted an attempt by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to strip the company of its autonomy within the state, using a legal provision to confirm the name of King Charles III.
For nearly a year, DeSantis-backed state legislators have sought greater control over the company’s Florida-based theme parks. Pass Bill to Eliminate Disney Special Tax DistrictsDeSantis also wanted to rename the area the Central Florida Tourism Supervision District and set up a new commission to oversee it.
DeSantis, widely known as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, was embroiled in a bitter public feud with the entertainment giant over the company’s denunciation of Florida’s HB 1557 law early last year. HB 1557, called by critics the “don’t say gay” bill, restricts early education teachings about sexual orientation and gender identity.
State Rep. Randy Fine told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ the bill was not retaliatorybut then said, “We saw a special district when Disney kicked the hornet’s nest.”
Disney has been silent on the matter for months, but the House of Mouse appears to have planned to maintain control over land within the outer boundaries of Orange and Osceola counties.
On February 8, the day before Florida House voted to take charge of DeSantis, the former Disney Alliance board signed a long-term development agreement that significantly limits the control they can exercise over the company and its districts. bottom.
As part of the 30-year development agreement, Disney no longer requires board approval to build high-density projects and buildings of any height and sell or transfer development rights. It also prohibits the board of directors from using the Disney name or its characters.
The agreement includes a royal clause that dates back to 1692 in Britain and extends that time limit by decades.
This “declaration shall remain in force until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III of England living on the date of this declaration,” the document said. Most frequently used in the UK for trusts and provides a buffer against permanence.
“So as long as one of your grandchildren turns 80, this provision will be in place for 100 years,” said Robert Lord, senior adviser on tax policy for the progressive group Patriotic Millionaires. explained.
DeSantis replaced the entire Disney-affiliated board of directors with five Republicans on February 27. Only then was Disney’s new binding agreement discovered.
“This essentially makes Disney the government,” said Ron Pelli, one of DeSantis’ new board members appointed to CFTOD, at a board meeting on Wednesday. “This commission will lose most of its ability to do more than maintain roads and maintain basic infrastructure for practical purposes.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media during the Florida Cabinet after delivering a state address at a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., March 7, 2023.
Chaney Orr | AFP | Getty Images
A representative for DeSantis did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Florida legislators have clashed with the new agreement and vowed to find legal ways to repeal or nullify the document. However, Disney says all of its actions are legal.
In a statement, The Walt Disney Resort said, “All agreements signed between Disney and the District are in good standing and have been discussed in an open and highly visible public forum in compliance with the Florida government’s Sunshine Act. It has been approved and approved,” he said.
The district in question is the Reedy Creek Improvement District, established in 1967. It was established by the Florida legislature to allow Disney to develop the infrastructure of Walt Disney’s His World at no cost to Florida taxpayers.
The arrangement allowed Disney to build theme parks, hotels, and other tourism experiences within the Reedy Creek area with little or no oversight. The company has also become the largest employer of Florida residents and has helped the Orlando area become one of the largest tourist hubs in the United States.
Until recently, there was no major public debate about the dissolution of the venerable district, which Disney has occupied for 55 years.
https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/30/disney-ron-desantis-royal-lives-clause.html Disney Blocks Ron DeSantis With King Charles Clause