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Disney World, the magic kingdom, is under attack by Ron DeSantis. It’s official, the governor of Florida is crusading against the likes of Mickey Mouse. As absurd as it sounds, that’s exactly what’s happening as Governor DeSantis leads a war against the magic kingdom of Disney World by revoking its right to self-govern. 

Ron DeSantis Vs. Disney, the Battle Begins

Before diving into the details of Ron DeSantis’s unfashionable fight against Disney World, let’s take a look at why they’re battling in the first place. Disney has recently taken a decidedly woke stance, a stance that was in direct opposition to the governor’s, ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. 

Not only has Disney gone woke as it were, but it also went out of its way to oppose the bill by speaking out against it. If you’re thinking it’s just a matter of Disney’s corporate culture taking a woke stance, think again. Disney had actually provided funding to some of the key players behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ including the governor himself. 

After funding the bill, Disney came under attack as it became the target of some incredibly intense backlash. Disney stars like Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana insisted that Disney should take a firm stance against DeSantis’s controversial bill. 

It’s worth noting that Charlee Corra Disney, the great-great nephew of Walt Disney himself has spoken out against Ron DeSantis’s bill. What’s also worth noting, is the fact that in taking such a strong stance against Disney after accepting money from them, Ron DeSantis is being something of a hypocrite.

Ron DeSantis recently retaliated by signing a bill into law in an effort to take away Disney’s right to self-government in the state of Florida. The bill is designed to strip Disney of its special privileges, namely its right to operate a private government in the heart of Florida.

Wait, Disney World Has its Own Government?

While the current fiasco has delivered plenty of surprises, some people may find that one of the biggest surprises of all is the fact that Disney World had its own government in the first place. When did this happen? How did an iconic theme park establish its own government within the United States? 

Disney World was awarded extraordinarily unique sovereign powers as a result of the Florida state legislature birthed the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District gave Walt Disney World the ability to manage its own municipal services including the option to construct and operate its own nuclear power plant. This means that Disney has the power to determine its own building codes and levy taxes. Although Walt Disney World is largely independent and manages its own fire department, it pays Orange County for police protection. 

The Plot Thickens, Why Ron DeSantis Has Taken Up Arms Against Disney World

If you’re thinking that Governor DeSantis chose to take on Disney’s sovereignty out of a genuine concern for government overreach, you would be sadly mistaken. Mr. DeSantis targeted Disney because it issued a statement that voiced the commercial giant’s opposition to the governor’s, ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. 

By challenging Disney’s sovereignty, Ron DeSantis has deviated from traditional Republican values. One of the defining characteristics of the Republican party is its disdain for regulation and big government. 

DeSantis has continuously outraged Florida citizens who have been extremely concerned about the spread of COVID-19 by refraining from using his gubernatorial powers to slow the spread. While the threat of COVID-19 wasn’t enough to urge DeSantis to use the reins of power, Disney going woke apparently was.   

Why DeSantis’s Move Against Disney Exhibits Blatant Disregard for First Amendment Rights

From a logical perspective, the Governor’s reaction to the statement Disney released to establish its position on his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill was disproportionate and possibly unconstitutional. Litigators have speculated that his retaliation against Disney represents a clear violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights

Indeed, the organization is being punished by the Governor because of the wording of its recent statement about his bill. While establishing a violation of First Amendment rights in court may take time and skill, it’s clear that the governor went too far. 

Local Republicans view Disney as a guest in the state of Florida. What they fail to acknowledge is that Disney is an incredibly valuable guest that brings throngs of vacationers to the state every year and a great deal of their money as well. 

While Florida Republicans are giving Disney the cold shoulder, Colorado Governor, Jared Polic senses an opportunity. Mr. Polis extended an informal offer to host Disney World in Colorado and create a sort of mountain-themed version of the iconic park. To sweeten the deal he made it clear that Disney would not be subjected to the same hostile environment that Mr. DeSantis has cultivated in Florida. 

The Larger Implications of DeSantis’s Crusade Against Disney World

Regardless of how one feels about Disney or the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, we all should be concerned by Ron Desantis’s development of what CNN has called an imperial governorship. When you think about it, the fact that a U.S. politician is using governmental powers to dissolve something that’s been in place for over 50 years is kind of disturbing. 

The bill that Mr. DeSantis signed into law to dissolve Disney World’s self-governing powers in the state of Florida could be considered to be a prime example of governmental overreach and abuse of power. 

For better or worse, Ron DeSantis has become a looming figure who has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in the next presidential election. Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, chose to harness the powers of government and use them to lead an assault against one of the most beloved businesses in Florida and the nation. 

You must ask yourself if Ron DeSantis is willing to use his powers as governor to attack Disney World, what would he be willing to do as President of the United States of America? That’s certainly a question to ask yourself when you’re at the polls in 2024. 

Meanwhile, according to CNBC, the ongoing war for Disney’s rights to maintain its sovereignty in the state of Florida is costing taxpayers nearly $1 billion. As a governor who espouses Republican values, Mr. DeSantis seems determined to put a heavy load on local taxpayers to fund his crusade against the entertainment giant.


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About The Author

Harrison Bryan

Harrison is an experienced writer and marketing connoisseur. Specializing in sales copy, he works with some of the most innovative names in business and is interested in the relationship between marketing and psychology. As a staff writer for SFL Media, he has a broad focus and covers some of the most exciting developments in South Florida.