The Walt Disney Co. needs Florida more than Florida needs Walt Disney. That’s the latest chapter in this tale of a CEO who followed his woke staff like a lemming off the cliff of cultural politics. Disney employees demanded that Mickey Mouse oppose Florida’s misdescribed “don’t say gay” bill. Now state lawmakers are reacting by putting down a few glue traps.
The Florida Legislature voted this week to abolish the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which in effect lets Disney World run its own private government. Created by the Legislature in 1967, the district covers about 40 square miles and features two water parks and four theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom. Disney essentially controls land use, environmental protection, fire service, utilities, more than 100 miles of roads, and more. …
The Journal cites a source who knows Disney’s finances and says the district saves the company tens of millions of dollars a year. Without it, services like fixing potholes could revert to county government.
Disney largely funds the Reedy Creek district, which had about $150 million in revenue last year. It also carries close to $1 billion in debt. The mayor of Orange County warned Thursday that if the district goes, then upkeep will “fall to the county’s budgets,” putting “an undue burden on the rest of the taxpayers.” The headaches look large enough that it’s difficult not to wonder about the bill’s effective date. It dissolves the Reedy Creek district on June 1, 2023—time for Disney and Mr. DeSantis to make up.