Political Speech

Ron DeSantis Appointees Seek Disney Communications About Florida Governor

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando
In this July 30, 2022, file photo, people attend the “Happily Ever After” fireworks display at the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida. (Reuters/Octavio Jones)

By The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ board appointees are seeking communications between Disney and local media, as well as documents related to the company’s position on Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, as part of a state court fight over control of the district that governs Walt Disney World.

The request for documents and communications was made Thursday by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, now controlled by DeSantis appointees. It sued Disney this year over control of the private government which regulates design and construction and provides municipal services such as mosquito control and road repairs at the Florida theme park resort.

The district wants all Disney communications about DeSantis, as well as communications dealing with laws passed by the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature that switched control of the district from Disney supporters to the governors’ appointees and nullified deals the company made with the Disney-controlled district before the state takeover.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, formerly called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, was controlled by Disney allies for more than five decades until it was taken over by DeSantis appointees earlier this year. The takeover of the district came after Disney publicly opposed a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades. The law, dubbed by opponents as “Don’t Say Gay,” was championed by DeSantis, who currently is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.