DeSantis Ends Feud?!

( – Ending a lengthy feud over the company’s leftwing political activism, Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis inked a $17 billion expansion deal.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), an entity created by DeSantis, unanimously approved the 15-year, $17 billion expansion agreement for Disney World at its board meeting. Disney will invest at least $8 billion in the first ten years.

As part of the deal, Disney committed to spending at least half of its expenditures on Florida businesses to boost the state’s economy. Additionally, the company pledged $10 million toward affordable housing.

Board member Brian Aungst Jr. said at the meeting, “Walt Disney World is inextricably intertwined in the fabric of the state of Florida, and the success of Walt Disney World is the success of Central Florida and vice versa.”

In addition, Vice chairman Charbel Barakat thanked DeSantis for his “tireless efforts” and called the agreement a “monumental step” for Florida’s prosperity. National Review reached out to Disney for comment.

DeSantis’s communications director, Bryan Griffin, added:

“Disney and the state of Florida continue working well together under CFTOD’s new governance structure, and we are pleased to see CFTOD and Disney reach a new development agreement that secures up to $17 billion in future investment in the state of Florida.”

The feud began in 2022 when Disney opposed the Republican-backed Parental Rights in Education bill, known by critics as the “don’t say gay” bill. The legislation banned lessons on sexuality and gender in classrooms.

In response to Disney’s activism, DeSantis dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special body that had given Disney tax breaks and control over economic development around Disney World for over fifty years.

Before the DeSantis-appointed board took over in March, the Disney-controlled board handed control of the district’s development to Disney, claiming it was a permanent change that could not be undone by the new board. Media reports said DeSantis had been “out-negotiated by Mickey Mouse.”

DeSantis called the move illegal, asserting that Disney would “live under the same laws as everybody else.”

In March, Disney and DeSantis reached a settlement where Disney agreed to drop its lawsuits against the new oversight board and acknowledged that the last-minute changes were “null and void.”

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