Court date set for Central Florida Tourism Oversight District v. Disney lawsuit

Jun 05, 2023 in "Reedy Creek Improvement District"

Posted: Monday June 5, 2023 11:00am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

A date has been set for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District lawsuit v Disney filed in the 9th Judicial Circuit Orange County.

Court documents filed today state a hearing for the case to be held on July 14, 2023 at 2pm.

Filed on May 1, the 188-page lawsuit opens by saying that "in an effort to stymie Florida's elected representatives, Disney covertly cobbled together a series of eleventh- hour deals with its soon-to-be-replaced puppet government."

The suit continues, "Disney hoped to tie the hands of the new, independent Board and to preserve Disney's special status as its own government in the District for at least the next thirty years. These agreements reek of a backroom deal—drafted by Disney with the acquiescence a lawyer who represented both Disney and the District, set for hearing without proper notice, and hustled through a compliant Disney-controlled Board that Disney knew would not dwell long on the issue. But perhaps out of haste or arrogance, Disney's deals violate basic principles of Florida constitutional, statutory, and common law. As a result, they are null and void—not even worth the paper they were printed on."

Disney is also suing the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a federal court.

Disney's federal April 26, 2023 lawsuit was filed in response to Governor DeSantis' attempts to replace the Reedy Creek Improvement District with his own hand-picked board. Disney's lawsuit says that DeSantis' actions violated its First Amendment and other constitutional rights, alleging they were motivated by retaliation due to the company's opposition to the so-called "don't say gay" law related to parental rights in schools.

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Stripes15 hours ago

Yeah, just go to Civil Case Records search and look up “Walt Disney Parks and Resorts” under Business Name. The case is on the second or third page of cases.

Isamar15 hours ago

The response IMO just oozes belligerent big-money lawyers who are used to bullying less powerful litigants into submission, which obviously isn’t going to happen here. Unfortunately, some of the arrogance may come from knowing that Desantis has appointed so many of Florida’s judges, especially appellate judges. (And of course the board members and their lawyers are very well-connected.) Some of the Disney requests they cited are interesting - I’ll grab some screenshots when I have some time later. BTW, someone has probably already posted this but for anyone catching up: the case docket, with the publicly-filed documents, is on the Orange County Clerk’s website. I’ll try to post a link to the docket but it will probably only take you to their search page, because they have a particularly annoying recaptcha. Link to the docket? (but probably the search page):

mikejs7816 hours ago

It's been reported that the price was the same that is offered to all third party businesses operating within WDW. So for example, Sheraton had access to the same deal.

JoeCamel16 hours ago

You throw up a lot of flack to get your target through. Let's see if Disney gets what they really want when this all shakes out. Like charging multiple crimes in a criminal case you expect some to get tossed

GrumpyFan17 hours ago

For political appointees doing the governor's dirty work, they sure do think awfully highly of their positions. Do they really think that because the governor appointed them as his minions to rule over Disney that they are above the law? This just gets funnier with each salvo. Also, sounds like they've got something to hide and makes me really curious what will be exposed! LOL

Stripes17 hours ago

monothingie17 hours ago

I would assume so. I would also assume that the price RCID paid was not unique to RCID and was inline with similar offerings sold to other entities.

lazyboy97o17 hours ago

It is publicly available to all operating participants.

monothingie17 hours ago

Which should have been at publicly available pricing.

peter1143517 hours ago

That would open up some legal issues. Public employees accepting gifts….

yensid196718 hours ago

OK that makes sense! BUT you would think Disney would still offer it to them since they were grandfathered in and skip the district! Firefighters get an Annual Pass for keeping Disney World a safe place free of fire! but I guess the district would have a problem with that too!?

lazyboy97o18 hours ago

It’s a benefit sold by Disney that the District and other operating participants purchase.

yensid196718 hours ago

OK, I think I know where I misspoke...I was asking how the CFOD can take away Firefighters Annual Pass benefits. I understand that the firefighters work for the District, but how can the district take away a benefit that is offered by Disney? I might be missing something, but its OK...I'm old! LOL

MisterPenguin1 day ago