DeSantis' CFTOD is cutting more than $3 million from road maintenance at Walt Disney World to pay for its legal fights

19 days ago in "Reedy Creek Improvement District"

Posted: Wednesday September 13, 2023 5:0pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Florida Governor Ron DeSanatis' Central Florida Tourism Oversight District plans to cut more than $3 million from its road maintenance at Walt Disney World in a proposed budget for financial year 2024.

The proposed budget sees spending on roadway repair and maintenance fall from $16,610,892 in 2023, to $13,456,790 in 2024, a decrease of $3,154,102. In a note on the budget, CFTOD says the major variance is due to "less paving rehab."

During a late-August Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board meeting, administrator Glen Gilzean reported spending plans for the district's legal battle with Walt Disney World.

According to Gilzean, CFTOD has spent almost $2 million so far, with an additional budget of $4.5 million allocated for the financial year 2024.

The CFTOD board sued Disney in a Florida state court in May 2023, following Disney's federal lawsuit against CFTOD board members and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Disney claims in its lawsuit filed in a federal court that there has been "A targeted campaign of government retaliation-orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney's protected speech now threatens Disney's business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights."

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Stripes9 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.

Isamar9 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):

mikejs7810 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.

JoeCamel11 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

GrumpyFan11 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

Stripes11 hours ago

monothingie11 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.

lazyboy97o11 hours ago

It is publicly available to all operating participants.

monothingie12 hours ago

Which should have been at publicly available pricing.

peter1143512 hours ago

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

yensid196712 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!?

lazyboy97o12 hours ago

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

yensid196712 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