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New Actions: Governor Ron DeSantis Is Not Over With Disney

On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis directed the state’s chief inspector general to investigate a last-minute deal between the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Walt Disney World.

On February 8, the old board signed an agreement to transfer power to the company, and the agreement was recorded with the Orange County Comptroller on February 9 — the same day that the Florida House passed legislation renaming the Reedy Creek Improvement District the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and removing Disney’s self-appointed board and replacing it with a board appointed by the governor.

In reaction to the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s activities, DeSantis’ office stated in an email that “all legislative alternatives are back on the table.” according to the New York Post.


In a letter to Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel and Commissioner Mark Glass of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the governor stated that the deal was “designed to usurp the authority of the CFTOD board.”

As reported by the news outlet, the Florida Governor stated:

“These collusive and self-dealing arrangements aim to nullify the recently passed legislation, undercut Florida’s legislative process, and defy the will of Floridians,” (…) “In addition, based on initial observations of counsel, the RCID board’s actions appear to suffer from serious legal infirmities, including, among other things, inadequate notice, lack of consideration, improper delegation of authority, and ethical violations, such as conflicts of interest and self-dealing.”

The governor formally asked that Miguel conduct a full assessment and inquiry into the acts of the previous board, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

According to DeSantis, the probe should look at the following:

  • RCID’s adherence to applicable Florida civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements;
  • The qualifications of RCID’ s prior Board of Supervisors and the legal validity of their actions;
  • The involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents in the execution of RCID’s actions;
  • Any financial gain or benefit derived by Walt Disney World as a result of RCID’s actions and RCID’s justification for such actions;
  • All RCID board, employee, or agent communications related to RCID’ s actions, including those with Walt Disney World employees and agents; and
  • All RCID board, employee, or agent communications related to House Bill 9-B, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties, and the CFTOD.

At a vote on February 8, Disney utilized an obscure legal term that name checks King Charles III to deprive DeSantis’ oversight board of power. Disney said in a statement that their operations were fully compliant with Florida law.

According to the Daily Mail, Disney’s statement said:

‘All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,’ 


The legal clause, which dates back to 17th-century Britain, requires covenants to be bound to the lifespan of a person living at the time the guideline is signed, plus 21 years.

The clause idea was named after the British royal family since knowledge about their ancestry is widely available, and it was intended to evade rules that stay forever, maximizing the possible length of time that trusts can exist.

Furthermore, the royal family was chosen to represent the notion because to the ‘better healthcare available to, and longer life expectancy of, a royal family member compared to a non-royal’according to law firm Birketts. In 1692, in reaction to a harsh judicial precedent in property laws at the time, the provision became part of contractual drafting to common law.

Such rules have been mostly rectified throughout the years, but the Royal Lives clause still exists, though its usage, notably in the United States, is fairly uncommon.


The Florida Attorney General’s Office demanded last Thursday that former Reedy Creek Improvement District members give over any contacts they had with The Walt Disney Company regarding the arrangement.

The Orlando Sentinel reported about several communications from the Florida Attorney General’s office to the Disney-appointed board:

‘I write to advise you of the attached public records request, which the Office of the Attorney General submitted to the entity formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the “District”) under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes. It is likely, if not certain, that you possess records responsive to this request, which would include emails and text messages sent on personal devices or accounts if they were “made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by” the District. See § 119.011(12), Fla. Stat.

The Letter continued:

To the extent you possess responsive records that are not in the custody or control of the District, this letter advises you of your legal obligation to retain copies and to provide the records to the District as soon as possible. See § 119.10, Fla. Stat. (discussing applicable civil and criminal penalties for violations of Chapter 119).

The AG’s office also reportedly sent an Email that stated:

“provide copies of all emails, text messages, and other correspondence from or to employees, board members, or other affiliates of the Reedy Creek Improvement District regarding the following topic: Documents discussing agreements, covenants, or similar documents approved or considered by the Board of Supervisors on February 8, 2023.”

The Email then continued saying:

“Please limit your search to documents discussing an intention or goal of circumventing, avoiding, frustrating, mitigating, or otherwise attempting to avoid the effects of anticipated actions by the Florida Governor and Florida Legislature,” (…) “If you believe that individuals no longer affiliated with the Reedy Creek Improvement District may possess responsive public records that are not in your custody or control, please advise how the Attorney General’s Office may be of assistance.”

The email stated that the records needed to be sent over as soon as possible.

Independent Writer. Marketing and communications strategist for politicians, artists, public figures & corporate brands for more than 10 years. Contact: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)
Escritor independiente. Consultor en marketing y comunicaciones de políticos, artistas, figuras públicas y marcas por más de 10 años. Contacto: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)