Settlement Agreement Reached Between Disney, DeSantis-Backed Board

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - JUNE 30: In this handout photo provided by Walt Disney World Resort, the Cinderella Castle inside Magic Kingdom Park is currently receiving a royal makeover, and the work is nearly complete on June 30, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. When finished, the icon will feature bold, shimmering and regal enhancements, including sapphire dusting on the blue rooftops and gold trim. Walt Disney World Resort theme parks begin their phased reopening on July 11, 2020.(Photo by Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)
(Photo by Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
11:02 AM -Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Disney and the state of Florida have reached a settlement agreement in their ongoing lawsuit regarding who controls Walt Disney World’s governing district, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board announced on Wednesday. 


Members of the board approved the settlement agreement, which ends almost two years of litigation that stemmed from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R-Fla.) “Don’t Say Gay” which is actually called the HB 1557 bill.

However, the phrase “don’t say gay” is deceptive to what the legislation actually entails, since it revolves around the elimination of federal funding for materials and lessons to educate kindergarten through third-grade students about sexual behavior, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender dysphoria, and transgenderism.

The feud comes after Disney and the governor have been at odds since the company publicly opposed the law and DeSantis took away Disney’s special status it had for decades over the Reedy Creek Improvement District. 

The former Republican presidential candidate signed a bill in February 2023, which ended Disney’s self-governing status and forced the district to be controlled by the state. The governor’s office could then appoint a five-member board to govern the district. 

Meanwhile, the agreement reached by both sides states that development plans approved by the previous board before DeSantis took over would be “null and void.” Additionally, Disney has also agreed to dismiss a separate state case involving public records. 

According to the board, the federal case that Disney has filed against the district is “on appeal now” to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Additionally, Jeff Vahle, the president of Walt Disney World Resort, said that the company was happy a settlement was reached. 

“This agreement opens a new chapter of constructive engagement with the new leadership of the district and serves the interests of all parties by enabling significant continued investment and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and economic opportunity in the state,” his statement said.

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