The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board Monday announced it will file suit counter to Walt Disney Company in a pending case involving potential government overreach. In March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis established the five-person board to oversee Walt Disney World, which is located within the state, following fallout over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
The complaint, filed in an Orange County, Florida court, alleges nine counts. Included among the facts of the complaint is that Disney made a development deal with the former Reedy Creek Board members, which would have allowed Disney to retain their governmental and operational control over the property in Florida. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which is the land where Walt Disney World sits in Florida, was formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), which the Reedy Creek Board oversaw prior to DeSantis’s newly established board. After DeSantis appointed the new board, however, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board voted to nullify the agreement.
The current governor of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board argued that the Reedy Creek Board deal was one-sided and approved without proper consideration. As a result, the board asked the court to hold that deal is void and unenforceable.
The board is countersuing in a lawsuit that Disney filed against DeSantis on April 26. The company filed the lawsuit in an attempt to block a state law establishing the oversight board in an attempt to obstruct funding for development of Walt Disney World. The company alleged that DeSantis’s move to establish the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board violate the US Constitution’s Contract Clause, freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.