Disney and the state of Florida went head to head in 2022. The future for Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District is now a bit more clear, and it may include a 5th theme park.
A brief recap
The state of Florida and Disney World went head to head over House Bill 1557 – also called the Parental Rights in Education. You can read more about this in our story HERE.
The tension between the company and the state continued to get worse as state Republicans looked to repeal the Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967. Essentially, the law states that Disney is its own governing body in the two cities and land within Orange and Osceola counties.
They can make their own laws, zone their own land, and essentially do whatever they want within those limits. By stripping the company of those abilities, Disney would be regulated by Orange and Osceola Counties. Emergency services would be responsible for calls on Disney property. Disney would also have to seek approval for new attractions, restaurants, and hotels.
A new proposal
Recent legislation proposes a special board would control the Reedy Creek Improvement District and would ensure Disney paid its debts. On the Osceola County website, a “Reedy Creek Improvement District Notice” has been posted from the governor, notifying the public of “intent to seek legislation before the Florida Legislature, during a regular, extended, or special session, of an act relating to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties.”
It would also mean Disney would lose control of permits and regulations for the district. Basically, all the things I just wrote about that Disney can do above will no longer be possible.
First responders for Reedy Creek also support this state takeover of the district. According to reports, the dissolution would take place on June 1, 2023.
Where does that leave us now?
Just because things don’t seem great for Disney and the Reedy Creek Improvement District, not all hope is lost. The Reedy Creek planning meeting recently took place. In that meeting, they worked out plans for the long term land use that makes it possible to add two more minor parks (think water parks, not another Magic Kingdom). Now, that doesn’t mean Disney will actually build more water parks. Just think on a smaller scale.
However, on a large scale is the idea that Disney does have room for an actual major theme park! Whether that ever comes to fruition will, of course, come with time. At the D23 Expo, Josh D’Amaro did announce some “blue sky” projects that may include an expansion of Magic Kingdom.
In addition, it will be possible to add more hotel rooms on property as well as “other resort units”, retail/restaurant locations, and more office space. Of course, if Disney does lose control over the district, being able to build more theme parks and hotels would be more difficult. However, I don’t think it would be too difficult.
What are your thoughts on the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and how Disney may try to continue to be in the theme park business under the control of the government? Let us know in the comments below and share this post with a friend.