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The State of Florida Does Not Appreciate Mickey Mouse

The State of Florida Does Not Appreciate Mickey Mouse

Disney welcomes over 50 million guests each year and makes Florida a huge tourist destination. Now, a proposed plan could greatly increase Disney’s building fees which will create a ripple effect on guests’ wallets. What do you think of these proposed fees?

Credit: Monica

Many of us are tired of hearing the legal disputes between Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, and the Walt Disney Company. The current dilemma is in regard to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

This new oversight district repealed the Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967. Disney CEO, Bob Iger, called this “hypocrisy” as there are about 2,000 special districts in the state of Florida. Iger believes that DeSantis is punishing the Walt Disney Company for practicing free speech.

Proposed Building Fees

Credit: Monica

Previously, the Reedy Creek Improvement District could make its own laws, zone its own land, and plan for new projects within those limits. By stripping the company of those abilities, Disney would be regulated by Orange and Osceola Counties.

Today, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) released a proposal that will include a 30% increase in building fees. Fees would include building permits, plan review fees, revision fees, State of Florida surcharge fees, temporary structure fees, fees for manufactured buildings and trailers, and building relocation fees.

This could also affect permit fees as well including fire alarms, electrical, fire suppression systems, gas, mechanical, plumping, elevators, escalators, material lifts, etc.

Credit: Susan

The list continues to include increased fees for attraction inspections, certificate of operation fees, demolition fees, investigation fees, etc.

These increased fees will impact taxpayers in the district which directly targets Walt Disney World Resort. Walt Disney World pays roughly 85% of taxes paid in the CFTOD. The new proposed fees are to help with their 2024 operating budget.

Earlier we shared that the CFTOD proposed a budget of over $5 million for the 2024 financial year just for what is referred to as “Disney-induced expenses.” If approved, this will affect the Walt Disney Company directly, and guests visiting Walt Disney World indirectly.

Today, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) released a proposal that will include a 30% increase in building fees.

Disney Huge Revenue

Credit: KtP

This new proposal comes alongside a new study released by Oxford Economics which shares that the Walt Disney Company is responsible for $6.6 billion in tax revenue including $3.1 billion in both annual state and local tax revenues. The tax revenue is created by visitors, employees, and third-party businesses.

The Walt Disney Company generated $40.3 billion across Florida while creating 250,000+ direct and indirect jobs in Central Florida during 2022. It is interesting to note, that this big revenue was while Reedy Creek Improvement District was still in operation.

Credit: Monica

Disney is important to the state of Florida, but it does not seem as though the feeling is mutual. The higher proposed fees will directly affect a company that generates so much revenue and creates so many jobs.

The Walt Disney Company generated $40.3 billion across Florida while creating 250,000+ direct and indirect jobs in Central Florida during 2022.

What do you think of the current battle between the Walt Disney Company and CFTOD? Do you think these higher fees will be approved? Share your thoughts with us and share this news with your Disney pals.

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Thursday 16th of November 2023

When is the next election to choose a new Governor for Florida?

Tampa Mom

Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Sorry, Disney played stupid games and won stupid prizes. Way back when Reedy Creek was first set up, part of the agreement was that Disney would stay out of Florida politics. They didn't want Walt setting himself up as a shadow governor. Disney broke the agreement, not the state.

Jor Smith

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Then Disney should return the favor by creating another east coast location. Like a winter wonderland in a Blue State. Ever heard of a movie called Frozen. I bet just starting those negotiations will have an impact. Fight fire with fire. It's all DeSatan knows.


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

I guess all the people who are commenting don't live here. Universal got Disney's special tax breaks a couple weeks ago. So for all the people who stated that Disney is not being hurt doesn't know what they are talking about. As someone who lives here it's a personal attack on the Walt Disney company. If it wasn't for Disney being here. Universal never would have built anything here in the first place it would still be orange groves and a place where people come to retire only

Chris A Kinney

Friday 17th of November 2023

It's not Florida that doesn't appreciate Disney, it's that revenge-driven crybaby Desantis.


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

You're incorrect. I live in Orlando and Universal did not get Disney's special tax breaks. I think you are confusing a special tax district (Reedy Creek) with a tax break. Disney still gets millions of $$ in tax breaks. Even after the feud started, the state of FL still approved a state tax credit of up to $570 million for Disney.


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

I live in Central Florida, Pandora. You make some good points about Universal just now getting similar tax treatment through their planning district, that Disney has enjoyed for the past 50 + years. I think there should be a level playing field for all the amusement park entities. I agree with you that Disney has been good for Florida, and Florida has been good for Disney. The history behind the formation of Reedy Creek was predicated upon some of the bureaucratic and zoning entanglements Disney encountered in Anaheim, CA, coupled with the raw, undeveloped aspects of the land where WDW now resides and the amount of infrastructure needed to build WDW. A level playing field is what I think is fair.


Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Yet no mention of the costs of mega parks like Disney on taxpayers that offset the revenue. What is the annual cost to maintain the infrastructure to get tourists there, such as airports, highways, and other utilities. Or how these fees are compared to their rivals.

Either provide a complete picture and be a responsible journalist or act like the biased media many have come to distrust.

Your choice.


Thursday 16th of November 2023

You said it, TOURISTS. As in, "People who come to spend money in Florida". I wonder, what might they be coming to see in Florida? If it's an amusement park, then basically, that's Disney. Universal, Busch, they only set up in FL because of WDW.

So yeah, you'd save on infrastructure.... By annihilating a quarter of a million jobs, and causing a massive depression. I mean, take your pick, but I think having the jobs is the better than the other alternative. Especially for the sake of one dude's frailcego, and desire to look tough for the elections.


Tuesday 14th of November 2023

As usual, you write a hit piece on DeSantis. The increase is on the FEES, not the overall costs of building, etc. IF you would have done any research, you would see that these increases are minimal, in some cases just a few dollars. I think Disney can handle it, I'm sure they'll come up with another excuse to increase the prices of everything to cover it. And there is NO increase in taxes to the taxpayers, as the ONLY ones who live on CFTOD property are handful of Disney employees and they live in mobile homes on property.

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