Disney to Invest $17 Billion in Florida, Plans New Theme Park After Ending Dispute with DeSantis


The Walt Disney Company is planning a major reboot. Not another superhero movie franchise, but its relationship with Florida.

The pending agreement is between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism and Oversight District and would last for the next 15 years. A vote for final approval is expected later this month, with the five DeSantis-appointed supervisors who oversee the Disney World district signing off Wednesday on the initial approval, according to an AP report.

The agreement would signify a significant shift for Disney after entering a contentious cultural debate by opposing Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law, which restricts certain LGBTQ-related topics from being taught in schools.

Disney’s controversial stance led to numerous lawsuits and the loss of its self-governing privileges in the Orlando area, a unique benefit the company had for fifty years. The controversy also tarnished Disney’s reputation, resulting in substantial brand damage that the company’s leaders are still attempting to address.

Disney recently laid off 7,000 workers globally and reduced budgets across its various media properties.

In March, Disney announced it was dropping its lawsuits in the “Reedy Creek” conflict, a move interpreted as a concession under CEO Bob Iger’s attempt to halt the adverse media attention.

Under the new agreement, Disney must allocate at least half of its construction projects to Florida-based companies and invest a minimum of $10 million in affordable housing in central Florida.

David Ng
David Ng
Senior reporter covering media, entertainment, and corporate America. Previously, David was with the Los Angeles Times for 12 years, providing comprehensive coverage of the entertainment industry, including investigative pieces on some of LA’s landmark cultural institutions.

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