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June 13, 2024

Disney and Florida Governor Resolve Feud with 15-Year Expansion Agreement

Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have concluded their longstanding dispute with a comprehensive agreement that will permit Disney to significantly expand the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando over the next 15 years.

The conflict between DeSantis and Disney, one of Florida’s largest employers, began in 2022. The disagreement started when former Disney CEO Bob Chapek publicly opposed a state legislative initiative aimed at limiting classroom discussions of sexuality and gender issues for younger students, a law that detractors labeled as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

According to the agreement with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Disney has committed to investing a minimum of $8 billion in the resort over the next decade, with a total projected investment of $17 billion over the next 10 to 20 years. This extensive investment plan includes a substantial affordable housing initiative and mandates that at least 50 percent of the total spending in the expansion go to Florida businesses.

The agreement grants Disney the authorization to build a fifth theme park, expand retail and office space, and add approximately 14,000 hotel rooms, bringing the resort’s total to nearly 54,000 rooms. Disney President Jeff Vahle expressed enthusiasm about the agreement, stating that it “paves the way for us to invest billions of dollars in Walt Disney World Resort.”

The new deal follows a settlement reached in March between Disney and appointees of Governor DeSantis, which ended a highly publicized lawsuit in state court over control of the special district that encompasses the Walt Disney World theme parks.

This resolution marks a significant turning point in the relationship between Disney and the Florida state government. The substantial investment and expansion plan are expected to have far-reaching economic benefits for the state, including job creation and increased tourism. Additionally, the commitment to affordable housing reflects Disney’s ongoing efforts to address critical social issues within the community.

Overall, this agreement not only resolves a high-profile dispute but also sets the stage for a new era of growth and development at Walt Disney World Resort, promising significant economic and social contributions to the state of Florida.

Read more Business related news on R9 News
Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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