Lake Buenavista, Fla.: The new chair of Disney World’s revamped governing body said Wednesday that new supervisors had good intentions about collaborating with the company after they were appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, so it was “shameful” when Disney signed agreements with their predecessors stripping them of most of their authority.
“Our board wanted to work with Disney, but Disney decided they didn’t want to work with us. It was Disney’s way or the highway,” Martin Garcia, chair of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, said at the start of a board meeting.
In response, he had a warning about what the DeSantis-appointed supervisors who now oversee Disney World’s vast Florida holdings might try to achieve in an evolving showdown between the governor and Disney: “Nothing is off the table at this point.”
Among the changes board members made Wednesday were eliminating a planning agency and making the board responsible for future planning. They also said that in the future, they might consider acquiring more land under eminent domain, monetizing the district’s assets to pay off debt, banning
COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates, asserting the board’s “superior authority” over the district and exploring new zoning for the construction of affordable housing for Disney workers on Disney World property.