Florida Legislators Threaten to Repeal Reedy Creek Improvement Act in Disney World

Tensions between the Walt Disney Company and some Florida politicians are high right now due to the recent controversy surrounding the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which has now been signed into law.

Pride Banners in Disney Springs

Disney has stated that their current goal as a company is “for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts,” which they intend to accomplish by supporting organizations working towards that action. Some Florida politicians have spoken out against Disney for this statement, and now it seems that there could be action taken against the Walt Disney Company in response to their condemnation of the bill.

Spencer Roach, a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, recently tweeted that the House has now met twice to discuss “a repeal of the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which allows Disney to act as its own government.”


So what would this mean for Disney? First, let’s take a look at what the Reedy Creek Improvement Act really is. This act created the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), which is a multi-purpose district that provides essential public services; regulates building codes, land use, and environmental protections; and tries to provide direction for the efficient operation of Walt Disney World property. For all intents and purposes, it’s a distinct governing body that functions only in Disney World.

Reedy Creek Fire Department

The RCID was created in 1967 when Disney wanted to build a new theme park (Disney World) in Central Florida. The land they wanted to use was located in both Orange and Osceola Counties, and it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The nearest power and water lines were at least 10 miles away. Neither Orange County nor Osceola County had the resources to bring Disney’s vision of a new theme park to life, so Florida State Legislature created RCID — a special taxing district “that would act with the same authority and responsibility as a county government” (RCID).

With this special district, Disney is responsible for paying for things like power, water, roads, and other municipal services on their property — hence the distinct road signs you’ll see when you enter Disney World. That means that local taxpayers in the area don’t have to pay for these maintenance services that take place inside Disney World.

Heading into Disney World!

It also means that Disney is free to try more innovative construction projects, such as using fiberglass as the main material to build the Cinderella Castle or installing the huge waste disposal system that runs underneath Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella Castle

If the Reedy Creek Improvement Act were to be repealed, it’s possible that Disney could lose some of the freedom they enjoy as a separately governed entity. From what we know right now, it would take a lot more action for the Florida legislature to repeal this law, and they haven’t officially begun this process yet.

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Click here to learn more about the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

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