You don’t mess with the House of Mouse — just ask the new board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (formerly the Reedy Creek Improvement District.)
Just before the bill that put Reedy Creek in the hands of a DeSantis-appointed board was signed, the board’s previous members and Disney came to an agreement that effectively stripped Reedy Creek of its power — and they used King Charles III to do it.
DeSantis and the Florida legislature have been busy playing checkers. Meanwhile, Disney just checked their king in the ultimate game of 3D chess. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s new board has held its first few meetings since the governor-appointed board took over, and it’s clear they’re preparing for a fight.
The new board is hiring four separate law firms to deal with “potential legal challenges” for what the board did when Disney originally appointed members.
Before the new board was appointed, the previous members made agreements with Disney that give it control over Reedy Creek land for the next several years, which the new District’s legal counsel has called “unusual” and “suspect.” The special counsel went on to say that the agreements between Disney and the former board were “unlawful.”
Disney later issued a statement noting that all agreements between Disney and the District were appropriate and discussed in open, noticed public forums in accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law, which states that all meetings of a board or commission of a municipal agency must be public and the records for such meetings must also be public. You can read the full statute here.
Essentially, Disney indicated that they made these agreements completely out in the open and the information was available to the public at all times.
Part of the agreements between the former board and Disney include a clause that declares them valid until “21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England.” But what does the king of England have to do with Disney?
Let’s back up for a bit. The state of Florida has a law cited as the “Florida Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities,” which makes it so that no one can put terms into a deed or will that would continue to affect its ownership after the person has died. Basically, it prevents a landowner from having control of the property forever.
In Florida, the Rule Against Perpetuities only allows contingencies to be put on ownership for “life plus twenty-one years.”
But, Disney has circumvented this law by enlisting the help of King Charles III — sort of. By declaring the development agreement valid until “21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England,” Disney enacted a royal lives clause.
A royal lives clause states that a right must be exercised (in this case, the development agreement) within a lifetime plus twenty-one years — just like the Rule of Perpetuities — but this takes it a bit further. It’s not just a lifetime plus twenty-one years Disney is talking about — it’s twenty-one years after the death of the last living descendant of King Charles III.
This essentially means that the development agreement signed by Disney and the former District board will be valid until the royal family dies out.
That doesn’t mean the fight is over, though, as current District board members have been quoted saying they don’t feel this is lawful and plan to challenge it in court.
We’ll continue to look out for more updates from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. For the latest Disney news, stay tuned to AllEars.
Read More About the Potential Reedy Creek Lawsuit Here
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What do you think will happen with the new District? Let us know in the comments.
5 Replies to “How King Charles Could Help Disney Defeat DeSantis”
I hope Disney prevails. Mr DeSantis is taking our freedoms away from us not giving us freedom. This seems like an intrusion on a business that does the state of Florida a lot of good. It also seems like the Santa’s is punishing the visitors to Florida
Do Mickey a favor WD and get out of the political games and back to Dreams!
So let me see if I have this right. DeSantis’ got angry because Disney, with lots of LBGTQ workers and lots of LGBTQ guests said it didn’t like a law. That’s it. They voiced their opinion because their employees didn’t want them to stay silent. DeSantis decided, rather than just let it roll off his shoulders like a grown up, to punish Disney. And Disney was astute enough and had very good lawyers and beat DeSantis’ at his own game. And now the taxpayers of Florida, rather than let this go, are going to pay a ton of money in legal fees to clean the egg of DeSantis’ face. Don’t mess with The Mouse.
James, taxpayers are always the losers when politicians are involved.
I think Disney is smart enough to weather this crisis, but it sets a precedent that a politician can punish a corporation when they oppose a policy or law.
Chapek should have kept his mouth shut and stayed out if politics. Disney should be entertainment ONLY. Walt would be so disappointed. Chapek created disaster after disaster. Hopefully Bob Iger will bring the magic back and be sensible.