Is This The END of Disney vs. DeSantis? Major Lawsuit Dropped.

Disney’s culture war with Ron DeSantis may officially be over. 

©Governor Ron DeSantis Website

After several years of political and legal battles, and several months of deescalation and settlement deals, Disney’s most recent legal action seems to indicate that the company’s long-running ideological battle with Florida’s governor has cooled. 

On June 13th, Disney officially asked a federal appellate court to dismiss its lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, effectively ending the company’s legal issue against his administration. The move came less than 24 hours after the DeSantis appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District gave second and final vote of approval to a new 15 year agreement between Disney and the state that will see the company invest approximately $17 billion in Walt Disney World.

The new deal gives Disney the authority to construct additional hotel rooms, retail, and potentially a fifth full theme park and/or additional water parks. In turn, the company agreed to “donate up to 100 acres of Disney World’s 24,000 acres for the construction of infrastructure projects controlled by the district, award at least half of its construction projects to companies based in Florida, and spend at least $10 million on affordable housing construction in the state.”

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Bryan Griffin, Communications Director for the governor’s office, said of the deal “This agreement is a big win for central Florida and will lead to numerous jobs and improved guest experiences.”

The end of the lawsuit likely signals the overall end of the years-long battle between Disney and DeSantis. The feud began in 2022 when Disney eventually spoke out against DeSantis-backed legislation which “banned classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades.” DeSantis in-turn fought Disney both on the campaign trail during his doomed 2024 presidential campaign, and legislatively, where he used political clout to take over the governing district that Disney had established in the 1960s, appointing a new board of handpicked supervisors. 

©Disney

Throughout 2023 and into 2024, Disney and DeSantis’s government engaged in legal battles, with lawsuits and countersuits proliferating. However in March of 2024 — arguably not so coincidentally just weeks after DeSantis suspended his presidential campaign — Disney and the DeSantis-backed board were able to come to a settlement that in-turn led directly to the new agreement and now Disney dropping their lawsuit. 

Magic Kingdom

It remains to be seen whether Disney’s relationship with the governor will turn contentious again, but for now it seems the long-running feud between the two is on ice. Stay tuned to DFB for more coverage of Disney’s relationship with Florida. 

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Are you glad to see the Disney/DeSantis feud seemingly come to an end? Let us know in the comments below. 

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