Josh D’Amaro Responds to the Dissolution of Reedy Creek
Following the very public battle between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last year, Disney seems happy to get back to business.
On February 27, DeSantis signed Florida House Bill 9B into law, which stripped Disney of its control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The bill was the result of a months-long battle between the governor and Disney, following Florida’s passage of the Parental Rights in Education Bill.
Disney’s Response To The End of Reedy Creek
After Governor DeSantis signed the bill, which replaced Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District with the state-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Disney chose not to fight the new law.
In a carefully articulated statement, Walt Disney President Jeff Vahle announced that the company was “focused on the future and are ready to work within this new framework, and we will continue to innovate, inspire, and bring joy to the millions of guests who come to Florida to visit Walt Disney World each year.”
Since Bob Iger has returned as CEO of Disney, the company has been reluctant to enter into the political sphere.
Josh D’Amaro Tows the Company Line
In a new interview with the Orlando Business Journal, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro continued to tow the company line.
“We will stay focused on what we have always done,” he said. “Look at how we run our business. Look at the investments we are making in our business. As long as I can keep providing that, take care of our cast members, the Central Florida community [and] take care of these guests … I’m in good shape. I can only control what I can control.”
While it doesn’t appear that Disney will mount a legal challenge to the new law, D’Amaro also refused to discuss the politics surrounding Reedy Creek, including possible future political contributions.
Working Within A New Framework
“The reality is we work with different people around the world at our different theme parks. So we know how to work with different people. For all those reasons, I have to look at the situation of where we are going — I believe in where we are going — and I hope the board sees the same.”
Under the new law, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District will fulfill the functions formerly overseen by Reedy Creek.
A Place For Everyone
When it comes to the political noise surrounding Disney these days, D’Amaro is focused on serving a product for everyone.
“Will there be noise on the outside? Will there be different points of view that we may not like? Sure,” he said, noting the company still will find success continuing to serve all types of people even if their beliefs may be different. “I really believe that, so we are not going to get distracted.”
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