Florida Determines Disney Didn’t Leave a Paper Trail
We’ve got yet another development in the ongoing civil war between The Walt Disney Company and Florida’s government.
Here’s the latest wrinkle in the most acrimonious story this side of Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval.
Disney Didn’t Leave a Paper Trail
In 2023, Disney writers have learned to fear the time between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday night.
That’s the so-called Friday news dump, which happens to be one of the most likely times for Reedy Creek-related news to break.
Sure enough, shortly after 5:30 p.m. today, the Orlando Sentinel broke another story regarding Disney’s ongoing battle with Florida’s governor. And this one’s pretty funny.
On March 31st, Governor DeSantis called on Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, to investigate Disney’s behavior involving Reedy Creek.
As a reminder, Disney signed paperwork that gave it full control of the Reedy Creek land for at least 30 years. This is the so-called King Charles III clause.
The new board overseeing the land, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), bristled at this revelation and may have chosen not to tell DeSantis.
In short, they got got.
DeSantis is currently campaigning under the auspice that there’s “a new sheriff in town” calling the shots over Disney.
Once the governor realized that Disney had bested him in a decidedly legal fashion, Plan B unfolded.
DeSantis said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet” while promising that he would beat Disney on every single Reedy Creek legal matter.
Well, DeSantis and Moody still haven’t seen anything, as Florida’s Attorney General (AG) just made an embarrassing confession.
The investigation into Disney’s paper trail returned exactly…zero documents.
That’s right, folks. Florida’s government hoped that an investigation would reveal countless illegal papers showing that Disney had committed a crime.
Instead, the AG and her team learned the opposite. There are NO qualifying public records from Disney.
In other words, Disney has done nothing illegal here, something that the Orlando Sentinel’s public records request revealed as well. Consider that second confirmation.
What Does This Mean?
In a recent MickeyBlog News, I described this ploy as Florida’s AG “hurling a desperation three with no time remaining on the clock.”
At a different point, I called the AG’s attempt a request for some Reedy Creek official to be a dear and incriminate themselves.
Yes, that’s how caught off-guard Florida’s ruling party has been by Disney’s policy-based masterstroke.
The company followed all the rules of the Sunshine Law, thereby guaranteeing the legality of their actions.
DeSantis and Moody had hoped that they may find paperwork hinting that Disney had performed unlawful acts. It was a desperate ploy.
Now, we know that Disney left no such evidence. In fact, a lack of any documents whatsoever suggests that Disney dotted its Is and crossed its Ts.
If you’re against Disney in this matter, that’s a worrisome thought. The Reedy Creek team not only had a plan but executed it flawlessly.
After just two weeks, the AG knows that she cannot accuse Disney of what she hoped.
The original request had sought “documents discussing an intention or goal of circumventing, avoiding, frustrating, mitigating or otherwise attempting to avoid the effects of anticipated actions by the Florida governor and the Florida Legislature.”
Those documents don’t exist. Literally. There are none of them. So, it’s challenging to argue that Disney has done anything illegal without even a whiff of proof.
Moody and her team aimed for the sky here, too. They asked for “copies of emails, text messages and other correspondence from board members, district employees and other affiliates related to the deals.”
One of her lieutenants “wrote to the five former board members seeking any communications regarding the agreements on their personal devices.”
There’s no paper trail for any of it.
What Happens Next?
Well, there’s a funny thing in politics these days, presuming you’re capable of finding it amusing.
The anti-Disney crew will act like this didn’t happen and move forward with their planned course of action.
We already know what this is because DeSantis has absorbed a drubbing during his book tour. He’s faced negative headlines and collapsing poll numbers.
Currently, DeSantis cannot even get his own allies to endorse him during his Presidential campaign. Losing to Mickey Mouse is a non-starter.
So, we know the details regarding the next round of this prize fight. DeSantis already announced what will happen during the next board meeting.
Yes, the CFTOD will pass a resolution that entitles it to complete control of Reedy Creek’s land.
The gist is that the new agreement will somehow supersede the one that Reedy Creek’s former board created, the one that…cannot be superseded.
Yes, we’re heading to court now. It’s inevitable. While Disney CEO Bob Iger stated he’d “be open” to meeting with DeSantis, we all know that’s unlikely.
Even if the two people met, they wouldn’t find much common ground.
In short, we’re ending the week knowing what will happen next week. The new CFTOD board will claim supremacy over Disney’s land.
Disney’s attorneys will scoff, stating that their paperwork explicitly prevented that.
Importantly, the people who write the laws for the state of Florida will support the CFTOD.
Then, we’ll await what’s likely to be a protracted legal battle over an issue that is…just SO stupid.
I’m not loving this season of As Disney World Turns.
Editor’s confession: I’m only vaguely aware of who Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval are. I primarily know them from Google Trends and Nielsen ratings discussions.
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below, and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!
Featured image: IMDB