Floridians Hit Back at Governor DeSantis’ Plan to Dissolve Disney District — Here’s Why

Governor DeSantis' plan to dissolve Disney's special district could cost taxpayers $1 billion. That's why some are fighting back.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images

Another update in the Florida versus Disney saga over the company’s self-governing special district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, shows that Governor Republican Ron DeSantis’s plan to dissolve the district isn’t going to happen without a fight. Last week Disney hit back and now, Florida residents are taking aim at the Governor. Here’s what you need to know.

A group of Florida residents who live near Disney’s Walt Disney World in Orlando is suing the Governor over the state’s plan to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The complaint claims the state violated their rights and that moving forward with the plans to dissolve will burden the residents with a $1 billion bond debt.

“Ron DeSantis has been clear on his intended punishment of Disney, although he claims the elimination of special districts will not affect central Florida taxpayers,” the suit reads. “Taxpayer lawsuits such as this one are meant to check and restrict official government misconduct.”

The plaintiffs, identified as Michael Foronda, Edward Foronda, and Vivian Gorsky are property owners who live near Reedy Creek. They filed a complaint in Florida federal court alleging that removing Disney of its special district would be a bad move. The suit says stripping the special district would “move these major regulatory burdens unto the county, thereby increasing the Plaintiff’s taxes, and will cause significant injury to plaintiffs.” (

A lawsuit was expected to challenge the state’s decision to end the special district by June 2023. But the taxpayers in this lawsuit are also taking issue with what they perceive to be the state punishing Disney and violating the company’s First Amendment Rights.

“Defendant’s violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights directly resulted in a violation of Plaintiffs’ 14th Amendment rights to due process of law,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit also states that if the Governor continues to move toward dissolving the special district, it would result in thousands of jobs being lost all in the name of retaliation for Disney’s own protected speech, when they stood up against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.