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Florida, Disney settle lawsuit over governance by tourism district

The Cinderella Castle is seen at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in July 2023. Associated Press/Photo by John Raoux, file

Florida, Disney settle lawsuit over governance by tourism district

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts reached a settlement agreement with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that went into effect Wednesday. A lawsuit from Disney alleging that the state of Florida violated its First Amendment rights to free speech will be withdrawn, as will a Disney lawsuit against Florida regarding access to public records. The agreement also agrees to dismiss a case that the Sunshine State brought against the entertainment giant.

Did Disney admit to doing anything wrong? Neither party admitted any wrongdoing or liability as a part of the agreement. Disney did agree to abide by the decisions of the new state-appointed board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, or CFTOD.

So what does this agreement do? It puts to rest the legal battles between the two parties. The agreement establishes that the state officials on the CFTOD board will govern the region in which the Walt Disney World Resort is located under the terms of a 2020 Comprehensive Plan. The parties will work together to review and update that plan as needed since the agreement orders more recent plans put in place by the district to be null and void.

Dig deeper: Read Daniel R. Suhr’s column in WORLD Opinions about the legal battle between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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