An acrimonious legal dispute between Florida’s conservative governor, Ron DeSantis, and Disney has brought public scrutiny to an unusual situation that has existed for more than half a century: the existence of a private state within the state of Florida. , where Disney provided the government with the 100 square kilometers where Disney World is located. But it also shows how a ruler who does not accept criticism retaliated, creating a climate of polarization and, possibly, economic damage to the state.

Disney World is the heart of the dispute between DeSantis and Disney The largest media and entertainment company From the world. They’ve been two forces that have been in conflict for more than a year, but it escalated last week when Disney sued the governor in retaliation for opposing his law, known as “Don’t Say Gay.” The lawsuit, as to what it means for Florida’s economy and next year’s presidential election, has been a top story in major US newspapers in recent days.

Disney world The main employer In Florida, it employs 75,000 people, and pays $1.146 million annually in state and local taxes, more than the budget of several Mexican states. The economic fallout at Magic Kingdom, which is credited with driving Florida’s modernization, is generating 463,000 additional jobs. DeSantis, in turn, is Donald Trump’s front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination, and his staunch ideological stance isn’t necessarily objectionable.

His actions against Disney are not negative In itselfbecause of the way brothers Walt and Ron Disney built a state within a state, but tainted by its origin: the company’s criticism, under internal pressure from its sexually diverse workforce, of the Parental Rights to Education Act, popularly known as “Don’t,” passed the Florida Senate in March From last year ‘t say gay’ despite criticism for banning instructions on sexual orientation and gender identity in the primaries, supported by DeSantis, whose community is notoriously anti-LGTBQ.

The response was harsh, for the Magic Kingdom, whose planning in 1967 sought to eliminate what had happened at the company’s first amusement park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and which was an immediate success, by creating an ideal world that would delight children and adults. . But outside its walls, not only hotels and restaurants were installed, but also some black swings, like prostitution.

Walt Disney envisioned not only an amusement park much bigger than Disneyland, but an experimental proto-community of tomorrow, known as EPCOT, the most-visited theme park in the Magic Kingdom, which was originally a city called Progress City. Which took shape in a residential area called to celebrate, with meticulous care in its streets and gardens, where estates are linked by swimming pools, golf courses and kilometers of cycle paths, where “values ​​to a community that seeks to maintain first-class standards and services that appeal to all kinds of people” are promoted. From families”. Celebration plays The old American dream Very driven, with ideological goals, in Walt Disney’s fairy tales.

To achieve this, he lobbied with the Florida Senate for a system of self-regulation on his properties, with the parks serving as a limit to prevent the Magic Kingdom from being the center of businesses that weren’t what Disney dreamed up to encourage leaks. of reality and ambition. In this way, he was able to create a file Reedy Creek Improvement District which gave it almost complete autonomy within its borders. This law allowed Disney to assume the role of municipal authority over the two counties in which Disney World is located where the company, but not the authority, sets land regulation and building codes and control over water, treatment and drainage, as well as gas and electric service, construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, as well as its own fire department and services Medical emergency. The Reedy Creek District also had elected officials and municipal agencies.

Despite the fact that there has been criticism of this unusual model for decades, tourism success and economic advantages overshadowed all questions, until last year, when DeSantis’ political and ideological bigotry confronted him with the company and he began dismantling what had been known as “the boycott.” . In April of last year, the Florida legislature repealed The District and all similar bodies subject to special tax treatment created prior to November 1968, a clear indictment against Disney.

Instead, it created the Central Florida Tourism Control District, which last February gave the governor the power to appoint members of the oversight board and strip owners of homes and apartments within the Magic Kingdom, which for years did so through a Democratic vote. The law will go into effect next June, which Disney is fighting in a lawsuit it filed last week.

What will happen to what we know as Disney World? For a tourist it will not be noticeable what is happening. Work will continue on its four theme parks, water park, sports complex, two cities, hotels with more than 40,000 rooms and more than 300 restaurants. But in the bowels of the conflict it will be seen, because of its economic impact, whether Disney will be allowed to continue as a government on a piece of land under its control, or DeSantis, with a crusade for power to claim its legal functions, will use the confrontation so obvious, for its own political purposes.

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