Disney and DeSantis Settle Legal Feud With $17 Billion Florida Resort Expansion

By Thea Felicity

Jun 13, 2024 11:35 AM EDT

Florida Governor DeSantis Holds News Conference With Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 20: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference held at the Santorini by Georgios restaurant on March 20, 2024 in Miami Beach, Florida. DeSantis talked about preventing unauthorized camping and public sleeping during the event and signed Florida House Bill 1365, which addresses homelessness.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Disney and a board aligned with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have reached a development agreement that allows Disney to invest up to $17 billion into its Florida resort over the next decade to two decades, CNN reported. The agreement, approved unanimously on Wednesday night, June 12, concludes a protracted legal battle between the entertainment giant and the state government.

Under the newly named Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), which now governs public services in the Walt Disney World area with supervisors appointed by the governor, the new agreement signifies a shift towards cooperation. 

Experts noted it as a moment of mutual realization for both parties. Board Supervisor Brian Aungst Jr. called it a "huge deal," as it could positively impact Florida residents, local businesses, and Disney employees.

Jeff Vahle, President of Walt Disney World Resort, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing how the agreement sets the stage for substantial investment to boost the resort's global stature, stimulate the Florida economy, and improve guest experiences.

READ MORE: Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis Met Privately in Florida to Discuss the Former President's Campaign: Report

Disney's Investment in Florida

The agreement details Disney's $17 billion investment in its Florida resort, part of a larger $60 billion global parks and cruises strategy over the next decade. The CFTOD will manage essential infrastructure services to support Disney's growth. 

Additionally, Disney has committed $10 million to affordable housing and a hiring program favoring Florida businesses. It has also hinted at future expansions, including five major and five minor theme parks. However, these plans are not yet confirmed.

At the same time, no source has confirmed if this results from the Trump-DeSantis meeting in Florida, VCPost reported, ahead of US elections.

READ NEXT: Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Social Media Ban for Minors; Companies May Pay Up to $50,000 Per Violation

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