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Even More Employees Quit Over DeSantis’ “Incompetency” in Disney World

The state of Florida has lost quite a few valuable employees following the “incompetent” takeover of a certain Walt Disney World property.

Guests aboard the Magic Kingdom Ferryboat
Credit: D23

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Over the last year, the relationship between the state of Florida and The Walt Disney Company has been put to the test and has possibly been damaged beyond repair. The two worked in harmony for decades, with Florida offering Disney special access and privileges in exchange for bringing in millions upon millions of dollars in tourism experiences for the state. Disney was so crucial for Florida that, for decades, it operated under a special ruling that allowed it to act as its own form of government.

This was called the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), and both Florida and Disney greatly benefited from this symbiotic relationship. However, this all came crashing down in 2023.

reedy creek improvement district sign
Credit: WikiMedia

Following months of legal and political threats, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had his wish granted, and Disney was stripped of all control of its Reedy Creek Improvement District. These actions can be traced back to early 2022 when The Walt Disney Company called out Florida and Gov. Ron DeSantis for introducing the highly controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. As a result, Disney had inadvertently entered a culture war that they would not be able to escape. Gov. DeSantis, along with dozens of other Republicans, blasted Disney for siding with “woke” ideology.

Gov. DeSantis made it his primary goal to strip Disney of all special rulings and privileges, citing that it was unfair. As we stated earlier, DeSantis had his wish granted, with the state of Florida eventually overtaking the RCID. A new board was formed, which is called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) and the members were appointed by Gov. DeSantis himself.

However, things are not going all that smoothly, with morale reportedly at an all-time low.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waving inside of a frame with the Cinderella Castle and the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue to the right.
Credit: Edited by Inside The Magic

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According to CBS, over 40 employees have now exited the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District since it was taken over in February of 2023. In total, there are about 370 employees working at the CFTOD,  raising concerns that decades of institutional knowledge are departing with them, along with a reputation for a well-run government.

Inside the Magic reported on a few employees exiting the company earlier this year, but this issue is far from just a trend, with the district losing roughly 10% of its entire workforce in recent months.

“When I first joined the District, I found an organization that strived to be the very best at serving our community, sought the very best employees, and valued those employees above all else,” stated a former manager with three years of experience. “I find myself leaving a completely different District. A District that prioritizes politics above all else and will gladly sacrifice its employees, its community, and its work if there’s an opportunity to score political points.”

Many former employees claimed the district is “no longer functional.”

“You now see fake smiles and I am sure that a lot of employees are somewhat scared to say what they actually feel because of retaliation,” said another former employee.

Luke Dammann

When at Disney world, Luke will probably be found eating with his favorite animatronic, Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. When not at Disney World, Luke will probably be found defending Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe to people who claim "there are better restaurants"

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