DeSantis Suggests Building a Prison Next to Disney World

Governor is stepping up feud with theme park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2023 6:40 PM CDT
DeSantis Suggests Building Prison Next to Disney World
Cinderella Castle stands at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Monday, April 3, 2023.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, apparently hell-bent on showing Mickey Mouse who's boss, announced new measures Monday in his ongoing feud with Walt Disney World. The Republican governor said new legislation would block the company's attempt to circumvent control by a DeSantis-installed board. DeSantis said he also plans to give the state greater oversight of the park's rides and possibly build on land next to the park, NBC reports. "People have said maybe create a state park, try to do more amusement parks, someone said another state prison, who knows?" the governor said. "The possibilities are endless."

DeSantis—who often slams Disney as a "woke" corporation—said a bill next week would restore power to his appointees in Disney's tax district, the New York Times reports. Last month, it emerged that the outgoing Disney-controlled board had stripped the new board of most of its powers. "They talked about a development agreement that would render everything we did null and void," DeSantis said Monday. "Well, that’s not going to work. That’s not going to fly." The AP reports that another bill proposed by DeSantis would end an exemption to state inspection of rides at Disney, but not other theme parks in the state. Critics noted that the inspectors Disney currently uses likely have greater expertise in the kinds of rides involved than state inspectors do.

With DeSantis expected to announce a 2024 White House bid, former President Trump has been stepping up his attacks on the governor, NBC reports. In a Truth Social post Saturday, the former president referred to the surprise Disney move—and to the governor's failure to visit flood-hit Broward County. "First Ron DeSanctimonious got outplayed, outsmarted, and embarrassed by Mickey Mouse and Disney, and now, while Fort Lauderdale is facing the worst flooding in 100 years, DeSanctus is on tour with his ‘shadow’ campaign for president, instead of taking care of the people of Florida," Trump wrote. (More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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