Another blow to DeSantis: Disney tourism numbers expected to be unaffected by his crusade
Disney is reportedly expected to be largely unaffected by the repeated attacks of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
DeSantis has turned all his political guns blazing on Disney after the entertainment giant dared to criticize his legislation prohibiting any mention of LGBTQ people in most elementary school classrooms. He has repeatedly attacked the corporation in speeches, took over the board that administers their special taxing district, and threatened to toll the roads into the Walt Disney World resort complex, or even build a state prison next to it.
But it doesn't seem like his threats are having much effect on Disney's bottom line, or tourism numbers, reported Orlando Weekly on Friday.
"In a recent interview with Travel Weekly, [Dana] Young, the president and CEO of Visit Florida, was asked about several topics that could have a negative bearing on the state," reported Jim Turner. "Included were the legal and political battles that sprung up after Disney opposed a controversial 2022 law that restricts instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. The law was titled by supporters as the 'Parental Rights in Education' bill but is derided by critics as 'don’t say gay.'"
“That is a business decision that we don't feel impacts the tourism product that Disney has,” said Young. “Disney has been a longtime partner of Visit Florida. They continue to be a valued partner of Visit Florida, buying into a lot of our programs. People love Disney, they love visiting Disney, and they will continue to go to Disney.”
While Disney tourism may be expected to continue to thrive, Disney itself has still responded with a lawsuit against DeSantis, arguing the governor's actions have discriminated against their freedom of speech.
However, in a wrinkle this week, the judge overseeing that case recused himself due to owning stock in Disney, resulting in the case being reassigned to another judge appointed by former President Donald Trump.
- DeSantis’ Disney fight blows up major Florida real estate projects: Wall Street Journal ›
- 'They’re those people': Vanity Fair rips the DeSantis’ Disney hypocrisy ›
- Here’s the real reason Disney Is defying DeSantis ›