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By The Way
Detours with locals. Travel tips you can trust.

Disney’s special tax district in Florida, explained

What you need to know about the recently outlawed Reedy Creek Improvement District

(iStock/Washington Post Illustration)
5 min

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law Friday that would dismantle the special taxing district where the Walt Disney World Resort operates, effectively weaponizing a hastily convened session of the state legislature against a company that has publicly criticized the state’s efforts to limit discussion of LGBTQ topics in elementary schools.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District was established in 1967 — four years before the first Disney theme park in Florida opened its gates. And its unique structure has helped the Walt Disney Co. develop the property into the top theme park destination in the world.

Even fervent Disney World fans may have been unaware of the entertainment giant’s self-governing territory. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the district is, why Florida’s Republican-led legislature voted to get rid of it and what that might mean.