A float carrying Mickey Mouse travels in front of the Disney World castle.

The Disney/DeSantis Feud Is Getting Weird, Now Involves King Charles III

Florida keeps on being Florida.

Look, it was never really a question that the House of Mouse was gonna outfox DeSantis, because think about it: Who is going to have smarter people working for them? Ol’ pudding fingers? Or one of the richest companies in the world? Disney was always going to win this feud. It’s cute DeSantis thought otherwise. The best part about DeSantis’ demise is it was all done in plain view. DeSantis was too busy being an evil d*ckhead and clearly not running for President *wink wink* to notice. Oops.

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These right-wing dolts weren’t paying attention until they were set to take power and then were in for quite the surprise.

OK, some context, because it’s been a while since we talked about what used to be Reedy Creek and its war with DeSantis. In short, DeSantis is a bad man with an evil heart and uses the power he has as Governor of Florida to make life miserable for anyone who does not espouse the ideals of being a Conservative jagoff. He set his sights on the LGBTQIA+ community in Florida because he is a bad person, and Disney said “hey, that’s not cool” so he said “OK, all your special privileges are now revoked. Florida is in charge now.” LOL. Or are they?

The area of Florida that houses Disney World used to act as essentially its own little autonomous government (Reedy Creek). DeSantis successfully replaced that board with his own appointees. But when the new board sat down to finally start business, they realized the previous board had voted on a whole new set of rules that essentially robs the new guys of all their power. Again, I say OOPS!

Per AP News the vote took place in public, DeSantis’ appointees just didn’t care to notice:

In a statement, Disney said all agreements were above board and took place in public.

“All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” the statement said.

Never bring a smart person to a dumb person’s culture war, especially if they have unlimited resources on their side. So what ended up happening is rather than hand over controls to DeSantis’ board of fascists, Disney (a not entirely un-fascist entity, of course) decided to rewrite the board’s rules to ensure it kept its own power and control over the land where it operates in Florida, and decided to throw King Charles III in for good measure because why the hell not? This is Florida, baby. Anything goes! Per AP News:

Under the terms of the agreement, the district is prohibited from using the name “Disney” or any symbols associated with the theme park resort without the company’s permission, nor can it use the likeness of Mickey Mouse, other Disney characters or other intellectual property in any manner. The company can sue for damages for any violations, and the agreement is in effect until perpetuity, according to the declaration.

If the agreement is deemed to violate rules against perpetuity, it will be in effect until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of England’s King Charles III, the declaration said.

So, the new board can’t use any of Disney’s IP in relation to its business. That seems fair, right? But wait, there’s more. Per Deadline:

The agreement allows Disney to build projects at the highest density and the right to sell or assign those development rights to other district landowners without the board having any say, according to the DeSantis appointees’ legal counsel.

So what does King Charles III have to do with this? Didn’t we fight a whole war against tying anything to the English monarchy?!

Yes, and you don’t have to freak out or worry about throwing tea into your nearest body of water, yet. (Or Epcot, which would be fitting.) Basically, Charles is just a placeholder. Per The Guardian:

“Royal clauses” of this kind are used to avoid rules in some places against contracts which last in perpetuity. The British royal family was chosen for the clauses because information about the family tree was readily available, but also because of the “better healthcare available to, and longer life expectancy of, a royal family member compared to a non-royal”, according to the law firm Birketts.

Although if you think about it, that does make Princess Diana‘s youngest granddaughter, Lilibet Diana a literal Disney Princess in a roundabout way, as she is the youngest descendent of King Charles III right now, and thus, who the clause is tied to.

Obviously, the merry band of monsters want power and won’t take this slight lying down. They’re vowing to fight. Per The Guardian:

“We’re going to have to deal with it and correct it,” board member Brian Aungst said of the last-minute agreements on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “It’s a subversion of the will of the voters and the legislature and the governor. It completely circumvents the authority of this board to govern.”

I don’t know. If you got out-maneuvered by a literal public hearing held in February, I kind of feel like you should take your “L” and move on. Disney is well-prepared for this fight and you’re clearly not.

(featured image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


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Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.