Design a site like this with
Get started

The Longevity of Disney vs DeSantis in Florida: An Analysis

Disney, a globally acclaimed enterprise, with a vast following, commands significant influence across the world. It operates four major theme parks in Florida, including the renowned Walt Disney World Resort. This resort boasts the title of being the most visited globally. Disney plays a pivotal role in Florida’s economic health, providing employment to over 70,000 individuals and contributing billions in taxes.

However, this corporate giant’s relationship with Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, has been on shaky grounds for over a year. The discord began when Disney publicly voiced its opposition to a contentious state law, named “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, limiting discussions around gender identity and sexual orientation in schools. Disney contended that this law could lead to unjust targeting of gay, lesbian, nonbinary, and transgender kids and families.

DeSantis, seen as a likely presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2024, retaliated by signing a bill that removed Disney’s self-governing authority over its 43-square-mile territory, which includes its theme parks. He further appointed a new supervisory board to manage the area, which he asserted would promote accountability and transparency. DeSantis even hinted at the possibility of building a state prison near Disney World to assert his power.

Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis and other state officials, accusing them of infringing upon its constitutional rights to free speech and due process. The company also established restrictive covenants that curtailed the newly appointed board’s powers for several decades. DeSantis countersued, labeling Disney’s lawsuit as politically inspired and baseless.

This feud escalated into an exchange of heated words, with both parties trading insults and allegations. Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that Disney may reconsider its investment plan of $17 billion, which was expected to create 13,000 new jobs in Florida over the next decade. He termed DeSantis’ actions as “anti-business and anti-Florida.” DeSantis responded by calling Disney’s lawsuit “sloppy and futile,” and declared, “Disney’s corporate kingdom is over.”

But who holds the upper hand in this feud? What are the potential consequences for both parties?

It’s evident that Disney will outpace DeSantis in Florida, irrespective of his actions against the company. Here’s why:

  • Disney commands a diverse and devoted fanbase. Disney’s offerings cater to all age groups and backgrounds. It is known for its inclusivity, progressiveness, and social responsibility. The company’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues is largely supported by its fanbase, who disagree with DeSantis’ agenda. They will continue to patronize Disney’s parks, films, and merchandise, irrespective of the political scenario.
  • Disney’s business model is robust and adaptable. The company’s success isn’t reliant on a single market or product. It has diversified its portfolio across several segments, including media networks, studio entertainment, consumer products, interactive media, and parks and resorts. Even if DeSantis succeeds in causing a dent in Disney’s Florida business, the company can fall back on its other revenue and growth sources.
  • Disney’s influence and resources surpass DeSantis. Disney is a globally powerful and affluent corporation, with a market value exceeding $300 billion. It has access to the best talent, technology, and capital, and maintains connections with influential entities in the entertainment industry, politics, and society. Conversely, DeSantis is a comparatively new and controversial figure in national politics, facing opposition from his own party, Democrats, and independents. His policies are under legal scrutiny from various groups and individuals.
  • Disney’s vision extends beyond DeSantis’ political career. Disney’s legacy spans almost a century
  • marked by resilience and success in the face of wars, recessions, pandemics, and societal shifts. Its clear mission to entertain, inform, and inspire people worldwide has been supplemented by a long-term strategy to innovate, expand, and diversify its offerings. In contrast, DeSantis’ political career is relatively short and fraught with uncertainty. His chances of winning the governor’s re-election in 2024 or of becoming president are unsure. His policies often appear reactionary and lack foresight.
  • In conclusion, irrespective of Ron DeSantis’ attempts to undermine Disney, the entertainment giant will continue to thrive and profit in Florida long after DeSantis leaves office. Furthermore, DeSantis’ petty attempts to penalize Disney could damage his political future and his aspirations for the presidency. It risks alienating potential voters who are Disney supporters or LGBTQ+ rights advocates. It also tarnishes his image as a pro-business leader capable of collaborating with diverse stakeholders.
  • The showdown between Disney and DeSantis is a mismatch rather than a fair fight. It’s akin to a battle between a giant and a dwarf, and history shows that the giant invariably triumphs.
  • Source: (1) Everything to know about the Disney and DeSantis feud. (2) Disney CEO Bob Iger vs. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Who is winning?. (3) Disney’s Going to School Ron DeSantis About Free Speech. (4) Iger: Disney Not Ready to Back Down in Feud With DeSantis. (5) Disney CEO Bob Iger escalates war of words with Ron DeSantis. Who’s winning the Florida feud?.