Cybersecdn- In a significant shift in the management of one of America’s most iconic theme parks, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent legislative actions against Walt Disney World have now come into effect. The heart of this move is the transfer of regulatory power over Disney World’s Monorail system from the company’s self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District to the state’s Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Since its inception in 1959 in Disneyland, California, and its subsequent expansion in Disney World, Orlando in 1971, the Monorail has been a symbol of innovation and efficiency. Utilizing a 600-volt DC power source, this pollution-free transportation network has safely carried millions of visitors annually. Despite its stellar safety record, a tragic incident in 2009, where a Monorail pilot lost his life due to a collision, marked a rare dark chapter in its history.
The dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, established in 1967 to maintain infrastructure around the Disney World property, was a part of DeSantis’ “War on Woke” campaign. The campaign intensified after Disney opposed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. This led to the June 2023 abolition of the district and the new state oversight of the Monorail.
The FDOT’s new role involves conducting structural inspections, establishing safety standards, and overseeing the operation of the 15-mile transportation system. The agency, responsible for other major transportation systems in Florida, aims to ensure safety and efficiency in the Monorail’s operation, with ongoing field inspections and development of operational standards.
Disney has criticized these moves as retaliatory, attributing them to their opposition to the state’s controversial law. However, Governor DeSantis maintains that these actions aim to eliminate undue privileges previously enjoyed by the corporation.