Disney says Florida liable for $2 billion bond debt.

The Walt Disney Company has hit back at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his decision to strip the Reedy Creek Improvement District of special privileges, saying that there is a clause in its original contract that stipulates that the state of Florida is responsible for its $2 billion bond debt.

Democrats have slammed DeSantis’ decision as petty retaliation for Disney’s opposition to his so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, warning that homeowners could face tax bills if they have to absorb costs from the company, though details are far from clear.

The devil is in the details and we don’t yet today have the details,’ said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, whose county is partially home to Walt Disney World.

He added it would be ‘catastrophic for our budget’ if the county had to assume the costs for public safety at the theme park resort.

The winding down of Reedy Creek Improvement District – the name of the private body that oversees the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando – would leave the state liable for the $2 billion in bond debts currently held by the TWDC.

The dissolving of Reedy Creek could result in households in Orange County and Osceola County will become financially liable for between $2,200 and $2,800 per year for the annual administration costs of Walt Disney World and Disney’s $2 billion bond debt.

Disney Premier Access Ultimate to launch at Disneyland Paris.

Following the introduction of Disney Premier Access last year, Disneyland Paris will launch Disney Premier Access Ultimate this summer, an optional digital service that provides guests with one-time expedited access to 12 of their most popular attractions across both parks, starting at 90€ / £75 per person.

Disney Premier Access Ultimate will allow guests to enjoy the ability to skip the regular attraction queue line, in addition to Disney Premier Access One which remains available for individual attractions.

Disney Premier Access Ultimate serves yet another option for guests who wish to further customise their resort experience and can be booked on the same day, or in advance through the Disneyland Paris website, mobile application, and some travel agencies.

The following attractions are included with Disney Premier Access Ultimate:
Indiana Jones™ and the Temple of Peril
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Peter Pan’s Flight
Big Thunder Mountain
Phantom Manor
Crush’s Coaster
Ratatouille: The Adventure
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Cars ROAD TRIP.

Purchasing Disney Premier Access gives guests expedited access to the chosen attraction(s) but does not guarantee immediate access.

Disney Dream to cruise European waters in 2023.

Disney Dream

In 2023 for its first-ever summer season in Europe, the Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Dream will call on a wide variety of destinations among the most treasured in the world.

With sailings anywhere from four to eleven nights, the Disney Dream will sail from Barcelona and Rome to picturesque ports of call throughout the Mediterranean, including a first-ever seven-night sailing to the Greek Isles with stops in the ever-popular ports of Santorini and Mykonos.

The late summer / autumn 2023 departures of the Disney Dream from Southampton will feature cruises to a wealth of destinations including Spain, France, the British Isles, Norway and Iceland.

New ports of call include the postcard-worthy La Rochelle, France and two new ports in Norway – Skjolden, home to a wealth of natural attractions, and Sandnes, a small city just outside the metropolis of Stavanger known for its outdoor activities.

Disney’s self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District under threat.

Reedy Creek Improvement District founded in 1967.

Florida legislators have today passed a bill that revokes The Walt Disney Company’s self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District in a move widely seen as tit-for-tat for the company’s opposition to the new state law limiting discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in schools, AKA the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The bill now heads to the desk of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is all but guaranteed to sign it.

The 70-to-38 vote by the Republican-led state House to do away with the special tax district that allows Disney to self-govern the 40 square miles on the outskirts of Orange and Osceola counties Orlando where the Walt Disney World theme park complex is located.

Walt Disney

The Florida legislature established the Reedy Creek Improvement District in 1967 as a private government controlled by Walt Disney World.

The special district granted Disney the authority to provide government services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure.

The district’s long-term bonded debt totaled more than $977 million as of September, according to tReedy Creek’s annual financial report. State Sen. Stewart tweeted that removing the district “could transfer $2 Billion debt from Disney to taxpayers” and could have “an enormous impact on Orange & Osceola residents.”

Reedy Creek Improvement District Resort Area Map.

The Ready Creek Improvement Act was signed into law in May 1967 by Governor Claude Kirk in response to lobbying efforts by Disney. The entertainment giant proposed building a recreation-oriented development on 25,000 acres of property in a remote area of Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties, which consisted of 38.5 square miles of largely uninhabited pasture and swamp land.

Orange and Osceola County did not have the services or resources needed to bring the project to life, so the state legislature worked with Disney to establish the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special taxing district that allows the company to act with the same authority and responsibility as a county government. 

The district covers Disney’s four Florida theme parks, two water parks and one sports complex, 175 lane miles of roadway, 67 miles of waterway, the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, an environmental science laboratory, an electric power-generating and distribution facility, a natural gas distribution system, water and wastewater collection and treatment facilities, a solid waste and recyclables collection & transfer system and over 40,000 hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants and retail stores.

Avengers Deployment Vehicle arrives at Disneyland Paris.

Stark Industries has always sought to make the impossible possible. The company’s mission statement is to bring to life innovations that only exist in our wildest dreams, in order to identify, recruit and train the next generation of Super Heroes. Today, CEO Tony Stark takes a new leap forward and introduces a new high-tech revolution.

Only months after the Quinjet landed at Disneyland Paris, Stark Industries unveils today the first exclusive images of the Avengers Deployment Vehicle or “ADV”. Designed by Tony Stark in collaboration with Shuri from Wakanda Design Group, the Avengers Deployment Vehicle will deploy Super Heroes to various key locations throughout the Avengers Campus, in the Walt Disney Studios part for them to meet new recruits and jump swiftly into action.

Avengers Deployment Vehicle

Stark Industries once again pushed back the boundaries of creativity. The vehicle was designed following a futurist aesthetic and equipped with cutting-edge technology. The sleek look and feel reflects Tony Stark’s sophisticated definition of style and the ambition that defines the Avengers. The Avengers logo is a strong identity marker. As for the oversized wheels and the angular-shaped bodywork, they symbolize strength and power – just what users look for in a vehicle that is powered by Wakandan Vibranium. This ultra-resilient energy source flows through all elements of the ADV and protects the driver and cargo alike.

Side doors allow for swift access into the vehicle – and will quench recruits’ curiosity as they peek into the interior and greet Super Heroes aboard. A great way to inspire new recruits as they cross paths with the vehicle amidst training!

The Avengers Deployment Vehicle has newly been delivered to Avengers Campus. It only awaits Super Heroes to power it up, for the greatest joy of future recruits. Come and hear its motors hum this summer at Avengers Campus!

The Avengers Campus, in the Walt Disney Studios Park is scheduled to open this summer at Disneyland Paris.

Ocado launches Disney inspired recipes.

Disney inspired recipes from Ocado.

British online supermarket ‘Ocado’ has launched a new range of healthy and easy recipes inspired by Disney.

The range features food inspired by much-loved characters including Moana, 101 Dalmatians, Lion King and Cars.

The recipes range from £7 to £8 per meal, which serves four people working out at less than £2 per serving.

Giovanna Fletcher, who is working with Ocado to launch the meals, said: “As a Mum of three I know how challenging it can be to cook with the kids, and especially encouraging them to try new, healthy foods – whether it’s fighting fussy eating habits, or simply finding the time.

EPCOT’s Russian Pavilion to Permanently Close.

Russian Pavilion at EPCOT

The Walt Disney Company has taken the decision to permanently close ‘The Russian Pavilion’ at EPCOT’s World Showcase in Walt Disney World, Florida.

Russian Pavilion, EPCOT.

The five acre site located in the north west corner of World Showcase, next to the German Pavilion, has been temporarily closed since the beginning of March 2022, following the Russian Military invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Pavilion opened in the early 1990s, following the thoring of the Cold War, and the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Russian Pavilion was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, working in co-cooperation with a team of Russian artists and historical advisers.

Russian Pavilion

Rumours are circulating that WDI Imagineers are planning to redevelop the site, and turn it into a Ukrainian Pavilion that would give the EPCOT audience a journey into pre-war Ukraine.

The ‘Mother Russia’ Theatre

The main attraction of the Russian Pavilion is the 800 seater theatre presenting the show entitled “Mother Russia”.

The ‘Mother Russia’ Theatre

To create the attraction Walt Disney Imagineering combined forces with Europes premier theatre designers to produce an innovative state-of-the-art theatre to tell the story of Russia’s epic folk stories, which featured peasants and Tsars, poets and revolutionaries, common men and extraordinary heroes that fill the tale of Russia’s never ending quest for herself.

The ‘Mother Russia’ show.

In a further show of support to the people of Ukrainian, Walt Disney Company CIS, Disney’s Russian subsidiary has closed its Moscow Disney Store..

The store located in the Detsky Mir shopping complex, in the center of Moscow, closed its doors following the launch of trade sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU and USA.

It is rumoured that the merchandise of the Moscow Disney Store was transported to Poland by Disney, and then donated to the International Red Cross for distribution to Ukrainian refugees.