A Florida Senate committee advanced the plan for state inspections of the Walt Disney World Monorail system, Orlando Sentinel reports.
Republican Senator Nick DiCeglie filed the amendment to require state inspections for the Walt Disney World Monorails. The amendment, added to SB 1250 regarding the Florida Department of Transportation, states the “department shall adopt by rule minimum safety standards for governmentally owned fixed-guideway transportation systems, privately owned or operated fixed-guideway transportation systems operating in this state which are financed wholly or partly by state funds, and any governmentally or privately owned fixed-guideway transportation systems operating in this state which are located within an independent special district created by local act which have boundaries within two contiguous counties.”
The amendment requires site-specific guidelines for the transportation system developed by the Department of Transportation (FDOT) and representatives of the affected system. FDOT inspects other similar tram systems in the state, like the Orlando International Airport tram.
On-site inspections by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) would happen every three years and Disney would be required to submit a safety plan every year.
“If there are any safety issues,” DiCeglie said, “having a complete suspension is really going to be an action of last resort.”
The Walt Disney World Monorail system is 14.7 miles long and averages about 150,000 passengers per day.
This is just one of many pieces of legislature Florida has aimed at Disney. Earlier today, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board released a document outlining the reasons why they plan to declare Disney’s final development agreement with Reedy Creek null and void.
Disney’s Support of Reedy Creek
Most recently, Disney has taken to their official community outreach site to share their view of the Reedy Creek Improvement District in a new post. Entitled “The Value of Disney Reedy Creek to Florida,” the new post was added as the battle between Disney and Governor Ron DeSantis continues.
Disney & Governor DeSantis
Governor DeSantis and The Walt Disney Company initially clashed over the corporation’s opposition to a much-debated and controversial Florida law regarding classroom instruction and discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, alongside various other recent state laws and proposals in a similar vein.
Bob Chapek was Chief Executive Officer of Disney at the time and initially remained silent and passive on the issue — until massive internal criticisms from cast members and controversy over Disney’s practice of making hefty political contributions to campaigns and individuals allegedly against their own stated human principles came into focus.
In an apparent act of retribution over this expression of dissent, the Governor moved forward with various verbal and legal assaults on Disney, including the dissolution of Reedy Creek and transfer of power directly under his control. DeSantis argues he is attacking a rather vague perception of something he calls “woke politics,” invading the state. He further says he aims to put the people of Florida first through his actions: “Disney has gotten away with special deals from the state of Florida for way too long. It took a look under the hood to see what Disney has become to truly understand their inappropriate influence.”
The Governor insists he will double down on efforts to punish Disney through methods both in the Legislature and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board. Notably, he promised to hike Disney’s hotel taxes and institute tolls on the roads around Walt Disney World Resort property.
What are your opinions on the latest developments with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District? We’d love to see your opinions in the comments below.