The Reedy Creek Audit
The Reedy Creek audit is in, and oh my glob, somebody at Disney is going to have to take one for the team and do some time.
It won’t be Iger but somebody is going to jail for over this stuff. This is an 80-page report so it will take some time to get through but Disney rhinoed its way through most of the public disclosure “sunshine laws” in Florida.
The baseline problem they can probably get around is the “community district” that Reedy Creek was originally granted. Walt Disney World is obviously primarily commercial and has always been so. There is the big question of whether Walt could have managed to build his city of tomorrow but there is no question that he would have tried. His successors knew they couldn’t do it so they came up with EPCOT Center.
It was originally something much more than an amusement park. The plan had been to create a meeting place for scientists, engineers, educators, and artists to build prototypes this and that in a Disney-managed environment. I have to remind my younger readers when these plans were laid down in the early 70s American institutions still largely worked as advertised including The Walt Disney Company. Back then it sounded like something worth doing. When it first opened it was something close to that.
Of course, all of that was shitcanned by Iger and Chapek, now it is turning into a knockoff of Universal Studios. Any attempt to get it back on track would be met with a torrent of babbling about how Disney is already doing that with Reimagine Tomorrow and Stories Matter.
But getting back to criminal offenses. For decades Reedy Creeky employees were treated as if they were Disney World cast members. The annual passes that are a standard benefit to Disney employees, were given to Reedy Creek employees and they were told it was a “gift from the Walt Disney Company.”
What Reedy Creek was actually doing was buying the passes with the tax money that had been collected from the Walt Disney Company. They were giving Disney’s tax money back to the company. Then they lied to their employees about the gift part. None of this was reported to the IRS.
A bigger problem is the 50% discount on Disney cruise lines. There is no getting around the fact that Reedy Creek and Disney broke Florida’s public disclosure laws. These benefits were never reported as taxable benefits, which they are.
Because of these things, these government employees felt their job was to prioritize the needs of The Walt Disney Company.
This is the tip of the iceberg stuff. There is a lot more in this report.
One final thing. Disney Freedom of Speech lawsuit is now dead. Oh, their lawyers will keep it alive for as long as they can but DeSantis and company will have no trouble claiming that RCID was disbanded, not because of Disney’s politics but because of criminal activity.