Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board chairman Martin Garcia, right, delivers remarks as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens during a news conference at CFTOD headquarters at Walt Disney World on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. 

Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | Getty Images

Disney and the state of Florida agreed Wednesday to end litigation in state court over a special tourism district that the entertainment giant had effectively controlled for more than five decades until last year.

The lawsuit was related to the takeover of the district at the behest of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after Disney opposed the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, and the new district’s voiding of a development agreement benefiting Disney approved by the old board right before it was dissolved in early 2023.

The settlement included Disney’s agreement to seek permission from a federal appeals court to pause its effort to revive a dismissed retaliation lawsuit against DeSantis in Florida federal court “pending negotiations among other matters of a new development agreement between Disney and the District.”

That clause suggests that if Disney is satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations, it might drop the federal civil complaint against the Republican governor.

Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle, in a statement, said “We are pleased to put an end to all litigation pending in state court in Florida between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

“This agreement opens a new chapter of constructive engagement with the new leadership of the district and serves the interests of all parties by enabling significant continued investment and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and economic opportunity in the State,” Vahle said.

DeSantis is scheduled to give a press conference at 12:15 p.m. ET.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



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