Lawmakers file amendment to give Florida the power to inspect Disney’s monorail system

BAY LAKE, Fla. — Lawmakers have filed an amendment to give Florida the power to inspect Walt Disney World’s monorail system.


It’s part of the package of retaliations against the company after it undermined the governor’s newly handpicked board.

But that amendment could get lawmakers in trouble.

The law is clear that the government can’t target a company. This amendment doesn’t mention Disney by name, but it doesn’t hide which monorail this is really about.

READ: Power play: Disney handicapped new Reedy Creek board before handing over control

Disney’s transportation is one of the most iconic aspects of the resort, including its 15 miles of monorail, debuting as part of Walt Disney’s futuristic vision when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.

For 52 years, it has operated with only a half-dozen incidents, the most notable being a crash in 2009 that killed a 21-year-old driver.

There have also been a couple of fires and another crash during a commercial shoot, all non-lethal.

READ: Disney starts next round of layoffs, impacts ESPN, parks

Now, Gov. Ron DeSantis has turned his ire on the monorail.

Disney inspects its own rides and monorails, but lawmakers are stripping both those powers away. In an amendment to a license plate reader bill, lawmakers said monorail systems in special districts that cross county lines would be subject to state inspections – rules that only apply to Disney’s monorail.

“If Disney wants to bring the fight, I think they would probably win the fight,” attorney Jacob Schumer said.

Schumer and other attorneys have maintained that position from the beginning because the government has handed Disney a clear-cut retaliation argument.

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Schumer said the more specific the law, the harder it will be for government attorneys to arguing anything else in court should Disney sue.

Reedy Creek’s board will be back in session Wednesday morning to officially declare the development agreement the old board struck with Disney void. Schumer said that is a precursor to the district suing Disney as soon as Wednesday afternoon, or the other way around.

READ: DeSantis vs Disney: Board to take major vote next week

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Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.