Disney's Private Government
February 9, 2007 3:37 AM   Subscribe

The Reedy Creek Improvement District's goal "is to provide effective and efficient services to the public and our taxpayers." The taxpayer is Disney, and the taxes are used to provide services for Disney by contracting the services to Disney. The RCID is a county-like entity in Florida, composed of the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, which are also controlled by Disney. The government of the RCID is elected by the landowners - Disney executives who own five-acre plots, the only non-corporate and non-government landowners. The governments of the cities are elected by the residents - about 40 Disney employees split between Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista. The Rotten Library (SFW article on a NSFW site) discusses the district, which is administered from a SimCity 2000 construction site.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim (17 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The mind, she boggles.

I'm pretty sure it's how you-know-who intended Germany to be like.
posted by oxford blue at 4:12 AM on February 9, 2007

Here's a review of Carl Hiaasen's book of yore on this very subject, Team Rodent.

on preview: oxford blue, I'm imagining Mickey saying "Nur so gewinnen wir den Lebensraum, den wir brauchen" in that high-pitched squeaky voice of his.
posted by pax digita at 5:03 AM on February 9, 2007

Thanks, TheOnlyCoolTim. I look forward to reading these links. I first heard about this whacked out situation when a friend of mine briefly moved to Celebration, Disney's corporate governed planned community. And thanks for the link to Team Rodent, pax digita, it sounds like a must-read.
posted by maryh at 5:18 AM on February 9, 2007

Related: Celebration, Florida, built from the ground up by Disney.
posted by mkb at 5:22 AM on February 9, 2007

maryh, anytime.

Hoping misslynnster sees the FPP and drops by -- she was a cast member (what Disney calls employees).
posted by pax digita at 5:23 AM on February 9, 2007

The mouse that ate Florida.
posted by nofundy at 5:48 AM on February 9, 2007

I'm in UR metafilter, Godwining UR posts.
posted by rikschell at 6:51 AM on February 9, 2007

Disney: the only corporation with its own legal police dept.
posted by SirOmega at 7:06 AM on February 9, 2007

I think you'll find that many private universities are both legal corporations and have their own real, no-shit police departments. Their officers are AFAIK usually a different sort of county deputy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:44 AM on February 9, 2007

An interesting thing about Celebration is that it was removed from the RCID and the two cities, ensuring that the people there don't get voting rights as landowners/residents.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:40 AM on February 9, 2007

Richard Foglesong's Married to the Mouse is another great book on the relationship between Disney, Orlando, and the rest of the state.

Disney doesn't control Celebration anymore, but they do still have a lot of offices over there; mostly sales and the cruise line.
posted by ThatSomething at 9:17 AM on February 9, 2007

This struck me from the Wikipedia article:
The District, as with any municipal corporation, can issue tax-free bonds for internal improvements. This became a point of contention when a 1985 law limited the amount of tax-free bonds in Florida. The eligible bonds were chosen randomly, causing the District to beat out Orange County, which had planned to build low-income housing, in 1989.
If this is true, it makes me want to vomit. So bonds were chosen randomly, and an entity created and entirely controlled by a for profit corporation won out over bonds needed to build subsidized housing for the poor? Where the fuck is the state government in this? I guess the Florida legislature decided that corporations that don't want to pay taxes have as much right to this fundraising power as actual municipal governments using the money to help the poor.

Give Disney whatever it wants, it's good for the economy. What have the poor ever done for Florida's economy? Fuck the poor. Fuck them.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:21 AM on February 9, 2007

If you like Team Rodent, you'll also likely enjoy Richard Schickel's The Disney Version.
posted by box at 9:44 AM on February 9, 2007

You forgot to delete your expletive. (but I agree with the sentiment)
posted by nofundy at 10:34 AM on February 9, 2007

Also, no one owns land in Celebration. You lease the land and own your house/condo/whatever.
posted by Elsbet at 2:35 PM on February 9, 2007

RCID has long fascinated/weirded me out. Thanks for this post.
posted by grouse at 6:27 PM on February 9, 2007

Facinating. This is all news (although not terribly surprising news) to me!
posted by serazin at 11:47 PM on February 9, 2007

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