Disney announces ‘Pride Nite’ hours after DeSantis warning
Disneyland announced its first-ever “Pride Nite” at its California theme park — just hours after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took another shot at the entertainment conglomerate in the Sunshine State.
The presumptive 2024 presidential candidate and Disney have been at odds ever since the corporate giant publicly condemned DeSantis-backed legislation that banned discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.
The feud then when intensified DeSantis, 44, created a new board to oversee Disney World, ending the House of Mouse’s long-held self-government.
But the DeSantis-appointed board was rendered powerless after its predecessors quietly passed a restrictive development agreement just before the change.
The clash escalated further on Monday — hours before Disney announced its California Pride Month event — when DeSantis vowed to stop Disney’s efforts to circumvent state oversight.
“You’re not going to have Disney have its own government in Central Florida,” DeSantis declared.
“You’re going to live under the same laws as everybody else.”
The Sunshine State governor ousted the five Disney-backed members of the panel that oversaw the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney’s special self-governing district, and handpicked their replacements to limit the company’s powers.
However, before outgoing members were replaced, they voted in special measures that reverted most of the panel’s powers back to the entertainment giant.
“Disney did special deals to circumvent that whole process,” DeSantis asserted.
“They controlled the board. It was basically a legal fiction where they negotiated with themselves to give themselves self-governing status. That’s in direct defiance of the will of the people of Florida.”
The move gave full developmental authority over the 27,000-acre property to the parent company and barred the board from any use of the Disney brand — a move that DeSantis has said the state Legislature will halt.
Seemingly in response to the governor’s latest attack on the entertainment empire, Disney’s California theme park, Disneyland, announced its festive after-hours special event titled, “Disneyland After Dark: Pride Nite,” mere hours after DeSantis’ remarks.
The event has been billed as “a separately ticketed event which celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, and will be held on June 13 and 15, 2023, inside Disneyland park.”
Those attending the after-hours Pride Month event will feature themed entertainment, Disney characters, photo opportunities, specialty menu items, merchandise and more, according to Disney Parks Blog.
The separately ticketed event will begin with a three-hour pre-party before the private party runs to 1 a.m. PT.
During that timeframe, attendees can ride popular attractions after regular park hours.