In 1967, Florida passed the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, also known as House Bill No. 486.
This law endowed the Reedy Creek Improvement District with the same powers and responsibilities as a county government, granting it independent authority over the Walt Disney World Resort and its surrounding region.
Disney successfully advocated for a bill signed into law by Florida Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr. on May 12, 1967. This allowed Disney to begin constructing the infrastructure for their second park, with groundbreaking commencing on May 30. In 1968, Roy O. Disney, in his final act as the company’s CEO, officially named the second park Walt Disney World.
Since its passage, there have been challenges to the validity of the law. However, the Supreme Court of Florida ruled in 1968 that the law does not violate any provision of the Florida Constitution.
Disney pushed for a law that included their idea for a city within their property called “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” or EPCOT. This city was supposed to test out new innovations for urban living.
After Walt’s passing, the company discarded his ideas for the experimental city and utilized the district for commercial purposes instead.
In April 2022, the Florida Legislature voted to repeal the act and abolish the Reedy Creek Improvement District. On April 22, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act into law, which takes effect in June 2023, when the Reedy Creek Improvement District will be dissolved.