New law signed by DeSantis hands Disney Monorail inspections over to FDOT

Florida amendment filed to inspect Walt Disney World monorail

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort’s iconic monorail system will now be inspected by the Florida Department of Transportation this summer.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed transportation bill HB1305 on Thursday, stripping the company of the power to inspect the system that has been on the tracks since the Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971.

In an amendment to a license plate reader bill, SB1250, lawmakers said monorail systems in special districts that cross county lines would be subject to state inspections. The rule would only apply to Disney’s monorail.

The law takes effect on July 1.

Walt Disney World’s transportation is one of the most iconic aspects of the resort, including its 15 miles of monorail.

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.

Disney and DeSantis have been engaged in a tug-of-war for more than a year that has engulfed the governor in criticism as he prepares to launch an expected presidential bid in the coming weeks.

The fight began last year after Disney, beset by significant pressure both internally and externally, publicly opposed a state law that bans classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades, a policy critics call “Don’t Say Gay.”

As punishment, DeSantis took over Disney World’s self-governing district through legislation passed by Florida lawmakers and appointed a new board of supervisors that would oversee municipal services for the sprawling theme parks and hotels. But before the new board came in, the company made agreements with members of the previous oversight board that stripped the new supervisors of their authority when it comes to design and construction.


About the Authors:

Eden Checkol co-anchors Local 10's 10 p.m. weeknight newscast on WSFL and also reports on WPLG newscasts. She’s a Minnesota native who is thrilled to leave the snow behind and call South Florida home.