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The Walt Disney Company has made their first political contribution in Florida since 2022.

Two years ago, Disney suspended political contributions in Florida after it was discovered they had donated to all the sponsors of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and a total of $125,000 to the state’s Republican Party that year. The company’s poor response led to employee walkouts and petitions. Then-CEO Bob Chapek ultimately condemned the bill and Disney promised to get the bill repealed. The situation led to Governor Ron DeSantis lashing out against the company and taking over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, turning it into the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and appointing his own board. Disney and the District sued each other multiple times over before finally reaching a settlement this March.

As shared by the Orlando Sentinel, Disney has begun making in-kind contributions (which are donations of products or services) again.

Disney provided theme park tickets to Democratic state Sen. Geraldine Thompson’s fundraiser. Invitations to the June 7 fundraiser even feature Princess Tiana, the star of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a new attraction set to open at Magic Kingdom this summer.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

According to the invite, someone contributing $250 to Thompson will receive one Walt Disney World park ticket. A $500 donation gets two tickets, $700 gets three, and $1,000 gets four. All donors are invited to join Sen. Thompson for dinner and fireworks at Walt Disney World at the end of the day.

State Sen. Geraldine Thompson waves from a car during the Ocoee 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Parade on Monday, January 15, 2024. (Rich Pope, Orlando Sentinel)

Thompson’s district is in southwest Orange County, where most of Walt Disney World is located. According to Thompson, Disney provided an in-kind contribution to at least one other state lawmaker.

When Orlando Sentinel asked Thompson if Disney was planning to make cash donations again soon, she said higher-up executives would need to approve that decision: “They’re waiting to hear from Burbank.”

While they can’t write checks,” Thompson said, “this is an opportunity for me to raise funds for my campaign and with substantial support from them. Not in [cash] dollar amounts, though.”

The in-kind contributions are “about what I would have expected,” Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, said.

“Disney made a big splash when they said they were putting a hold on donations,” said Jewett. “For their reentry, strategically it would make sense for them to just quietly start doing things and not make a big deal of it. Disney has probably decided they want to avoid being in the headlines for political things.”

Disney spokespeople did not respond to Orlando Sentinel’s requests for comment.

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The post Disney Makes First Political Contribution in Florida Since 2022 appeared first on WDW News Today.