Yes, Ron DeSantis got married at Disney World years back despite his war on the company: The Florida governor has spent months leading up to his presidential announcement feuding with Walt Disney Corp.
But it turns out his own 2009 wedding took place at Disney World.
Ron DeSantis Did Not Always Hate Walt Disney World
For nearly a year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been at war with Disney, one of his state’s largest employers.
It started with Disney opposing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and has since escalated into DeSantis seeking to remove Disney’s authority over the district around Walt Disney World, Disney appearing to outsmart him, and the whole thing ending up in court.
Disney, most recently, scrapped plans for a big new office complex for the Imagineers team in the Orlando area.
The fight with Disney is the centerpiece of DeSantis’ “war on woke,” which he is using to animate his presidential candidacy, which he formally declared this week.
There’s been some concern that DeSantis’ fight with Disney could serve to alienate the large numbers of Americans who love Disney World, Disney characters, and others who consider themselves part of that particular fandom.
Rolling Stone, in fact, wrote in April about the widespread Disney fan backlash against the Florida governor’s anti-Disney crusade.
Yes, Ron DeSantis Was Married on Disney Property in Florida
But it turns out that DeSantis has been partial to Disney in the past. In fact, he even got married there.
According to Newsweek, DeSantis and his wife were wed at Walt Disney World in 2009. The couple exchanged vows at “the Grand Floridian’s wedding pavilion, a chapel with arched windows overlooking Cinderella’s Castle and the Seven Seas Lagoon.” Insider had first reported last year on the location of the governor’s nuptials.
The governor added in a subsequent interview that “in looking forward to what we ended up doing as governor and some of the face-offs that we had with some major institutions in Florida, it’s kind of ironic.”
In his recently published memoir, “The Courage to Be Free,” DeSantis wrote that his wife had suggested using Disney World as a venue for their wedding, and he hadn’t been aware that it was possible to get married there. He also referred to his wife’s family as “a family of Disney enthusiasts.”
“As it turned out, Disney World has a nice wedding chapel attached to the Grand Floridian, the Victorian-themed hotel close to the Magic Kingdom,” he wrote in the book, per Newsweek.
Per The Hill, DeSantis now says he insisted on no Disney characters being present for the wedding.
“I didn’t want Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck in our wedding photos,” DeSantis wrote in the book.
After the wedding, DeSantis wrote, he expected he would be bringing his children to the park years later.
“I had no inkling that, years later, I would be squaring off against Disney in a political battle that would reverberate across the nation,” he added.
Ron Runs for the White House
DeSantis’ official campaign launch, on Wednesday night, was filled with glitches, including a long delay in the launch of his Twitter Spaces conversation with the platform’s owner, Elon Musk. There were so many technical glitches that Musk had to cut out the stream and relaunch it from his cohost’s account instead.
The governor’s opponent, Donald Trump, spent the late evening gloating about DeSantis’ troublesome launch, posting several videos to Truth Social, including one of a parody Twitter Space featuring voices impersonating DeSantis, Musk, George Soros, Adolf Hitler, and an FBI agent supposedly conspiring with all of them to defeat Trump.
Also on Wednesday night, the DeSantis War Room Twitter account posted a strange video, featuring a looping series of videos alternately featuring DeSantis and stock footage of Musk, soundtracked with no music, and audio of DeSantis speaking in the Twitter Space earlier in the evening.
Then, on Thursday, DeSantis was asked if he would pardon January 6 defendants, or even Trump himself.
“We will be aggressive [in] issuing pardons,” he said, not mentioning anyone in particular by name.
Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.