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The GOP Wants to Destroy Disney (That Looks Like a Fail)

It’s time to call a truce in this war against Disney. Both sides are overreaching with frivolous lawsuits and a war of words in the media.

Mickey Mouse in Walt Disney World
Mickey Mouse in Walt Disney World. Image taken in December 2022 by 19FortyFive.

You may not know it but there is a no-fly zone over the Disney World and Disney Land theme parks in Florida and California. This was enacted after the 9/11 attacks. The idea was to make sure people would be safe from terrorists potentially flying weaponized airplanes that could have delivered a similar act of violence in the crowded parks. But now that could come to an end as a handful of Republicans are trying to stop the practice.

What Would the Legislation Do?

A new bill from Congressman Troy E. Nehls and Congresswomen Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, plus five others, would end the no-fly zones over the Disney parks. Nehls had originally introduced the legislation last year. Called the Airlines Independent of Restrictions (AIR) Act, it would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to remove the requirements of the no-fly zone over the Disney parks.

Conservatives Wage War Against Disney

This is a broadside against the mammoth entertainment company due to its position against Governor Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Act, called the “Don’t Say Gay Act” by its critics.

Nehls said that “Theme parks like Disney should not receive special treatment just because they are well-connected. Our national security should not be compromised to fit the needs of one corporation.”

Boebert slammed Disney again in her never-ending battle against companies that have gone “woke” in her opinion.

“Woke corporations shouldn’t get any favors from the government. The FAA has no business granting a no-fly-zone over Disney parks. Universal Studios, Hershey Park, Six Flags, and other theme parks don’t have no-fly-zones over them, and it’s time for Disney to get the same treatment. No corporation should get preferential treatment from the government—especially when it is grooming children. Go woke, go broke,” Boebert said.

Florida Governor Won’t Back Down

This is the latest in conservatives’ war against Disney. There are two lawsuits in play between the House of Mouse and Governor DeSantis. Disney believes their first amendment right to articulate displeasure about various laws is being trampled on. One suit against DeSantis is accusing the governor of retaliating against the company unfairly.

This whole saga is much ado about nothing. If an entity wishes to opine about politics, they have every right to do so. The latest legislation about no-fly zones is a silly ticky-tack nuisance bill that has no chance of being passed in the senate should it ever emerge from committee and make it to the floor. I see no movement in this legislation. It is simply a message sent to Disney that a few members of Congress want to penalize the juggernaut corporation for speaking out against a law in Florida it doesn’t like.

No-fly zones over amusement parks are necessary precautions to protect the general public. Taking this away is damaging to public safety.

The Governor May Have Gone Too Far

As for DeSantis, he is receiving criticism from one of his old colleagues for the war against Disney. David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida, thinks that DeSantis is a victim of his own ego.

“On Disney, his ego’s gotten the best of him, and he’s been called out for it. He has to win this [but] the momentum is going in the wrong direction, and it’s getting serious. To use a hockey analogy, he’s always known how to skate to where the puck is going. But the puck’s going to the wrong goal right now,” Jolly told The Guardian

Walt Disney World Epcot

Walt Disney World Epcot. Taken by 19FortyFive on April 19, 2023.

It’s time to call a truce in this war against Disney. Both sides are overreaching with frivolous lawsuits and a war of words in the media. DeSantis and House Republicans have gone overboard, while Disney is being over-sensitive with its retaliatory suit. Let the public decide. If you don’t want to visit the amusement parks over petty politics, you can vote with your dollars. Many other Americans will continue to enjoy Disney World and Disney Land and watch the entertainment corporation’s popular programming.

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Author Expertise and Experience

Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.