Reedy Creek Improvement District

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The Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) is the immediate governing jurisdiction for the land of the Walt Disney World Resort. As of the late 1990s, it comprised an area of 38.6 sq mi (100 km2) within the outer limits of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida. The RCID includes the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, and unincorporated RCID land.

Contents

Creation

Prior to the formation of the district, the Walt Disney Company used multiple shell companies to buy up land at very low prices from unknowing landowners in the area to become the district. These company names are listed on the upper story windows of what is now the Main Street USA section of Walt Disney World:

  • Compass East Corporation
  • Latin-American Development and Management Corporation
  • Ayefour Corporation
  • Tomahawk Properties, Incorporated
  • Reedy Creek Ranch, Incorporated
  • Bay Lake Properties, Incorporated

On March 11, 1966, these landowners, all fully-owned subsidiaries of what is now The Walt Disney Company, petitioned the Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which served Orange County, Florida, for the creation of the Reedy Creek Drainage District under Chapter 298 of the Florida Statutes. After a period during which some minor landowners within the boundaries opted out, the Drainage District was incorporated on May 13, 1966, as a public corporation. Among the powers of a Drainage District were the power to condemn and acquire property outside its boundaries "for the public use". It used this power at least once to obtain land for Canal C-1 (Bonnet Creek) through land that is now being developed as the Bonnet Creek Resort, a non-Disney resort.

However, Disney knew that their plans for the land would be easier to carry out with more independence, and they petitioned the Florida State Legislature for the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which would have almost total autonomy within its borders. Chapter 67-764[1] of the Laws of Florida was signed into law by Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr. on May 12, 1967, creating the District. On the same day, Governor Kirk also signed the incorporation acts for two cities inside the District: Bay Lake (Chapter 67-1104) and Reedy Creek (Chapter 67-1965). (The City of Reedy Creek was renamed to the City of Lake Buena Vista around 1970.)

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