What is the Reedy Creek Improvement District? Here’s an explanation

New piece of legislation could see the Reedy Creek Improvement District dissolved, impacting Walt Disney World

FILE - A statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse stand near the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Jan. 9, 2019. With some workers across the U.S. threatening a walkout Tuesday, March 22, 2022, The Walt Disney Co. finds itself in a balancing act between the expectations of a diverse workforce and demands from an increasingly polarized, politicized marketplace. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (John Raoux, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A new piece of legislation could see the Reedy Creek Improvement District dissolved if it passes, which would impact Central Florida’s largest employer — Walt Disney World.

The legislation would also dissolve five other special districts across the state.

Reedy Creek Improvement District, also known as RCID, is a special district that was first formed in 1967. You see RCID’s full history here.

Florida defines a special district as “a unit of local government created for a special purpose, as opposed to a general-purpose, which has jurisdiction to operate within a limited geographic boundary and is created by general law, special act, local ordinance, or by rule of the Governor and Cabinet.”

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Essentially, the RCID acts as a governing body for the 25,000 acres in Orange and Osceola counties on which Walt Disney World sits.

“Through the creation and effective operation of the District, Walt Disney was able to turn 38.5 square miles of remote and largely uninhabited pasture and swamp land into a world-class tourist destination that welcomes millions of visitors every year,” RCID’s website reads.

The district is run by a “Board of Supervisors,” according to its charter, which is elected by the landowners who operate within the district — of which there are 19, though Disney is the largest.

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RCID is responsible for the land use and environmental protections for the 25,000 acres, which includes drainage, water and flood control and erosion control.

The district must also provide all essential services such as fire protection, emergency medical services, potable water production, treatment, storage, pumping & distribution, reclaimed water distribution, chilled and hot water systems, wastewater services, drainage and flood control, electric power generation and distribution, and solid waste and recyclables collection and disposal, according to its website.

RCID must also maintain all public roadways and bridges and infrastructure within the district — of which there are 134 lane miles of roadway, 67 miles of waterway, the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, an environmental science laboratory where the continuity of water quality is monitored, an electric power-generating and distribution facility, a natural gas distribution system, water and wastewater collection and treatment facilities, a solid waste and recyclables collection and transfer system, its website reads.

RCID’s website boasts that it also encompasses four theme parks, two water parks, a sports complex, more than 40,000 hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants and shops.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.