Disney World’s Literal Nuclear Option, Explained

Ever since the Walt Disney Company began work on the Magic Kingdom near Orlando in the late 1960s, the Mouse, as locals call it, has wielded considerable political power in the state. Case in point? A law enacted in 1967 makes it totally legal for the company to build and operate a nuclear reactor on its property south of Orlando proper.

Recently, there have been rumblings in Florida politics about changing this. State Senator Victor Torres believes a family vacation spot is no place for a nuclear-power plant, and it’s time to strike the law from the books. “I don’t think Disney would ever [build a nuclear plant], I don’t foresee that, but I just want to prevent anything like that from occurring—period,” he told , the Walt Disney Company asked for a lot more powers than nuclear fission.

Disney was already a powerful company when it came to Florida—more powerful, perhaps, than the state was used to dealing with. So while it was setting up shop in its new, swampy home, “Their attorneys asked for authority to do everything that they might possibly want in the future,” said Foglesong. “They also asked for and were given the authority to manufacture distilled beverages, which doesn’t quite fit with the Disney image either. It’s unlikely at the time that they ever imagined using that or any of these powers.”

In other words: Expect a Disney reactor to materialize about the same time as Disney-branded small-batch bourbon.

Additional reporting by Amanda Kolson Hurley.

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