Facing a backlash, Walt Disney World's governing district will pay a stipend to employees whose free passes and discounts to the theme park resort were eliminated under a policy made by a new district administrator and board members who are allies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The stipend will be $3,000 a year, which is around the equivalent value of the theme park passes, Glen Gilzean, district administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, told board members during a meeting Wednesday evening. The board then unanimously approved the stipend.
Board members said they had taken to heart the criticism of employees who said the free passes gave them lasting memories with their families and allowed relatives to see the fruits of their work. Without the free passes, the parks would be unaffordable, many employees said.
"We heard you and have worked to respond accordingly," said board member Ron Peri.