The white flag has been waved in the legal war between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

On Wednesday morning, the DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board (CFTOB)– which oversees the government district covering Walt Disney World – approved a settlement agreement with Disney. The deal would end both the board’s state lawsuit against a 30-year development agreement signed by its Disney-controlled predecessor, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and a Disney-led public records lawsuit.

Under the terms of the settlement, the development agreement would be considered “null and void,” according to CFTOB attorney Paul Huck. The state-appointed board would agree to review a comprehensive plan for the district enacted in 2020 and consult with Disney on any changes. 

The settlement agreement marks a dramatic shift after years of heated rhetoric between Florida and Disney.

The battle began when Disney publicly opposed the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which forbid discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public school classrooms. (A more recent settlement clarified that such topics are not totally off-limits, but can’t be a part of “classroom instruction.”)

In response to Disney’s opposition, DeSantis and Republican state legislators pushed a new law replacing the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek with a new board appointed by DeSantis, and staffed with his political donors and allies. Disney’s federal lawsuit alleged that these moves were a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” to deprive Disney of its rights under the the First Amendment by punishing its political stance.

However, a federal judge in Tallahassee disagreed, saying in a January dismissal ruling that the law creating the new district was “facially constitutional” and not subject to any free speech challenge. Disney’s appeal of that lawsuit against would be paused while a new development agreement is negotiated under the settlement agreement. 

Walt Disney World Resort president Jeff Vahle said in a statement after the settlement agreement was approved, “We are pleased to put an end to all litigation pending in state court in Florida between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. This agreement opens a new chapter of constructive engagement with the new leadership of the district and serves the interests of all parties by enabling significant continued investment and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and economic opportunity in the State.”

DeSantis said on Wednesday that the state’s moves had been “vindicated” in court, while welcoming the settlement. His remarks also left the door open to actions affecting Disney World proposal in the future, stating, “They probably have opportunities to do, to expand their footprint, to continue to attract visitors, and those things, when they coincide with the state’s interest, we think that’d be good.”

Florida and Disney’s settlement coincides with a change in leadership at the state-controlled district. DeSantis has recommended that his former legislative director, Stephanie Kopelousos, to take over as CFTOB’s new administrator. Politico reported Wednesday that Kopelousos’ appointment was seen as a “peace offering” to Disney.

This story was updated after publication with a statement from DeSantis.