Attorney Who Helped Disney Purchase the Walt Disney World Property Passes Away at 91

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Thomas DeWolf passed away at the age of 91 on June 27. DeWolf was hired by the Walt Disney Company in the 1960s to form five fake corporations to purchase the land that is now considered Walt Disney World property. This tactic saved the Walt Disney Company a massive amount of money.

Richard Foglesong a Disney historian and retired Rollins College Professor said, “If those landowners knew Disney was assembling land, the landowner might’ve tried to be a holdout or sell their land for $100,000 an acre or something like that.”

DeWolf was also instrumental in the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as he drafted the initial legislation that helped establish it. The Reedy Creek Improvement District governs over the land that the Walt Disney World Resort sits on. In his initial draft for the creation of Reedy Creek he also created the two municipalities that comprise Walt Disney World property — Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista.

From 1974 until 2011, DeWolf served on the Reedy Creek’s Board of Supervisors. All but two years he served as the president of that board.

Credit: Orlando Sentinel