While there appears to be some movement happening at Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris remains completely shut down along with Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in the U.S. With that, they have halted the construction on the expansion of Walt Disney Studios park, which means the Frozen-themed land (as well as Star Wars and Marvel areas) are on hold for now.
Here’s everything we know so far:
- Construction on expansion projects at Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris has been halted but not canceled.
- Out of 17,000 people employed by Euro Disney, only 2,000 remain actively working. The rest were put on full or partial unemployment.
- Representatives of EuroDisney met to discuss concerns regarding the enduring closure, park management waits on direction from the government.
According to an article in the French publication Le Parisien, all construction on the massive expansion planned for Disneyland Paris’s second park, Walt Disney Studios park, has been halted.
“There is a lot of thinking, ideas and projects on the table. The works planned on the extension of Walt Disney Studios, the second park, are stopped, have not resumed but are not canceled. It’s reassuring,” Laurent Burazer of CFTC Euro Disney said (originally in French).
The expansion was supposed to include themed lands after Frozen, Star Wars, and Marvel.
The Latest at Disneyland Paris
The halt in construction is the latest development to come out of Disneyland Paris, which has yet to announce a reopening date. And that does not bode well for its staff. The resort is the largest single-site employer in France, providing jobs to 17,000–16,000 of which are permanent employees.
Each year, the resort brings in 8,000 new recruits, 1,000 of which are permanent and the other 7,000 are on seasonal contracts. Now, only 2,000 people continue to work on-site or as part of their telecommunications. Those working on-site work in horticulture, security, upkeep, and maintenance.
According to Le Parisien, “since April 19, management has stopped paying the top-up (16%) of the 15,000 employees placed on partial unemployment who are only paid 84% of their salary as provided by unemployment insurance.” Unions protested, but Euro Disney dug its heels in, explaining “Our company has made significant efforts even though it no longer generates income.”
On April 23, management and staff representatives came together to express fears and concerns, specifically those revolving around employment, but much still remains unclear. Like the Cast Members at every Disney park around the world, Disneyland Paris wants to get back to work and the management has considered several scenarios, but promises to still abide by any plans created by the government: “[Plans] will be adapted to comply with the latest government directives, particularly in terms of health measures: social distancing, collective catering, internal transportation”.
As for employees, much still remains unclear. “Recruitments depend on the resumption of activity and the level of actual workload,” said Disneyland Paris Management. “As such, we have made the decision to freeze the hiring of permanent and fixed-term contracts (including seasonal staff) for intermittent workers, apprentices and trainees until further notice.”
“[Employees] are worried, impatient. Disney, it takes in the guts, it is a part of ourselves,” said Cast Member Djamila Ouaz. “The most important thing is to preserve employment and we know that there will be compensations for the flexibility of work. Negotiations before the reopening will not be easy.”