Less than a week after Disney announced the reopening plans for Disneyland Resort, a Cast Member issued an open letter to Disney executives and California officials. In the letter, the Disney employee shares that mid-July is “too soon” for Disneyland Resort to reopen, and moreover he outlines a list of demands for strict health and safety protocol.
Joshua Carranza-Vick — a Disneyland Resort Cast Member — is making his voice heard through “An Open Letter to the Bobs and Co.” that he published on Medium.
In the letter, (in which he addresses “the Bobs, both Chapek and Iger, Josh D’Amaro, Ken Potrock, Jim Doyle, Patrick Finnegan, Chip Koch, Kris Thieler, and Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Harry Sidhu, Rep. Lou Correa, and the members of the Anaheim City Council, and anyone else with whom this may be shared,”) he voices his concerns with the plans for Disneyland Resort to reopen this July. Joshua questions Disney’s commitment to safety, given the plans to reopen the theme parks amid the current pandemic.
Since this letter was initially published to Medium on June 15, Disneyland Resort has shared more information regarding the health and safety measures that will be in place when the theme parks and Downtown Disney reopen. The company has also indicated that more information regarding health and safety protocol will be released within the coming weeks, as this has been the case with Walt Disney World Resort (which will begin reopening its theme parks in July 11, just six days before Disneyland).
Below is the list of Enhanced Health and Safety Measures as they are written on the Disneyland Resort website:
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures
We recognize that the COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, which is why our reopening approach is deliberately fluid and phased, and there are many factors that are helping us determine the timing of when various aspects of our business will reopen in a responsible way. In addition to following existing state and local guidelines, which continue to evolve, we currently are working with our unions to responsibly and thoughtfully implement new health and safety measures for Cast Members. These enhanced health and safety measures include:
- Enhanced Protective Measures: We will require mandatory face coverings for both Cast Members and Guests, with the addition of hand-washing stations and physical barriers, where appropriate.
- Physical Distancing: We will reduce theme park capacity to enable physical distancing and add appropriate signs to help Guests move responsibly throughout the property.
- Temperature Checks: All Guests will undergo temperature screenings prior to entering the Downtown Disney District or the theme parks; in addition, health screenings and temperature checks will be required daily for Cast Members.
- Limited-Contact Enhancements: We are recommending cashless transactions and we will reduce Cast Member and Guest interactions with helpful technology, including the expansion of Mobile Order in our Disneyland app, Apple Pay and more.
- Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation: We will build upon our existing standards of cleaning with heightened protocols.
While it may be a bit different from the last time you visited, we’ve come up with new ways to create magical moments together—and memories to treasure forever.
Below is the list of Disneyland Resort CM Joshua Carranza-Vick’s demands, which he is encouraging other Cast Members to share, as well:
- We demand that all persons coming to the Disneyland Resort, Cast Member, Operating Participant, and Guest alike, go through on-site temperature screenings before entry.
- We demand access to on-site, voluntary COVID-19 testing for every Cast Member. In addition, we demand access to on-site, voluntary COVID-19 antibody testing for every Cast Member. Access to these tests will remain for the duration of the global pandemic.
- We demand the creation of a Contact Tracing Team for the Disneyland Resort to augment the extant Orange County Contact Tracing Team for the duration of the global pandemic. The Disneyland Resort’s Contact Tracing team will focus on maintaining information regarding Cast Member shifts to ensure that Cast Members will be immediately notified upon potential exposure to a coworker who tests positive for COVID-19. This Team represents a theoretical opportunity for Cast Members to be utilized in non-front line capacities, allowing more at-risk Cast Members to return to contributing to the magic.
- We demand that any Cast Member found to have come into contact with a coworker who tests positive for COVID-19 be immediately placed on a paid fourteen day sick leave to proactively isolate.
- Further, we demand the Disneyland Resort immediately double the rate of accrual of paid sick time (or equivalent) for all Cast Members, whether hourly or salaried, for the duration of the global pandemic.
- We demand that the Disneyland Resort create a special voluntary team of Cast Members to enforce all mask guidelines and physical distancing requirements with the complete and total support of Disneyland Resort Security to ensure non-compliant Guests or Cast Members are removed from the property for the duration of the global pandemic.
- We demand that the Disneyland Resort provide hazard pay for all Cast Members, hourly and salaried, who will be required to regularly interact with others as a primary aspect of their job duties for the duration of the global pandemic.
- We demand a Resort-wide commitment to fully sanitizing both on and off stage areas multiple times per day, in addition to providing sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer in all Cast common areas for the duration of the global pandemic.
- We demand that the Disneyland Resort immediately provide proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all Cast Members, hourly and salaried, based upon their job duties for the duration of the global pandemic.
- We demand a written commitment from Resort Leaders to gather for a town hall meeting every month, whether conducted in-person or virtually, to allow hourly Cast Members to voice safety concerns across all lines of business in a public forum. We demand a reaffirmation that speaking out and sharing concerns will not jeopardize any Cast Members’ professional development.
At the time of this article’s publication, Disneyland Resort’s reopening plans still await government approval. The state of California is also currently defining the guidelines for theme parks to reopen.