After Backlash Over Pay, Disney Spends Money on Upgrades For Cast Members

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family photos with mickey and minnie at mickey's retreat

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort — and other Disney Parks around the globe — would not operate as seamlessly as they do without the efforts of their hard-working Cast Members each and every day.

Pin Trading Cast Members
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Related: “No One Noticed” 10-Foot Snake Sneak Through Line of 200 Disney Guests

Unfortunately, however, life is not always magical for Disney Parks Cast Members, who sometimes find themselves tasked with handling unruly Guestsbreaking up major fights, and dealing with drunken antics.

Some Cast Members even struggle financially, with certain employees blasting Disney for the low pay that hourly Parks employees reportedly receive — Disneyland Resort did, however, raise its minimum wage for workers to $15 an hour last year.

disney plus day cast members
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Related: Cast Members Describe Skipping Meals, Sleeping in Cars, Doing Sex Work to Survive

Now, Disney officials are putting money into Walt Disney World Resort’s Cast Member-exclusive relaxation area, Mickey’s Retreat. The company filed six work permits for upgrades to the 19-acre outdoor recreation area, which is located on Little Lake Bryan.

The are is open exclusively to Disney Cast Members and their families at no charge.

disney cast members at mickey's retreat
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Related: Mickey Mouse Consoles Military Toddler, Waves Off Cast Members

Although the exact nature of the updates that are being made to Mickey’s Retreat have not been shared, the location is home to a number of beloved traditions for Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members. The Spring Fling, for example, has been occurring annually for over 25 years!

spring fling at disney world mickey's retreat
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Related: Disney Guests Left in Shock After “Absolute Saint” Cast Member Gifts Magical Moment

In April of this year, Disney Parks Blog shared details about the return of the event following pandemic protocols in 2020 and 2021:

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday at Mickey’s Retreat as cast members along with their families and friends gathered together for an afternoon of fun. Spring Fling, a 25+ year tradition at Walt Disney World, is an event that combines conservation with celebration. Every activity has a creative spin that relates back to ways we can save the environment in our own backyards.

“It is so exciting to welcome Spring Fling back for cast members this year,” explained Kristy Altland of the cast activities, recognition and experience team. “This event teaches families that we can all build a better planet together through the smallest of actions – and we have plenty of activities to showcase that!”

Some of these activities included flowerpot painting (complete with soil and seeds from Walt Disney World’s compost and solar farm programs), an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of our V.I.Ps — “very important ponies”— from Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and special character sightings from Mickey and friends.

mickey and minnie fort wilderness
Credit: Disney

What do you think about Disney spending money to update its Cast Member recreation area?

Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!

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