Disneyland Unionization Shuts Down Attractions: 2,000 Cast Members Gear Up for Major Protests

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Mickey Mouse and Cinderella wave in front of a Disney castle with a large speech bubble that says "Goodbye!" The sky is blue, and the scene is cheerful.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Nearly 2,000 cast members have voted to unionize at Disneyland Resort in California, sparking concerns from the House of Mouse, so much so that the company is rumored to be looking into closing down experiences and attractions amidst the possibility of protests breaking out.

Mickey Mouse with Disneyland cast members in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Mickey Mouse and Cinderella Looking to Protest in Disneyland? Rumored Attractions and Experiences Looking To Close Down

A nighttime dance party at Disneyland that fans anticipated would be a cocktail-infused rave was a kids-centric crowd participation show. Following a brief run during Pixar Fest, the party closed two months early. Disneyland officials announced that the Club Pixar DJs and dancers would no longer perform during Pixar Fest, citing guest feedback and operational considerations.

According to multiple sources, Club Pixar dancers were informed that their final performance would be on Sunday, June 2, in the Hollywood Land backlot at Disney California Adventure.

The Club Pixar live show debuted on April 26 as part of Pixar Fest and was initially set to run until the end of the seasonal event on August 4. Disneyland had promoted the Club Pixar dance party as featuring DJ music, live shows, and Pixar-themed games, food, and drinks, leading fans to expect something akin to the Mad T Party and ElecTRONica dance parties previously held in DCA’s Hollywood backlot.

Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, and Downtown Disney might all feel the tension of future protests from the cast members, as seen last summer at the other Disney parks.

However, Pixar Fest attendees found the experience more similar to the “Disney Junior Dance Party,” aimed at a grade school audience, with activities like country line dancing lessons themed to Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story.” Other live shows on the Club Pixar stage featured interpretive dance performances tied to “Inside Out” and “Wall-E,” which were more suited for watching and enjoying rather than serving as a backdrop for a rave-like dance party.

Disneyland cast members unionizing in front of the Sleeping Beauty castle inside Disneyland Park.
Credit: Inside The Magic

As Unionization Tensions Begin, Protests Are Likely To Break Out, Prompting Disney’s Reaction To Begin Closing Things Down

Disney’s early closure of the Club Pixar dance party at Disneyland can be seen as a strategic move in response to last month’s recent cast member unionization. By shutting down this attraction ahead of schedule, Disney is likely aiming to preempt and mitigate any disruptions that could arise from potential protests by unionized cast members during the busy summer season.

The unionization effort has highlighted several concerns among cast members regarding working conditions, pay, and benefits. With heightened awareness and the potential for organized action, Disney appears to be taking steps to avoid situations where labor unrest could affect guest experiences. The decision to close Club Pixar early allows Disney to redirect resources and focus on ensuring that other attractions and operations run smoothly, minimizing the risk of protests disrupting the park’s activities.

Additionally, this move might be part of Disney’s broader strategy to proactively engage with union representatives and address cast member concerns. By reducing the number of live performances and events that require extensive cast member participation, Disney can better manage and respond to any labor actions, ensuring that guest satisfaction remains high during one of the peak seasons for park attendance.

The offical Magic United website logo with a brief description for Disneyland cast members
Credit: Magic United website

After three days of voting last week, 1,700 Disneyland Resort cast members who portray characters at the Anaheim, California, theme park and perform in parades have voted to unionize under the Actors’ Equity Association, the union announced on May 18.

The vote was described as “a landslide victory” by Equity, with 953 cast members in favor of unionization and 258 opposed. This unionizing effort was initiated in February and led to a vote filed with the National Labor Relations Board in April.

“These workers are on the front lines of the Guest experience; they’re the human beings who create lifelong memories when your kids hug a character or when your family watches a parade roll by the castle,” said Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle.

“The next step will be to collaborate with them about improving health & safety, wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security.” The labor relations board is expected to certify the results next week, after which contract negotiations with The Walt Disney Company will begin.

Equity noted that while the duration of the bargaining process is uncertain, Disney has been “relatively cooperative throughout this process. We have a long, positive relationship with The Walt Disney Company, both at Walt Disney World and at Disney Theatricals, and we look forward to establishing a similarly productive relationship with the Disneyland Resort,” an Equity spokesperson told the news media giant, CNN.

A Disneyland Resort spokesperson told CNN that it is too soon for the company to comment on the unionization vote as the election has yet to be certified. “Whatever the outcome, we respect that our cast members had the opportunity to have their voices heard,” the spokesperson said.

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