Some Walt Disney World Cast Members Voice Displeasure with Conditions of Return to Work

The issue of the Walt Disney World theme parks reopening is a complex one, especially at a time where confirmed COVID-19 cases are rising exponentially post-lockdown. Walt Disney World made the difficult decision to furlough tens of thousands of its Cast Members during the unprecedented closure, and now the company is calling back its workers to return to their posts for the reopening. However, work conditions have vastly changed for Cast Members, and not all are at ease with the current environment.

Featured Image: Cast Members pose for a video shoot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios the night the park closed. Above: Cast Members wipe down outdoor seating at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn just days before the closure.

This information comes to us from dozens of anonymous Cast Member reports. For the safety of their employment, we’re presenting concerns regarding the reopening on their behalf.

Cast Members are reportedly being informed that they are to report to work by June 30. A failure to report to work by then would be considered voluntary termination from employment. Those looking to seek alternative job positions or placement in backstage areas are not being accommodated, and are instead being told to accept the terms of their callbacks or be separated from the company. That means Cast Members have essentially three options: Be taken off furlough and return to work, go on unpaid medical leave, or leave the company completely.

Those who choose to return to work will find modified or limited accommodations throughout break rooms. Cast Members are being informed that they cannot purchase food from staff cafeterias. Refrigerators and microwaves will not be available for use at break rooms for employees who opt to bring their meals to work.

Seating within the break rooms has also been reduced, with couches removed and replaced with a limited number of tables and chairs, even at locations that share a communal break room with multiple Cast Member teams.

Schedules for most Cast Members returning to work will be populated on June 24.

In the meantime, Cast Members are attempting to reach Mayor Jerry Demings in an effort to appeal and further delay any possible reopenings due to increasing cases. Even within Cast Member groups, there is a divide, as union leaders believe there are far more Cast Members eager to get back to work, without considering the possible risks associated with the reopening.

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Susan Daniels
Susan Daniels
16 days ago

Then quit, no one is forcing you to work. I’m sure it’s less about safety and more about how much you were making on unemployment for sitting home

Ellie
Ellie
15 days ago
Reply to  Susan Daniels

I care for my elderly parents. They depend on me for alot I cannot afford to contact covid and take it to them. You get 1 life, one chance to take care of you! It’s not I’m getting but 95.00 a week is why im off.there is a huge spike in my zip code. Its scary

mark
mark
15 days ago
Reply to  Ellie

Then you will never go back to work. Covid will be in our environment for years to come and there will be flair ups until covid gets added to the yearly flu shots. This is why we get flu shots. Viruses never go away we just gain a herd immunity. You need to find a job you can do at home but to think one of the largest companies on the planet and 10s of millions of guests are going to bend for your or the petition creators special concerns, ridiculous.

A cast member
A cast member
15 days ago
Reply to  Ellie

Let me say this for all of us it’s not about the money. I have taken a huge pay cut during this. Not everyone in Disney makes 10 an hour. I am worried about my family and your families safety. That is my concern

lady baltimore
lady baltimore
13 days ago
Reply to  Ellie

exact same here. I cant afford to get sick, both my parents would die from this virus. Both of their health are at risk. 95.00 a week is not helping or hurting. Im not sitting home collecting, I am working at my house and my parents house daily to help them. They will not be here forever, and I choose my parents.

Sassygirl
Sassygirl
15 days ago
Reply to  Susan Daniels

TBH, I have family who are CMs and while they filed for unemployment, they STILL haven’t gotten one dime of benefits. They pretty much got my stimulus check.

Tom
Tom
16 days ago

There is no cafeteria for them? These cast members are a captive audience. It’s not like they are going to be able to waltz over to McDonald’s during their lunch break from being a June Cruise Skipper.

I hate to say it but I’m becoming more and more convinced that Disney doesn’t want as many guests to visit nor do they want as many cast members to return. I wonder what’s truly being said in the hallowed halls of Team Disney.

Last edited 16 days ago by Tom
Natalie
Natalie
16 days ago

Oh this is so sad! How can a company like Disney do that to their employees?
Shame on you Disney!

Sean Allen Walker
Sean Allen Walker
16 days ago
Reply to  Natalie

They have every right there workers need to do to work or get fired period

Michelle
Michelle
16 days ago

The working conditions described are in line with what many companies are doing in their reopening. I agree the break room situation is terrible, but Disney is following the same recommendations for reopening as many companies.

Truitt
Truitt
16 days ago

Just wondering…Are there ANY cast members that WANT to return or should they be encouraged to work else where? Or keep Disney closed until this virus magically vanishes…like the flu…So sad hearing about all the complaints and negativity, demands being made in the media by cast members. Makes me feel discouraged about ever returning. Who wants to go to a place that is supposed to bring happiness, knowing their employees dont want to be there. I understand fear. There is a risk, probably more going to a unregulated grocery store or any where public, but I feel like Disney is… Read more »

Kiryu Dojima
Kiryu Dojima
16 days ago

So basically, it’s like any other job that is calling back their furloughed workers.

V-dog
V-dog
16 days ago

So, isn’t this what we’re ALL having to go through? I mean, if we’re going to wait until the cases are down to “0”, then I guess Disney’s just never going to open again are they? I’m not trying to call anyone ungrateful, but the company is attempting to make it as safe as possible while having these workers get back to normal. Yes, there WILL be some inconveniences for a while, but where is the gratitude in still having a job, and being able to get back to work? Many of us never got “lucky” enough to get furloughed… Read more »

Tom
Tom
16 days ago
Reply to  V-dog

“…many of us never got “lucky” enough to be furloughed”??? Seriously?

Jennifer Rundle
Jennifer Rundle
16 days ago

It’s the same in every field… a lot of folks scared to reenter the workplace…many friends in various fields say the same thing is happening in their break rooms also. Yes, the bottom line is you can stay home and lose your job or go. Consider that a vaccine is a ways off…

Chris
Chris
16 days ago

Tough on either side of this. Go back to work under less than ideal conditions, or try and keep thousands of your coworkers unemployed until things improve (if they ever do) regardless of their own circumstances, needs, and preferences.

Lauren C.
Lauren C.
16 days ago

Find another job if you are unhappy with the conditions. I am a teacher and had to completely and totally change my job/working conditions or I could quit. Life is different now. We are going to have to adapt or move on. No ill will, just the facts of current life.

Corless is the Worst
Corless is the Worst
15 days ago
Reply to  Lauren C.

Were you forced BACK into the classroom? NO. You taught from the safety of your own home. Stop trying to compare their struggle to YOURS, Karen.

lisa
lisa
15 days ago

WTF- no one has a gun to your head to make you work for disney. When some of us hate our job or the work environment, guess what? We move on. Boo freaking hoo
 

Last edited 15 days ago by lisa
mark
mark
14 days ago

The upside of the limited opening of Disney World…management will have time to replace any who don’t come back but i am sure there will be many who will appreciate having a paycheck. At least they will have a list of at least 8,000 employees that will need to go.

Rebekah
Rebekah
16 days ago

The changes are for safety. A virus isn’t magically going away and if they don’t open and the company bottoms out, thousands will be out of work and millions impacted. This is nonsense. We all accept some of the sacrifices for safety while we move forward.

April
April
16 days ago

Just like any other job, if you don’t like the conditions, then quit. Maybe you’ll find a better job or maybe not. Disney’s already bending over backwards to make things “safe” enough for approval to open and have been hemorrhaging money since this all started. With so many businesses closing permanently because of this mess the cast members can be grateful to have a job to go back to at all or don’t go back and try to find something else when they’re good and ready and “safe” (when a vaccine may or may not come out?).

Pamela Fischer
Pamela Fischer
16 days ago

What are they supposed to do for food? No refrigerators, no food in the cafeteria….do they expect everyone to bring PBJ’s??? I can’t believe some of the heartless comments already made. CM’s make very little money, Florida unemployment is the lowest in the country….and you really think that they do not care about safety? Most of their jobs are 90% about safety….for guests and CM’s.

lisa
lisa
15 days ago
Reply to  Pamela Fischer

It is about personal responsibility. If you don’t like it, you are free to work elsewhere. There are a lot of people who would love the job. Give others the chance for the job and they won’t feel so entitled. Lots of entitled people on here.

Kelly
Kelly
16 days ago

The cast members that don’t want to come back bc why would they? They are making tons on unemployment. It’s causing people to be lazy!! Get back to work, it’s fine, life must go on!

Max
Max
16 days ago

Hi, former DLR CM here. I comprehend the fear of those CMs that don’t want to return to work. This virus is so easily spreadable. I’ve already headed that Team Members at USO have been infected with COVID. A place like Disney isn’t the same as just going to the grocery store. At your grocery stores you’re shopping within your community. Some communities arent as infected but if you have a place like a park open you’re receiving guests from different counties and even states who may be more infected. This will change the spread and increase the virus.

James Flanagan
James Flanagan
16 days ago

My factory opened under similar conditions. It sucks but we do what we can to protect purselves and others.

robert obrien
robert obrien
16 days ago

Me personally I think disney should stay closed at least till the cases start going down disney will never go under they have way to much money and they have there hand in many different things to keep them going staying closed till the cases start dropping isnt gonna kill them.remember people disney is a multi-billion dollar company.If disney doesn’t want to listen then the cast members should either strike or protest.all you people telling them quit or go back to work are selfish your only concerns about yourselves and going back to disney.grow up people quit thinking about yourselves… Read more »

Nancy
Nancy
15 days ago

I loved the 10 yrs I spent as a Cast Member, but I am so happy that I retired and no longer have to be challenged with the new working conditions. My thoughts and prayers go out to former fellow Cast Members.

Keith
Keith
11 days ago
Reply to  Nancy

Hopefully management is listening and will do their best. There is no magic without the efforts of all of Disney’s wonderful Cast Members. Thank you for everything you do for us guests!

Conc
Conc
15 days ago

Disney cast are soft. Complaining about lack of couches? Construction workers sit on concrete blocks out in the sun, or in the dirt. Have to use poorly sanitized port-a-johns with no wash stations. Loud machines and pumps and excessive noises continue during their breaks …..but oh no “cast members dont have refrigerators!” The horror!! The problem is they have it so easy at the kingdoms, that most of them dont realize what it is to work in the real world. Stop whining, and be more considerate of those who are begging to come back, waiting for their return calls because… Read more »

Linda Martin
Linda Martin
15 days ago

All about the money

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