Disney and WDW Cast Unions Reach Reopening Agreements

WDW Pro

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Original Poster

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co <DIS.N> and unions representing workers at Florida's Walt Disney World have reached an agreement on safeguards to protect employees from coronavirus, a union statement said on Thursday, removing one of the company's hurdles to reopening its popular theme parks.

The measures include social distancing practices, increased cleaning and mandatory masks for workers and guests, according to a statement from the Service Trades Council Union (STCU), which represents about 43,000 workers at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Disney shares rose 2.8% to close at $105.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Disney has announced that some retail stores and restaurants in the Disney Springs shopping area in Orlando will open on May 20, but the company has not set a reopening date for any of its four theme parks in Florida.

The entertainment giant shut its parks in Asia, France and the United States starting in late January to help prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.

Shutting theme park gates cost the company $1 billion from January through March, Disney said earlier this month. About 120,000 of the company's workers were placed on unpaid furlough, many of them theme park "cast members," as Disney calls them.

As the coronavirus recedes in some parts of the world, Disney has been developing plans to help workers and visitors feel safe returning to large groups. The company reopened Shanghai Disneyland to a limited number of visitors on Monday, selling out thousands of available tickets.

In the United States, Florida is ahead of California, home to Disneyland, in reopening businesses that were closed starting in mid-March. Walt Disney World hotels are accepting reservations for July, though it is unclear if they will be operating at that time.

Among other measures, the new agreement with Walt Disney World unions calls for plastic barriers and touchless transactions at cash registers, temperature checks for guests, and monthly worker safety meetings, the STCU statement said.

Employees who contract COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, will receive paid time off to quarantine, the statement said.

The agreement also paves the way for individual unions to have ongoing discussions with Disney about worker safety, the STCU said.



(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)
 

hakunamatata

Wake me up when its over
Premium Member
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Baby steps.
 

Herdman

Well-Known Member
Yep. Exactly those two things being the primary issues.
I know Shanghai didn't do fireworks, but I did see in the procedure video that they had spots for families to stand in around the castle for their stage shows. The Disney VP there said they were asking people to obey the social distancing measures, and he thought with the reduced capacity and number of shows offered he felt confident everyone would be able to see the show. Could be some entertainment they can still do while the big things like parades and fireworks won't happen.
 

Magic Feather

Premium Member
I know Shanghai didn't do fireworks, but I did see in the procedure video that they had spots for families to stand in around the castle for their stage shows. The Disney VP there said they were asking people to obey the social distancing measures, and he thought with the reduced capacity and number of shows offered he felt confident everyone would be able to see the show. Could be some entertainment they can still do while the big things like parades and fireworks won't happen.
That said, Shanghai’s Castle show viewing area is absolutely huge. For Disney to get the same number of squares for people to watch MRFF in, they would take up most of the hub. That said, I would not be surprised to see the Forecourt Stage act in a similar way to SDL’s “Train Station” for Characters
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
I know Shanghai didn't do fireworks, but I did see in the procedure video that they had spots for families to stand in around the castle for their stage shows. The Disney VP there said they were asking people to obey the social distancing measures, and he thought with the reduced capacity and number of shows offered he felt confident everyone would be able to see the show. Could be some entertainment they can still do while the big things like parades and fireworks won't happen.
Correct. Which is why I said most not all. There will likely be some entertainment. Although space and demographics in Orlando are very different than in China.
 
What's notable, this is confirmation that masks will be mandatory for GUESTS.
Yes this. I think this alone will probably be enough to restrict people coming to Disney World. I understand the reasoning but it makes my decision to not partake while masks are required an easy decision. That just isn't the Disney I want to experience.
 

havoc315

Well-Known Member
Yes this. I think this alone will probably be enough to restrict people coming to Disney World. I understand the reasoning but it makes my decision to not partake while masks are required an easy decision. That just isn't the Disney I want to experience.

there are going to be lots of factors that limit attendance. I previously speculated they would limit attendance to on-site only.
Seems they will require pre-purchased scheduled tickets. So that basically means on-site plus a limited number of off-site
 

Delgado

Active Member
Does anyone know how long this agreement is good for? Barring any other outside factors - how long are guests required to wear masks pertaining to this is what I’m looking for..
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
What I keep seeing is people who are unwilling to follow the mask requirements currently. Do we really think Disney is going to tell CMs to confront guests who aren't wearing their masks?

No, I don't think that they will really do much about guests not wearing a mask other then to "remind" people. But that is really not the point. Honest people, who don't like the rules, will stay away. This is no different then the smoking policy, if you don't like the policy, don't smoke in the parks because you think that Disney "won't confront you", you just don't go. Most people have their "this is it" point where it is not worth it for them to go. I LOVE WDW and have been going about twice a year for that last 25 years, but I can not wear a mask like that for extended periods of time. I get very claustrophobic and it throws me into a panic attack when I feel like I can't breath. My mom was the same way, she had nightmares about drowning. So until they lift the mask order, I will not go. I would like to add that I am DVC and an annual passholder and Disney has got about $80,000+ out of me from the last 25 years, but this is my limit. It breaks my heart because WDW and the cruise line are my happy place.
 

havoc315

Well-Known Member
What I keep seeing is people who are unwilling to follow the mask requirements currently. Do we really think Disney is going to tell CMs to confront guests who aren't wearing their masks?

I suspect you won't be allowed entry into the park if you don't have a mask on. Then I suspect you won't be allowed entry onto a ride unless you put on your mask.

In between those "check points"... probably just gentle reminders. But with enough peer pressure, reminders, almost everyone wearing masks... then the few people who are constantly taking off their masks are the "jerks" endangering everyone else. No different than the person out on the street blowing second hand cigarette smoke on everyone.
 

Doberge

Active Member
Correct. Which is why I said most not all. There will likely be some entertainment. Although space and demographics in Orlando are very different than in China.

While exceedingly unlikely, Disney could try spreading crowds by color coding sections and maybe sides of the street of the parade route (e.g. main Street could be orange, hub is green, liberty square bridge is red, etc) and either make it selectable in MDE the day before and then assign those not selecting into remaining space, and then give some identifiable sticker or band when walking in park for CM to see. This is likely needlessly complicated for just a parade though.
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
While exceedingly unlikely, Disney could try spreading crowds by color coding sections and maybe sides of the street of the parade route (e.g. main Street could be orange, hub is green, liberty square bridge is red, etc) and either make it selectable in MDE the day before and then assign those not selecting into remaining space, and then give some identifiable sticker or band when walking in park for CM to see. This is likely needlessly complicated for just a parade though.

Disney will be in no hurry to take on the expense or hassle of a daily parade. Baby steps.
 
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