Several Disneyland Character Performers May Soon Join a Union

Published: February 15, 2024

Over a thousand performers at Disneyland and California Adventure could unionize. These Cast Members include those who suit up as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the various Disney Princesses.

The Associated Press reports that around 1,700 of Disney’s California parks 35,000 are currently not part of a union. That may soon change, says the president of the Actors’ Equity Associate, Kate Shindle:

This isn’t one of those situations where we’re out making the employer the bad guy. It is uniquely important Disney remains a place that people view as magical, and I think that (unionizing) will improve that across the board.

Although union cards were recently passed around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the AEA would not say how many Cast Members expressed interest in unionizing. Actors’ Equity Association does expect to get about half of the 1,700 non-union members to join, however. 

The AEA has a page dedicated to its efforts within the Disney parks. It alleges to be striving for better compensation, safety, and communications:

For more than a year, Cast Members in these departments have been building support among their colleagues. Now, the Magic United team is ready to unionize with Actors’ Equity Association to make Disneyland a fairer, safer place to work. Magic United has straightforward priorities: Cast Member safety, appropriate compensation, clear and respectful communication, fair scheduling and job security. Addressing these concerns will ensure that for Cast Members and Guests alike, Disneyland can remain the happiest place on earth.

Unions trying to recruit at the parks is not an uncommon thing. Recently, Universal was taken to court, which resulted in the company having to curb its anti-union practices. 

Since I’ve never been part of a union, I cannot say if they’re a positive or negative force for Cast Members. If you have had any experience with them, please let us know below!

[Source: Associated Press via FOX 8]

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