Disneyland Character Performers Unionize: A New Era for Cast Members

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Disneyland Character Performers Unionize

Disneyland, known as “the place where dreams come true,” has reached a significant milestone. The Disneyland character performers unionize. The character performers are made of the cast members we see in parades, meet ‘n greets, and other entertainment staff. On Saturday evening, May 18, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that the Disneyland Resort Cast Members who perform as characters, dance in parades, and the hosts, leads, and trainers who create magic alongside them, have voted to be represented by Actors’ Equity Association (Equity).

Disneyland Character Performers Unionize

A Landslide Victory for Unionization

For Equity to become the bargaining agent for this group of 1,700 workers, they needed to receive 50% plus one vote of those who cast ballots. This was more than just a simple majority; it was a landslide victory. The union far exceeded the threshold it needed to win, with 79 percent of those voting casting ballots for the union. The unofficial vote count stands at 953 for Equity and 258 opposed. If there are no election challenges, the NLRB’s regional director will certify the results within a week.

The Dream Becomes Reality

“They say that Disneyland is ‘the place where dreams come true,’ and for the Disney Cast Members who have worked to organize a union, their dream came true today,” said Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle. “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. The next step will be to collaborate with them about improving health & safety, wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security. After that, we will meet with representatives of the Walt Disney Company to negotiate those priorities into a first contract.”

A History of Collaboration

Equity has had a good working relationship with Disney and currently represents performers and stage managers at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and with Disney Theatricals on Broadway and on national tours. This new unionization effort at Disneyland marks a significant expansion of that relationship.

Disneyland Character Performers Unionize

An Already Unionized Workforce

Most of the Disneyland Resort’s workforce is already unionized, with those working in the Characters and Parades departments being a notable exception – until now. “This is an incredible victory, and we appreciate all the support over the past several weeks. We’re excited about the next phase,” said Shindle. “These Cast Members are both pro-union and pro-Disney, and they’re looking forward to meeting with their employer across the bargaining table in a good faith effort to make both the work experience and the Guest experience better.”

Looking Forward

The unionization of Disneyland character performers is a significant step toward improving working conditions for those who bring magic to life at the resort. With a strong majority supporting the union, the future looks promising for negotiations that will benefit both the performers and the guests who come to experience the magic of Disneyland.

In conclusion, the unionization of Disneyland character performers marks a new era for the resort. As these dedicated workers prepare to negotiate their first contract, they do so with the backing of a powerful union and the hope of better working conditions and an improved guest experience. This is a dream come true for many, and it signifies a bright future for Disneyland’s magical community.

Looking To Book Your Dream Disney Vacation?

Consultation Request
Preferred Contact Method
Please note I try to respond to all requests within 1 hr during normal business hours (8 am to 6 pm, EST)
Are your travel dates flexible?
If yes, I will work on finding the best pricing option within +/- 3 days of your desired check-in date. Please provide additional details if required in the Additional Information section around any travel date information. For example, my travel dates are flexible for the first two-week of August.
Your Vacation Budget (DO NOT include airfare)
Your vacation budget range will be used to provide you the best options for resorts, tickets, etc.
Looking to Book (Select all that apply)
Please select all the items you have included in your vacation budget.
Please any of the following Special Memberships or Affiliations that apply to you
Select All that apply to any guests within your travel party
Contact Permission
DisTrip and More Privacy Policy: https://distripsandmore.com/distrips-and-more-privacy-policy/
Disney World Vacation Timeline

Meet the Author: Nate Bishop

I’m a die-hard Disney fan with 38 years of visits under my belt, having stepped into Disney World 120+ times. Proud to be a Disney Annual Passholder, a Vacation Club member since ’92, a Castaway Club Member, and a runDisney enthusiast. Oh, and I’ve graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge. Need Disney insights or planning tips? I’m your guy!