Hundreds of Disneyland Paris cast members dropped their costumes and marched through the theme park on Tuesday, demanding better pay and working conditions. Tourists hoping to visit attractions like ‘Sleeping Beauty’s Castle’ found themselves shut out.
The protesters are demanding a pay rise of €200 ($215) per month, double pay on Sundays, and compensation for their 30-kilometer commute to the park from central Paris. Tuesday’s protest was the fourth such demonstration in a month, amid a labor dispute that has been simmering since last August.
Visitors hoping to see the cast dressed as Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck or Goofy were left disappointed. Instead, the staffers marched through the park’s main thoroughfares holding trade union flags and placards, including one reading “the magic doesn’t exist without us.”
The group of striking Cast Members marched through Frontierland a moment ago. Today’s demonstrations are quieter than last weekend. pic.twitter.com/Q50WZ6BFBX— DLP Report (@DLPReport) June 6, 2023
Disney opted to keep the park open, but warned visitors that “certain shows or activities may be disrupted or even canceled.” Tuesday’s protest was reportedly smaller than a demonstration on Saturday.
A video posted by DLP Report, a Twitter account that posts news and updates from the park, showed a group of demonstrators blocking the entrance to ‘Sleeping Beauty’s Castle’ in an attempt to stop a live performance. The park’s nightly parade was also canceled, prompting jeers and boos from guests.
The crowd’s reaction moments ago when tonight’s entertainment was canceled due to the Cast Member strikes: pic.twitter.com/DDBdziXeyl— DLP Report (@DLPReport) June 6, 2023
According to the DLP Report, Disneyland Paris President Natacha Rafalski told employees on Tuesday that wage negotiations would not be held until August, and that the park was not making enough money to justify immediate pay rises. However, the protesters have pointed to Disneyland Paris’ $51 million operating profit in 2022 to back up their demands.
Demonstrations are likely to continue throughout the busy summer vacation season.