Disneyland Cast Members Join Union

Disneyland Resort cast members in California who perform as characters or dance in parades, and the hosts, leads and trainers who bring the magic of the amusement park to life for visitors voted overwhelmingly to join Actor’s Equity Association. The union far exceeded the threshold it needed to win with 79% of those voting casting ballots for the union.

The new bargaining unit—named Magic United—includes about 1,700 workers who perform as beloved characters at the park, as well as the staff members who supervise interactions between park visitors and characters and train these performers. Disneyland is already a highly unionized workplace, with staff in different roles represented by a number of different unions, but character workers have long been one of the few departments without collective bargaining power. Equity negotiates on behalf of performers in shows at Walt Disney World and in Disney theatricals on Broadway and on national tours.

“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 Equity 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 and 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.”