More Housing, or Pleasing Disney? (And Where Do Cast Members Live?)

5 Nov

The LA Times has an article today on a story that’s been making the various newswires and blogs for a while: Anaheim Weighs More Housing or Pleasing Disney.

The clutter on the edge of neatly groomed Disneyland was such an irritant to Walt Disney that when he went to Florida to expand his kingdom four decades ago, he bought 30,000 acres of swampland, in part to shield the future resort and its visitors from such an eyesore.

Now a proposed housing project in the midst of Anaheim’s resort quarters has unearthed those ancient concerns, leaving city officials to debate which is more important: pleasing Anaheim’s largest employer and biggest tourist draw or creating needed housing.

In all the major media outlets who’ve mentioned it, I haven’t once seen the question raised of where Cast Members are expected to live. With an Anaheim housing shortage, and a good number of CM’s no doubt in need of affordable housing (not everybody’s paid as well as the top Imagineers, ya know), it’s hard to feel much sympathy for Disney’s concern that building more housing might negatively impact the park experience.

“It’s like owning a wonderful house in a wonderful neighborhood,” said Ed Chuchla, Disneyland’s vice president of corporate real estate.

“You care about the house and what could impact it.”

Do I love the total immersion of Walt Disney World, where issues like affordable housing have been pushed off onto neighboring communities? Yes, I’ll confess I do. So perhaps I am a hypocrite. Nonetheless, my heart’s with those who want to increase the housing options in Anaheim, including the 200 affordable units that would be included in the new complex. And I’d be interested to hear from anyone with first-hand knowledge of how the Anaheim CMs are feeling about the debate.

One Response to “More Housing, or Pleasing Disney? (And Where Do Cast Members Live?)”

  1. Jim April 4, 2007 at 1:41 pm #

    Disney is against low housing alernatives because they don’t like the way it “looks” near their “kingdom” …..HELLO…. Earth to Disney……how does Rosie look right about now?

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