Ever Wonder What Disney Cast Members Make?

7 Jan

Today, Disney went back into negotiations with its largest union, as The Disney Blog reported.

Walt Disney World and its largest union group, the services trade council, heads back to the negotiating table with a federal mediator today. While no one is optimistic that the differences can be resolved today, no one is worried about an impending strike either.

I find the wages of Disney’s Cast Members to be startling low, especially given the excellent level of Guest Service provided overall, and the amazing beyond-the-call-of-duty actions I’ve seen many of them take. The contract that’s currently being re-negotiated is here, on the Unite Here! 362 web site. For wages, scroll down to page 53, and page through the Appendices.

Despite the general economic picture in the US, Disney stock is at an all-time high. C’mon Disney, let’s see more money and health care benefits for the front-line Cast Members who make the magic happen.

And hey, why not drop Walt Disney World Guest Services a note, to let them know how you feel? Here’s what I just sent them:

Walt Disney World isn’t just about the attractions to me — it’s also about the amazing Guest Services delivered by your Cast Members. And hey, there’s also a lot of Cast Members working behind-the-scenes to make all those attractions work! So it’s important to me that Disney treat its Cast Members well. I’ve looked at the current union contract, and the wages currently paid to Cast Members (even with significant seniority) make me very sad.

I’m paying attention to the ongoing labor negotiations, and ask that Disney provide better wages and health care benefits to its Cast Members. Please support your Cast Members, who are working so hard to make the magic happen for us Guests!!

7 Responses to “Ever Wonder What Disney Cast Members Make?”

  1. MC January 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    This is something I’ve long wondered if Disney fans knew – just how little Cast Members get paid. It’s really bad, and I can’t see how anyone puts together a living wage by working in the parks. I know I couldn’t afford to do it. Heck, I’d be right down there driving a FriendShip again if I thought I could afford somewhere to live and, you know, food and stuff.

  2. Becca January 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I am right with you on this but unfortunately, when people demand low prices to go to WDW, something has to give. When workers aren’t protected by a reasonable minimum wage, they’re the obvious target for cutting costs.

    This may be controversial, but I just don’t think that the average family should expect to be able to afford a top-of-the-line vacation as unbelievably awesome as WDW every year. We are lucky to visit a destination that provide such exceptional quality of service, facilities and entertainment, and it’s only fitting that we should work our socks off to be able to enjoy such an experience.

  3. Jennifer January 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Amen! Especially that part about the need for protecting workers with a reasonable minimum wage.

  4. Ray (aka Grumpwurst) January 14, 2011 at 9:41 am #


    I’ve been saying the same thing for year. My parents are quick to remind me that there was a time when a week-long trip to WDW was an expensive endeavor and required her to get a job (she was a stay-at-home-mom) just to afford it. Considering my dad made a very good wage at the time, that said a lot.

    I think my mom said that in 1985 our 5 day trip to WDW cost her between 3-4K dollars for two adults and two kids and we stayed at the resort that used to occupy where Downtown Disney and Saratoga Springs now live.

    Disney is now constantly advertising trips to WDW for significantly less than that now and that is today’s dollars.

    From what I’ve been able to calculate online the cost of our vacation in 1985 would be the equivalent of spending anywhere from $6-10K now.

    So since it doesn’t cost that much to go to WDW now, it’s easy to see, for me, that the value of a WDW vacation has gone down

  5. Jennifer January 14, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    I realize that my feelings on this topic are much like my feelings about childcare in the US. I believe everyone should have access to qualify, affordable childcare. Also, I’m appalled at how little the childcare workers make.

    Something is essentially broken about the way we distribute wealth and income. No, I don’t have an easy solution.


  1. take a moment? « my life on the WDW d-list - January 8, 2011

    […] BFF’s recent blog post about current WDW contract negotiations prompted me to send an email to WDW in support of union […]

  2. Another Contract Extension for WDW Cast Members « Broke Hoedown - January 8, 2011

    […] So . . . since there’s more than a month before the next round of bargaining, let me reiterate my suggestion: If you think Disney should provide better compensation to their Cast Members, let them know. I’ve provided a link to Guest Services and the text of my own email to Disney in yesterday’s post. […]

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