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The Daily Show: Disney vs. Anaheim Housing Dispute

22 Jun

Not recommended for Disney purists or the easily offended, it’ll just get yer hackles up. (Though I’m guessing none of those folks read this blog anyway, now do they?)

And hey, don’t watch this one with the kids either, unless you feel like explaining what fellatio is.

More on Disneyland’s Fight Against Affordable Housing

28 Apr

The Disney Blog has a bit of commentary, and links to both AP and LA Times stories.

Fight Continues for Affordable Housing in Anaheim

25 Apr

From the Associated Press, by way of San Jose Mercury News: Anaheim vote could put low-income housing near Disneyland.

Disneyland was not The Happiest Place on Earth after local officials paved the way to place low-income housing at its gates.The City Council voted 3-2 late Tuesday night for a zoning change that would permit construction of condominiums inside a 2.2-square-mile area that was set aside more than a dozen years ago as a resort district.

The housing proposal includes a 26-acre parcel just a few blocks from Disneyland and across the street from Disney-owned land that could someday be the site of another theme park.

The vote came despite a Disneyland lawsuit and a possible election fight. Supporters said affordable housing was desperately needed for workers in the city’s massive tourism industry who share cramped quarters or commute hours because they cannot afford Orange County housing prices.

This might be bad news for Disneyland management, but given the wages of most Disneyland Cast Members, it’s good news for them.

Anaheim Hospitality Workers Struggle With Housing

4 Mar

From the L.A. Times, “Disney ‘fairy tale’ isn’t for everyone:”

The job description is simple: Make the customers believe that Disneyland is “a magic kingdom where life is a fairy tale and dreams really do come true.”

But at the end of the workday, many of the people who work at the “Happiest Place on Earth” sleep on air mattresses, in by-the-week motel rooms and in apartments shared with other families.

“I’ve been at this motel since 1997,” said Derrick, a Disney security guard who pays $209 a week rent. He spoke to me Thursday night while standing in the doorway of the room he shares with two elderly aunts at Arena Inn and Suites in Anaheim, about a mile from his job.

The article interviews other Disneyland CMs and others in Anaheim tourism jobs, talking about their outrageous commutes and living situations, based on the low wages and high cost of housing in Anaheim.

I’m too big of a Disney fan to ever stop going to the parks. But I sure would enjoy the parks more if I felt the CMs were paid well-enough to live in decent housing, and if Disney would support affordable housing in the area.

Ed Grier Speaks of Possible Third Park in Anaheim

27 Jan

DIS news today reposts a story from the Orange County Business Journal, in which new Disneyland President Ed Grier (formerly of Tokyo Disneyland) mentions the possibility of a third gate in Anaheim:

Grier also is involved in planning for a possible third Anaheim park.

First talked about in 2000, Disney wants a “third gate” on a 75-acre parcel near Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue. The land has been used for little more than employee parking since the 2001 tourism downturn.

Now that things are humming again—if not booming—the company is thinking about expansion.

“What’s important for us is to focus on what’s (going to be there) for the next 50 years,” he said.

Coming from Tokyo, where Grier was part of the masterplanning team, he has a grip on how the process works.

There’s no firm plan for the Anaheim land yet, he said, despite rumors of a Wide World of Sports-type complex.

“We probably have more ideas than we have room for,” Grier said.

Grier also talks about the importance of understanding the Cast Member point of view, having apparently spent a little time recently with third-shift workers — hooray for that! But of course he’s maintaining Disney’s stand against affordable housing in the area, which very well might benefit those same CMs that he needs to listen to.

Affordable Housing Plan Rejected in Anaheim

23 Jan reports that an Anaheim planning commission rejects plan for homes next to Disneyland:

At a Planning Commission meeting, Disneyland and tourist-business officials spoke against the proposal to permit residential uses in the Anaheim Resort, saying it could hurt tourism expansion.

But affordable-housing and union officials praised the plan as a way to put low-cost residences near where resort employees work.

Housing for Cast Members vs. “tourism expansion.” Does anybody really think that the Disneyland area needs more support for tourism? Puh-leeze. Give the Cast Members decent, affordable housing near their place of work. Everybody wins.

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