Good evening, everyone! Today I want to discuss some updates about some theme parks including Disney and Universal. So, let’s get started, shall we?! So, at Universal Studios Orlando, they have raised up the wage to $17 becoming the wage leader in terms of trying to compete with Disney. The new wage structure, which includes raising pay for other workers based on the new rates and their time with the company, goes into effect in June, Universal Orlando Resort President and Chief Operating Officer Karen Irwin said in a letter Tuesday to the resort’s 25,000 workers. The starting hourly wage hike is part of a larger effort aimed at improving worker benefits in a tight labor market that includes increasing 401(k) matches and tuition reimbursement, adding compassionate leave, doubling the amount of parental leave and upgrading behind-the-scenes areas for workers like break rooms and bathrooms, park officials said. “But it doesn’t stop there, our culture seeks to create a path forward that supports our Team Members, gives them an opportunity to grow and fosters a real sense of purpose and belonging,” Irwin said in the letter. Universal Orlando currently is recruiting for 2,500 positions across the resort. It also is gearing up toward opening a new park, Epic Universe, in 2025. The resort’s workers aren’t unionized. At crosstown rival Walt Disney World, union members voted down a contract proposal covering 45,000 service workers earlier this month, saying it didn’t go far enough toward helping employees face cost-of-living hikes in housing and other expenses in central Florida. The company and unions plan to return to the negotiating table. Disney World service workers who are in the six unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union coalition had been demanding a starting minimum wage jump to at least $18 an hour in the first year of the contract, up from the starting minimum wage of $15 an hour won in the previous contract. The rejected proposal would have raised the starting minimum wage to $20 an hour for all service workers by the last year of the five-year contract, an increase of $1 each year for a majority of the workers it covered. Certain positions, like housekeepers, bus drivers and culinary jobs, would start immediately at a minimum of $20 under the proposal. Well, it seems like Universal is trying to beat Disney World in terms in wages and I heard a lot of people saying that Disney should be afraid of Universal because they could add some attractions there and the fact that Epic Universe is going to be opening up in 2025.
Over to Disney World, over 2,500 cast members have filed some lawsuits against Disney unions for refusing the increase one cent because they want their jobs back. They know that Universal is winning against them. Now, Disney has offered the cast members a 50% discount. Although Disney is refusing to offer “even one cent” wage increase in their negotiations with Cast Members, they are offering Cast Members 50% off their purchases. The discount is available online at shopDisney through February 26, 2023, and at Disney Parks through March 7. This discount is coming on the heels of some controversy regarding wages for Cast Members, who protested in November against Disney’s reluctance to raise wages amid inflation concerns and the rise on cost of living in the Orlando area with signs that read “Full-time can’t buy diapers!” and “Full-time can’t buy formula!” among others. This seems to me that Disney is trying to fix some things up in terms of the cast member jobs. I just think that people need to give Disney another chance even though they are not happy and they might start to actually like Universal better. So, I would just let Disney play this out and let Bob Iger handle this. Don’t interfere with Disney.
Also in Disney World, the new ride called Tron Light Cycle Run is going to be opening up on April 4th, 2023. The cast member previews have already started by trying out the ride and they seem to love it so far. Some people are having problems with the ride saying “I can’t fit on the ride”. I think people will eventually get use to it because it is their first time riding it.
Last, but not least at the Disneyland Resort, The Mickey’s ToonTown reopening date has been delayed to March 19th due to the winter storms that have slowed down the progress that they have been making. It was scheduled to reopen on March 8th. It was a smart move by Disney to delay the reopening of Toon Town.
So, what do you guys think about the entire theme park updates I shared information with you guys about?! I would love to hear lots of comments, thoughts, opinions, questions, or concerns down below! Tell me what information stood out to you the most.
Stay tuned for theme perk updates.