Disneyland under fire for forcing Cast Members to live on the street.

As Disney fans world wide were following the events at the D23 Expo last week held at Anaheim convention center, The Guardian published the below article on how  Disneyland’s low wages are contributing to homelessness in Anaheim by forcing many Cast Members to sleep in their cars.

 


Cinderella is homeless, Ariel ‘can’t afford to live on land’: Disney under fire for pay

homeless.png

A woman dressed as the Little Mermaid walked past a sign that read: “Ariel can’t afford to live on land!” A young girl stared at bright-pink posters proclaiming “Disneyland pays poverty wages” and “No home for Cinderella in Anaheim”.

During a day of protest on Friday, tourists and Disney fans in the streets surrounding Disneyland were confronted with activists condemning working conditions at the Los Angeles-area resort. The place that prides itself on being “the happiest place on earth” is, in their view, anything but for employees struggling with homelessness and low pay.

“Disney, we feel, is a contributor to the homeless problem here in Anaheim,” said protest organizer Jeanine Robbins, a longtime local resident. “There are Disney employees who live on the street. They live in their cars. They live in unstable housing.”

Occasionally, there are consequences of the most tragic kind.

Amid an unprecedented regional homelessness crisis, there are almost 4,800 people experiencing homelessness in Orange County, where Anaheim is located, on any given night. More than half can be found on the streets or in other places unfit for habitation. It is unclear exactly how many are Disney employees, but it should perhaps come as no surprise that some face challenges.

The largest employer in Orange County, Disneyland is located in one of the most expensive metro housing markets in the US. According to the Orange County office of care coordination, the hourly wage needed to afford a median-priced, one-bedroom unit in Orange County last year was $25.46, complementing nationwide data suggesting that it is virtually impossible for those earning minimum wage, or near it, to find an affordable place to live anywhere in the country.

Protesters and Disney employees cited wages at the park in the low teens.

“I see a lot of people living paycheck to paycheck. I see a lot of people living in long-term motels or living in their cars,” said a Disneyland worker, who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke under condition of anonymity for fear of losing her job. She has worked in retail at the Anaheim park for over a decade and makes $12.10 an hour. “I love my job. It’s not the job that’s the problem; it’s the pay.”

Like many of her coworkers, she said, she commutes from a more affordable city nearby. She says that more than half her coworkers work two to three jobs to make ends meet.

Disneyland’s connection with Anaheim homelessness recently came into focus when the city removed several benches from bus shelters near the resort, which both Disney and the city said had not come at the company’s request. When asked about employees struggling with homelessness, a Disneyland spokeswoman, Suzi Brown, said the company provides “vast employee resources” for those in need. “Specific to homelessness, we support a number of nonprofits [in the community] and have donated millions of dollars to support their efforts.”

Eve Garrow, a policy analyst at the ACLU of Southern California who attended the protest, disputes this. “Disneyland is nowhere in the picture” when it comes to solutions for homelessness, she said.

Last Friday’s Disneyland protests began in the morning outside D23, an exposition for Disney fans at the Anaheim convention center. Adults dressed in Disney costumes sweated under the bright California sun as they waited to enter, and glanced awkwardly at Robbins and the handful of homeless housing activists waving posters.

Robbins said she wasn’t finding many sympathetic ears. “We’re getting a lot of hostility from the Disney fans, saying if they aren’t making enough money, ‘why don’t they go work somewhere else? Why don’t they go live somewhere else if they can’t afford to live here?’”

In the evening, as fireworks burst above the Sleeping Beauty Castle, about 40 activists stationed themselves in the path of sunburned tourists streaming out of the gates.

The experiences of homeless Disney employees vary. One homeless couple began working at Disneyland several years ago after moving from the midwest. They found themselves inhabiting their car after leaving what they described as an unhealthy living situation, and now must get by on a single income after one of them was forced to stop working because of a traffic accident.

But they said that Disney was looking out for them. “They have a 24-hour helpline you can call,” said the husband. “We do call it, and we’re still working with them to find a place. It’s not easy finding anything in California.”

Another Disney employee said she believed that people slept in the staff parking lot, and knew of one coworker who does so when she’s too exhausted to drive home between shifts. The employee said she wasn’t aware of any resources to help people sleeping in their cars. “It’s a thing that happens, but from what I’ve heard it’s just a matter of ‘do whatever you have to do not to be late to your shift’.”

When a reporter approached the lot, which was bustling with cars and shuttle buses even at 11.30pm on Friday, a security guard barred entry.

On occasion, homelessness among Disney employees leads to heartbreaking outcomes. In December, a worker at Disney put out a message on social media seeking information on Yeweinishet Mesfin, a 61-year-old custodian who had gone missing.

According to police, Mesfin was found several days after a missing person’s report was filed. Her body was in her car outside the gym where she showered.

An immigrant from Eritrea, Mesfin “was always gregarious and all that, but her relatives in Los Angeles say she would never meet with them”, said her cousin Tsegai Emmanuel, who lives in Ruston, Louisiana. “Nobody ever met in her place – she was always meeting people elsewhere. Nobody knew how she lived, where she lived.”

An old acquaintance of Mesfin’s who now lives in Chicago, Lula Negussie, said she knew Mesfin affectionately as “Weyni”.

Late last year, Negussie received a call from Mesfin’s boss, who said she “had never missed work, she had never been late, they were worried, they went to her old apartment, she doesn’t live there any more. They couldn’t find her”.

Negussie had not spoken to her for many years and did not know she had fallen on hard times. Mesfin “was very sweet, very, very pretty”, Negussie said. “Just full of life.”

Source: The Guardian

Posted in Disneyland Paris

Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel confirmed at D23 Expo

The rumoured Marvel re-theme of Disney’s Hotel New York was officially confirmed by Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, Bob Chapekat at  this weekends D23 Expo in Anaheim.

The details of the refurbishment were originally mentioned in the Cash Tender Offer documents published earlier this year by The Walt Disney Company, as part of their takeover bid for  Disneyland Paris which quoted part of Euro Disney’s 10 year business plan for the resort.

A Marvel themed test corridor has already been created in Disney’s Hotel New York prior to today’s announcement and our friends at ED92 published these photographs last month of what the internal decor of the hotel could look like in the future.

No official date has been announced by Disneyland Paris for the start of the hotels closure and refurbishment, but it was initially rumoured that the hotel would be closed to guests from 30 September 2018 for two years to allow the refurbishment work to be completed, but in e-mails seen by the Salon Mickey Blog from a U.K. based travel agency it has since transpired that the reImagination of Hotel New York will now commence some time in 2019.

These dates are of course subject to change.

Here is what the official Disney Parks Blog published about the refurbishment.


 

Disneyland Paris Brings Favorite Marvel Characters to Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel

We have an annonce très excitante (or “very exciting announcement”) to share from our friends at Disneyland Paris – Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel is coming to the resort!

As a part of his presentation to the tens of thousands of fans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim today, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced the “reImagination” of the Disney’s Hotel New York into a new Marvel-themed wonderland.


“We’re going to create a hotel at Disneyland Paris that would make Tony Stark proud,” Bob said. “I’m thrilled to announce that Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will transport our guests to the action-packed, inspiring world of Super Heroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man among others!”

Disneyland Paris is currently in the midst of a stunning 25th Anniversary Celebration. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on new happenings from our colleagues at Disneyland Paris.

Posted in Disneyland Paris

Woman sues Disneyland Paris over crème brûlée ‘fireball’ burns

osbourne

A woman who was burned when her clothes caught fire in a Disneyland Paris restaurant says she was told it was “no different to falling off a bike”.

Erica Osbourne, 37, claims it happened when a chef used a blow torch on a dessert. She lost part of her hair and eyebrows in the incident in February.

She said “a massive fireball came across the counter towards me” as the crème brûlée sugar was lit.

Disneyland Paris said guest safety “is our number one priority”.

Mrs Osbourne, from Bristol, said she suffered second degree burns when her jumper caught fire as a chef used the torch on the dessert.

She said the flames narrowly missed her 10-year-old daughter, Abigail, at Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel.

‘Face on fire’

“I had ordered the crème brûlée and Abigail had gone to get an ice cream when the chef lit the sugar and a massive fireball came across the counter towards me.

“I was so terrified that I froze to the spot but I remember an intense heat on my face.

“Abigail told me later that I was screaming ‘help me! I’m on fire’. My jumper and my face were on fire.”

She said a chef jumped over the counter and he and another customer “bundled me to the ground and rolled me around to put out the flames”.

“Immediately after I was burnt one of the managers said to me that the incident was ‘no different to falling off a bike’. I couldn’t believe it.” she added.

Mrs Osbourne was treated by paramedics and spent several hours in hospital. She is now taking legal action against Disneyland Paris for personal injury.

“Incidents of this type are extremely rare,” a spokesman for the attraction said.

“As this is an ongoing legal issue which is in the process of being resolved, it would be inappropriate to discuss this further at this time.”

James Griffin, from Slater and Gordon, who is representing Mrs Osbourne, said: “This was a terrifying incident that could have resulted in much more serious consequences.”

Source: BBC News

Posted in Disneyland Paris

Pop up Disney Store arrives in Reading


A new pop up Disney Store has opened at The Oracle shopping centre in Reading, Berkshire, England. 

The ‘pop up’ concept stores are of a plainer style that found in the more traditional Disney stores but they still carry a large range of your favourite Disney, Star Wars and Marvel merchandise.

The opening hours are:
Monday – Friday 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM

Saturday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Posted in Disneyland Paris

Au revoir APPAED – Goodbye APPAED

appaed

Yesterday the association of small Euro Disney shareholders APPAED – ‘Association des Petits Porteurs d’Actions EuroDisney’,  which represented the small minority Euro Disney S.C.A. shareholders said goodbye to it members.

With Euro Disney shares now withdrawn from the stock market and therefore no longer any Euro Disney shareholders the association has closed.

Below is an English translation of the goodbye message sent by their President Edith Zemi to their 1,196 members yesterday evening.


Au revoir APPAED

Merci Edith pour tout ce que vous travaillez et les
informations précieuses que vous nous avez données.

 

Goodbye APPEAD
Thank you Edith for all you work and the valuable
information you has given us.

 

Bye bye

This is done, the Euro Disney share is no longer listed on the stock exchange.

No more shares,  no more shareholders, and therefore no association of small shareholders.

It has been almost 6 years since we were created. On September 21, 2011, we were 4 FOUNDING MEMBERS. Today it is 1,196 members and supporters that I say thank you for joining us and demonstrating your support.

This is an extremely enriching experience that I personally experienced. The work did not fail, but it was necessary to try to give maximum information to people who, like us, the 4 Founders, did not know much about finance, but were eager to learn more about the management of this company that has always made us dream.

It has not been easy because, as everyone knows, the Walt Disney company does not communicate much about its method of management and its strategy: nothing must disturb the dream and magic.

I spent a lot of time and invested a lot of energy, and as you know, pro Bono. But it’s with a real pleasure that I did…. at least until early 2015… the beginning of the end.

One day, maybe I’ll write the “Memoirs” and share them.

I had the opportunity to meet people I probably would never coexisted, and it was a real pleasure and sometimes even an honour.

First thanks to Yann Elisabetta and Roberto for their unwavering support.
Thanks to Louisa for her kindness, her dedication, and for promoting contacts with the direction of Euro Disney.

Thanks also to Olivier Lambert, then to Yoann Nguyen who replaced him.
Thanks to Mark Stead for the infinite patience he used to try to get us to understand the figures, the results, the strategic choices.

Thanks to Virginie Calmels who tried to maintain the link with the small shareholders.

Thanks to Jay Rasulo, then no. 2 of the who gave us an hour interview.

Thank you to Antoine Jeancourt-Gagliani for his welcome, for the kindness he has shown us, and for everything he has tried to do for us.

And finally thanks to Philippe Gas. Two months after our creation, Philippe Gas warmly welcomed us. It allowed us to open a real dialogue. He has been listening to us and we owe him some great advances in communication. Thank you for the interest he has shown us and for testifying to us.

So this is the end of the story.

What saddens me most is to close the site and therefore to see all the information in it. The Facebook page will probably be transformed into the “Alumni group”.  The yahoo and gmail addresses will no longer be used.

Edith


 

Original message in French:

AU REVOIR

Voilà, c’est fait, l’action Euro Disney n’est plus cotée en Bourse.   Plus d’actions, c’est-à-dire plus d’actionnaires, et par conséquent plus d’Association de Petits Actionnaires.

Cela fait pratiquement 6 ans que l’APPAED a été créée. Le 21 septembre 2011 nous étions 4 membres fondateurs. Aujourd’hui c’est à 1196 adhérents et sympathisants que je dis merci de nous avoir rejoint et manifesté votre soutien.

C’est une expérience extrêmement enrichissante que j’ai vécue personnellement. Certes le travail n’a pas manqué, mais c’était nécessaire pour essayer de donner un maximum d’informations à des personnes qui, comme nous, les 4 fondateurs de l’APPAED, n’y connaissaient pas grand-chose en matière de finances, mais étaient avides d’en savoir plus sur la gestion de cette entreprise qui nous a toujours fait rêver.

Cela n’a pas été facile car, comme tout le monde le sait, la Walt Disney Company ne communique pas beaucoup sur son mode de gestion et sa stratégie : rien ne doit venir troubler le Rêve et la Magie.

 J’ai passé beaucoup de temps et investi beaucoup d’énergie, et comme vous le savez, bénévolement. Mais c’’est avec un réel plaisir que je l’ai fait…. Au moins jusque début 2015 … le commencement de la fin.

Un jour, peut-être j’écrirai les « Mémoires de l’APPAED » et vous les ferai partager.

J’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer des personnes que je n’aurais probablement jamais côtoyées, et cela fut un réel plaisir et parfois même un honneur.

Tout d’abord merci à Yann, Elisabetta et Roberto pour leur soutien indéfectible.
Merci à LOUISA pour sa gentillesse, son dévouement, et pour avoir favorisé les contacts avec la Direction d’Euro Disney.

Merci également à Olivier LAMBERT, puis à Yoann NGUYEN qui l’a remplacé.
Merci à Mark STEAD pour la patience infinie qu’il a usée à essayer de nous faire comprendre les chiffres, les résultats, les choix stratégiques.

Merci à Virginie CALMELS qui a essayé de maintenir le lien avec les Petits Actionnaires.

Merci à Jay RASULO, alors n°2 de la TWDC qui nous a accordé une heure d’entretien.

Merci à Antoine JEANCOURT-GAGLIANI pour son accueil, pour la bienveillance qu’il nous a témoignée, et pour tout ce qu’il a essayé de faire pour nous.

Et enfin Merci à Philippe GAS. Deux mois après la création de l’APPAED, Philippe GAS nous a accueillis chaleureusement. Il nous a permis d’ouvrir un vrai dialogue. Il a été à notre écoute et nous lui devons quelques belles avancées dans la Communication. Merci pour l’intérêt qu’il nous a manifesté et pour nous avoir témoigné de la considération.

C’est donc la fin de l’histoire.

Ce qui me désole le plus, c’est de devoir fermer le site et donc de voir disparaître toutes les informations qui s’y trouvent.

Edith

Posted in Disneyland Paris

Remaining Disneyland Paris shareholders to be compensated €2 per share under mandatory Buy-Out of Euro Disney S.C.A.

img_4968-2

Following today’s delisting of Euro Disney S.C.A.‘s shares on the Euronext Paris, a mandatory buy-out will apply to all the remaining Euro Disney shares that The Walt Disney Company do not own, i.e  the 22,661,121 shares they did not purchase during the Cash Tender Offer or via the stock market.

The remaining Euro Disney shareholders will receive compensation of €2.00 per share under the mandatory buy-out.

Upon the closing by Euroclear France of the affiliates’ accounts (scheduled for 19 June 2017), the custody account-keeping institutions will require from BNP Paribas Securities Services, acting as the custody account-keeper appointed by The Walt Disney Company  the payment of the compensation for the shares registered in their books not owned by the TWDC and which are therefore subject to the mandatory buy-out, and will credit the accounts of the shareholders with the compensation payment due to them.

Compensation payments not requested by the custody account-keeping institutions on behalf of the beneficiaries will be kept by BNP Paribas Securities Services for a period of ten years after the mandatory buy-out after which they will be transferred to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

Such compensation payments may be claimed at any time by their respective beneficiaries, subject to a thirty-year statute of limitations, after which such funds will become the property of the French Republic.

Under the mandatory buy-out  shareholders based in the United Kingdom should receive their compensation payments early next year.

For shareholders located outside the European Union it could take as long as 12 months for these shareholders to receive their compensation payment of €2.00 per share.

Posted in Disneyland Paris

Euro Disney S.C.A. Delisted from the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange.


Today (19 June 2017) Euro Disney S.C.A. the owners and operators of Disneyland Paris was compulsory delisted from the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange by the French financial markets regulator L’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) following the success of the Simplified Cash Tender Offer for the Euro Disney Group by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC).

The completion of the highly controversial takeover saw Euro Disney shareholders paid just €2.00 per share.

Today’s news will see Euro Disney S.C.A. becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company which is headquartered in Burbank, California, U.S.A. and incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, U.S.A. via their subsidiaries the EDL Holding Company LLC1, Simplified Euro Disney Investments S.A.S. and EDL Corporation S.A.S. on the basis of a total share capital holding comprising of 783,364,900 shares once the mandatory buy-out of the remaining 22,661,121 shares takes place.

The Walt Disney Company purchased 76,890,110 Euro Disney shares under the Offers Semi-Centralised procedure and  9,379,335 shares on the stock market.

 

Posted in Disneyland Paris | 1 Comment