Legal Dispute Over £99 Links Tours Trip To Disneyland Paris

Wrexham.com has been following the story of what should have been a fun £99 three day coach holiday organised by Wrexham based Links Tours  from  Wales to Disneyland Paris  turned into a disastrous nightmare for the holiday makers.



An Essex based wholesaler has said they are taking legal action to recover £10,000 they claim is owed to them by Wrexham based Links Tours after a disastrous coach trip to Disneyland Paris.

Earlier this week a coach load of families were hoping for a 3 day trip to Disneyland Paris – however due to issues that are being blamed on Wrexham coach provider Links Tours – no hotels or entry tickets were available on arrival.

The coach party thought they had been booked by Links Tours into the 4* Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris, however after a sixteen hour coach trip were told there were no bookings, and ended up having to secure a last minute booking at a hotel around ten miles away. The next day when arriving at the theme park they were then told there were no tickets booked for them for entry, despite paying Links Tours for the booking.

Early Wednesday evening Links Tours told concerned family members: “We are dealing with it and currently got one of our directors and senior management team heading to Essex to the wholesalers the trip was booked through.”

Links Tours also replied to various one star reviews overnight Wednesday, however by this Thursday morning comments and the reviews had been removed from their Facebook page, despite assurances that such feedback would not be subject to removal.

On one reply a then Director of Links Tours wrote: “This matter has been passed to our legal team that we paid the supplier who did not pay Disney, we have proof of this.”
Another review, again a single star, accused Links Tours of ‘lies’. The company replied calling the information stated about a supplier not being paid as ‘fake information’.
Later they added: “ICT has had their money which has been cashed and lawyers are involved, I have nothing to hide and have all documentation so think what you wish.”
Wrexham.com asked ICT – Independent Coach Travel, a wholesale travel provider – on Tuesday evening for their view of the situation, who today told us: “We are delighted to advise that the above trip, which was to be aborted on Tuesday 25th due to financial irregularities involving the tour operator, was able to be rescued at the eleventh hour by ICT.

“Having already secured the ferry crossings and hotel for the group travelling to Disneyland Paris, ICT’s directors decided that they could not stand-by and see these families and friends left stranded outside the park. Therefore, arrangements were made to provide the entrance tickets for the whole group to enable them to enjoy the rest of their short-break to Disney. The total cost of this trip has, so far, been born by the Essex based wholesaler.”

Peter Stratton said: “After 30 years of success at providing services to operators and agents the company has continued to put the customer first – actions speak louder than words”. He is truly heartened by the very positive comments he has received from members of the group.”

A spokesperson added as of Friday lunchtime: “To date, there is still no sign of the money from Links. The amount owed to us is just short of £10,000. We are taking legal action to recover the outstanding debt.”
ICT are members of the Coach Tourism Council and are founder members of the British Association of Wholesale Tour Agents. They have been providing wholesale group packages to Disneyland Paris since 1992 when the park opened.

Yesterday a coach arrived back in Wrexham via sub contractors Amans Travel from Walsall, who say they themselves are owed over £2000 by Links Tours – and magnanimously provided transport back from France as they could not leave the party behind to ‘fend for themselves’.

This morning Links Tours Facebook page (viewable here) had a new statement noting ‘here at Links we are continuing to grow and we would like to invite anyone with concerns to contact us’, with various further replies to mainly critical public comments.

Links Tours refuted that any monies was owed saying: “We owe no money but if you want to listen to third party information then that’s ok the is two sides to every story” and “As we have nothing to hide and are a growing company we have the right to continue operations the coach that left this morning is morning without any issues. All hotels have been paid as with all our tours.”

Wrexham Council have said they have been informed of the issue with Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, initially referring to an unknown earlier complaint: “We looked at the initial complaint made in March, and further information was sought from the consumer.
“We are also aware of recent complaints. These are being examined and, if required, appropriate action will be taken.”
There are two entities called Links Tours on Companies House with similar former and current directors, with Links Tours and Travel Ltd being subject to a notice for compulsory strike-off as of May 30th 2017.

Links Tours Ltd is a company formed a year ago today, and is the one stated on the sign outside Grosvenor Road above. Over the last 72 hours there has been a flurry of filing activity with two new company appointments of David Jackson as director and Margaret Jackson as company secretary. Christopher Jackson has ceased as a director. There is a further document dated yesterday registering that Christopher Jackson has been replaced by David Jackson as an individual with significant control of the company.

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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

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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

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.

Woman sues Disneyland Paris over crème brûlée ‘fireball’ burns

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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