Could Disneyland Paris Remain Closed Until Disney’s Halloween Festival?

French President Emmanuel Macron appeared in a televised address from the Elysee Palace on Monday, 13 April 2020.

In an address to the nation yesterday (13 April 2020) French President Emmanuel Macron announced  that the country’s lockdown will be in force until at least 11 May 2020, and that borders with other countries would remain shut until the crisis was resolved.  

Warning that the new date might not mean a guaranteed stand down from the country’s preventive measures against the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Macron said: “May 11 will only be possible if we continue to be responsible civic respecting the rules and that the spread of the virus has actually continued to slow.”

It was also announced that outdoor sporting events, festivals, and entertainment and leisure venues would not reopen until two months later in July 2020.

Officials have warned that the situation remains serious – especially in the Ile-de-France region around Paris – with no rapid return to normal in sight.

On the assumption that restrictions are lifted in France on 11 May, could Disneyland Paris possibly resume operations in August or September once the new heath and wellbeing procedures as discussed recently by Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger are implemented at the restort to ensure the safety of Guests and Cast Members against the Coronavirus.

French President Emmanuel Macron with Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger
in happier times.

Following the cancellation of the employment contracts of the restorts temporary summer season Cast Members, Disneyland Paris would find it difficult to resume full operations until mid September. 

With plans for schools throughout Europe to reopen in early September after a seven month shut down, would Euro Disney SCA President Natacha Rafalski make the decision that it would be financially viable to fully reopen the entire resort in August? or wait and reopen in September?

From the safety of the lockdown bunker deep in the basement of Salon Mickey Towers – Duffy and I envisage a phased reopening of Disneyland Paris.

With the two theme parks Parc Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios Park reopening in August 2020 to enable temporary Cast Members to be trained and the new health procedures implemented.

Following with the reopening of the resorts seven themed Disney Hotel’s in mid September.  In time for the beginning of Disney’s Halloween Festival.

Disney Considers Temperature Checks Of Theme Park Guests Says Bob Iger.

With Disney theme parks temporarily closed throughout the world due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, Bob Iger is beginning to picture what Disney theme parks could look like after the pandemic.

In an interview with American financial newspaper Barron’s, the Disney Chairman and former CEO explained that in order for things to return to “some semblance of normal,” park visitors will have to feel safe.

“Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, and more restrictions,” Iger said.

“Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks” Iger said “It could be that at some point we add a component of that, that takes people’s temperatures”.

Iger also added that he and the team at The Walt Disney Company are “very carefully” studying China’s actions in terms of the country’s return to normalcy.

“One of the things that’s obvious is they’ve conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health,” Iger said. 

“You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there — and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen — without having your temperature taken.” continued Iger.

Iger says the Coronavirus Pandemic is the “biggest business interruption” The Walt Disney Company has faced, but he remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of the business. 

“We know when it ends that we will have things for the public to enjoy and to escape to, maybe in ways they will appreciate more than they ever have,” Iger said.

Disneyland Paris Threatens Temporary Cast Members With Contract Termination And Blacklisting.

With the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption throughout the world, Disneyland Paris has been forced to closed until further notice, with Disney agreeing to pay furloughed Cast Members until 19th April 2020.

But according to newspaper reports Disneyland Paris has been threatening Temporary Cast Members with early contract termination and blacklisting in an attempt to cut costs.

French newspaper Le Monde has published accusations that the Human Resources Department at Disneyland Paris are threatening temporary Cast Members with blacklisting and early contract termination in an attempt to force Cast Members to agree to a mutual contract breach.

The temporary Cast Members being targeted are amongst the 350 actors, dancers, stunt performers and technical crew that were hired for the resorts Marvel Season of Super Heroes, the Frozen Celebration, Stark Expo, and the Mickey and the Magician show.

Le Monde reports that the temporary Cast Members received an e-mail on 1st April 2020 requesting that they agree to “an amicable break” in their “employment contract.” Citing “exceptional circumstances”. 

Disneyland Paris proposed “the early termination by mutual agreement” of their “employment contract from April 1, 2020.” Adding pressure, these Cast Members had very little time to consider their options, as the email requested them to “please confirm agreement before April 2, 2020.”

The Cast Members contacted their unions for assistance and the General Confederation of Labour, one of the restorts largest trade unions recommended refusal of the   unilateral break demanded by Disneyland Paris.  

A majority of the Cast Members agreed, and rejected Disney’s proposal.

Before this, Disney allegedly attempted to threaten Cast Members with blacklisting.

A Cast Member named Jean told Le Monde “Before this e-mail, four days ago, many of us  received telephone calls from the Casting Department at Disneyland Paris to find out if they were willing to break their contract on their own,” adding that they said “If you refuse, you will be blacklisted at Disney!”

This was a complete change in approach from Disneyland Paris, according to Jean. “Disney had offered to put us in partial unemployment from 1st April”. This was a policy that was requested at a meeting of the resort’s Conseil Social et Économique (CSE), or Social and Economic Council on 29th March by the resort’s 15,000 Cast Members. Supported by the French government, the cast members were set to receive 84% of their net salary, with Disneyland Paris paying the balance, but only through to 19th April.

The Cast Members of the canceled shows were prepared to accept these partial unemployment measures, even if it would reduce their number of hours, which would be a serious blow to them, as to receive French state benefits, each artist must work a minimum of 507 hours over a period of one year.

With a large number of the temporary Cast Members refusing Disney’s offer, the resorts management could force the agreement through “without waiting.” There is a possibility that Disneyland Paris could cite “a case of force majeure,” or a chance occurrence, a legal term which would allow the company “to fire us without our consent,” Jean noted.

By doing that, the Cast Members would receive the full amount they’re owed through to the end of their contracts, which expire in June, but Disney could refuse to validate their hours, putting their status as temporary workers and state benefits at risk.

In addition, these artists working for Disney would likely lose their homes there, as some are foreigners and provincials living in Paris and “are housed in Disney Cast Member residences,” Jean claimed.

This puts the foreign Cast Members in a very difficult situation as due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic many countries have closed their borders and numerous airlines are grounded, therefore stranding them in France with nowhere to live and no income.

Disneyland Paris has been contacted for comment.

Source: Le Monde

Disney Theme Park Annual Pass Tickets Monthly Payments Suspended

The Walt Disney Company has announced that they are temporary suspending the monthly payments for Annual Pass Tickets for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in California with Annual Passholders who pay monthly no longer having to do so.

Monthly payments will restart again once the theme parks reopen. Those who pay annually for their Annual Pass Tickets will be able to extend the expiry date of their Annual Passes by the duration the parks remain closed.

Disney To Furlough Employees

The Walt Disney Company has said it would begin to furlough employees “whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time” amid widespread business closures, in the latest sign of the harsh economic fallout from global coronavirus crisis.  The furloughing process will begin on 19 April 2020.

The impact is expected to be significant. Disney’s parks and resorts employ more than 170,000 people, many of whom are part time.

Those affected by the program will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period, Disney said. The company also promised full healthcare benefits, and will cover the cost of employee premiums.

Disney’s  announcement does not include union members, who are covered by collective bargaining agreements. 

Disneyland Paris To Remain Closed Until Further Notice.

Disneyland Paris has announced today (30 March 2020) that as a result of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic the resort will remain closed until further notice.

Further information about the unpresidented shutdown of Disneyland Paris can be found the on the resorts website: https://www.disneylandparis.com/en-gb/guest-services/exceptional-measures-booking/.

Disneyland Paris has confirmed that Cast Members will continue to receive their salaries up to and including 19 April 2020.

From the 20 April 2020, Euro Disney SCA will cease paying the wages of its 6,500 Cast Members. The move will make Cast Members furloughed, and will enable them to apply for financial assistance from the French government in the form of unemployment benefit.

Following the global closure of all Disney’s theme parks, the company has turned to the bond markets in both the United States and Canada for financial support to the value of $7.3 billion to sure up its balance sheet.

Analysts are predicting that The Walt Disney Company could make a loss of around $4.3 billion if the global Disney theme park shut down continues.

Disneyland Paris Cast Members To Become Partially Unemployed.

The owners and operators of Disneyland Paris – Euro Disney SCA have informed the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) that  Disneyland Paris Cast Members will be made ‘Partially Unemployed’ from 1 April 2020 to 31 May 2020 due to the closure of the resort because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.


During the furloughing period Cast Members will be entitled to receive unemployment benefits from the French state.

Management has made it clear to the CFDT, which is one of the largest trade unions at Disneyland Paris that the duration of the ‘partial unemployment’ can be shortened if the health situation in France improves and the government lifts its COVID-19 preventive restrictions.

Disneynature’s Film Elephant To Be Narrated By Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex.

The Walt Disney Company has announced that Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex has narrated a new Disneynature documentary film entitled Elephant.

The documentary follows a elephant family’s extraordinary 1,000 mile journey across Africa on an adventure that will change their lives.

The role is Meghan’s first performance since she gave up her acting career to marry Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

Disneynature’s Elephant, will be released on 3 April 2020 on Disney’s streaming service Disney+.

Disney+ Launch In France Delayed At Governments Request.

Disney+ will not be launching in France tomorrow (24th March 2020) at the request of the French government.

Disney’s new streaming service has now been pushed back to launch in France on 7th April 2020. Disney+ will still launch in the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy on 24th March 2020.

The reason for the delay is to protect the French internet services from overloading. With many people working from home, it is putting an extreme strain on the country’s broadband networks.

In a statement, Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International at the Walt Disney Company said, “In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney+, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25% in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th.”

He continued: “To our French fans, the Disney+ service is coming, but at the request of the French government, we have agreed to postpone the launch until Tuesday, 7 April 2020.”

The Disney+ launch has also been delayed in India where it was scheduled to launch as part of “Disney+ Hotstar” on 29th March 2020, but has been postponed to a later date.

Disney Village Restaurant Chain Vapiano Reports ‘Cash Flow Insolvency’.

German restaurant chain Vapiano SE who have a restaurant in the Disney Village at Disneyland Paris announced today (Friday 20 March 2020) that it was insolvent and would apply for government assistance to avoid formally filing for insolvency, blaming the coronavirus crisis for a drop in sales.

Under German insolvency law, management has three weeks to evaluate whether full insolvency proceedings can still be averted.

“Due to the drastic decline in net sales and revenues, an insolvency reason in the form of cash flow insolvency for Vapiano SE has occurred as of today,” the company said.

Vapiano’s 55 German restaurants were closed yesterday evening, and almost all of the chain’s more than 230 outlets are now closed, the restaurant chain said in a regulatory statement.