Home Disney News Walt Disney World Wants to Reopen with Live Stage Shows, Union Disagrees

Walt Disney World Wants to Reopen with Live Stage Shows, Union Disagrees

Walt Disney World Wants to Reopen with Live Stage Shows, Union Disagrees
Credit: Disney

We are all going to miss a lot of the aspects of Disney Parks that make them so magical – live stage shows being one of them. We are now learning that Disney would like to reopen with stage shows. However, the union which represents such Cast Members disagrees.

No character meals, character meets, firework shows, or dessert parties. Yes, things are looking pretty bare for the reopening of Walt Disney World, which is just two weeks away!

Of the many aspects of the Disney Park experience that will be missing come July 11, one I will especially miss is the live stage shows. Think Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Little Mermaid, Festival of the Lion, and more.

They are a fun way to experience the characters in a new way and have a little break from the attraction riding and character meeting because you are usually sitting in an air-conditioned room!

These shows are a very large part of the experience that separates Disney World from other theme parks. Disney World is actually eager to bring them back, but the Actor’s Equity Association disagrees.

According to Orlano WFTV:

“I would actually say most of our people are eager to get back to work,” said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents more than 700 singers, actors, dancers and stage managers who help put together shows ad Walt Disney World.

“They’re not all being called back right away, but we have to get this right, hopefully before anybody goes back.”

The union previously hired an epidemiologist to evaluate safety protocols and make recommendations about safety for stage productions. Among those safety protocols would be regular extensive testing and the need for a small number of cases in order to proceed with sending Cast Members back to work.

Disney’s full statement reads:

“As we reopen our theme parks, we would like to include live stage shows. We have heard from many cast members that they are eager to return; however, the Actors’ Equity Association has not agreed to the terms of the recall impacting our ability to invite these cast members back at this time.

The health and well-being of our cast members and guests is an important priority for us, and our theme park reopening plan has been approved by county and state officials.”

Photo courtesy of Disney (Gene Duncan, photographer)

These stage shows are a very fun part of the experience for my family and I at the parks. I hope Disney and the Actor’s Equity Association can come to an agreement that keeps Cast Members healthy.

Would you like to see the live stage shows come back to Disney World? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

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  1. I don’t think the unions main concern is for the guests (nor should it be) but rather for the actors on stage being so close together, not being able to wear protective masks and with the singing being an additional risk to spread the virus. Maybe they could wear transparent masks, like sign language interpreters do or not having them opening their mouths, just playing all the songs and dialoge from tape. If you sit further back, you probably can’t tell anyways if they move their mouths.

    For the guests it wouldn’t be a problem to make sure that parties are sat apart from each other.

  2. I def agree with the union. I love Beauty and the Beast and Fantasmic but they draw huge crowds in a small area. Honestly they should delay opening period right now. I love Disney but its just not safe right now.

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