Disney World workers rally for wage hike as company plans spending increase

Disney, unions in labor negotiations for a new contract

Holiday decor arrives at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park on Nov. 1, 2022 (Landon McReynolds, WKMG)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Labor unions representing thousands of Walt Disney World workers rallied Wednesday afternoon as they negotiate with the company.

The rally with the Service Trades Council Union took place along U.S. 192 at Maingate Lane in Kissimmee.

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The unions, which represent nearly 42,000 cast members, are in negotiations this week with the Walt Disney Company. The current contract expired on Oct. 1. The unions say there are still concerns about wage increases, health care costs, child bonding leave, retirement and more.

The contract negotiations come as Disney filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with plans to increase spending on capital expenditures.

The annual report filed with the SEC Tuesday said the Walt Disney Company planned to spend $6.7 billion in the 2023 fiscal year on capital expenditures for its Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products divisions.

That’s an increase from the 2022 fiscal year, when Disney planned to spend $6.1 billion, but spent $4.9 billion.

Disney says capital expenditure money in the theme park division is primarily used for theme park and resort expansion, new attractions, cruise ships, capital improvements and systems infrastructure. Last year the money was used to expand Disney Cruise Lines.

Labor expenses are covered under operating costs.

Disney has several attractions opening at Walt Disney World in the coming year, including the Tron Lightcycle/Run coaster at Magic Kingdom park, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at Epcot.

Disney is also in the midst of a major redesign for Splash Mountain at Disney World and Disneyland, called “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” which is expected to open in 2024.

Other shows and attractions were also announced during the D23 Expo earlier this year.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.