5 things you need to know about the Disneyland Paris strikes (June 2023)
By Helen Wright
You may have seen growing social media coverage of employee and cast member strikes at Disneyland Paris this month. What started as a small protest by Disneyland Paris staff earlier this year has escalated into protests within the park leading to the cancellation of popular attractions, shows and parades at very short notice. If you have a trip to Disneyland Paris booked and it can’t be cancelled or moved, don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy the Disney magic but you may experience some differences. Here is everything you need to know about the Disneyland Paris strikes in 2023.
Cover image: Flickr
What’s all this about Disneyland Paris strikes and protests?
The biggest action and disruption so far was on June 6 and its not expected that protests will escalate, but nothing is certain. Disneyland Paris President Natacha Rafalski was reported to have told employees that negotiations could not be opened until August and that the resort’s profits could not sustain pay rises.
Disneyland Paris were informed of the industrial action by unions ahead of time and the parks have remained open. However, some attractions were closed and select shows and parades were cancelled without notice.
Some social media accounts and media outlets are suggesting you postpone a trip to Disneyland Paris until issues are resolved, but many flights, hotels and Eurostar tickets are non-refundable, as well as other travel plans that are likely to have been booked in advance. If this applies to you and you think your trip will be affected by the Disneyland Paris strikes, don’t panic. Here are the five main things you need to know:
1. You will get advance notice of any industry strikes happening at Disneyland Paris
The workers union in France is required to notify emplyers of srike action 48-hours or more before the protest. This means you will likely know before your trip if there is industrial action at Disneyland Paris.
Local media in France are reporting that it’s very rare for visitors to experience strikes at Disneyland Paris and it’s almost unheard of for such a large protest of this scale. Despite the fact that over 1000 employees took to main street to campaign for better pay, many guests did not see the crowd in the park and said their time at Disneyland Paris was not affected. It’s worth noting that all action within Disney parks have been peaceful protests. Disneyland Paris is 140 acres inside and welcomes an average 30,000 guests every day, so it’s likely you won’t even pass them.
There are two main parks at Disneyland Paris: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, if you don’t want to cross paths with the striking employees, you could always hop over to the other park and enjoy the attractions, characters, restaurants, and shops there. Disneyland Paris have also tweeted that Disneyland Paris hotels remain fully operational.
2. Keep an eye on the official Disneyland app
Reports from guests at Disneyland Paris during the strikes this week complained that rides and attractions were closed as a result of the disruption. If you are visiting the park in the upcoming weeks, keep an eye on the official Disneyland Paris app and you will be able to see where attractions are temporarily closed and see the active queue time for each attraction. Use this to navigate away from busy areas and enjoy a different side of the park. The app will also show where scheduled shows or parades are cancelled or delayed. Our guide to Disneyland Paris shows how best to navigate the parks and make excellent use of the app.
3. Parades and shows can be cancelled anyway
It’s worth noting that shows and parades (in particular the Disney D Light drone show) are not guaranteed to go ahead with many factors at play, including guest safety, windspeed and direction or inclement weather. Of course, the incredible night-time spectaculars are some of the most anticipated moments of the Disney park experience, but arrive with the knowledge that things can and do go wrong to lessen the negative effect on your trip. It’s disappointing, yes, but not a deal breaker.
After multiple visits to Disney Parks around the world, I always encourage people not to focus on one main element. There is so much to see and do and yes – so much Disney Magic – that it’s unlikely that one small setback will affect your whole experience. Remember, also, that children will probably not notice the protest as anything out of the ordinary. For many, it will be their first theme park experience and they won’t know any different! Children will only see negative aspects if the grown-ups around them are affected by them. Your children will have a wonderful time regardless of certain elements being non-operational. They will love Disneyland and won’t know what they are missing – unless you tell them.
4. The Disney magic is still there
Disney are very protective of their brand and their guests, so rest assured they will be doing everything to ensure visitors suffer minimum disruption. Riding attractions and ticking pre-planned boxes is not as important as your child’s face when they meet Mickey Mouse or Cinderella or when they dance to the music, Mickey bar in hand, high on life. The simple joys of Disney is where the real magic lies. Try to absorb some of the beauty of the parks as you wander around in the sunshine (Disneyland Park in particular is a very beautiful park). Get your family selfie in front of the castle and make your own, unique memories of Disney.
5. Remember cast members are people
Every Disney cast member I have ever met is the most passionate Disney fan. The strikes at Disneyland Paris aren’t designed to spoil your holiday, but everyone in a diplomatic country is entitled to take industrial action against their employer. Disney is no exception. The Walt Disney Company employees 220,000 people worldwide so somewhere along the way, things will get complicated. If you disagree with the protest, try to restrain from being aggressive or vocal about it in front of your family or other guests. That way the peaceful protest can pass quickly and without drama and you can focus on being in the Disney bubble! That’s what it’s about, after all!
Find out more about planning a trip to Disneyland Paris
To find out more about changing your ticket dates or request a refund, contact Disneyland Paris via the Disney website. If you purchased tickets via attractiontickets.com, go directly to their official website for advice.
You can follow Twitter updates from Disneyland Paris here
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