The Disney World parks have now reopened, but some attractions and entertainment offerings are still unavailable, including several shows which involve live performers.
While Disney had planned to call performers back for rehearsals ahead of the park reopenings, the Actor’s Equity Association unanimously rejected Walt Disney World’s plan for the safety of its members.
However, it appears that the impasse has drawn to a close. Kate Shindle, President of Actors’ Equity Association, has said, “With the news that Disney will make testing available for Equity performers and others in the park, I’m happy to announce that Equity’s executive committee has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return.”
While the equity has been able to come to an understanding with the company, Disney has shared that, “We have offered the location to help with community testing. The Florida Divison of Emergency Management will operate the location which will be available to Cast Members and their immediate families as well as Florida residents. Any suggestion that this has been done as a result of any one union is unfounded.”
So where is this new testing site? Well, testing is currently available for Disney World Cast Members, family members, and Flordia Residents at Disney’s main gate office complex near Animal Kingdom. The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the testing locations. The test is a self-administered nasal swab which allows users to swab inside their vehicle under the supervision of trained medical personnel. Results are then delivered within three to five business days.
And how does the union agreement impact you? Well, equity performers represent about 750 Cast Members, many of whom perform in stage productions around the Resort. And this could potentially mean the return of shows like Festival of the Lion King, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, and Finding Nemo The Musical.
No dates have been announced yet for the resumption of actor-staffed productions in Disney World, but we’ll continue to keep an eye out for any additional updates!
Which Disney World stage production is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!