Cast Members create happiness every single day for Guests visiting “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” and as part of their recognition from the Walt Disney Company for all that they do, they are entitled to some very valuable discounts. While the latest Cast Member-exclusive savings comes with a greater percentage off merchandise, Cast are also entitled to complimentary theme park admission (with blockout dates), as well as savings on Disney Resorts, cruises, dining, and more.
Half-off merchandise is exciting news for Cast Members who have had their eye on certain Disney items that will now be more affordable for them to purchase, but we would be amiss to share news of the special savings without noting the timing….
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The new merchandise discount, which was confirmed to Disney Tips by a Cast Member, offers a 50% savings on merchandise at Disney Parks through March 7, 2023, and on shopDisney through February 26, 2023.
Contract negotiations for Disney World Cast Members, however, have been ongoing, with no resolution found as of this writing between unions that are pushing for higher wages and the pay rates that Disney is willing to offer. The latest round of negotiations, which the company had rejected, pushed for an $18 and eventually $20 per hour wage for Cast Members. Currently Disney Cast Members have a starting base pay of $15 per hour.
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On top of this, Disney’s closest competitor Universal Orlando, recently increased wages for its Team Members to $17 per hour. With the cost of living continuing to rise in the Orlando area, along with inflation, many Cast Members are struggling to make ends meet.
As a result, excitement over the merchandise discount is a welcome savings for some but a reminder for others that Cast Members would prefer a living wage to more discounts for others. Along with in-person demonstrations, several petitions and social media posts have continued to circulate calling for a living wage for Disney Cast Members.
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We at Disney Tips will continue to monitor news regarding Cast Member wage negotiations at Walt Disney World, and will report back as new developments are made.