DeSantis Issues Controversial Ban: Disney Cast Members Restricted from Florida

Cast Member Main Street USA
Credit: Disney

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that could impact hundreds of homeless Walt Disney World Resort cast members.

As of October 1, 2024, homeless Floridians are banned from camping or sleeping in public places. The law also outlines additional mental health services, rehabilitation programs, and a plan for approved camping sites where alcohol and drugs would be banned.

“It will help maintain and ensure that Florida streets are clean and Florida streets are safe for our residents,” DeSantis said.

Disney World Cast Members hold pin boards

Credit: Disney

“This bill will not eliminate homelessness. But it is a start,” Republican state Representative Sam Garrison said. “And it states clearly that in Florida, our public spaces are worth fighting for.”

Politicians who voted against the bill say it’s a thinly veiled attempt to hide the homeless community from tourists and more affluent residents.

“This bill does not and it will not address the more pressing and root cause of homelessness,” said Democratic state Senator Shevrin Jones. “We are literally reshuffling the visibility of unhoused individuals with no exit strategy for people who are experiencing homelessness.”

Cast Member Unions Vote

Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

The law also allows residents, business owners, and the state attorney general to file lawsuits against communities that would enable unhoused residents to sleep or camp on public property. This provision takes effect next year.

Unlike regulations from the DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board, the newest Florida law doesn’t directly target Walt Disney World Resort. However, it will undoubtedly impact some of the Central Florida theme park industry’s most vulnerable.

Guests aren’t likely to spot an unhoused person at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, or Disney Resort hotels. But many Disney Park cast members suffer in plain sight, struggling to support their families. Hundreds report living in their cars, delaying medical care, skipping meals, and resorting to sex work to survive.

A Cast Member in VIP Tour guide costume high fiving a kid and his father in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

According to one survey, roughly ten percent of full-time Magic Kingdom Park cast members are homeless. One former unhoused Disney cast member called The Walt Disney Company’s negotiations with struggling employees “dismal.”

“Walt Disney World is built off the backs of these low-wage workers,” the former Disney cast member said. She urged employees and guests to support unions, arguing that “every single one of us who doesn’t speak out or try and help in any way is contributing to the problem.”

What do you think of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s new law targeting the unhoused community? 

This post DeSantis Issues Controversial Ban: Disney Cast Members Restricted from Florida appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Jess Colopy

Jess Colopy is a Disney College Program alum and kid-at-heart. When she’s not furiously typing in a coffee shop, you can find her on the hunt for the newest Stitch pin.


  1. Disney World is not only the reason the cost of living is so high in Orlando, but,they charge more than anybody else to stay on property. How dare they complain about what the state is doing! If Disney really wanted to change things, they would lower their prices to something way more reasonable. Or they could provide free housing for all full time employees and their families.

  2. Disney and desantis should both be ashamed of themselves! Desantis because he’s desantis, he has nothing better to do than to try to hurt marginalized people! He’s a nasty little man with a chip on his shoulder and everyone else is going to pay the price! Disney should be ashamed because if their workers make so little that they are homeless, then they aren’t paying them enough. The workers should unionize, and Disney needs to come off of some of those major profits. Just like all the other big corporations, they make record profits while their workers can’t afford to live!

  3. I thought Florida was the perfect place to to live according to the governor.
    Do you really thing that every job a company has pays enough to support a family? Especially part time jobs.
    When looking for a job at any company one needs to know if the job will maintain a way of live. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always fix the problem.
    DeSantis has a chip on his shoulders for Disney. If he didn’t than people would not complain so much about the price.
    People complain about inflation and Disney and other companies in America are giving the screws to the people keeping inflation going. Don’t go to Disney or other companies giving the screws to the people till they lower their price.
    Thank you and God Bless America.

  4. Maybe Disney should pay their workers more? I don’t see Disney allowing homeless people to camp out on their property.

  5. The price to visit the Disney properties is outrageous. The fact that anyone employed by Disney is homeless proves how greedy the “upper crust” of the corporation is and how little they care about their employees. Not one single person working for this company should be receiving a less than livable wage. Staff members are being used as prostitutes so their pimp (Disney execs) can keep living the high life. Disney isn’t for the common person to enjoy. It’s just an avenue of glitz to pay for million-dollar homes, private planes, expensive vacations, while their workers struggle to stay alive from day to day. It is shameful, but the powers-that-be have no problem using and abusing employees as long as they continue to stuff their bank accounts. As far as DeSantis goes, he’s a petty little man who would have us all think that he can simply hide the homeless and the problem disappears. Hey! Here’s an idea! How about the governor, the other overpaid politicians in Florida, the Disney execs, and corporate CEOs buy a few decent homes to house the homeless and help them out by employing them or finding them jobs which will support life? How about the wealthiest help out the poorest? When is the last time a Disney exec, DeSantis, Scott, or any other CEO millionaire in the state bought groceries for a family? When is the last time any of them stepped up and paid rent for those struggling to keep from being homeless? What exactly have any of them done to actually help anybody other than themselves? And, I don’t mean by using our tax dollars. I mean they should help using their own personal money!

  6. Disney has sp much money that they should build housing for their employees to live based on their incomes. Come on Disney,,,when I first started going to Disney it cost me 14.95 to buy the booklet of coupons for all the rides. So we all know they have the money.

  7. Angela Sue McNamara


  8. Before Disney was built it was a swamp and jungle. The then Florida government gave the company a tax break. Disney sunk a lot of money into a swamp. When you got off the plane in Orlando you walked out to see orange venders hocking their wares. I4 didn’t exist and orange groves everywhere. I give Disney credit for what they created. As for price of a ticket I don’t like how high it is but as some of you people say Disney needs to pay more to their employees. As for homeless there are homeless snow birds. Yes, they come to Florida when it gets cold up north and then go back in spring. I met a couple a while back.

  9. My city has gone into the homeless camps, offered them help places to live, ask them what they need so they won’t be homeless. The answer they get as we don’t need anything we want to stay homeless. Disney has plenty of property where they can build housing for their employees there’s no reason they shouldn’t or pay livable wage. As for this bill about banning camping in public places I wholeheartedly agree all you have to do is look at California, it is horrid out there.

  10. Resorting to sex work? ….So I can wrangle a 3some with pocahontas, stitch, and cruelly de ville? Awesome maybe they need to change their motto a little to “the happy ending place on earth”

  11. With all the land that Disney has, why don’t they build some low income housing for their employees. I’m sure that would help them keep employees , and morale would sure go up and that would make it ‘The happiest place on earth ‘ for them .

  12. Originally from Atlanta, I once worked in an area with many homeless people. I found there are those who refuse to go to a shelter and prefer their life where they can panhandle enough for drugs or alcohol and call it a day. There were also those who needed to be in a mental facility but once their insurance had paid all that it would, they ended up on the streets. Their families didn’t want to deal with them. There are those who would like to rise above and I think churches should be instrumental in that.

  13. What about people with Narcolepsy that may experience cataplexy or sleep attacks at any moment in public? Those who wish to avoid driving under the influence or sleepy driving as well? Also Disney makes so much income, they should provide their own housing for their employees.

  14. i know a girl (not anymore i guess) who got a job right out of two years of college at Disney preparing overpriced food at one of the restaurants. she worked there 20 years AND NEVER GOT A RAISE

  15. Did anyone read this part?
    The law also outlines additional mental health services, rehabilitation programs, and a plan for approved camping sites where alcohol and drugs would be banned.

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