Disneyland Employees Protest Outside Shuttered Park Over Proposed Reopening Conditions

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images
A makeshift Mikey Mouse on top of a car circles around Disneyland Resort calling for higher safety standards before its reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic in Anaheim, California on June 27,

A number of cars — all honking horns — were decorated with messages, according to video posted on social media.

Disneyland Resort employees protested on Saturday at the shuttered theme park over concerns about proposed conditions when the Anaheim destination reopens. 

The resort has been closed since mid-March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, the company made moves in recent weeks to reopen Disneyland, its initial target date for the theme park portions being July 17, which marks the 65th anniversary of its grand opening. That plan fell through when Disney said the state would not be able to offer safety guidelines in time. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are also spiking in California and around the country. "The governor appreciates Disney’s responsiveness to his concerns about reopening amid the recent increases in COVID-19 infections across many Southern California counties," said Gov. Gavin Newsom's spokesman on Wednesday. 

Even before the reopen was postponed indefinitely, Disney was in the middle of a public back-and-forth with a number of the park's unions over health and safety conditions. And while numerous unions have come to an agreement ("We have had positive discussions and are very pleased to have signed agreements from 20 union affiliates, including the Master Services Council which represents more than 11,000 of our cast members," Disney said Wednesday), there are other unions who find the conditions unacceptable.

On Saturday, members of those groups displayed their frustration via a caravan protest circling the closed park. A number of cars — all honking horns — were decorated with messages, according to video posted on social media. One truck hauled a large Mickey Mouse statue wearing a face-covering. 

The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions sent an open letter last week to Newsom expressing their concern for both workers and would-be park guests. The CRLU, which is made up of a dozen Disneyland unions, representing approximately 17,000 service members, told Newsom in its letter, "Unfortunately, despite intensive talks with the company, we are not yet convinced that it is safe to reopen the parks on Disney’s rapid timetable."

Disney still plans to reopen its Downtown Disney shopping and dining district, part of the Disneyland Resort, July 9.