Disneyland employees struggling to keep up with cost of living

Iconic image of Disneyland. Photo: jcamilobernal, Bigstock

Disneyland is meant to be the happiest place on earth, however many Disneyland employees are finding that it might in fact be the exact opposite.

A new report has revealed that 73% of Disneyland employees “do not earn enough money to cover basic expenses every month”.

Much of the reasoning was placed behind the long commutes to and from the amusement park and said that they had trouble paying rent and struggled to afford standard health care.

The results of the 5000 person survey are now having an impact with a collection of eleven Disneyland union groups saying that a rise in the wage of employees to US$20 an hour is necessary to help cover the high cost of living around Orange County.

Despite the report saying that many of the employees feel underpaid, undervalued and disrespected as workers of the park, 80% have also said that they are proud of their work.

It is currently reported that more than three quarters of Disneyland employees, also known as cast members, are being paid less than US$15 an hour.

Despite the Orange County park seeing a steady rise in profits from 2000 to 2017, the park has reduced its hourly wage for workers. In 2000 workers would receive US$15.80 an hour but this has dropped significantly to US$13.36 in 2017 – almost a US$7 decrease in hourly wage accounting for inflation in this time.

This decrease in pay is likely to cost workers more than US$10,000 a year.

One employee said that she had been working for Disney for 16 years and was still not “making enough money to pay bills”.

Another employee also noted that park tickets, food and merchandise had all gone up in price over the 17 year time period and employees were still struggling to get by as a result of none or limited increases in pay.

A spokeswoman from Disneyland said that the average annual wage paid for full time employees on an hourly wage was roughly US$37,000.

She said that they do recognise that those living in Southern California are likely to experience socio-economic challenges however “we take pride in our employment experience”.

Ms Brown continued to say that the survey was “inaccurate and unscientific” and was a politically motivated survey do that unions could gain some power. She finished by saying that the survey “not reflect the overwhelming majority”.