Round-up: What's up with the strikes at Disneyland Paris?

June 8, 2023, 6:40 PM · This week, I am reviving our "Blog Flume" feature, in which we offer a round-up of links to themed entertainment news from around the Web that we haven't gotten around to covering yet here on Theme Park Insider. I have two stories for you here, this week.

Cast members at the Disneyland Paris Resort have been disrupting operations recently through a series of strikes. For American readers, these are not the type of strikes that we likely are accustomed to. Workers are not walking out en masse, closing the parks until a new contract is in place, as the Writers Guild of America has done to the TV and movie industries right now. Instead, small groups of cast members are either walking off the job or staging sit-ins to block select entertainment, such as parades, from running. The intent is not to shut down the park so much as to disrupt it.

How are the workers getting away with this? Stunts like these would get U.S. workers fired instantly. Well, as Lumiere famously said, "this is France." Disneyland Paris cast members have a contract that provides pay, benefits and job security that many American hospitality workers would love to have. But inflation is destroying cast members' buying power, and in France, if your household budget is hurting, walking off the job and protesting is waaaay higher on your to-do for dealing with that than it is in America.

Again, why would workers protest when they have what many in America would consider a good deal? Maybe it's worth flipping the cause and effect there. Perhaps workers in France have those deals because they're so willing to walk off the job and protest when stuck in situations that many American workers would just go ahead and accept?

For some background and an update on the situation at Disneyland Paris, check out Forbes' Why The Strikes At Disneyland Paris Are Out Of Its Control.

In the meantime, if you were planning a visit to Disneyland Paris this summer, a re-route to Parc Asterix, Europa-Park, Phantasialand, or PortAventura might be worth considering, instead. (Stay tuned for coverage from Europa-Park and PortAventura in the weeks ahead here on Theme Park Insider.)

Switching our focus across the Atlantic, as a former Coloradan, one of the attractions openings I most have been anticipating this year has been the return of Denver's Casa Bonita. Made famous by an episode of "South Park," Casa Bonita has been a camp favorite for generations of Coloradans, for its themed dining rooms, man-made caves, puppet shows, and indoor cliff divers.

But not for its food, of course. Casa Bonita was infamous for widely-hated food. Back when I edited the late Rocky Mountain News' website, Casa Bonita took over the bottom spot in our online reader ratings for restaurants when I introduced that feature, and it never once moved from that position. But many people still loved the place for the experience, in spite of the food.

When Casa Bonita failed during the pandemic, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone - who are Colorado natives - bought the place and proceeded to spend "infinity dollars" renovating it. The hired a James Beard Award-nominated chef to revamp the menu and now are ready to reopen. The New York Times detailed what visitors will find, as well as the process taken to get there, in The Refries That Bind: A Cavernous Cantina Returns, Cliff Divers and All.

If you are in the Denver area and manage to get in, please - I beg you - post a full report to the Theme Park Insider Discussion Forum! Or, if you have photos and video, email it to me, and I will post it to the front page.

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Replies (6)

June 9, 2023 at 11:13 AM

Fun fact - the DLR strikes started with character CMs protesting over how a CM playing Tiana was given significantly better pay than other character CMs. And it just spread from there...

June 9, 2023 at 12:15 PM

I always told myself I would go to Casa Bonita if ever in Denver just because of that South Park episode. I never realized the food wasn't good but if the new one has good food then will definitely have to check it out!

June 9, 2023 at 12:38 PM

Disney should roll with the punches and unveil a new "Newsies: Seize the Day--Strike!" parade in DLP.

June 9, 2023 at 3:12 PM

They are striking due to the fact that Disneyland Park hasnt opened up a major new attraction in 20+ years.

June 9, 2023 at 4:28 PM

OMG, a strike that disrupts a performance of Newsies is the meta-entertainment that I didn't know I needed until you suggested it. Well played.

June 14, 2023 at 8:32 AM

But why or how can they strike like that at Disneyland Paris vs the US?

If (and I know thats a big IF) US CMs can strike, Disney would not allow it in the middle of the park. Is it because of their special status city state thingy?

Wouldn't that be ironic, DeSantis takes away this right and somehow ends up being pro union (something he is most definitely not)

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