For the past several weeks the local Actors Union has been in dispute with Walt Disney World, requesting that Disney require face masks and regular COVID-19 testing for all performers, which were measures that Disney continued to push back on for several weeks, even going as debuting new shows to replace the ones that formerly featured equity actors.
However, earlier this week Disney announced that a new COVID-19 testing site will be opening up on Walt Disney World property at Disney's Maingate office complex, which is located near Disney's Animal Kingdom.
This new testing site will offer free testing to employees and their family members as well as the community at large, and Cast Members can register for a test at disneycovid19test.com, and the public can register at doineedacovid19test.com.
The testing site will be open beginning today, and lists its operating hours from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Florida Division of Emergency Management will handle operations at the site, and the test given will be self-administered, with results becoming available 3-5 days after testing.
How does this affect the dispute with the actors' union?
Now that Disney is providing testing for all employees, including for Equity actors within Walt Disney World the union has announced that its executive committee has signed off on an agreement with Disney that would allow these Cast Members to return to work at shows like Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, Finding Nemo: The Musical, Festival of the Lion King and more.
However, Disney quickly released its won statement, alluding to the dispute with the union and pushing back on the idea that the testing location was in response to any specific demands, saying “We have offered the location to help with community testing and any suggestion that this has been done as a result of any one union is unfounded. The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the location which is available to Cast Members and their immediate families as well as Florida residents. Our actions support all Cast and our community at large."