There are right ways and wrong ways to do things. Lately Disney has been showing us many ways NOT to do things. This time in the way you handle long time Cast Members.
According to 21 year Disney veteran, Mick Ayres, he and his dog were fired from Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, after 20 months of being told they were coming back! All while Ayres claims he didn’t violate his contract by working at other locations, while he took Disney at their word and waited. Now he’s been terminated.
Not only that, they read him a Disney form letter in a five minute phone call. After all that time and loyalty he got a “blunt” five-minute phone call from an alleged “friend” just doing their job. Seems to me a friend wouldn’t be so blunt, but hey.
Disney didn’t pay the guy for months, however they did pay for the dog’s vet bills and grooming. How generous of them, I mean the CFO doesn’t get multi-million dollar bonuses out of thin air. Got to raise prices and make cuts where they can.
“Wow, do we love you guys! Thank you for the wonderful medicine of your words, thoughts, calls, letters, and WOW…the petition!
At the very least, Shadow and I should fill you in about events that have brought us all to this point.
For the record, throughout these past 20 months of Covid, the Resort has consistently told us, “We can’t wait to have you and Shadow back. We’re just waiting on Orlando to bring all the entertainers back at once”. Then last week, in a 5 minute phone call from a Resort admin, I was bluntly read a very short letter that revealed we were not coming back at all. I repeatedly asked for anexplanation but was only given silence. To be fair, the admin is a friend whom Shadow and I love as much as we love you guys; he was obviously uncomfortable and hated being the harbinger. Still, our 21-year career at the Resort was over.
I am certainly hurt and confused (but NOT bitter, please know that). The entertainment industry as a whole was nearly wiped out from the overreaching Covid restrictions. Trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than being declared “nonessential” by people as nonessential as overeaching politicians. But I never dreamed that Disney would willingly slap that label on Shadow and B’lou or any of their equally beloved entertainers around the world.
To me, the Arts are as essential to being human as breathing, eating, and sleeping.
Over these past 20 months, to their credit, Disney fully honored Shadow’s portion of ourmutual performance contract by continuing to pay the vet and groomer for Shadow’s care. However, though I received no monetary compensations from Disney since I was not performing at the Resort, I still honored the terms of our contract that put limits on any off-property performances. So, my self-renewing contract was still active over this entire period because Disney and I were still honoring it’s terms. Therefore, in full faith and confidence, I thoroughly believed them when told we were coming back.
If your beautiful and passionate petition, the phone calls, e-mails, and letters work–and we are asked to return–Shadow and I would do so in a heartbeat! Shadow is fine. I am fine. My health is balanced. God still has me in His grip. There is still plenty of magic left to share.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for everything! If Shadow and I are brought back ‘home’, it is solely because of you and what you have started here.
Much love to you all. We have always felt like part of your families–but more so now than ever.
Shadow says “Woof”. Even after all of that Mr. Ayres would still like to go back. I’m sure it’s the guests and fellow Cast Members, the real “Disney family”, that makes him want to return. Especially after 21 years! I can’t imagine working somewhere for that long and then staying true to your contract for almost two years of it and they fire you in a five-minute phone call! The Disney Difference.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.
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