Since I was a little girl, I always had fond memories of Disney. Disney was home for me. I loved going with my family to watch a Disney movie like Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Bambi just to name a few.
When I had my beautiful children, Matthew and Katelynn, we were able to watch a whole new generation of Disney movies and still watch the old. My daughter loved Disney so much she became a Disney bride. Her and husband even moved to Florida so they could go to Disney every weekend and participate in the Disney marathons and activities.
Disney was like home to me. Beautiful memories of having fun with your family and friends going to Disney World or Disneyland and watching all the beautiful Disney movies. That is why I was so excited when my good friend called to ask me to become a recruiter for Disney. It was a dream come true and the job truly was. The team was one of the best teams that I have worked with in the 35 plus years that I have been working.
That is why I was devastated when I learned that I was going to lose my position unless I became vaccinated. I am a widow now and I am the only parent left for my children. I did not want to risk taking an Emergency Use Only Vaccine, while working from a remote position!
Sadly Disney did not honor my religious exemption and told me I had to leave immediately. I still will always have fond memories of the days of Walt Disney and growing up as a child watching my favorite Disney movies.
I will also remember my daughter’s beautiful wedding, walking down the aisle in Epcot’s Italy pavilion. That was one of the last few times we were able to truly celebrate as a family before her father passed away.
Disney will always have a special place in our hearts, but they need to
be held accountable for how we were treated based on our vaccination status.
My experience at Disney was a dream come true for me and my family.
I was first cast as a seasonal attractions host at Magic Kingdom, working summers when I was off from my teaching job. I helped guests on to rides, kept watch for safety, talked to many travelers, reserved fast passes for them, waved, smiled, and kept the park clean for all to enjoy. I even received recognition from my management team for doing a fantastic job following the four key basics.
After a few years working for Disney, I was offered a seasonal job as a Banquet Server
with Park Event Operations (PEO) which led to a part time position. Because of this more permanent status, my family and I moved 160 miles from Naples to Orlando. My role handled large events and conventions at WDW, where we handled anything from small intimate gatherings to parties with thousands of guests.
I was well liked and got along great with my peers and management. I succeeded in my work and was asked to captain a handful of events. After putting my name forward and successfully handling an event as a Captain, I was permitted to work in all the Disney Parks, most hotels, Disney Springs, Disney Wild World of Sports, Disney water parks and so much more than I ever thought possible.
I had a great future with The Walt Disney Company before they implemented the
discriminatory Covid 19 vaccine mandate, and subsequent PPE requirements.
I am deeply saddened by the turn of events and will not forget the pressure Disney and their management team put toward cast members to get the experimental vaccine.
By January of 2022, Disney had a list of unvaccinated casts with my name on it, telling managers that we would have to wear a mask, goggles and face shields at all times and remain separated from other cast members and guests.
After telling my management that this is discriminatory, and I would not be willingly participating, a manager threated to send me home without pay.
My local workers Union offered no help, and if I wanted to continue my Disney career, I would have to wear the discriminatory and humiliating PPE.
After I wrote an email to HR, retained a lawyer, and then handed my managers a letter stating they were violating my rights, Disney fired me in June of 2022.
Without our lawsuit to stand up for the injustice and tyranny by Disney, these discriminatory policies may have continued, considering only after our lawsuit became public did Disney finally drop their PPE requirements of the unvaccinated shortly after.
Barb is a faithful follower of Christ, wife to a farmer and a homeschooling mom to her two young children.
Disney has always been a part of her life. From celebrating her 2nd birthday at
Epcot, to yearly trips driving down in the station wagon from NJ, to becoming a cast member, to taking her daughter for her first haircut on Main Street USA…her entire life is filled with Disney memories.
Her lengthy career started in 2001 when she joined the Disney College Program as a Tomorrowland Merchandise Hostess. Seven months later when her internship
was over, she wasn’t ready to say goodbye, so she stayed on as a seasonal cast member and came back to work as much as she could while finishing her college degree.
Then in 2005 she returned full time on a management internship…and never left. The next 17 years of her career would bring her through three different theme parks, multiple lines of business, specialized project roles she was handpicked for and most proudly, in 2016 she was an opening team member for Shanghai Disneyland where she lived and worked in China for 8 months.
She loved her job and even as her personal life changed with marriage, children, and moving to a farm…her dedication to her career never faltered, even when it meant driving 3 hours roundtrip for work.
The impact of Disney’s discrimination against her religious beliefs cannot taken lightly.
She continued to stand firm in her faith while Disney’s HR and leadership continued to harass and berate her for 9 months before ending her stellar 21-year career.
The emotional toll is heavy, as well as the financial toll of completely losing half her family’s income. But it is imperative that we stand up to the tyranny from companies who think they are above the law and hold them accountable.
Barb is extremely appreciative of everyone who is supporting this lawsuit against Disney.
Stephen is originally from North Carolina and moved to Florida in March of 2011 to pursue his lifelong dream of working for the Walt Disney Company. He began his career with Disney as a Children’s Activities Host at the Disney Vacation Club Resorts.
Stephen loved leading guests of all ages in creating memories that last! Family vacations were always such a meaningful time for Stephen growing up and he now loved the fact he could create those moments for others.
Those that Stephen worked with would say that he was “et up” with pixie dust because his passion for his work and how that would translate to energy and fun for both guests and fellow Cast Members.
In just a year and half, Stephen was promoted to leadership, where he spent the next nine years.
During his Disney career, Stephen worked as a Youth Activities Manager on the Disney Cruise Line and worked at several of the Walt Disney World Resorts. One of his proudest moments was when he was presented with the coveted Legacy Award!
Stephen loved being a leader with the Walt Disney company and enjoyed creating positive environments for and mentoring those Cast Members on his team.
However, Stephen's 11-year career with the Walt Disney Company was terminated after he raised concerns that he and other unvaccinated Cast Members were being discriminated against through Disney’s Covid-19 policies. Not only did these policies go directly against Stephen’s faith, but they also broke every leadership lesson Disney had taught him over his career.
Stephen was heartbroken to see the same Disney he had grown to love now harass, single out, demean and isolate Cast Members because they did not want to take this experimental shot. Several of Stephen’s best Cast Members who had years with the company felt the environment had now become so toxic and they sought employment elsewhere. These policies had to be called out!
It hasn’t been easy dealing with the sleepless nights, financial stress, loss of friends and other emotions that have been the result of standing up for his faith and the humanity of those around him.
Stephen has been able to see God’s hand at work through it all. Through the generosity of others, new friends and stronger faith he knows this is a fight we can win.
Stephen has three sisters and is a proud uncle to his two nephews.
He loves spending time with his dog Hazelnut, family and friends and loves ballroom dancing!
My name is Steve Gibbons. I am a husband and father to four wonderful children.
My Disney story starts long before I became either. I had the privilege of going to Disney World many times when I was growing up. I fell in love with Disney when I was in junior high and high school as a band student. I was able to perform at the parks and it was an amazing experience!
It was during that time in my life that I decided I wanted to fix computers for Walt Disney World. And that dream came true on June 3rd, 2016.
Prior to that my family held annual passes to this special place. I loved riding the ferry boat to and from the Magic Kingdom. I was able to share this amazing experience and everything that goes with it, with my wife for her first ever visit, and then each of our children. They grew up going to Walt Disney World long before I became a Cast Member.
We loved the blessings that came with working there. And during my years of service, I received many performance awards while working for Disney.
That all changed on December 23, 2021, when I was fired after two weeks or so of constant harassment and pressure to get vaccinated. This loss of the job I loved, and loss of income has had tremendous effect on my family.
I pray that the lawsuit serves justice for myself and fellow unvaccinated cast members who were treated so poorly by the company.
Cheron Hayes, 14.5 Disney Cast Member, Senior Financial Analyst
Over my long career, I held several roles in Finance Departments and most recently, Disney Gift Card Services.
Even though I was a “backstage” Cast Member, I took every opportunity to participate and help out in the parks, such as signing up for shifts over the busy holidays. I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with Guests and even participated in the opening events for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge!
I loved my financial support roles, and my last role supporting Gift Cards allowed me to work on systems projects that were guest facing, so I always love the fact that my role and my passion were making a difference to Guests.
It was my dream job and where I was planning to retire from, until Covid hit. The company laid off a ton of cast members, including myself, during their closed and furlough periods and then implemented the Covid vaccine mandate on remaining cast members and any new or rehires. When I tried to reapply for my same position, I was repeatedly refused based on my vaccine status and their discriminatory refusal to accept my religious exemption. The love of all things Disney was in my blood.
My father was a huge Disney fan, and his passion infected me at a very early age, when we took annual family vacations to Walt Disney World. One of my fondest memories was watching the Candlelight processional with him and watching tears stream down his face during the Hallelujah Chorus. He passed away before I became a Cast Member, but 20 years after that first time, I was accepted into the Cast Choir for Candlelight. I know my dad was watching me as I participated in the Processional.
How we were treated as long time, hardworking and dedicated cast members, based solely on our vaccine status, was awful.
We are hoping this lawsuit holds Disney accountable to their discriminatory
Hi, I’m Seth Schmidt and I started my Disney career on 3/5/11 parking cars and driving trams in EPCOT.
I loved my job because I got to share the magic and let people in on the secret that the EPCOT parking lot was the second largest parking lot in north America, with 11,280 spaces!
My time there was brief however, because 4 months later I was called to work at the Mount Everest attraction in Animal Kingdom. For the year I spent there, I loved interacting with the guests and giving history behind the infamous yeti named Betty.
But I was offered and accepted a full-time position at the beloved Star Tours attraction in Hollywood Studios. There, I got to share my passion for a movie franchise I loved so much.
My coordinators knew I was dependable and would always look to me if they need any help getting things done or working extra hours. I always got the job done and was someone the newer College Program cast members would come to if they had questions about the ride.
Over the years I accumulated numerous Four key cards from fellow cast members, coordinators, and managers for my excellent work ethic. While working at Disney I even inspired my dad to come work for the mouse, where he became "friends” with Santa and was known to the cast at the Magic Kingdom as “Santa Bob,” a title he proudly held for 7 years. Christmas of 2019 would sadly be his last year playing Santa as the covid-19 pandemic started shortly after.
Over the next year, Disney mandated the experimental Covid vaccine on all cast members, which went against my deeply held beliefs. They also implemented discriminatory PPE requirements against the unvaccinated which I refused to participate in. I was put on a weeklong suspension and then terminated after nearly 11 years with the company.
If you feel called, we would love your donation to help pay for the mounting legal bills as we fight the well-funded Goliath of Disney.
Please keep in mind that our fight today, could save your job and medical freedom tomorrow.
We are grateful for every donation, not matter how big or small.
Your Medical and Employment Rights Matter and are currently being disregarded by large corporations like Disney who have implemented unconstitutional Vaxx and Mask mandates. Disney must be held accountable. Their actions have hurt families. We are 7 average Americans with limited funds who believe in David and Goliath, and we can win this fight with your help.