*You don’t need glasses to see that there is something incredibly wrong with this picture: Many workers at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ are not happy.
Arguably the most famous tourist attraction in the world, millions of families visit Disney World daily – paying at least $100 a pop to enter the Orlando, Fla. theme park billed as “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
They want to show the kids where Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck and all the characters they will come to know and love call home.
But what many tourists may not realize is that many of the employees that help create this exciting atmosphere can’t even afford housing of their own. They leave work and go to cheap motels or even go to sleep on the streets.
Why? Because a lot of workers at Disney World, the area’s largest employer, only earn Florida’s minimum wage, $8.03 an hour, which makes permanent housing — at least in Orange County– unaffordable.
According to the Associated Press, that low salary puts most apartments in surrounding Osceola County beyond the financial reach of the workers. The county doesn’t operate homeless shelters, therefore 1,216 families have little to no other option but to shack up in the low-budget motels located throughout the area.
“Tourists that come here … I don’t think they have a clue,” 31-year-old fast food worker James Ortiz told the AP. Many workers like Ortiz moved to the Orlando area specifically to work at the tourist attractions. Now they don’t make enough to afford rent plus food, clothing, gas, and all the other daily necessities.
Motel owners have started to complain to law enforcement because families, sometimes multiple families, live in their properties for extended periods of time. Many are attempting through legal means to get people evicted.
Ortiz, along with his parents and 5-year-old son, managed to escape from a motel and move into an RV park. Sadly, because of his bad income, Ortiz’s son won’t have the kind of enchanted memories his peers visiting the theme park go home with.
Read more of this article at Yahoo News.