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Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads to Cast Members


It’s like the B-movie villain that just won’t die, Disneyland just can’t escape the clutches of the Measles outbreak. It started in late December when a guest who carried the disease visited the park. Since then, dozens of cases have popped up tied to that guest and now, some of those cases are Disneyland cast members.

According to the park, five employees have been diagnosed with measles in the last week. Disneyland is asking all employees who could possibly have had contact with those five to provide vaccination records or otherwise show immunity (usually a blood test to show antibodies). If they can’t prove vaccination, they’ll be given paid-leave until their status can be confirmed.

In a statement from Disneyland Dr. Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said:

“As soon as the OC Health Care Agency notified us on January 7, we immediately began to communicate to our Cast to raise awareness. In an abundance of caution, we also offered vaccinations and immunity tests.”

Sounds like Disneyland and California health officials have their work cut out for them corralling this outbreak.

The good news is that if you’ve had the vaccine for measles, you’re probably not in danger of catching the disease. Visit the CDC’s page on Measles if you have any questions. They have a good section for travelers.

Update: The California Public Health Department has also issued some suggestions in a press release related to the measles outbreak.

What’s really frightening is that 2014 saw three times as many cases of Measles than in 2013 and more than 10 times the cases in 2012. Measles spreads easily when it reaches a community where groups of people are un-vaccinated. Which is likely the cause of this outbreak. There were 23 total outbreaks in 2014, so Disneyland is just unlucky to have on land on Mickey’s Doorstep.

Even with the 60th anniversary celebration right around the corner, I think it’s too early for Disneyland to panic, but that time may come soon if the outbreak is not put down.

How do you feel Disneyland has been handling this potential health and marketing crisis?

(photo courtesy Disneyland. Paul Hiffmeyer Photographer)

8 thoughts on “Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads to Cast Members”

  1. I’m torn on the topic. I think I don’t feel as affected by it, because I’m a dozen states removed from Land down here in Florida.
    If all this were happening at World, which I just so happen to be going to next week with my daughter, I don’t know what I’d think. I’m one of those WAY overprotective fathers, especially when it comes to her health. I think(and I stress *think*) I’d still go, but boy we’d be washing our hands every five minutes and i’d be on edge all week.

    And do think personally that this story is a big deal, because unlike say football stadiums or concert halls, the Disney parks are catered to young children. THAT imo makes this a pretty serious story, simply for the children.

    1. Tom, I work there and I feel that the Mouse does everything he can to ensure the safety of children. Still, as a retired teacher, I’ve got to tell you that I would ALWAYS be washing your child’s hands!!! It is too easy to go on several rides with you daughter touching ride safety bars and dragging her hands on guest control chains while in line and THEN go get some popcorn or fried chicken that she will eat with her hands. Take the time to cleanse with wipes or wash up with soap and water every time she eats. And then….ENJOY!

  2. Disney is just a location where lots of people without immunization were. This should not be a big deal for Disneyland as they have done nothing wrong short of asking people their immunization records prior to entry… Which would just be ridiculous. They were just a site where it happened. It is people who choose not to get immunized that run the risk of getting these diseases. Plain and simple.

  3. Does everyone understand why they should be vaccinated? All of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s had to get an mmr/polio and all the other shots. So we also vaccinated our children in the 80’s so this wouldn’t happen. All of you who think your children will get Autism and believe it’s from immunizing your kids……well this is why all these diseases are back and spreading! Get them vaccinated and stop thinking Autism is from shots…’s genetic!

    1. Well, autism may not be genetic, but you are right that it is not caused by vaccines. Anyone who believes that vaccines cause autism is simply not intelligent enough to be allowed to have children.

      Let’s look at this logically: Vaccination rates in the United States have been steady for the last 15 years. In fact, there might actually have been a slight DECREASE in the percentage of children who are vaccinated in the last couple of years. Yet autism rates continue to rise. If there was a link between vaccination and autism, the autism rates would flat for the last 15 years.

      Now, I know that logic isn’t really understood by these anti-vaccine types, but, people, GET YOUR CHILDREN VACCINATED.

  4. It’s an airborne disease so I don’t see how they can try to prevent it from happening. Unless vaccines are mandatory for everyone, this will continue to happen. Especially when people from other countries visit and/or come into the country. Some of the people had been vaccinated which also show that these diseases are adapting.

  5. Given the prevalence of young kids at Disneyland (including many babies who are too young to be vaccinated and toddlers too young for the second MMR booster that is usually given between ages 4-6), perhaps Disney should consider requiring certain vaccines as a matter of course for all its employees – to protect its guests. It would certainly help contain an outbreak like this.

  6. I think they are being as proactive as they can be with offering vaccines to employees who haven’t received it or have not had the measles. People need to realize that they are risking their children and others by not having their kids vaccinated putting everyone in danger.

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