Today Disney has announced that it will make a drastic reduction in its workforce at its domestic parks. Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced that Disney will be laying off 28,000 cast members. He also stated that 67% of these layoffs will be part-time cast members.
In a statement, D’Amaro publicly mentions the state of California’s reluctance to allow for the re-opening of Disneyland as one of the driving factors. In a note sent to cast members. D’Amaro states that, “We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days.” It appears the action will happen soon.
Walt Disney World currently employs approximately 70,000, with Disneyland Resort employing around 30,000. It isn’t at this time clear how the layoffs will be distributed across the two coasts.
Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World closed in mid-March due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Walt Disney World re-opened in mid-July. Disneyland Resort still remaining closed.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday outlined what may be the next steps for the state’s theme parks on their paths to reopening, including Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.
In a press conference, DeSantis asked park operators to submit their reopening plans to the state, saying that they would “need to have an endorsement of the relative official in their locality — Orange County mayor, wherever you’re talking about,” he said.
Extending the previously announced plans for the reopening of Florida, the state will move forward with:
- Restaurants allowing 50% capacity (up from the previous 25% occupancy limit)
- Retail moving to 50% capacity (up from the previous 25% occupancy limit)
- Gyms operating while respecting social distancing and sanitizing measures
Theme parks can now submit plans about reopening to the state and will need endorsement from the Orange County Mayor. Movie theaters will remain closed at this time.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings told local media later in the day that he has not received any reopening plans from the parks, and that he doesn’t expect any reopenings until June at the earliest.