Unfortunately, we have some more sad news to report in the world of Disney parks. Back in September Disney announced that they would be laying off at-least 28000 cast members. An announcement came down today that there will be some more cast members on furlough. The cuts will be coming from executive, salaried, and hourly employees. The announcement came as Covid cases are on the rise in California yet again and there is no reopening date in sight for the California Disney parks.
Below is the memo sent from Disneyland President Ken Potrock.
Since Disneyland Resort closed its gates in March, nothing has been more important than fully reopening and getting our Cast Members back to work. That’s why it is with heavy hearts we find ourselves in the untenable situation of having to institute additional furloughs for our executive, salaried and hourly Cast.
After nearly eight months our parks and hotels remain closed, and while we have had some successes — like the opening of the Downtown Disney District in July, shopping and dining coming soon to Buena Vista Street and today’s announcement that we will reopen Disney Vacation Club units — the recently released state guidelines put us in limbo regarding a reopening timeline in the foreseeable future.
As you know, we’ve already taken the heart-wrenching action of laying off thousands of our Cast on both coasts. We expected to be able to open our parks in Anaheim, given our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols as we have in all of our other theme parks around the world, but unfortunately this has not been the case.
We will begin communication today with affected Cast. Consistent with what was put in place in April, furloughed Cast will be able to:
- maintain health and insurance benefits coverage, with the company paying both the employer and employee weekly benefit contributions;
- elect to use some or all of their available paid-time off hours (vacation and floating holidays) if eligible;
- access state unemployment insurance benefits; and continue progress toward their education goals with the Disney Aspire education program if already enrolled.
These decisions and actions are difficult — and we are committed to helping our teams through this and, most importantly, getting people back to work where we can.
I urge Cast Members who need support to utilize the Furlough Resource Center, along with additional company-provided resources including LifeCare and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You can also call Global Human Resources Operations at 321-939-7000 (Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.).
While the near term will be challenging as we continue to navigate in these turbulent times, I promise you that we will continue to work tirelessly to reopen the Resort and get our Cast Members back to work, and that my optimism for our bright future continues to be strong.
I want to thank each and every one of you for your resiliency and resolve during these challenging and unpredictable times. I am continually in awe of our amazing Cast and look forward to the day when we can celebrate the reopening of Disneyland Resort.
Hopefully, this will be the last of these announcements we have to make for a while. With the reopening of Buena Vista Street in Disneys California Adventure, it is possible that some of these great magic makers can return back to work at the Happiest Place on Earth. Stay with us here at The DisInsider as we bring you all the Disney Parks news.