Disney To Lay Off 28,000 From Parks, Cruise Line, and Products

The Walt Disney Company made the painful decision this week to eliminate thousands of jobs in Theme Parks, Cruise Line, and Retail. As a fan it's hard to hear because the cast members are a major component in what creates Disney Parks magic. Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety concerns continue to effect travel around the world and Disney struggles to balance business and safety while providing a quality vacation experience.

Disney To Lay Off 28,000 From Parks, Cruise Line, and ProductsDisney To Lay Off 28,000 From Parks, Cruise Line, and Products

In an email sent to cast members, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D'Amaro, lamented the real struggle that the company has been going through saying:

As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic.

Statement From DisneyStatement From Disney

Walt Disney World recalled about 20,000 union workers, or roughly half of the resort's unionized employees when the Florida Parks reopened, the remainder have stayed on furlough. According to the Orlando Sentinel, approximately 6,700 Walt Disney World non-union employees are set to lose their jobs beginning on December 4th. The Service Trades Council Union, which represents 43,000 Disney employees, will continue to work with the Walt Disney Company to discern how many full-time and part-time Cast Members will be affected, how long health insurance and recall rights will continue and many other issues.

What we do know is that amongst the devastating lay-off of Disney World bus drivers, laundry workers, character actors and entertainers, is Walt Disney World's Legacy performer Yehaa Bob Jackson, who announced on facebook that he had performed piano and sung at the River Roost Lounge in Disney's Port Orleans Resort " Riverside for the last time. Disney's Grand Floridian Society Orchestra also announced that they will be sharing their final performance on October 3rd.

Yee Ha Bob Captivates The AudienceYee Ha Bob Captivates The Audience

Even though attendance has been up in the past month, it has still been weaker than expected after reopening. Many families still don't feel safe flying to Florida for vacation, others don't see the value in paying the high price tag that comes with Disney travel when the experience remains limited. There are still no fireworks, limited dining options, no hugs from Mickey Mouse, shortened park hours, and considerable social distancing protocols.

While a Disney vacation is still worthwhile for those diehard fans that take pleasure from just being there. However, I believe the atmosphere at Walt Disney World has suffered from all of the pandemic restrictions and will continue with the loss of these talented cast members. Disney's entertainers have always added magic and are sadly often the first to feel the cuts. Top notch performances transform the Disney's elaborate "sets" into truly immersive entertainment experiences. Some may wonder what the use a stage is if there is no cast upon it that brings the story to life.

How do you feel about this announcement? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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