On Wednesday, August 26, Florida State Governor Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion in Orlando along with several theme park representatives. During the roundtable, DeSantis and the reps spoke about the safety measures implemented at theme parks in Orlando since reopening in June and July.
Also during the roundtable, DeSantis asked theme park reps about the future of employment as well as the current furloughs, in which Universal weighed in. “We don’t currently have opportunities for the vast majority of [Universal employees] to come back,” John Sprouls, the Universal CEO, stated.
Sprouls continued to say that they hope to bring more team members back to work as they are able to increase capacity.
Jim MacPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, also touched upon the topic saying, “We brought tens of thousands of cast members back and hope to continue to do more.” He explained that the company hopes to do so as the demand and capacity increase at Walt Disney World Resort.
MacPhee went on to describe it as a “heart stop” for Cast Members learning that they would be furloughed, but continued by saying that he is extremely proud of how the company has handled everything during this unprecedented time. He mentioned how he is proud of Disney’s Cast Members for how they have brought the magic back to life.
Sprouls chimed in to touch on the Universal team members as well explaining that you can really tell the team love this business and loves being part of creating memories for people and going that extra mile.
Both Disney World and Universal theme parks have admitted during this roundtable that they, unfortunately, can’t currently bring back more employees. The bright side is that they are looking toward doing that in the future when they are able to.
Due to the current global pandemic forcing the temporary park closures, Disney had to make the unfortunate decision to furlough several Walt Disney World Cast Members. Just a few days ago, we reported that Walt Disney World has just begun emailing Cast Members to notify them that the furlough period will, unfortunately, be extended.
We are keeping these furloughed Cast Members in our thoughts during this unprecedented time.