Amid Mass Layoffs, WDW Cast Member Continues to Make Magic

in Epcot, Walt Disney World

Last week, The Walt Disney Company announced they made the difficult decision to layoff over 28,000 Disney Parks employees. But Cast Members are still making magic.

Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro released a statement which announced the unfortunate news that thousands of Cast Members will be laid off. Among those layoffs, popular entertainment acts including ‘Yehaa Bob’ from Port Orleans Riverside and the iconic Polynesian Resort performers. 

Related: Disney World’s Largest Union Issues Response to Layoffs

disney cast member heart
Credit: Disney

Below was the email sent to Cast Members:

September 29, 2020 

Team,

I write this note to you today to share some difficult decisions that we have had to make regarding our Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products organization.

Let me start with my belief that the heart and soul of our business is and always will be people. Just like all of you, I love what I do. I also love being surrounded by people who think about their roles as more than jobs, but as opportunities to be a part of something special, something different, and something truly magical.  

Earlier this year, in response to the pandemic, we were forced to close our businesses around the world. Few of us could have imagined how significantly the pandemic would impact us — both at work and in our daily lives. We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived, and that we would recover quickly and return to normal. Seven months later, we find that has not been the case. And, as a result, today we are now forced to reduce the size of our team across executive, salaried, and hourly roles. 

As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity.  

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. 

Thank you for your dedication, patience and understanding during these difficult times. I know that these changes will be challenging. It will take time for all of us to process this information and its impact. We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days. Additionally, today we will begin the process of discussing next steps with unions. We encourage you to visit The Hub or the WDI Homepage for any support you may need. 

For those who will be affected by this decision, I want to thank you for all that you have done for our company and our guests. While we don’t know when the pandemic will be behind us, we are confident in our resilience, and hope to welcome back Cast Members and employees when we can. 

Most sincerely, 

Josh D’Amaro

Chairman

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

cast member mask
Credit: Disney

Despite the news of the layoffs, Cast Members at Disney World are still seen trying to create Disney magic for Guests, including this one CM at the temporary Mouse Gear location in EPCOT.

One Reddit user took to the platform to show a Cast Member create a Birthday cake on the countertop out of hand sanitizer and then asked the Guest to blow out the candles — how sweet!

Related: Disney World Cast Member Speaks Out Regarding Layoffs

You can check out the video below:

A Little Birthday Magic at Mouse Gear! from WaltDisneyWorld

Inside the Magic wants to thank all of the Cast Members who have created magical moments and memories to Guests’ each and every visit. We are keeping you all in our thoughts and wishing you all the best during this unprecedented time.

Read More: #CastCompliment – How to Thank a Disney Cast Member

If you are looking for resources and ways to help Disney Cast Members, check out our article here on how you can show your support. Our thoughts are with all of those Cast Members who are being affected by this wave of layoffs. 

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