Disneyland Furloughs More Workers as Park Struggles to Reopen

in Disneyland Resort

disneyland at night matterhorn

Credit: Disney

Disneyland has announced that it will be furloughing more workers as theme parks continue to struggle to reopen in California.

ken potrock
Credit: Disney

According to an OC Register report:

Disneyland president Ken Potrock announced the furloughs of executive, salaried and hourly workers on Monday, Nov. 9 in a letter to cast members, Disney parlance for employees.

“Since Disneyland resort closed its gates in March, nothing has been more important than fully reopening and getting our cast members back to work,” Potrock wrote. “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.”

Potrock did not indicate precisely how many Disney employees are being furloughed at this time. His letter continued:

“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,” Potrock wrote.

“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,” Potrock wrote. “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.”

Note that the executive, salaried, and hourly employees of Disneyland Resort who will be furloughed are not part of the mass layoffs announced several weeks prior.

Thousands of Disneyland Resort workers were already laid-off as part of The Walt Disney Company’s mass layoff in late September — 28,000 Cast Members at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort lost their jobs. Around 10,000 of those laid-off Cast Members were employees of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. 

It is worth noting that over 200 Cast Members have been recalled to staff Disney California Adventure Park’s Buena Vista Street during its partial reopening. Shopping and dining will be available to Guests beginning November 19.

What guidelines is Disneyland up against?

When California Governor Gavin Newsom finally released his theme park reopening guidelines after a long delay — theme parks were not included in the original Blueprint For a Safer Economy plan — theme park officials, Disney Parks fans, and the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) were all disappointed.

Counties, including Anaheim’s Orange County, where large theme parks are located must reach the state’s “minimal” COVID-19 yellow tier before being allowed to reopen.

Some health officials believe it could be Summer 2021 before Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are able to reopen.

Credit: Disney

What help is available for Cast Members?

There are numerous avenues furloughed Cast Members can look to for assistance during these trying times. With a huge number of Disney theme park workers now facing furloughs or layoffs, local agencies, the Cast Member Food Pantry, and other organizations are stepping-up to assist.

If you would like to personally support Cast Members right now, one of the best things you can do is purchase your holiday gifts this year from small shops run by Disney World and Disneyland workers! Supporting Cast Members’ creativity is not only an encouragement to them, but will allow you to give your loved ones unique gifts during this special season.

Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for additional details regarding this developing story. 

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