Walt Disney World Leadership Defies Iger’s Ordered Hiring Freeze

in Disney, Walt Disney World

A rented sign outside the Casting building reads "Apply Online Anytime." A shocked emoji has been added to the photo.

Earlier this month, former CEO Bob Chapek announced massive budget cuts, layoffs, and an immediate hiring freeze were coming to The Walt Disney Company.

Related: Walt Disney World Cast Members Practice Mindfulness in ‘Star Wars’-Themed Event

Chapek was later replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger. Though Iger is rumored to have voiced dissatisfaction with many of Chapek’s decisions, the reinstated CEO confirmed that he planned to proceed with the hiring freeze just days ago.

Bob Iger
Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Just days before said hiring freeze was announced, Walt Disney World Resort was so desperate for applicants that they installed a rented construction sign board outside of the Casting Building near Disney Springs:

Rented message board at the Walt Disney World Casting building. Faces I-4.

We visited the Florida Disney Parks this week to see if the signs had been removed. But it was quite the opposite. In fact, Walt Disney World Resort installed a second sign advertising a job fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30.

It’s a tough time to be a Disney Cast Member. Job satisfaction at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort is reportedly at an all-time low, especially as The Walt Disney Company continues to suffer staffing shortages post-COVID-19 layoffs.

A VIP tour guide Cast Member wearing a mask poses in Carthay Circle at Disney California Adventure.
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Cast Member Wrangles Snake as Magic Kingdom Guests Look On

We’ve done significant reporting recently on dissatisfaction among Disney Parks Cast Members. Many Disneyland Resort Cast Members rely on sex work, crowded housing, and skipping meals to survive. Hundreds of Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members are unhoused amid record inflation.

Walt Disney World Resort is also wrapped up in negotiations with six workers’ unions. The Disney Park offered unionized Cast Members a $1 raise while the unions demanded a $5 pay boost. The unions plan to protest on November 30.

Guests, Cast Members, and characters dancing in the lobby of Wilderness lodge.
Credit: Disney

Due to staffing shortages, Guests have reported a lack of maintenance and cleanliness at Walt Disney World Resort. Time will tell what impacts poor employee retention and a hiring freeze will continue to have on Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Inside the Magic will continue to report on hiring decisions at The Walt Disney Company. 

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