Disneyland Surpasses Pre-COVID Number of Cast Members

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

Credit: Disney

Disneyland Resort Cast Members underwent numerous tumultuous changes during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over ten thousand Disneyland Cast Members were laid off in 2020, and when the Disney Parks reopened, Disney struggled to rehire.

Related: Former Walt Disney World Cast Member Reminds Guests, “We’re Not Here to Be Your Friends”

Staffing shortages mean each Disney Cast Member is expected to do more work. Inflation means everyone’s expenses are higher – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure have even raised ticket prices – but Cast Member pay hasn’t increased. Disney is in constant battles with Cast Member Unions, while many employees report living in their cars, delaying medical care, and relying on sex work to survive.

Two Cast Members in gray and black suits pointing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park (Paris).
Credit: Disneyland Paris New

A new report from Orange County Business Journal suggests that Disneyland Resort’s staffing shortages are not as big of an issue as it seems. As of October 2022, The Walt Disney Company employed 34,000 Cast Members in Anaheim, the most ever. Disney Cast Members represent two percent of the Orange County workforce.

According to Orange County Business Journal, Disney employed 32,000 Cast Members in March 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. The California Disney Park would close less than a month later, not reopening until April 2021.

bob chapek
Credit: Screenshot via Annual Shareholders Meeting

“As Walt Disney once said, ‘You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality,’” Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said in a statement to Orange County Business Journal. “I’m grateful that we’ve welcomed back so many of our cast members since reopening.”

This report comes days after Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced a company-wide hiring freeze and future layoffs. As that news broke, Walt Disney World Resort still displayed a rented billboard begging for job applications.

Have you noticed more Cast Members at the Disney Parks? 


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