Disney World Releases Statement on Entertainment Layoffs at Theme Park

There is no corner of the world that hasn't been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with even one of the happiest places on Earth, the Walt Disney World Resort, being forced to make drastic measures to ensure future operations, as the park announced earlier this month that it had to lay off nearly 9,000 part-time employees. Not only was this news devastating to those directly impacted by the layoffs, but fans of Disney were also disappointed that the multi-billion-dollar company was making cuts at the lowest levels of employment, likely the workers who were most in need of regular paychecks, as opposed to employees at higher levels who could afford the cuts. Walt Disney World Resort has offered a statement regarding these layoffs and how they will impact entertainment experiences going forward.

The statement on Disney Parks Blog reads, "Recently, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions to reduce our workforce as the business impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic have become more long-lasting than anyone could have predicted. As a result, we’ve had to pause many live shows and entertainment experiences at our resort for longer than originally anticipated."

It continues, "While it’s impossible at this time to fully replace the incredible entertainment that existed throughout our parks before the pandemic, we are offering live entertainment in new ways wherever possible, including character cavalcades in all four parks and pop-up appearances, like discovering Joy from Inside Out frolicking on the lawn near the Imagination! pavilion in EPCOT. Additionally, we’re featuring modified shows such as the popular For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and live musical performances like the Main Street Philharmonic in Magic Kingdom or the Discovery Island Drummers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This extends to our seasonal offerings, with Halloween underway and the holidays right around the corner. In fact, the fan-favorite Voices of Liberty are set to make their return and join the JAMMitors and Mariachi Cobre at the American Gardens Theatre during the upcoming Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, beginning on November 27th."

While these layoffs are assuredly frustrating for many, things are even more dire at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as the severity of the pandemic in California has prevented any amusement park from opening, while attractions in Florida have been operating in a limited capacity.

"Determining which shows can return and when is a complex process. As with the rest of our phased reopening, we will also consider the guidance of health officials and government agencies in determining when the time will be right to adjust capacity, and as soon as it is appropriate, we will start to bring additional entertainment back," the statement explains of these adjustments. "Like most of our fans, we know that our beloved entertainment cast are an incredibly special and essential part of the Disney experience. We look forward to the day when we can welcome back more live entertainment to our parks, and we will share more news about these announcements as we’re able to do so."

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