Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
Disney parks will lower the curtain on thousands of cast members across North America.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced park closures and reduced capacity at operating locations earlier this year, Disney has announced it has begun reducing the workforce at its Parks, Experiences, and Products divisions. Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be impacted by the decision, which DPEP head Josh D'Amaro indicated in a statement was ″exacerbated in California by the state's unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.″
The press release goes on to estimate that 67 percent of the affected staff are part-time workers, but that the move will enable Disney to ″emerge a more effective and efficient operation" when park schedules return to normal.
In April, Disney furloughed non-working in-park employees while paying healthcare benefits, but today's announcement stretches into executive, salaried, and hourly roles as well. A letter to employees from D'Amaro indicates Disney hopes to welcome back cast members and other employees when the pandemic is over.
Though California's Disneyland property remains closed, Florida's Disney World resort reopened in July with altered capacity restrictions and safety measures in place at all of its four theme parks, the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Disney has also slowly reopened its global Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris properties.