How will the Disney World layoffs affect the park?
The Disney corporation has really been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Back in March, they were forced to close all of their theme parks, which has cost them well over $1 billion so far. It has not only damaged Disney’s bottom line, but it’s also hurt the finances of many thousands of their employees.
Disney World in Orlando was closed for four months before reopening in July. It did so with a very specific list of health and safety procedures they would follow in order to keep visitors protected from the virus. Unfortunately, since the parks aren’t operating at peak capacity, Disney was recently forced to lay off 25,000 theme park employees.
We believe in keeping you apprised of all aspects of the park, so we’re going to take a look at some details about the Disney World layoffs and what this could mean for guests in the immediate and near future.
What the Layoffs Were All About
Like many corporations and individuals in 2020, Disney has been forced to make some hard decisions as they’re faced with astronomical financial losses. The Disney World layoffs are part of the 25,000 total employees being let go, but they haven’t provided details on exactly how many are affected in relation to the Orlando park. Two-thirds of those affected were part-time employees and some of the affected individuals will receive severance packages.
How Disney World Will Be Affected
Although this is certainly bleak and distressing news, the truth is that the Disney World layoffs probably won’t affect the park too much and won’t cause it to become hectic. That’s because the employees who were laid off are mostly, if not exclusively, ones who had been furloughed. This means that the number of Disney World Cast members shouldn’t change too much. However, it does mean that several changes made to the park will remain in effect, which we’ll go into detail about below.
Operating Hours Won’t Increase
With the number of Disney layoffs that recently occurred, you definitely won’t see the park return to its original operating hours anytime soon. The early morning and late-night extended hours that you can enjoy if you stay at a Disney resort hotel will also continue to be nixed for the time being. The exception will be during the month of December, which will see slightly extended operating times because of a suspected increase in attendance for the Christmas season.
FastPass+ Still Won’t Be a Thing
The temporary loss of FastPass+ has certainly been felt throughout Disney World. Ever since its creation, this incredibly convenient program has proven to be an extremely effective way for guests to avoid standing in line for long periods of time. It was placed on hold primarily because the areas where people with a FastPass would normally be are now being used to help with social distancing. Since the Disney layoffs serve as an indication that the pandemic is far from over, this program probably won’t come back anytime soon.
Fewer Disney Events Are Scheduled
Disney has shuttered all large events because of the existing danger presented by large crowds and guests being close to each other. Big events and a large number of employees will always go hand in hand. Although Disney was hopeful that all of their furloughed workers would return sooner rather than later, this simply isn’t the case. The recent layoffs reinforced the fact that canceled Disney events, including holiday favorites like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, won’t be around until next year.
Getting Back to Normal Next Year
While you probably shouldn’t expect Disney World to be more hectic as a result of the recent layoffs, you also shouldn’t expect the park to return to normal until next year. There’s no exact timeframe, but once a vaccine to the coronavirus has been developed and inoculations have begun, more people will be willing to take vacations again. This obviously means that operating hours will be extended, FastPass+ will return, closed attractions will be reopened, and big events will be scheduled again. Getting back to normal is certainly something everyone on the planet is looking forward to!
Contact World Class for Your Next Disney World Adventure
Although there’s not a lot that we can do about the Disney World layoffs, World Class VIP is doing its part by providing a VIP experience that will help guests enjoy the park as much as possible. Our Disney VIP tour guides will assist you with avoiding long lines, navigating the park, making Disney hotel reservations, adhering to health and safety guidelines, finding great food, seeing your favorite characters, and much more. If you have any questions or would like to receive a private VIP Disney tour quote, call our team at (407) 270-0956 today to book a VIP tour.