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A Heartfelt Sorry, My Thoughts are With Cast Members, and Thank You for Your Service

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

This afternoon I was thinking about the challenges of being a Disney blogger on a slow news day and then it hit. It wasn't surprising but it was devastating and my heart breaks for the thousands of people and families it impacts.


On September 29, 2020 the Walt Disney Company announced that 28, 000 Cast Members are being laid off at all levels of Disney Parks and Experiences. The magnitude of the layoffs is hard to imagine, that is, until you start to put faces to the numbers. The faces of those affected are starting to come out and, to be clear, this affects more than Disneyland in Anaheim. Josh D'Amaro's statement that, the layoffs are, "...exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment", stretch well beyond Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, and will be felt around the world.


At Disneyland, layoffs include:

  • 2700 non-unionized Cast Members (2467 in Parks and Resorts, 129 in Disney Entertainment, 95 at Disney Destinations)

  • 2858 unionized restaurant and Club 33 staff

  • 950 UNITE HERE Local 11 members

  • 1800 unionized security guards, attraction operators, and meet and greet character performers.


At Walt Disney World, layoffs include:

  • Grand Floridian Society Orchestra

  • Yehaa Bob Jackson

  • Disney's Polynesian Resort Performers

  • 6700 non-unionized Cast Members (6246 at Team Disney, 65 at Celebration, 49 at Orlando International Airport, 22 at Central Costuming, 8 near Central Reservations Office)

  • 1800 Teamsters Local 385 members

  • All Cast Members working at the NBA Experience

  • All Minnie Van Cast Members

  • 8800 Part-Time Cast Members (Service Trades Council Union)

  • 560 (non-Disney Cast Member) Baggage Airline Guest Services Employees (affecting Baggage, Valet, Disney's Magical Express)

  • 184 unionized carpenters and mechanics


At Disney Vacation Club, layoffs include:

  • 244 @ Team Disney

  • 35 in Celebration


At Walt Disney Imagineering, layoffs include:

  • 400 at WDI

As the hours and days pass, we'll likely see the names and faces of those that have brought joy to literally millions of guests affected by these layoffs made public, I would encourage everyone to keep them in your thoughts, as I am keeping them in mine.


Cast Members make the magic and it's more than a job....it's a vocation. Disney is what they love and what they do.


To all Cast Members, thank you for the work that you do and know that the guests that you have served over your time at Disney thank you, stand with you, and wish you all the best.




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