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  • Chris

Cast Member Returns and Departures (and Maskless VIPs)

With the announcement that Buena Vista Street is opening in November to shopping and dining, Disneyland is recalling 200 cast members. That's a great thing, right?

Well, it depends on how you look at it. As Disney is bringing back cast members in California, it is sending generic layoff emails to others in Orlando.

The Walt Disney Company is exactly that, a corporate employer that is also publicly traded. That means it is held accountable by shareholders and so Disney management has to be fiscally responsible. I hope they are also socially responsible and take care of those they part ways with too.

At the end of the day, for the Walt Disney Company to survive, they are going to be forced to make some tough decisions. Hopefully these are few and far between as a company that is based on mass gatherings attempts to be profitable through social distancing times.

For Disney to remain in business and remain profitable, they will need to walk a fine line (and there will be some setbacks). Disney management definitely can't have wealthy guests removing masks in theme parks without consequence and eject others for doing the same. They will need to find ways of dealing with archaic retail infrastructure, particularly online shopping that keeps their paying customers from losing their wits with technology, and will need to make more of the beloved events that happen (such as the EPCOT pin event and pin trading nights) virtual. That's where we're at.

Depending on travellers from abroad who take rapid COVID testing at the airport is not a responsible way forward, because quite frankly, there is nothing to say that passengers are going to get on planes, that airfares will be kept affordable, and that outbreaks won't happen. None of the COVID measures in place are 100% foolproof.

So, I'm truly happy that 200 cast members are going to go back to the jobs they love in Anaheim and sad to hear of the lost positions in Orlando, but this is a sign of the times.

If we all really want to return to the magic, we care about the cast members who have lost their jobs, we'll all do the right thing and take all public health measures seriously so we beat the virus, allow medical workers to do their jobs, and we devote our efforts to a vaccine.

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