Disney has laid off another 4,000 cast members due to the state government imposed economic shutdown, according to company filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission. This brings the company’s pandemic shutdown-induced layoffs to 32,000.
“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the company stated in the SEC filing. “As part of these actions, the employment of approximately 32,000 employees primarily at Parks, Experiences and Products will terminate in the first half of fiscal 2021.”
The company’s larger Florida theme park, Walt Disney World, re-opened in July at reduced capacity, and has been operating safely ever since. Florida Governor Rick DeSantis has ruled out returning to a lockdown, citing the economic losses and psychological and other negative health impacts.
The Downtown Disney section of the Disney;and Resort re-opened in July with health and safety protocols in place. On November 19, Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure opened for shopping and dining; admission into DCA will be free.
Given the structuring of the major theme park re-opening guidelines issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, it is unlikely the Disneyland Resort will re-open until mid-2021, although rapid deployment of the new COVID-19 vaccines could possibly accelerate that process. A full re-opening of the Disneyland Resort will come none too soon for the businesses and employees that depend on it for their revenues and livelihoods. The Anaheim Resort generates nearly half of the city of Anaheim’s general fund revenue, and the closure – now approaching its ninth month – has torn a gaping hole in the city’s budget.
Governor Newsom’s re-opening criteria for counties used to take into account hospital capacity and hospitalization rates – key indicators of a county’s ability to manage its COVID-19 case load. Newsom jettisoned those considerations several weeks ago – and counties are not allowed to re-open even if they have sufficient hospital capacity to cope with an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Notwithstanding the wreckage his COVID-19 pandemic management has made of the state economy, Newsom appears ready apply an even heavier hand sterner stay-at-home orders – ignoring the reality that his current stay-at-home order is being widely ignored.
Meanwhile, several thousand more Disneyland Resort cast members who would like to go back to work are instead joining the ranks of the unemployed – the result of state government policy that has been adept at inflicting economic hardship on residents while struggling to contain the COVID-19 virus.