California’s Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have both been closed since March, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the company’s Disney World theme parks in Florida reopened in July with limited capacity, theme parks are still closed throughout California. Now, Disney is making massive reductions to the workforce in its Parks, Experiences, & Products division, citing the ongoing closures in the state.
The news was revealed in a statement from Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products chairman Josh D’Amaro. “In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic–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 at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits,” the statement reads.
The reduction means the company is laying off roughly 28,000 domestic employees, 67% of whom are part-time workers. Disney says it’s discussing the layoffs with the employees impacted, as well as the unions representing certain employees.
As for when Disneyland or other California theme parks could potentially open, that remains to be seen. Previously, Disney announced a set of guidelines that would see the parks open in July. However, that didn’t happen after the infection rate in the state grew. Currently, indoor shopping and outdoor dining are acceptable in Orange County, where Disneyland is located, meaning the Downtown Disney District shopping complex next to the park is open for business.
Image credit: Disney