Earlier this year, Disney announced massive layoffs coming to the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products division. Recently, we were all devastated by the news that many performers from some of our very favorite Disney World shows had been affected by these layoffs.
In fact, Actors’ Equity Association indicated that 720 of their members working at Disney had lost their jobs there. Now, Disney has issued a statement regarding these entertainment layoffs.
Today, Disney posted a statement acknowledging that “part of the magic of visiting any Disney park is seeing favorite Disney friends and discovering one-of-a-kind shows and performances.”
They noted, however, that the parks recently “had to make some difficult decisions to reduce [their] workforce as the business impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic have become more long-lasting than anyone could have predicted.” As a result, Disney said, “we’ve had to pause many live shows and entertainment experiences at our resort for longer than originally anticipated.”
When will these beloved shows return to Disney World? Disney has said that “Determining which shows can return and when is a complex process.” In today’s statement, Disney specifically noted that they will “consider the guidance of health officials and government agencies in determining when the time will be right to adjust capacity, and as soon as it is appropriate, we will start to bring additional entertainment back.”
While they’re unable to fully replace the entertainment that existed prior to the pandemic, Disney noted that some entertainment options will be available when possible including the character cavalcades, pop-up character appearances, the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Main Street Philharmonic in Magic Kingdom, and the Discovery Island Drummers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney ended their statement by recognizing that the “beloved entertainment cast are an incredibly special and essential part of the Disney experience,” and indicated that Disney looks “forward to the day when we can welcome back more live entertainment to our parks,” and will share more news about that when they’re able to do so.
We certainly miss seeing some of our very favorite shows and performers around Disney World, and we will be on the lookout for more updates on the situation regarding live entertainment in the parks.