Since the Disney World parks initially reopened in July 2020, more guests have recently begun making their way to the Resort.
With the reduced capacity in the parks and the hesitancy of some guests to travel, earlier this year, Disney announced they planned to lay off 28,000 Cast Members in the Parks, Experiences, and Products division.
Since the initial decision, additional Cast Member furloughs were announced, as Disneyland Resort in California faces an ongoing park closure.
This year, we’ve seen both Disney World and Disneyland Cast Members called back to work as various stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. have reopened. And Fox 35 Orlando reports that the return of guests has allowed Disney to slowly call additional Cast Members back to work.
Fox 25 Orlando spoke with Nick Caturano, a server who was laid off during the pandemic but recently put on a list for part-time alternates. Caturano expressed his thoughts on receiving the news, “That was a surprise and it’s hopeful because we didn’t see that happening as soon as it has, but that could still be a ways off.”
They also spoke with Jeremy Haicken, president of Local Unite Here 737, a union that represents some Disney World Cast Members. Haicken said, “People have been recalled steadily since the summer. Business is picking up. Which is good and people are staying safe.”
Disney CEO Bob Chapek did confirm that Thanksgiving week in Disney World was booked close to capacity. And in the upcoming months, Disney World plans to reopen several additional hotels, as well as Blizzard Beach water park.
Haicken also expressed hope that vaccine distribution will lead to additional Cast Members returning to work in the future, “Hopefully, a vaccine will mean tourists feel safe to travel next year and come back in bigger numbers which means more jobs.” He added that around 6,000 workers in housekeeping and food and beverage services are still out of a job.
Disney hasn’t confirmed the exact number of Cast Members that have been called back to work. We’ll be on the lookout for any further news and updates on the return of additional Cast Members.
If you’d like to help those impacted by the layoffs, we’ve compiled a list of resources and ways you can provide support.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!