Most recently, Walt Disney World made the decision to pay all cast members who had a canceled shift due to Hurricane Irma, but now, some may be without a job at all. While there has been no official word from Disney on this matter, there are reports going around that some major layoffs could be happening within the company quite soon. This wouldn't just be at Walt Disney World, though, as it appears as if it could be throughout the entire company.
Len Testa of Touring Plans is rather knowledgeable on all things that have to do with Disney and usually has some inside information as to what may be taking place. According to a recent post of his in the WDW Magic forums, there are rumors going around that serious layoffs are happening soon and it could be a lot of them.
"Word on the street is that layoffs in the thousands will be announced for Parks & Resorts in the next few weeks."For now, this needs to simply be taken as a rumor and nothing that has been confirmed by Disney, but it could be huge if it ends up being true. It is also hard to know what may end up being the reason behind these layoffs, but there are some ideas floating around.
According to Len Testa, the belief is that Pandora: The World of Avatar and the low numbers from ESPN and feature films could have something to do with the impending layoffs. That is why the cuts are going to happen from numerous locations throughout the company and not in just one particular park.
It appears as if Pandora is not exactly drawing in much larger crowds to all Walt Disney World parks as originally expected. Yes, the whole land at Disney's Animal Kingdom may still have big crowds, but overall, the attendance numbers aren't up.
The Kingdom Insider also makes a good point that some families may not be taking trips at this time due to so many new things set to open in the coming years.
That actually makes a bit of sense as new attractions such as the Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy will be opening at Epcot and TRON Lightcycle at Magic Kingdom in the next three to five years. Toy Story Land is opening in summer of 2018 while Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will make its debut sometime in 2019.
A conversation in the Mice Chat forums has taken these rumors a step further and said that a number of trusted Disney insiders have chimed in to agree with Testa's words. If the reports end up being true, it looks as if it may be the jobs of salaried workers which are more at jeopardy than those of hourly cast members.
Once more, these are just rumored reports at this time and nothing definite has been said about Disney Parks and Resorts actually making any layoffs. It will just take time to see if anything comes of this at all.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland have seen theme park attendance numbers drop in the last year, and that has actually happened at Disney Parks and Resorts around the world. It's hard to know if word of these layoffs "in the thousands" is actually true, but there are some signs that certainly point to them happening. Disney isn't going to say a word about them until they actually happen and it seems as if they may happen as soon as within the next few weeks.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]