Photo Courtesy of Syfy Wire
Disney has become the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic, joining the millions of businesses already struggling. According to a New York Times article late last month, Disney’s chairman, Josh D’Amaro, announced that 28,000 employees will be laid off in response to California’s Disneyland being closed and Florida’s Disney World operating under strict restrictions because of the pandemic.
The same New York Times piece went on to explain that most of the layoffs will impact part-time employees working at the theme parks, however, some full time employees and executives will also be affected. Even before the layoffs, employees who did work at Disneyland, in Southern California, and Disney World, in Orlando, Fla., had been on furlough since March when the parks shut down. USA Today said that while California’s Disneyland remains closed due to Gov. Newsom’s orders, the Florida location is open. Disney had reported an almost 60 percent drop off entering this year in revenue due to the initial shutdown.
The official statement Disney released pointed out that it had pushed back the decision to make layoffs because the company wanted to continue to support their employees with benefits and healthcare. Most of these layoffs mainly affected Disneyland, due to California having thousands of new cases everyday. The governor said that he is not allowing any major theme parks to reopen for the next few months.
Disney World, open since July, has published their new guidelines for visiting the park on their website. Visitors must have their temperature taken in order to enter the park, the number of guests is limited, masks are required and people can only purchase food through the Disney app. All while the park is continuously cleaned to keep visitors safe.
With a net worth of more than $130 billion, Disney laying off its employees show the devastation of this virus and prove that no company is immune.