Home Disney News New Layoffs Will Forever Change Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom

New Layoffs Will Forever Change Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom

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New Layoffs Will Forever Change Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom

The past 24 hours has been difficult as so many of our favorite shows have been cancelled and talented Cast Members have been let go. Find out what Magic Kingdom experience has also been affected with the most recent round of Disney layoffs.

Massive Disney Layoffs

Last month, we shared that several actors would be returning to Walt Disney World. This even included the legendary Dapper Dan entertainment group. Disney fans were overjoyed to hear that Frozen Ever After would be reopening to Guest very soon and also that signs may point to the reopening of the Festival of the Lion King.

So much can change in a month. At the end of September, the Walt Disney Company announced that 28,000 Cast Members would be laid off. Since that time we have heard the disheartening news that thousands of Cast Members have been let go.

Newly Announced Layoffs

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Yesterday we were saddened to learn that many of our favorite shows and performers would not be returning. Citizens of HollywoodHoop de Doo RevueBeauty and the Beast-the Live ShowFinding Nemo the Musical, and Festival of the Lion King are among the experiences affected by the terrible new wave of layoffs. 

This morning we shared that Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor in Magic Kingdom would not be welcoming Guests. We also learned that even more shows and Guest interactive experiences are now cancelled in Hollywood Studios.

Main Street USA

Yesterday we announced that the Citizens of Hollywood would no longer fill the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios with that Old Hollywood nostalgia. Unfortunately this round of layoffs has also affected another iconic street at Walt Disney World, Main Street U.S.A.

The Citizens of Main Street offered “streetmosphere” like none other. They dressed in early 20th-century dress and they were always charmed to greet Guests and “bend your ear to offer the latest local scuttlebutt.”

Unfortunately, we have learned that these Citizens will not be retuning to Main Street U.S.A.

Susan Phillips posing with a Citizen of Main Street

Our very own KennythePirate and writer, Susan Phillips, reminisced of the many great interactions that they had with the Citizens of Main Street. Susan shared that she still has a business card at home, “Pull the lever and vote for Weaver.”

the citizens of Main Street will not be returning to greet guests.

The highlight of many trips included these special interactions with the Citizens of Main Street. These unique experiences truly set Disney Parks in a different class than other Theme Parks. This was what Walt Disney imagined when he first dreamed Disneyland so many years ago.

Our hearts continue to go out to the many talented Cast Members who are affected by these layoffs. This morning KennythePirate shared, “It’s devastating to hear so many talented Disney actors losing their jobs. They have brought us so much joy and made so many amazing memories for our family over the years. I pray that the future is as bright as your talent.”

“They have brought us so much joy and made so many amazing memories for our family over the years.”

KennythePirate

What do you think of the many actors and performers that have been let go from Walt Disney World? Do you think that they may return when the Parks return to “normal”? How do you think this will affect the overall Disney Park experience? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook Page.




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30 COMMENTS

  1. As a former cast member of disneyland being layed off was very heartbreaking …being that I had experienced lottttss of turmoil in my life going to work at disney did not feel like work it was like going to my comfort happy place which I always thought of it life changing therapy ….

  2. There is so much about this that makes me sad. I live in NC but have gone to WDW every year for the last 19 years. We’d come at least once for a 10 day trip and often would do more. It’s my home away from home. My daughter who is a teacher in Central FL was also a seasonal cast member for 7 years. She got laid off earlier this month. Not sure why they would let seasonal go because they cost nothing (no benefits) and can work shifts when they’re needed. The COVID impact to the WDW landscape is breaking my heart. I was there that last weekend in March right before they closed; and had planned to do multiple weekend trips this year. I haven’t been back and I miss it terribly. Every time I read of certain layoffs I vision my interactions with these people, or at least how much I recognized them and will miss their familiar faces) which is partly why it felt like home). I keep looking up when I might go back, but my favorite resort (Port Orleans – both Riverside and French Quarter) have yet to reopen. One of my favorite things was to walk along the water back and forth between the two. With my favorite resort closed and so much not running, I don’t see what the point is. Like even to go to my favorite restaurant-Ohana would be sad not to see the ukulele performer and to go to Animal Kingdom or Studios without Lion King or Beauty and the Beast would be depressing. I love WDW rides, but love the performances and my favorite resort the most. I don’t want to spend all that money to go, only to feel sad. I’m simply heartbroken.

  3. My heart is broken. I took my family to Disney every year for the past 18 years minus this past 2020 only because of the many restrictions and closures. I cannot believe the Hoop de Doo Review is over!!!! We went every year and it was a family favorite!!! Those actors were amazing and what about all the staff??? What is Disney without Beauty and the Beast??? Sorry, I spent a good chunk of money on this trip and cannot justify going there without the experiencing the full Walt Disney World Magic. So sad…. good luck to all Disney workers I hope you can come back, many of you are part of years of my family’s wonderful memories. ❤️❤️

  4. As one of the Cast Members who was laid off due to COVID, I am conflicted. One of the things that baffles me is why are they allowing so many cast to work overtime, looking the other way when people call off work, and so many, like myself never had an option? They have to pay time and a half for overtime at $14+ an hour to start, $21 min per hour in overtime. They offered so many people the opportunity to transfer to other roles to keep their jobs, meanwhile people who had those jobs lost them. I was in a part time, non union role, office, but I had been asking for a full year before covid to be full time. They would not allow me to be full time and yet I had to watch the hiring of 8 people a month coming into the company for several months. All part time roles in my department were eliminated!!! I gave Disney over 12 years of my life but seniority only means something if you’re full time. Keeping me on furlough wasn’t costing Disney money. I lost my insurance when Obamacare started and then I ended up making too little for Obamacare and too much for Medicaid. I wasn’t using their Aspire program and I don’t even use my free admission into the parks or buy anything with or without my discount.

    The parks are definitely not the same but I hesitate to say don’t visit because that could mean more job losses. Annual pass holders have had their AP extended and get in without paying but they have lost benefits too. The APH are the ones vloging and doing their best trying to support Disney.

    I am devastated the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra is gone! That was my favorite group of live performers and I loved listening to them when I worked the Royal Palm Club at the Grand.

    I will always hold a special place for Disney in my heart. It has always been a large part of my happiness as a child. I was honored to work for them and will keep all the amazing memories I have with our wonderful guests in a special place in my heart, but I doubt I will return if offered unless I’m really hurting for money. How this is being handled, even how people are being informed of their job loss is WRONG!! So many are left with questions they can’t get the answers to (even trying to get their property from company lockers and their desks). They have so many places in the open parks and open resorts that remain closed, that’s extra jobs that could’ve been spared.

    Like I mentioned before, I’m conflicted. I hate this pandemic and the fact that it has crippled our tourism industry affecting parks, hotels, airlines, etc.

  5. We have been passholders for around 30 years. Anytime a business has to let employees go, it’s rough. It’s crazy to blame Disney for having to make these tough choices. The bigger the business, the more the employees and the bigger the expenses. Most of us probably can’t even fathom what it would cost to run a company of this magnitude. They are doing what they have to do to stay open until times can get back to normal. We just went last weekend and other than the masks and some obvious adjustments, we still had a great time. Everyone can make decisions that are best for their families, but to bash Disney is misplaced anger. Looking forward to the day that they can begin rehiring and bring back all the magic we miss.

  6. We had planned to take our kids the Oct 15th-21nd. I hadn’t been to Disney in 20 years and wanted them to experience Disney for its true magic. I’m glad we postponed it so they can experience Disney the way I did those many years ago.

  7. I think the biggest problem has been that Disney has diversified itself so far outside of the parks that they’ve spread themselves very thin. Think of all the different things that they have purchased outside of the parks in the last 5 to 10 years. The amount of money they are losing in the movie production side now. Trying to be dominant over everything has made them vulnerable to everything. I feel so bad for the employees.

  8. I was at the Magic Kingdom for the first time in 20 years a couple weeks ago. The “magic” is very much subdued. Shuttered shops and restaurants, almost no live entertainment, no characters, none of the spontaneous occurrences that set Disney apart from other theme parks.

    They cut operating hours but not the price, and the modified food service wasn’t well explained. I was expecting some compromises due to COVID, but the whole experience was kinda “meh”.

    Disney is expensive, but justifies it by providing experiences that exceed expectations. At the moment they cannot deliver, and I think people will begin to wonder if it is worth it.

    At the moment I don’t think it is.

  9. Absolutely ridiculous for a company with a net revenue of 11.05 billion to be laying off anyone, especially when the top execs are still being paid their astronomical salary without a cut.

  10. I think this is a good way for disney to eliminate some of the nostalgia that isn’t important to them. I know I will always find magic in disney no matter what happens but my heart is sad. Some of us are aching to return to the disney we grew up with. I wish they could see that.⁰⁰

  11. It’s very sad that all the layoffs are coming, I have a pass and I am a DVC member and I am not giving up on Walt Disney world or Disney. I may be dead before it all comes back because I’m 72 but I believe in the magic and I believe in Walt Disney’s name and I know at this time it’s going to get worse before it gets better we’ve never been through a pandemic and neither has Walt Disney world and Disneyland and I know it’ll come back and be stronger than ever I will keep going to Disney world and I will be still paying for my pass because I do believe that Walt Disney had the right idea for families and I know someday it will be back full force and then everybody can complain but the long lines too many crowded people the food the heat I do believe that with all my heart I trust and God and I know that he will bring Walt Disney’s vision back

  12. Walt Disney would be turning in his grave! As tough as times are laying off all your “essential workers” is crazy! They are what makes the park/ parks experience fun and exciting!

  13. I have cancelled our annual passes for the first time in more than a decade. I have dealt with every price increase and perks taken away. The blackout days. The list goes on. But now….there are too many things that make Disney what it is being taken away. No park hop capabilities yet with all of these things cancelled it is not worth the cost of a day at Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. I agree, let some of the execs take a cut to keep some of this going. Bad move on leadership’s part.

  14. Full price for no live shows, no parades, no fireworks, some restaurants and stores still not open and wearing a mask while having the announcement ring out through the parks about being sure to social distance…no thanks if it is ever back to normal I’ll consider visiting again. To expect a family of four to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to experience a trip like that is crazy in my opinion.

  15. It is heartbreaking to hear of all the cast members loosing their jobs. My family loves the rides AND the shows which brings the magic to life. I am starting to feel like I am supporting an evil cause by flying back to the parks next week, after hearing about these layoffs!

  16. You do realize this is a pandemic, don’t you? I’d understand your reaction if we weren’t in the middle of the things we are facing, but this is a bit harsh…..IMO.

  17. I don’t believe they will return and I don’t believe they would desire to return. It is devestating and saddening to see People’s Dreams shatter at the most magical place on earth, the place where Dreams Come True. Cast members are just a number. I hope each and every single person affected comes out Stronger, Happier, and most successful. I hope that the world returns to normal much sooner than later

  18. Its Horrific and the manner in which cast members have been treated. Disney is Not the Place where Dreams Come True and there is Nothing magical about it. The only thing Disney cares about is cash flow. Cast members are just a number. Work performance and work ethic has nothing to do with it.
    My heart goes out to each and every single one of the people affected by these circumstances and I hope that each individual will be Successful and Blessed beyond imagination. I Dream and Imagine for each of their Dreams come True.

  19. 890 points, most at premium MK resorts. Will just rent them out to others willing to go. Will not do my AP, or TIW. I will not waste my money on the garbage they now offer – that is, 30-90 minute lines for nothing but rides. No Flying Fish, no Citrico’s, No Spirit Of Aloha, No Grand Floridian Orchestra while sipping champagne. NO Trolley show, no special live productions…I will rent my points, pay the dues and wait to see if Disney wakes up while I enjoy other parts of Florida. They are offering subpar experiences at this point, IMO.

  20. Hey Clark…If by real soon you mean, over a year and a half from now, then it may start to get back to some semblance of normal

  21. My annual Christmas trip to Walt Disney World is just weeks away and while I realize some of the drastic measures that have be implemented to protect everyone it seems I am saddened each day with more bad news. No park hopping or fast passes on this trip. We can’t stay at our New favorite resort as it is still closed. We will also not be using any of the Disney transportation service this year. We will be there four days and will skip Animal Kingdom this trip as it has always been our tradition to visit the Magic Kingdom on the first day as well as our last day, We will be staying at a different Deluxe Resort which will allow us to walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. On the days that we visit The Magic Kingdom we have breakfast reservations at The Contemporary Resort and will drive to that resort and walk over to The Magic Kingdom. This year to say the least has been overwhelming. I also unfortunately got to experience the Covid thing first hand as well. I was ill the whole month of July and still have some lingering effects. Even with all of the changes I feel my Walt Disney World fix is well deserved this year.

  22. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that the higher ups (exec) still get a paycheck . Mr Iger has a 600plus million dollar worth and they lay off the people that make your visit what it is magical. They close attractions fire (lay-off) cast members but want the same money for annual passes and tickets . That’s why I won’t be renewing my annual pass for the first time in a long time . Put the people that are feet on the ground back to work and exec take a pay cut or no pay for a while and see how they like it. Walt would be disappointed….

  23. Forever is quite a long time. Things will turn back to normal very soon. Disney is continuing to build new facilities and attractions. As long as they keep spending money on these sorts of things the entertainment, whilst changing with the times, will go on for many generations to come!

  24. I have reservations for August of 2021 but if there is no Festival of the Lion King among other shows, I will be cancelling my reservation

  25. I have the best memories of my late Grandmother interacting with the Citizens as she celebrated her 94th birthday. Nothing can take that memory away but I am heartbroken that I can not share these special people with my son. We never step foot in MK without seeing them, a trip to FL never does not include the iconic and timeless Hoop Dee Doo Revue – the removal of these classic Disney cast members has me heart broken and reconsidering our next visit.

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