In September, the Walt Disney Company announced lay offs of 28,000 people across its Parks, Experiences and Products division domestically. 18,000 employees from just their theme park division since the parks have reopened. That number includes live performers from popular shows like Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. In addition, other live entertainment was also laid off albeit hopefully temporarily.
Last week, Disney released their fourth quarter earnings report. The company revealed that the pandemic has so far cost the company $2.4 billion impact on its parks division alone.
“We’ve heard from many of our guests that they’re looking forward to us bringing back some of the entertainment that we recently had to discontinue, and we plan to do that,” D’Amaro said.
No specific dates or timelines were provided. Much of that still lies in limbo due to the ongoing pandemic but it is a relief and a joy that the live entertainment that brings so much joy and magic to guests will return.
D’Amaro also confirmed the re-theme of Disney’s Splash Mountain will move forward. The retheme which will incude elements from Princess and the Frog, is being fast-tracked.
In even more news, D’Amaro said Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot’s French pavilion will open next year and he showed video of another new Epcot attraction: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. It’s a first-of-its-kind programmable roller coaster where guests can be rotated in any direction.
All of this and more was revealed at IAAPA which is the global trade association for the attractions industry. The conference was held virutally this year.
The company also spoke briefly about plans to celebrate Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021. Although the scale of the celebration has been scaled back, D’Amara said “I can tell you is it’s going to be very remarkable, and we intend to celebrate the stories and experiences that our guests love.”
We are excited to see what Disney has in store.