After announcing a furlough of many salaried and non-union hourly theme park cast members, Disney now is suspending its internship programs, starting April 18.
Disney previously dismissed its spring class of Disney College Program participants and now is working to send international Cultural Representative home by April 17. But the big news for theme parks is that Disney has told its incoming June class of College Program and Cultural Representative participants that they will not be needed to report as planned.
Disney said that it will invite those Cultural Representatives to complete their program at a later date and will allow the June class of College Program to reapply "when the time is right," even if they have graduated.
With internship programs such as these providing thousands of cast members for the parks, these moves provide the strongest indication to date that Disney is not, at the moment, planning to staff for the resumption of full operations in June. Disney is accepting reservations for guest arrivals starting June 1, but without its College Program cast members on board to staff the parks, Disney does not appear to be anticipating that, at the very least, the parks will be operating at full capacity even if they were to open in June.
Now, with rising unemployment due to so many businesses laying off employees or closing entirely due to the global economic shutdown, Disney likely could staff up quickly with new hires should it need to, so this move is not a confirmation that the parks will not be ready to go this summer. But it does give Disney additional flexibility while the parks are closed by not committing to the expense of staffing the parks more fully this summer.
The Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort theme parks officially are closed until further notice.Tweet
This article is currently not accepting comments.