Multiple Disneyland Resort cast members have been posting on their social media accounts that the "Frozen - Live at the Hyperion" and "Mickey and the Magical Map" shows have been closed permanently.
Both shows have been closed, along with the entire Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks, since March. But the social media posts suggest that Disney has chosen not to bring back those productions once the parks reopen and to include many of those shows' cast members among those to be laid off from the company.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said this week that there was "no hurry" to reopen theme parks in the state while the pandemic continues. Disneyland and other parks immediately pushed back against the governor's comments, insisting that they could reopen within the "health-first framework" that the governor said he wants for businesses within the state.
Disney's Parks, Experiences and Products segment announced last month that it would lay off 28,000 cast members across its operations in the United States, due in part to the ongoing closures of the Disneyland parks and the Disney Cruise Line and continuing low attendance at Walt Disney World. Thousands of Disneyland cast members are expected to be included among those dismissed, though negotiations are continuing with Disneyland's unions to determine specifically which represented cast members will be losing their jobs. At the Walt Disney World Resort, union negotiations saved the jobs of thousands of full-time cast members who initially had been slated for layoffs, though many of them will remain on furlough. (The difference being, furloughed cast members keep their benefits, including health insurance and eligibility for Disney's Aspire program that pays for college education.)
Frozen - Live at the Hyperion and Mickey and the Magical Map were both live theater productions that would have to play to sharply limited audiences under the health and safety guidelines that Disney has introduced in Florida and proposed for its California theme parks. While live theater productions can cost much less to develop initially than animatronic or mixed media shows, their higher on-going operational costs make them attractive targets for cuts when parks need to reduce costs immediately. Closing the shows permanently also allows Disney to dismiss their casts without negotiation.
Here are highlights from the Frozen show and the full show video for Mickey and the Magical Map:
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