Two of Disneyland's Live Theater Shows Will Not Return

October 10, 2020, 12:59 PM · 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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Replies (7)

October 10, 2020 at 1:43 PM

All of the layoffs are sad, but these hit hard. I wasn't a GIGANTIC fan of Mickey and the Magical Map, and never got a chance to see Frozen - Live at the Hyperion (other than on video), but this one kinda hurts. Because these were two MAJOR musical productions at The Disneyland Resort.

But...at the same time, EVERYTHING is up in the air right now. I'm still wondering whether the Dapper Dans will be back, despite them entertaining us from home during the shutdown in videos shared by Disney.

It's sad to see productions being shut down, even when EVERYTHING is shut down. I was hoping to see these productions return when it was safe to do so.

No wonder I spent most of yesterday in the midst of a panic attack. Not knowing what is coming, and trying to prepare for the worst (not just in a theme park sense, but in a [gestures at everything] sense) has been rough. That's part of why I got your Efteling show post so much. It was a small bright spot in a world in which there are almost literally no other bright spots.

October 10, 2020 at 2:06 PM

I'm married to a violinist, so I feel definitely feel the whole shut-down of the live entertainment industry right now. And I've spent my entire career since leaving Disney in journalism, so I've seen more layoffs at my various employers than I care to recall. It's horrible what is happening right now, but the only coping mechanism that's ever worked for me is to focus on the opportunities at hand and prepare for a better tomorrow.

People out there — right now — are writing shows, movies, and attractions that will succeed wildly in the years to come. I can't wait to see their work. So if you've ever been thinking about doing something creative — now is that time.

October 10, 2020 at 3:03 PM

Wow I never thought Frozen would go anytime soon. I wonder what will go in it's place.

October 10, 2020 at 6:00 PM

I wonder if maybe there will be a Frozen or Beauty and the Beast ride in place of the theater!

October 10, 2020 at 8:35 PM

Well, real Broadway is closed until next June so can't be too shocked at this.

October 11, 2020 at 1:18 PM

Not a surprise. Disneyland won’t reopen until at least 2030.

October 12, 2020 at 3:18 PM

I saw the Frozen show, it was pretty good, i.e. about 1/20th as good as the fantastic Aladdin show it replaced. Don't get me started about that...

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