With California lifting pretty much all of its pandemic restrictions this month, you might think that things finally are back to normal at the Disneyland Resort. But my colleague Brady MacDonald at the Orange County Register just reported some information that shows how far Disney has to go before we get anywhere near a pre-pandemic normal again.
Brady is reporting that Disneyland has recalled less than half the cast members the resort employed before the parks closed in March 2020. That's about 15,000 cast members back to work now, out of the 32,000 cast members that were working before the pandemic hit.
California is not imposing any capacity limitations on Disneyland or other theme parks in the state. And while rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Soarin' Around the World now may operate at full capacity, Disneyland has not reopened all of the attractions and locations it offered before March 2020. Parades, night-time spectaculars, and large-cast theater shows remain closed. Several attractions, including Jungle Cruise and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, have yet to return. The Disneyland Hotel won't reopen until July 2.
That has left thousands of former Disney cast members still waiting for their recall notices. And many cast members moved on to other employers or left the workforce while the parks were closed, creating vacancies for Disneyland to fill. Disneyland executives have said that the parks will be adding capacity by expanding operations through the fall. Some reopenings - such as Jungle Cruise on July 16 - are already on the calendar. But many more - including the fates of Disneyland's parade and the Fantasmic and World of Color shows - remain to be announced.
Still, there's progress after a long year away from the parks. The resort is recalling about 300 cast members a week and looking to hire about 1,000 more cast members as it reopens more attractions this summer. As a Disneyland spokesperson said, "We are proud to have recalled more than 15,000 cast members to reopen the Disneyland Resort and we look forward to welcoming back additional cast members as roles and opportunities become available."
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