The parks and hotels at the Disneyland Resort have been closed since March with no sign of reopening any time soon. California recently released strict theme park reopening guidelines, but Disneyland has no hope of opening soon. The guidelines require the theme parks’ county to be in the lowest risk tier for the coronavirus. That is nearly impossible for Orange County where Disneyland is located.
Due to the continued closure, many Disneyland cast members have been furloughed and are now being laid off. About 10,000 of those layoffs are from the Disneyland Resort parks, hotels and stores in Anaheim. Emails are expected to reach those impacted by Sunday.
Disney Entertainment cast members have also received notifications that their shows will not resume even when the parks reopen. Shows like “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” in Disney California Adventure will be closed indefinitely.
Cassie Simone, who plays Anna in the show, had been acting in Disneyland stage performances since 2004. She says she and her Disney co-workers were very close. “We’ve seen each other through marriages, babies, divorces, even deaths,” Simone said. Simone has been able to get a job as an office manager in a wellness clinic to make ends meet but losing her job at Disneyland has taken a toll on her.
“I’m having a real identity crisis because Disney was such a huge part of who I am,” she said, “Now I’m having to figure out who I am without Disney.”
Much of Simone’s acting career has been at Disneyland. She said if Disneyland reopens and she is asked to return, she would. She trusts that Disney would adopt protocols to protect her, her fellow cast members, and guests from the coronavirus.
Not all laid off cast members are as lucky as Simone. Others are barely making ends meet while looking for other jobs. Please check out the Cast Member Pantry where you can donate to help those who have lost their jobs.