April 19, 2020: 43,000 Walt Disney World employees are furloughed
This is the largest furlough in company history. Only a group of 200 workers remained on the job during the closure.
April 18, 2020: Disney releases updates for Annual Passholders
Those who hold annual passports (AP’s) for the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will have their expiration dates extended by the same number of days the parks have been closed. If they chose not to extend, passholders can opt for a partial refund instead.
April 12, 2020: Walt Disney World Resort announces it will furlough workers
This is done as a cost saving measure to stem rising theme park costs.
Here are the details of the furlough:
- Cast members will be able to keep their health benefits during the furlough period, also they will not lose their seniority or have their pay reduced (they earn $13-$20/hr)
- Cast members will immediately be eligible to enroll in state unemployment benefits
- The company will provide cast members who have health care benefits with free health care for a year
- Although it was not clear when Walt Disney World would reopen or how long the furlough would last the company said that cast members would be able to return to work
“when our community recovers from the impact of Covid-19.”
Walt Disney World officials released the following statement:
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Service Trades Council Union that will maintain members’ health insurance benefits overage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19. This agreement provides an easier return to work when our community recovers from the impact of COVID-19. We are grateful to have worked together in good faith to help our Cast Members navigate these unprecedented times.”
April 7, 2020: Walt Disney World comes to an agreement with the American Federation of Musicians Local 389 regarding the upcoming furloughs
This agreement will maintain cast members health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19.
April 3, 2020: Disney made drastic changes to its 2020 movie slate
With theaters being closed due to restrictions on social gatherings, it was revealed that many films would be shifted to later dates this year and some moved into 2021 and 2022. Some other films were moved to Disney+ or have not yet been given new release dates.
There is an indication by the shifts in dates that Disney is still committed to theatrical releases for its films, and not just putting them out for home rental and purchases.
April 1, 2020: Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Disney Ambassador Hotel, Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta, and Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel all close
The website states, “No cancellation fee will be charged for reservations with check-in dates up to May 31, 2020.” This is the first closure for these hotels, which had remained operational during the previous closures of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.