Budget Cuts Continue at Walt Disney World, Still No Statement from Disney

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Despite Disney’s refusal to make comment, heavy budget cuts continue at the domestic parks. In just the last few days, there have been multiple reports of many understaffed positions at the parks, leading to longer lines at restaurants, shops and resort front desks. These reports come after WDWNT.com ran a story about possible labor cuts coming to the U.S. parks dues to the Shanghai Disneyland project being over time and budget, as well as continuing losses at Disneyland Resort Paris.

In addition,  a spokesperson for the Actors’ Equity Association has now come out and stated that 10 of the 29 Streetmosphere performers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will not have their contracts renewed. Nine of the performers are full-time, while one works part-time. The performers will conclude their run at the park in mid-April.

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Upon visiting the Magic Kingdom this weekend, it was also made clear that the Fairy Godmother meet and greet has been cut as well. Some other meet and greets around the resort have also been cut lately, most noticeably Princess Aurora at Epcot. Others are rumored to be cut in the weeks ahead.

Rumors also indicate that TradNation, the new performing group at Epcot is being cut in April, but that could be unrelated to budgetary concerns.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

19 Comments

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  • I’m here now and I’m not noticing anything obvious but the cast members are obviously annoyed. A few times I asked if I could get a Disney Visa or AP discount with meals and three times different cast members grumbled “no, I don’t even get a discount.”

    • Actually, there are many food options, particularly quick service options, where they haven’t offered Cast discounts in a long time – so that’s probably not in relation to these cuts.

  • It’s sickening that a Fortune 100 company that’s making money hand over fist feels the need to cut any entertainment in a park that clearly needs all it can get.

    • My feeling is they have extended themselves too thin. Shanghai Disney, Avatar’s Pandora, Star Wars Land (in Both Cali and FL), Pixar Place…those are just the major things. That and the hundreds of other projects. Too thin. Management has lost sight of Walt’s dream and need to step back and refocus. We all love Disney and I doubt this will stop 99% of us from still going, grumbles and all. I just hope management looks out their windows and see people instead of money.

        • Amen , Shelly !!
          In My View Disney is also doing too much outsourcing American Jobs right now while all of these changes and updates are being made to the American Parks . How is Disney going to entertain people in the parks with all of these cuts ?

    • I agree.There is so little to see right now at H.S. I could see spending only 3 hours at most that park – not worth spending the $ unless you have a park hopper.

  • I read that Mickey & Minnie volunteered to be cut, so they could get some much needed vacation time after almost 90 years without a day off. Donald was apparently upset that he didn’t think of doing the same…he was heard quack-muttering about things being “preposterous.”

  • The “Citizen’s of Hollywood” have been one of our favorite things to experience. We are saddened to realize that we will miss some familiar faces! We had become Disney family.

  • It’s not the long lines or lack of characters that has me irritated, it’s the overflowing trash cans in the parks, the restrooms being less than good and even at the resorts, my rooms haven’t been clean. I realize the traffic flow is ridiculously high, but these are things that have been on point in years prior. I sometimes wonder if it’s because I go so often it’s easier for me to see flaws or if the attention to detail is really declining.

  • I honestly don’t care about streetmosphere, in all the years I’ve been going to that park I’ve seen them once. Once. Total waste of dollars in my opinion.
    That said, I hardly think that cutting streetmosphere and less popular meet and greets is a function of spending in Shanghai. It’s just not enough dollars to make that big a difference, and it’s unlikely this is an indication of a bigger issue. Most likely just fine tuning in the entertainment department.
    But nice try at whipping up some consumer resentment! lol

    • For the most part, I found the street actors a bit annoying. THey impeeded already busy street flow and would call to me in an annoying way – I’m someone who just wants to be left alone. I only liked the cop (heard he’s gone), and the seasonal play that they brought over from EPCOT’s world showcase performers.

    • If the part about “continuing losses at Disneyland Resort Paris” being part of the reason for the US cuts is true the company should seriously consider pulling out of that money pit. That was a poorly conceived facility that seems to consistently operate at an ever increasing loss to Disney. I’ve heard it called the worst major theme park in the world.

  • was at magic kingdom yesterday and noticed there was no one doing sorc. of the magic kingdom at the christmas shop. Also Aladdin was by himself there was no jasmin yesterday

  • well, I guess they can start to let them go since it’s no longer about the “golden age” of Hollywood. right now it seems like the park will be in three areas (to me at least). The front part that broadly covers movies (Indiana Jones, Chinese Theater, that puppet kid show, and then the coaster and tower), then you will have Star Wars and Toy Story land. Such a different feel from how they wanted to transport you to a movie studio.

  • Maybe it was just the crowds, but it seemed like there weren’t that many people manning the cash registers at the food booths today at Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival. Some just had one person and weekend-esque lines. It seemed odd there weren’t at least two cast members at each booth.

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