Most Walt Disney World Entertainment to Remain Dark Despite Equity Performer Agreement, Furloughs Remain Indefinite

Remember the joy and excitement everyone felt at the announcement that performers would be returning to Walt Disney World? Entertainment Cast Members may have gotten the all-clear from the Actors’ Equity Association to return to Walt Disney World a few weeks ago, but as of yesterday, many have just found out that their furlough has been extended indefinitely.

The Citizens of Hollywood as seen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before the closures.

While rumors persist that shows like “Turtle Talk” and a few other offerings will return soon, there’s a lot of entertainment remaining dark until further notice, especially now with the furlough extensions. Fans of the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!” clamored at news that the theater reopened yesterday… only to find out that it is being used as a Mobile Order wait area during peak times.

Fans continuously ask their favorite performers when specific shows will be returning, however the actors themselves are in the dark, with many believing that it will be a long time before these shows can come truly back.

Shanghai Disneyland, often seen as a model of reopening phases for the Disney Parks, was able to bring back stage shows just over a week after reopening in May. The Walt Disney World theme parks have been reopened since mid-July, and despite a Memorandum of Agreement being reached between Walt Disney World and the Actors’ Equity Association nearly two weeks ago, there are no signs of additional prep at any of the currently-shuttered shows throughout the parks.

As stated in the press release, the Memorandum of Understanding was established on the grounds of a new COVID-19 testing location opening on-site at Walt Disney World Resort, inside Disney’s Maingate Complex. Many Walt Disney World performers have yearned to return to work since the theme park shutdown, even launching a #BringBacktheMagic campaign after the parks reopened, yet are now faced with even more uncertainty.

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  1. This is a tough one. On one hand I feel for those CMs! One the other hand, this is what can happen when a union pushes too much. It’s fine that they wanted to protect their workers but by being too stubborn it may have cost those very actors the opportunity to go back to work.

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