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Entire Cast & Crew of “Festival of the Lion King” and “Finding Nemo – The Musical” Laid Off at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

With social distancing markers laid out at both their respective theater locations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, fans have long since hoped for the return of the popular “Festival of the Lion King” and “Finding Nemo – The Musical” shows since the reopening of the park. However, the latest wave of entertainment layoffs has hit both beloved attractions. According to multiple sources, the entire cast and crew of “Festival of the Lion King” and “Finding Nemo – The Musical” has been laid off at Walt Disney World.

It’s unknown whether the shows will go dark permanently, but we hope to see the return of these extremely talented performers to the parks very soon. Select equity performers returned to Walt Disney World back in September after initial negotiations, but for the most part, the majority of entertainment across the resort remained dark, with performers on extended furlough up until the recent layoffs. Other impacted performances include the “Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor” show at the Magic Kingdom, Citizens of Hollywood and “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as the “Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” dinner show at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

The Walt Disney Company restored the salaries of its Senior Executives in late August, when thousands of Cast Members were still on furlough.

We at WDWNT are supporting these Cast Members as much as possible. You can help too! Tune in to our 65-hour broadcast on Thanksgiving weekend and help raise money for the Cast Member Pantry.

The donation-based organization also has an Amazon Wish List as well as Venmo—their account is: @castmemberpantry. Cast Members can email Cast Member Pantry or contact them via their Facebook page to book a 15-minute “shopping” window.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Hannah
Hannah
28 days ago

I’m heartbroken…these two shows are two of my favorite things at Disney World. They’re what makes Disney Disney. I don’t understand this move at all. These shows, together with all of the other entertainment that used to be offered around all four parks, are what make a ticket to WDW worth the price! Besides, currently the lines are insanely long, the hours have been cut, and instead of bringing back shows that eat up crowds they’ve fired the entires casts?! So you’re now paying the same ticket price as before for a shorter day with huge lines, limited food venues… Read more »

Gail Lord
Gail Lord
27 days ago

Too sad. Lion King show is the highlight of any Disney day. I can’t imagine AK without it.

Laura Sampson
Laura Sampson
27 days ago

Additional way to help cast is to join the @earforeachother fb group to support furloughed and laid off cast side hustles. Everything from services to products.

SJames
SJames
27 days ago

In a word, stupid. These could still function well, be “people eaters” like the other theatre seating attractions such as hall of presidents and Mickey’s philharmagic. Disney just is using covid as an excuse to cut cost/cut people/ cut guest experience.

Jack B
Jack B
27 days ago

I really liked the entertainment at WDW, and going there now without it would be a greatly diminished experience.

Rhonda
Rhonda
27 days ago

This is terrible news!!
What is a Disney trip without entertainment favorites?
Even less reason to return to the parks.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the cast members. And definitely donating to help them.

Karen
Karen
27 days ago

These Cast Member layoffs are truly tragic. These entertainers, along with ALL the Cast Members, are the heart and soul of the Disney experience for guests. These are the kind of layoffs that will lead to seriously diminished park experiences and therefore guests avoiding parks which will just make the financial situation even worse. Shareholders and execs need to take the financial hit until things stabilize!

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