80% of Cast Members Recalled Have Returned to Jobs at Disney Parks According to CEO

Alongside the news that capacity at Walt Disney World has already been increased from 35% and will be increased again “immediately,” CEO Bob Chapek brought up the return of Cast Members to the parks.


In an interview with CNBC, Chapek said, “80% of the Cast Members, that we called back who unfortunately we had to furlough,” showed a “willingness and zealotry” to bring magic back to the parks.

Since the parks’ closure for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, more than 32,000 Cast Members were laid off or furloughed. Many struggled with unemployment and relied on local food banks for support. Furloughs continued to be extended even after Walt Disney World Resort reopened in July 2020.

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Disneyland Resort didn’t reopen until last month, but Cast Member recalls will likely continue when California allows for increased capacity at theme parks.

Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle said that Cast Members would be “at the heart” of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the resort. That statement was released shortly after another round of layoffs and came under critique on Twitter. The return of many Cast Members may help back up that promise.

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  1. Ok…… make it a nice big number and recall the other 20% who entertain the crowds. Shocker of an idea.

  2. As good as this sounds, and all positivity is fantastic to hear, this story actually says 80% of those “that we recalled”… it doesn’t say how many have been recalled.

    Still… more Cast Members – more capacity!!

  3. Hmm….tell that to the casts of Beauty & The Beast…or Little Mermaid…or Finding Nemo….or Indiana Jones….or Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue….or any of the castle shows…or….

  4. Tell that to all the corporate and WDI cast who got laid off after 10+ years with the company.

  5. Classic smoke in mirrors from a soul-less company. Read the statement carefully and you will see that is is 80% of those recalled, but Chapek does not disclose the how many (of the near 100k total CMs at WDW & DL) were actually recalled.

    The unfortunate reality is that there are still A LOT of CMs not (yet) working at Disney parks. Federal & state governments need to STOP all unemployment aid and Disney needs an attractive talent acquisition package to bring back quality CMs. Until then, there will continue to be a staffing issue at Disney parks.

    1. How about rehiring people like me who worked 21 YEARS for this company? Still waiting for my return to Entertainment phone call.

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