Disneyland's war with California over reopening sets up a critical pandemic choice
Disney's blunt criticism of coronavirus restrictions is putting more pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom and health officials at a critical moment.
Advertisementannounced that it would lay off 28,000 staff membersacross its parks, cruises and retail stores because of the pandemic. Though the cuts affect employees across the U.S., executives cited in their decision California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
Jocelyn Campos makes pizza at her family’s restaurant, which has lost business since Disneyland has been closed.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)The pushback from the corporation is part of a much larger, growing pressure that communities around California are facing as businesses grapple with a make-or-break fall after months of slashed revenue.
Jocelyn Campos said her family’s restaurant, a mile from Disneyland and typically a popular spot with park visitors, can probably survive only six more months with business down by 40% since the shutdown.Advertisement“We’re going to do everything in our power, but all we can do is cross our fingers that the customers return,” Campos said.
Disney, one of the largest employers in the state, has been severely hobbled by the coronavirus health crisis. In April, the company said it was furloughing more than 100,000 workers after the pandemic forced the company to shut down its theme parks. Disney also cut expenses, slashed executive pay and suspended major projects to save money.
In June, Disneyland announced plans to reopen but Newsom and his advisors persuaded park officials to hold off.Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger has been in direct contact with Newsom throughout the outbreak and is a key member of Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, which was created in April to guide the state’s financial recovery and create jobs.
AdvertisementHowever, the prolonged shutdown became financially unsustainable for Disney, said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products segment, in a memo to staff on Tuesday.“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business,” D’Amaro said.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, said the Newsom administration expects to release guidance this week for the reopening of theme parks across the state. The extent of reopenings may depend on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in the counties where they are located.
State public health officials have been meeting with amusement park representatives since the outbreak first began, with recent talks focused on the complex natures of those attractions, which have drawn millions of visitors annually.AdvertisementGhaly noted that initially, Disneyland and other parks were not expected to open until the final stage of the pandemic recovery, when herd immunity was established.
“When you think about an amusement park, there’s components that are indoor and outdoor and there’s different things, like there’s water rides,” Ghaly said Wednesday. “People usually come to the parks for weekends or weeks. It’s a family event. You’re in hotels and restaurants. If you keep your guard up while you’re in the park, you may take your guard down when it comes to transmission in all these related activities.”
Ghaly said the announced layoffs at the Walt Disney Co., as well as the economic toll on other businesses across the state, have weighed heavily on every decision made by both the Newsom administration and local public health officials.“Nobody has a playbook on this,” Ghaly said. “Ideally, the way that we look at this is that our choices around controlling transmission are in fact, helping us set up for more success moving our economy forward.”
AdvertisementBut not everyone is treating theme parks this way. In July, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was allowed to reopen. However, that Florida allowed Disney World to reopen should not be taken as a sign that Newsom should charge forward, Pollock said.Read more: Los Angeles Times »
Biden's ABC town hall live updates: Former VP faces voters in Philadelphia
With less than three weeks to Election Day, Democratic nominee Joe Biden will face voters directly in an ABC News Town Hall in Philadelphia Thursday night.
You know you’re a sh-tty governor GavinNewsom when even Mickey Mouse hates you. Funny how the clowns that support the economic shut down haven't missed any of their paychecks! How you gonna open up before schools fam 😆 Disneyland you can’t reopen before SCHOOLS for gawds sake! Liberal on Liberal--interesting.
Disney Parks to Layoff 28,000 Employees; Cites California's 'Unwillingness' to Reopen DisneylandDisney Parks to lay off 28,000 employees, cites California's 'unwillingness' to reopen Disneyland: GAVIN ruined lives. Permanent, unnecessary closures have consequences. States that engage in them should receive no monetary relief from the federal government. Period. Told you this was going to happen.
Disney to lay off 28,000 theme park workers, Disneyland remains closed - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. Remember, no one in management with fat salaries will resign... only workers... Well done, politicians! You decimated the economy and livelihoods over a virus that affects almost no one and kills fewer than 0.06% of the population You did not state their reason clearly as part of the headline. 28,000 lay offs due to Governor's continued adamant position to keep California close, using pandemic as an excuse.
Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, FloridaORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its... *waits for Disney to post record quarterly profits* I guess opening Florida up to a pre COVID state isn't saving many jobs. 🙄 28000 - ugh. I wonder if trump ever thinks about the tsunami of economic destruction he so willingly contributed to by eagerly downplaying this virus. Where are these people supposed to now get jobs? Horrible
Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, FloridaSqueezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried
Disney to lay off 28,000 theme-park workers, exec says California ‘exacerbated’ pandemic’s effectsThe massive job reduction was the most eye-opening among several severe cost-cutting measures made by Disney, which has lost billions of dollars in potential... I will be buying into Disney when their stock drops ;) Did they lay off Mickey Mouse? Did they lay off Snow White? she had some nice tits last time I was at WaltDisneyWorld. $dis
Disney Workers Caravan to State Capitol, Urging Gov. Newsom's Adoption of Hospitality Workers Retention BillIn the wake of announced layoffs, a group of Disney employees will caravan to the California state capitol in an effort to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to adopt the hospitality workers retention bill: The overall situation with the pandemic and keeping people safe to hard working people being laying off from their jobs is just awful. It’s a heartbreaking situation no matter how you look at this mess. ☹️