Disney cuts 1,900 jobs at US theme parks

Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:16 PM | Contributed by Jeff

In a sign that the recession is cutting into Walt Disney Co.'s parks and resorts business, the company said Friday that it eliminated about 1,900 jobs at its domestic theme parks. The bulk of the cuts occurred at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where about 1,400 jobs were eliminated. About 300 jobs will be cut from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, with the remainder coming from corporate headquarters in Burbank.

Read more from The LA Times.

Sunday, April 12, 2009 7:32 AM

No sirprise here. People travel less, so less staff are needed at the parks.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:09 AM

I hope that they don't cut staff in the wrong places though. I'd hate to see the Disney experience suffer.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 3:03 PM

I just hope Disney is not feeling invincible at the moment. All their competitors in Orlando are currently finishing major new headline attractions (Rockit and HP land at Universal and Manta at Sea World) meanwhile Disney is doing absolutely nothing. When this economy turns around I think the pull to the non Disney parks is going to be much stronger, especially when they start airing ads telling how many new things they have at their parks while the "old standby" just stood by.

Disney Studios was not looking good at all 2 years ago, and they have only partially it up, and the MK really needs a new E-ticket which it hasn't gotten in 20 years, a new night parade would help too.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 4:51 PM

Disney doesn't need new attractions all of the time. The burden of competition is much more heavily on Universal and Busch.

Previous news stories pointed to a significant decrease in per cap spending as Disney's biggest problem. And as Gonch, myself and others can testify, getting bodies into the parks is probably not the issue.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 5:54 PM

I still believe much of the 'other parks' former and future successes rely on the fact that Disney is there. I don't believe they do half the business without people making the trip to Disney and then shooting off to these other parks.

Last edited by MrZero, Sunday, April 12, 2009 5:54 PM
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Sunday, April 12, 2009 6:51 PM

Disney closed the gates to the Magic Kingdom twice during the first half of last week, due to the parking hitting capacity. I don't think lack of attendance is the issue, either.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 9:56 PM

Jeff said:
Disney doesn't need new attractions all of the time. The burden of competition is much more heavily on Universal and Busch.


As much as I am a big fan of Busch and Disney.. I have to say..

Is there really "competition" between Disney vs Other Florida Parks.

I think other parks internally accept that they will never truly compete with Disney. I think their goal really is to co-exist with in the land of The Mouse in a way that keeps them profitable or at least alive.

To think competition is the other park's drive against Disney is a horrible pipe dream that will probably never come to fruition. How they can leverage the draw is probably a safer practice.

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Sunday, April 12, 2009 10:03 PM
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Sunday, April 12, 2009 10:34 PM

That line of thinking is all well and good, but what about when Potterland is finished? I really think that Potterland is going to get a lot of action and give Disney a run for it's money.

As for competition, what was that slogan that DAK came up with to get people to come to their park instead of BGT? Notazoo?

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:50 PM

A run is well and good and still supports my remark.. However competition? Still think not. To be competition you have to have a chance of succeeding, or "beating" your opponent. I dont think I have ever seen stats on attendance for the year on any park who has been successful in "beating" Disney at their own game. They are just too well known. Try mentioning Disney in any country around the World. Then try mentioning Universal or Busch Gardens. See which one gets more of a reaction.. (good, bad or indifferent).

Again.. I support Busch more than you know.. And I really enjoy Universal, but reality has to set in at some point. HP Land will draw people. But im thinking Disney wont be completely concerned, other than, "hey more people we can siphon off when their couple day visit to HP Land is complete". By the way, a tactic that all the parks use against each other. However Disney has a greater yearly attendance so I would imagine the other parks benefit more than the other way around.


Lets not live in Denial Land (hmm.. Now theres a theme park name). What speaks is the foot attendance into the park. Disney, for good or bad, has always led the way.

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:54 PM
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Monday, April 13, 2009 12:33 AM

While I'll agree with most of what you are saying, I do think that Potterland will take at least a little bit of Disney's business away from them. People will still go to Disney, but Potterland will entice them to get out of Disney resort for a day or so, and that should concern disney somewhat.

I mean it Harry freeking Potter, for goodness sakes!...lol. I bet that there's a certain segment of kids who would be more excited about Harry Potter than Mickey Mouse.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 8:21 AM

Or the other way to look at it is Potterland will increase the total number of people headed to Orlando and Disney will be able to siphon off extra guests who were primarily there for Potter.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 9:00 AM

^I think I said that already....

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Monday, April 13, 2009 12:02 PM

You can't argue Harry Potter vs. Mickey Mouse - if you're going to compare a kids' demographic, you've got to look at the same age ranges.

It's more like HP vs. Hannah Montanna and High School Musical. I don't have any idea which one is more popular, but I know they're all doing well.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 1:46 PM

Aww. Comeon RP.. You were at the premiere for Hanna Montanna.. I know you were ;)

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Monday, April 13, 2009 2:48 PM

Well, I'm not surprised by this. The Small small world is getting smaller all the time.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 4:16 PM

ridemcoaster said:
Aww. Comeon RP.. You were at the premiere for Hanna Montanna.. I know you were ;)

Nah, I was too busy in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! :-D

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Monday, April 13, 2009 4:25 PM

It's more like HP vs. Hannah Montanna and High School Musical.

In our house, Hannah and HSM crushes Harry. The books are already "been there done that", and the movies come out too infrequently vs the incessant drum-beat of the typical Disney franchise.

But, our 2011 Florida trip is going to be Universal, because of HP. Our 2010 might, too, but only if my youngest decides he's ready for Serious Coasters. Until then, Disney just fits us better.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Monday, April 13, 2009 4:26 PM
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Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:03 AM

My cousin who has worked at Disneyland for about the last 12 years, and is now a Food Services Supervisor, just found out that she is not going to be laid off. A supervisor in a similar position who has been there one year less than she has is getting laid off.

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Friday, April 17, 2009 9:26 AM

LostKause said:As for competition, what was that slogan that DAK came up with to get people to come to their park instead of BGT? Notazoo?

(African Accent)
"Disney's Animal Kingdom is many things, but there is one thing it's not, (Everyone shouts) Natauzu!

Working for both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. I've learned that people naturally come to WDWR and only thing WDWR seems to think of as "competition" is Las Vegas. On the other hand UOR resort is always trying to find ways to compete with WDWR and lure people away, they are almost paranoid about it. UOR's Team Memeber catchphase is "We Will Win", and seriously thinks there is a theme park war with anything Disney. WDWR on the hand doesn't seem to care less. ^_^

Last edited by SONiC Senshi, Friday, April 17, 2009 9:28 AM
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