Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 9:24 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Walt Disney World has stepped up layoffs this week, as the company moves ahead with a broad, recession-forced restructuring of its management ranks. Disney, which is Central Florida's largest employer, with about 62,000 "cast members," refused to say Thursday how many jobs it has eliminated. But one person familiar with some details of the cuts said he was given an estimate of 450.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
Well I can tell you I was there last week (March 14th thru 22nd) and you definately could tell a change in things. I hope they don't go too far with layoffs. The one thing you can count on with Disney World is it is like nothing else out there! I hope it doesn't just become like regular amusement parks where the cast member could care less if your there or most of the attractions aren't operating cause there's not enough staff. One big change I notice while there was the stunt show at Hollywood Studios. They cut that program from 33 minutes (according to the park map and the last time we visited) to a mear 18 to maybe 20 minutes and they took out the big explosions at the end. I won't wait in line another hr for that!
I was there around the same time you were. I don't know if it was just me but the parks were the most crowded I have seen them in recent memories. It kind of makes you think.
Todd: Attendances may not always be the only indicator of how the parks are doing. For example, in rough economic times a family may still be able to afford that yearly trip to WDW, but instead of eating at Victoria and Alberts they may choose to dine at Mama Melrose instead. They may cut the amount of spending they do in the shops. Instead of staying at Dolphin, they may stay at Caribbean Beach instead. It all adds up.
What is really odd about this recession is that the most affected isn't necessarily the hourly worker, but the salary worker. Mid management jobs are really getting nailed. I have been feeling the pinch in my own career as a computer programmer. There are absolutely no jobs out there and layoffs are occuring every day.
KTS is on the money. I go every year for the same week in late February/early March. If anything, we thought things were just a tad busier than "normal". Partly that could be because attractions weren't staffed at quite the same level, which makes waits a little longer. But, we saw lots of merchandise discounting, every where we looked. And not just on the junk that no one wants, but plush, toys, pirates merch, etc.
It was clear that they felt the need to discount to get people buying.
Well and alot of families(such as mine) did the buy 4 get 3 free promotion. We also this time took alot of food, as to cut down on spending money on as much food. I saw one family bring in a whole cart full of nothing but groceries, and the bell hop said to me that it is getting more and more like that. People who want to go to WDW are finding cost cutting ways to go.
That should make it an interesting year in terms of per capita spending numbers. Six Flags' has been going up year after year since the new management stepped in, but I wonder how long it's sustainable. We've seen Cedar Fair's take a dump lately. I haven't seen if Disney releases those numbers, but already if they're giving away nights in hotels, it's going to go down.
Ugh... we're fine down here now... barely.. do us a favor and buy something when you're here! :) At Disney, that is.
Does CPJ own Disney? lol
Oh you still buy plenty when at WDW. But it's a rare thing for Disney to offer ANY kind of discount, so families are taking it while they can, even if that means not buying that $30 dollars Pirates of the Carribean shirt and bringing there own food.
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