Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, to pay employees during closure

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the official websites... Walt Disney World:

The Walt Disney Company will pay its Cast Members during the closure period.

From Universal Orlando:

Hourly team members will be paid for any work scheduled through the end of March.

Jeff's avatar

This is really reassuring, considering just how dependent our local economy is on the tourists. These companies will take a hit, but it's the right thing to do. Hopefully this eases the criticism a bit about the "corporate greed" and executive pay.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Bakeman31092's avatar

Ha! Good one Jeff.

It's good to hear that Disney is supporting their employees.

ApolloAndy's avatar

It is a good and right thing to do. Good on them. But like Bakeman alluded to, there will always be some combination of righteous indignation and jealousy leveled at one of the biggest companies in the world.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Jeff's avatar

Ugh, yeah, I know. I'm just so tired of the fact that everyone has to place hostility toward someone or something. I'm not so naive that I don't believe that we need a great deal of change, but blame and scapegoating don't change anything.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

99er's avatar

I still get paid regardless because my projects don't stop. I was really hoping for two weeks at home next to the pool with a drink in the hand.


LostKause's avatar

My employer, Walmart, announced a few days ago that they will offer two additional weeks paid leave of absence if an employee is in quarantine due to Coronavirus.

I have a lot of issues with my employer, but I commend them about this one. I was worried about what would happen to me if I was not able to work. I can't go without even one paycheck before my bills would be late. No car payment, no car. No car, no transportation to work. No transportation to work, no money. No money, no rent or food. ...ect.

This pandemic will show us just how much value employers put on those who work for them.

I work about 20 feet from the marketing and communications department for my sector. They spent the whole day yesterday crafting something to be released; it appeared it was two separate statements - one to our clients and one to the employees.

The best I can tell, they were waiting on our CEO to return from a trip today to sign off on the statements. My guess is that they're going to tell us all to work from home until further notice. Considering almost everyone in the corporate office has a laptop and the access to work from home (we already do it once a week), it's not going to disrupt the work we do. I walked past the Assistant for our President, who was receiving a laptop and learning how to use the main phone through it.

I do, however, worry about some of our employees in the different branches. Many are hourly, some even commission-based on their daily routes. Our company has historically been very helpful in similar instances, so I expect the same. However, the unease they must be feeling needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

A good number of the employees we see at the Theme Parks do not work for the parks.The Photo People,Portrait artists ,some game attendants are all working for outside companies . I know some companies that have yearly shutdown's offer employee's unemployment benefits You think That will be available to employee's of companies that do not pay them?

Larger companies will be much better able to keep paying people. Won't really be possible for a lot of employers (particularly small ones). Clowns in DC are supposedly putting together something which hopefully will help. A lot of displacement right now.

Vater's avatar

My company provides telemedicine products and services. Can’t think of too many other industries I’d rather be a part of right now...

Last edited by Vater,
Jeff's avatar

They're pretty solid, too. Simon had a minor burn, and we saw a doctor and got a prescription cream in like 15 minutes. We couldn't have driven to a doctor that fast!

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

99er's avatar

99er said:

I still get paid regardless because my projects don't stop. I was really hoping for two weeks at home next to the pool with a drink in the hand.

Projects were cancelled or moved around. Now I get to sit by the pool for two weeks with a drink in my hand. Kinda dreading the amount of work I will have when I get back though.


Both my workplace (U. Michigan) and my wife's (Psychiatry) have gone completely online. U-M has given everyone two extra weeks of PTO for use in self-quarantine or caring for ill loved ones. We are very very lucky. A lot of people are going to be crushed by the fallout. I saw a correspondence between national GDP and national health care outcomes, and they are almost perfectly correlated. The economic shock of this is likely to kill a lot more people than the virus does.

Some thoughts that I've had about the situation:

Congress was proposing to do some things with unemployment compensation to prepare for people who would lose their jobs if a forced business closure occurs due to COVID-19. My thought was instead of waiting for job losses to occur, why not give the unemployment compensation money back to businesses so they can continue to pay their workers if an extended forced closure needs to go into effect.

I have also wondered if banks would consider, although not probable, freezing interest and allowing deferred payments for a couple months, should businesses be forced to close for that long. This would give small businesses a chance to survive. Yes, the banks would miss out on some profit in the short term. But, in the long term, they would continue to receive payments from borrowers instead of missing out from all those who would not survive. I could see banks losing out on a lot of money if these companies fail.

Last edited by CoastingInMN,

Didn’t Disney let go of all the college program interns and boot them out of the dorms? So yeah I’ll f you didn’t get terminated, they will continue to pay you.

But then again, what do I know?

Ok, it's is fun to pile on Disney but let's look at it with some clarity. The College Program kids are not there trying to support families. It is, for lack of a better word, an internship. I was a CPer and I would have left on my own, at this point, had Disney not informed me that the program was over.

College campuses have basically kicked kids out of the dorms. NYU students were given 48 hours to get their stuff out of their rooms. If they don't, packers will go in and pack their stuff and ship it home. They are turning dorms into emergency care facilities.

This is serious stuff. It isn't a game. The messaging we have been getting from our leaders since the beginning has not been direct or assertive enough and people are suffering today because of delayed reaction and insufficient action.

I was a College Program student and I would be perfectly fine if I was number 1,000 on Disney's priority list.

kpjb's avatar

How does Abagail Disney feel about all this? I look to her for answers.


Jeff's avatar

Yeah, the uproar over college program seems kind of ridiculous. They are essentially college students working instead of studying. I would probably expect the same "treatment" as if I were an on-campus student.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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