One of the most popular Disneyland fan blogs is reporting that company officials have instituted resort-wide budget cutbacks in Anaheim, including shows, and freezing some positions in the wake of an unexpectedly slow summer attendance season.
Micechat.com reported Wednesday that all “departments have been asked to cut labor hours and make other cuts as necessary,” reporting that entertainment, custodial and other non-essential jobs were being cut, including a scaleback of the new Lion King show and closure of the Red Car News Boys show at Disney California Adventure.
Disney officials point out that the park just added 1,600 new jobs to prepare for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and continues to be Orange County’s largest employer with 31,000 employees. They rejected the blog’s characterization that the park currently has a hiring freeze.
“Like any business, we adjust our pace of hiring based on business needs and this is nothing new,” officials said. They said jobs are still posted on the Disneyland careers website.
They also said that the Red Car News Boys show was closed because of declining viewership due to renovations to the trolley cars that were the backdrop for the show.
Most people had expected the parks to be packed this summer with crowds coming to see the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. Resort officials blocked out most annual passholders for much of the summer, stopped offering free admission to cast members and their guests and raised prices in anticipation of the crowds. However, many of the most ardent fans came to see the new land during its preview period in May and June, and others stayed away, perhaps put off by the expectation of crowds or the higher prices.
In response, Disneyland began once again allowing free admission for cast members and their guests and also is offering a half-price deal to annual passholders: Come and bring guests for $99 each for parkhopper tickets.
“While those admissions do seem to be successful, it isn’t enough to make up for soft hotel room bookings and short attraction waits,” Micechat’s blog post reports.
Todd Regan, who runs the Micechat blog under the pen name Dusty Sage, said he expects the crowds to return next month, when most annual passholders are no longer blocked out.