N011 Frozen Ever After Returns and Beloved Cast Members Let Go
DVC Newscast by My DVC Points

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Shannon and Pete cover an emotionally difficult episode. We're saying good-bye to many beloved cast members and yet some of them are coming back to work. Frozen Ever After and Aulani re-opens. Recreation cast members are brought back to work.

DVC Newscast by My DVC Points Podcast was made possible through financial support from the DVC Dream Team:

Disney to lay off 28,000 theme park workers 

Statement from Disney Parks Chairman, Josh D’Amaro.

In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits. Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time. We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members.

Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business, and as difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal. Our Cast Members have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience, and we look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return.

An email was sent to all cast members shortly before the statement was released to the press.

Who has been affected so far?

  • • The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra 
  • • Yehaa Bob Jackson
  • • Spirit of Aloha Cast
  • • According to Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel, in a notice to the state, Disney has specified that 6,700 Walt Disney World non-union employees will be laid off in December. Layoffs will begin starting December 4. Breakdown
  • • According to the WARN notice that was filed with the state of California, 2,691 non-union Cast Members will be let go beginning December 4th.
  • • Local 11 claim 950 Cast Members will be laid off in November (Disneyland)
  • • Workers United Local 50 claim 2,500 members are expected to be laid off by November 1 (Disneyland)
  • • 279 jobs at Disney Vacation Club 
  • • 411 Imagineers in Glendale, CA

Walt Disney World Recreation Cast Members Getting Recalled on October 3

With many Cast Members still on furlough, yet another wave is thankfully returning to work. Recreation Cast Members have been recalled and will be returning to their posts starting October 3.

Select recreation has returned to Walt Disney World already, but this will reopen a host of other activities, like boat rentals at resorts. Many of these will likely be reinstated with new health and safety protocols. We also know that fishing is one of the activities that will be returning to the resort.

Guests can choose from 2-hour and 4-hour excursions and may possibly be able to add an extra hour in-person depending on availability. Guests can call 407-WDW-BASS (939-2277) to book an excursion.

“For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” Returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 5

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Beginning Monday, October 5, you can once again join Erik and Aria, the Royal Historians of Arendelle, for their comedic retelling of the unique story of their kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from Disney’s “Frozen” and special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff. “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” will be the same incredible show guests have loved for the past six years, with some adjustments to staging and audience seating to allow for appropriate physical distancing. 

Walt Disney World Allowing Guests With a Cancelled or Expired Annual Pass to Purchase a New One

With the changes to visiting Walt Disney World, Annual Passes have not been available to purchase. Pre-existing Annual Passholders have been able to renew their passes or cancel them, but not purchase new passes outright. Now Walt Disney World is allowing some previous Annual Passholders to purchase a new pass.

This offer is only available to Annual Passholders whose passes were canceled or expired after March 16th, when Walt Disney World Resort first closed. If you qualify and wish to purchase a new pass, you can call the Annual Passholder support line at 407-WDW-PASS (407-939-7277). You can also visit a Guest Relations location at Walt Disney World.

Aulani Begins Phased Reopening November 1

Senior Vice President of DVC Terri Schultz has confirmed that Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas will begin a phased reopening effective November 1. This move will leave the Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa as the only DVC resort still closed due to the impact of COVID-19. 

DVC warns that all arriving guests are subject to state and local restrictions. Guidelines going into effect on October 15 require those visiting Hawaii to either have a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to arrival or to quarantine for 14 days. These rules are subject to change at any time. 

Guests should expect modifications to food, beverage and recreation programs at Aulani. Disney has not offered any specifics regarding these operational changes. 

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Today's show was directed and written by Shannon Ford. Show notes by Shannon Ford. Chad Pennycuff, producer and audio engineer. Facebook admins and moderators of the My DVC Points Community Group: Valerie Fairnington, Donna Bickert, Tamara Speidel, Caleb Allison, and Mary Anne Tracy. “Take Flight” music by Martinrowberry1 on Pond5.