ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of Disney World employees, known as cast members, remain furloughed, and those furloughs could last even longer as the company deals with the financial impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Many Disney World employees still on furlough

  • Disney has notified workers that furloughs have been extended

  • Disney World theme parks operating with limited capacity

Since reopening in July, Disney World’s theme parks have been operating with new health and safety measures, including capacity limits and reservation requirements.

With no timeline for when business will return to “normal,” Disney has begun notifying workers that their furloughs, which began in April, will likely last longer than originally anticipated.

 “When we initially notified you of your furlough, we could not have anticipated that it could exceed six months,” Disney said in an email sent to cast members. “However, due to business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time and given the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the pandemic and its impact on our businesses, we regret to inform you that we now reasonably expect your furlough could extend beyond six months from your initial furlough date.”

The notice of the furlough extension was also reportedly sent to workers at Disneyland Resort, which has yet to reopen its theme parks due to restrictions in California.

“We hope that our businesses will be back up and running and that your furlough will remain temporary, but the evolving and unpredictable nature of the pandemic creates uncertainty,” Disney said in the email.

Meanwhile, Disney World will be reducing operating hours at its parks in September. CEO Bob Chapek said earlier this month the resort has seen higher than expected cancellations due the pandemic.