More and more Disney World Cast Members being recalled to work as Disney prepares to boost capacity for the summer

Apr 14, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:42pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is continuing to push forward its reopening plans for Walt Disney World with all signs pointing towards an imminent increase in park capacity ahead of the busy summer season.

Buoyed by a better-than-expected COVID-19 vaccination roll out and pent up customer demand, Disney is currently in the process of recalling a significant number of former Cast Members to their existing roles where available, or into new roles where needed.

We've seen frequent Cast Member orientation sessions at EPCOT, Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom over the past couple of weeks, and have heard from many Cast Members that they are returning to work.

In addition to the increase in operational Cast Members, we also see more Disney Park Pass reservation slots becoming available for June 2021 during periods that were previously unavailable. For resort hotel guests, June had very limited availability. As of this afternoon, we are now seeing almost 100% availability for this period. Dining availability for June and beyond has also seen similar increases in availability.

A summer return of live entertainment, which begins with a celebration of Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom will add much needed capacity to the parks. Assuming Festival of the Lion King is successful, we are likely to see more and more live entertainment return, including the possibility of firework shows.

Many attractions have also seen an increase in capacity, achieved by adding more plastic dividers, reducing social distancing and loading more guests per ride vehicle. 

Finally, Disney World operating hours recently released for June 2021 suggest a return to something approaching normal length operating days.

Disney never discloses specific attendance numbers, but has mentioned various operational capacity percentages during this reopening period. Disney CEO Bob Chapek's last update was in February 2021, where he talked about a 35% capacity. Of course percentages can be rather ambiguous, as it is never quite clear what 35% of an unknown number actually is. 

The Walt Disney Company's next earnings result call for investors is scheduled for May 13 2021, and we expect to hear an update from Bob Chapek on capacity and how Walt Disney World is ramping up for the summer and beyond.

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RWilliamsJun 23, 2021

Exactly, without the perks of working there it really becomes just another job. I could work a lot of other places for similar money closer to home with less hassle but I chose Disney so that I could go to the parks and take my family (even if it was only 16 times a year with blackouts). This past year has really made me start making plans to move on from the company. It's just becoming a lot of hassle and stress for not much benefit to me and my family. I'd really like to work somewhere that values me as the hard working and dedicated employee that I am.

cranbizJun 23, 2021

You got that right. While bus driver pay was actually pretty good when I was there, especially for WDW, the main attraction was the maingate pass that had almost no blockouts. The limitations on maingate usage and self admits now it a huge detraction.

SirwalterraleighJun 23, 2021

More than likely…which doesn’t bode well for recruitment

SoFloMagicJun 23, 2021

I get that, but if they're gonna limit "unlimited" platinum passes, they're gonna limit "unlimited" cm passes.

iowamomof4Jun 23, 2021

You are obviously correct, or they wouldn't have to offer such a hiring bonus.

SirwalterraleighJun 23, 2021

Wdw employees by and large aren’t loving the place like tourists. That’s where your comparison to customers falls flat.

SirwalterraleighJun 23, 2021

I’m looking at it from the labor side. Housekeeping was never in demand anyway…it certainly isn’t going to be something people seek out when for the first time in about 50 years the workers are more in demand

SoFloMagicJun 23, 2021

It was a perk and incentive of annual passes too, but that's gone as well. Seems Disney has become too popular for their own good

iowamomof4Jun 23, 2021

I was talking about the guests that want regular service. I realize some people prefer not having a housekeeper in their room daily.

SirwalterraleighJun 23, 2021

They typically have found more value with part timers due to consistency over the years…but they have tinkered with all types at times.

SirwalterraleighJun 23, 2021

Bonus are gone the next morning…raises are forever To what? It’s cute that you believe that’s what any of them want to do…. But those places don’t demand full time, primary work commitment as Disney does almost as a Standard term of employment Part of the appeal of working for Disney was access to the product. It was never about gaining fortune and glory.

cranbizJun 23, 2021

When I was a CM, I also worked FT elsewhere. I gave them Wednesday night, Saturday and Sunday. Casual Temporary is seasonal, Casual Regular is part time and obviously, Full Time is full time.

DznyGrlSDJun 23, 2021

I didn't realize there were 2 different types CT & CR. I work (at home) m-f 8-5 so I can't be "available" 3 days a week but I'd totally do the 150 hours/yr gig

cranbizJun 23, 2021

I thought it was 150 hours a year for CT. CR was 3 days of availability a week.