Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure have been closed to the public for the past seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the west coast Disney Parks continue to face bleak developments this week with the announcement that the House of Mouse has laid off all performers involved in two beloved shows: Mickey and the Magical Map and Frozen: Live at the Hyperion.
Over 200 Disney employees were informed via email last weekend that both shows will not be returning to the theme parks, and the company has since confirmed the news. Disney officials say the decision was made due to the parks’ continued uncertain closures, as it waits for reopening guidelines from the state, via The Orange County Register.
Since opening in 2013, Mickey and the Magical Map has been a popular attraction for families passing next to Toontown to enjoy an outdoor musical celebration of their favorite Disney characters and songs. Frozen: Live at the Hyperion opened in 2016 over at DCA after the theater’s Aladdin show was discontinued. They are each fan favorites for Disney goers. One fan took to Twitter to share his feelings on the end of the line for Magical Map:
The message that the 214 performers received detailed both shows not returning to the theme parks but, when Disney is in a better position, it could very well reopen these attractions in the future. The company has reportedly sent cast members notice of end-of-run before and later reopened shows.
Two weeks prior, the Walt Disney Company laid off 28,000 other cast members in the Parks, Experiences and Products division of the parks due to setbacks the theme parks have faced in the midst of the ongoing public health crisis. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently made it clear that the state is in “no hurry” to send Disney Parks reopening guidelines at this time.
The California governor is going the cautious route, recently explaining the decision to keep Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure closed (along with other theme parks in the state) is “led by a health first framework.” Disney’s chief medical officer refuted Newsom’s statement by responding that the company “reject the suggestion” that more Disney theme parks reopening would be unsafe during this time.
The back-and-forth between the state of California and Disney Parks does have a tension about it, at this point. When the mass layoffs were announced, the company cited the state as a central reason, and Disneyland President Ken Potrock admitted to his disappointment over the situation. The Disney Parks over in Florida were allowed to reopen in July and have continued to phase in more aspects.
In Walt Disney World, two of its shows Animal Kingdom’s Finding Nemo Musical and Hollywood Studios’ Voyage of the Little Mermaid remain closed, but A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration is open again, with social distancing and other health protocols in place.
Here at CinemaBlend, our hearts go out to all the performers and cast members affected by Disney Parks’ layoffs.