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Park and Resorts layoffs coming

thehowiet

Wilson King of Prussia
#2
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Word on the street is that layoffs in the thousands will be announced for Parks & Resorts in the next few weeks.
Any word what the catalyst for this might be (low attendance, guest spending down, etc.)?
 

lentesta

Premium Member
Original Poster
#4
Any word what the catalyst for this might be (low attendance, guest spending down, etc.)?
I don't think it's the storm - it seems to have been planned well before last week.

IIRC, @ParentsOf4's data shows solid per-cap guest spending, so I don't think it's that.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's some combination of:
  1. Avatar drove little to no new guests visits
  2. Higher prices reducing demand
  3. Lower than expected numbers at ESPN and from movies (Hollywood is going through its worst domestic box office performance in decades)
 

asianway

Well-Known Member
#6
You laugh, but Media Relations (the group that handles book, magazine, and Web interactions) got folded under PR this year. That was widely interpreted as ensuring the only things that get reported are the things that they want reported.
If youve read my posts, I feel that team actually does a good job, but it is way too large. Not going to name names, but there are a few that could easily be snipped. And you know that most of them have ops people ghost writing their articles.

And I think they do such a good job, there is no need to feed freebies to the blogger-sphere which by and large parrots their releases.
 

stretchsje

Well-Known Member
#7
Word on the street is that layoffs in the thousands will be announced for Parks & Resorts in the next few weeks.
During union negotiations? Wow, that's gutsy. The higher minimum wages demanded by the union certainly create an incentive for layoffs, but the reverse is not true. To the contrary, having a surplus of labor (or applicants) drives wages down. This may be the motivation.

The optics of this are going to make Disney some enemies, and thus the layoffs could backfire in much the same way their H-1B replacements did last year. That's enough to call Disney's labor relations a consistent problem.

While bad short-term, it's a good thing long-term. Disney needs to see a market response to its actions, in this case a market response in quality or quantity of job applicants. Then Disney will have to raise wages to attract labor again (or choose to offer a lower quality of service). That's supply and demand, no union required. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Up until a year ago it seemed the Disney brand was so nostalgia-filled and "magical" that nothing could slow price increases. The same exact mentality among tweens dreaming to work at their favorite childhood vacay-destination kept wages low. I wonder if the wall for both has been hit. If the brand becomes associated with greed or exploitation, I could see a downward spiral occurring for most of a generation. I know I'm reaching a bit, but I do think the stakes are rather large here.
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
#13
Thousands? Yikes. That's a pretty big number, even for someone the size of WDW.
Depends on which "thousands" they chose. What is the number there now? 75K? I'm sure a lot of dead wood could leave and not be missed. We really shouldn't over react to street rumor anyway. Some of these posts have already taken on the armageddon feel to them. Let's react after it happens, if it happens. There is plenty to talk about that is fact without making things up.
 
#15
There were six (!) persons directing guest flow at Artist Point yesterday.

That is a small counter restaurant. Maybe some showed up for work in closed areas because of the storm aftermath and were directed to the restaurant.

But still. That is painful when Shark Reef and GMR are closed because of operational costs.
 

Bender123

Well-Known Member
#19
Seems strange with so many new things on the way in the very near future, especially with per-cap guest spending being so decent right now.
Per person is fine, but with attendance dropping and lower future bookings, a large enough drop would equal a decline of quite a bit. With operational issues of cost and almost an entire park undergoing renovation and a second park going under the knife shortly, cutbacks would be expected to go with a projection of lower guests counts until Epcot and Studios are back to being full on parks.

Along with other recent issues, I would guess that WDW has finally hit the point where wallets matter more than magic to the bread and butter guests.
 

lentesta

Premium Member
Original Poster
#20
Len you have no idea how much I hope you are wrong on this one and how much I fear you aren't!!! Marie
I hope I'm wrong too. The person I heard it from, though, would not have heard it unless it was highly likely.

My guess is it's mostly managerial positions. When it comes to frontline, low level, and mid level management the parks are extremely bloated and redundant.
I think management will likely bear the brunt of it, too. Every manager cut is the equivalent of several front-line CMs in terms of salary and benefits.
 
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