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UPDATED: Mass Equity Actor Layoffs Underway at Walt Disney World; Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo, Citizens of Hollywood and More Going Dark



Tonight is a sad night to be a fan of entertainment at Disney Parks, as Disney has begun notifying Equity Actors and Actresses that they are being laid off.

As of the time of publishing, the following show’s casts have been completely eliminated (we’ll keep this list up to date):

  • Citizens of Hollywood
  • Citizens of Main Street
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo — The Musical
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review Dinner Show
  • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
  • Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Pandora Utility Suit
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Green Army Men (Toy Story Land)
  • Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple
  • Voices of Liberty (non-principal vocalists)

At this time it is unclear whether or not these shows will be going dark permanently, or whether these popular shows will ever return.

More Equity Actors not in the shows above are also being laid off and various backstage roles are also being eliminated, such as costuming; the only Equity show that has resumed performances is the Frozen Sing-Along at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Out of all 780 Equity Actors employed by Disney before the pandemic, over 700 have been dismissed.

Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association said this in a statement:

“Our hearts go out to all the cast members at Walt Disney World, Disney has made it clear that our members would face work reductions since they announced layoffs of nearly 28,000 employees. That does not make this news any less painful. These reductions are another tragic reminder that until the virus is brought under control with a national strategy for masks, testing and contact tracing, everyone who works in the arts needs help like extended pandemic unemployment insurance and federal COBRA health insurance subsidies.” 

If you’ve been affected by these layoffs or know of groups of Cast Members we haven’t mentioned in this article that have been, please reach out using our Contact Us page or on Twitter. We want to hear from you.

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  1. Nina Rocconi

    October 27, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Yes. Sad and unbelievable

  2. Stitch

    October 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Spirit of Aloha at Polynesian resort was let go too

  3. Picc

    October 27, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    I guess since top executives got there salaries back last round of layoffs, this one is for all their bonuses then? 🙄

    • Gray Houser

      October 27, 2020 at 11:52 pm

      Just to clarify, from what we understand, these layoffs are included in the already announced 28,000 layoffs. Sorry if we didn’t make that clear.

  4. Pingback: The Cast and Crew of Two Popular Musicals Laid Off at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. - Just Disney

  5. Bubblesugarsocks

    October 28, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Costuming, who work on these shows, was also let go yesterday.

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