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Walt Disney World staffing issues causes entertainment to falter

by Tharin White

Walt Disney World’s entertainment offerings have shrunk, as more and more cast members quit or transfer out of this once prestigious sector of the company. Walt Disney World staffing issues have hit hard this year, as more offerings and events open, but fewer people are at Disney’s disposal. With the loss of Magic Kingdom’s Minnie Mouse, sporadic closings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and rumors of more characters going away, Disney has dropped their privacy curtain in a plea for help.

Walt Disney World staffing issues cause characters offerings to go away.

Character offerings are slipping away at Walt Disney World as overworked staff and limited employees are straining Disney’s options. Just this week, Minnie Mouse has been taken away from character meet and greets at the Magic Kingdom. Sulley, Chewbacca and Darth Vader have had sporadic closures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And we have been told by sources that Disney’s surprise and delight Character Caravan is thinning its character options.

Minnie Mouse no longer meets at the Magic Kingdom in an attempt to help Disney World staffing issues.

Minnie Mouse offerings, seen just days apart on the My Disney Experience app. On Oct. 19, 2022 you could see Minnie Mouse at all four Walt Disney World parks. As of today, Oct. 24, you can no longer meet Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom. Minnie will still be seen occasionally in Magic Kingdom’s cavalcades, or at other parks, but no more Minnie Mouse hugs on Main Street U.S.A.

Walt Disney World audition email sent out to the public.

This character loss isn’t surprising news to Disney though, as emails, such as the one above, were sent out in September. At Walt Disney World, performers, attendants, captains, and leaders (Disney speak for manager), have left the company or transferred to new areas at a higher rate than normal. I personally know more than 10 people who have quit or transferred out of Florida’s entertainment department.

These auditions are also posted about on social media. Auditions being shared online is nothing new, but it does showcase who exactly Disney needs at this time. If you are shorter, and have been eager to join Disney’s entertainment department, now is your time. But, be prepared for 50+ hour work weeks and mandatory sixth days if you accept full time employment.


Star Wars characters offerings are reduced due to Walt Disney World staffing issues.

But, it is not just the shorter characters who are receiving cuts. Read the My Disney Experience descriptions above for these two Star Wars characters. The First Order Stormtroopers are expected to be seen around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Chewbacca is expected to be seen at Star Wars Launch Bay. And, these characters are seen only from morning to evening. Just a few short years ago, when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was touted as Disney’s outstanding new land, these characters were both seen in the land, from opening to closing.

While Chewbacca can still be seen on occasion at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the fact that his presence is no longer promised is another sign of low staffing. Instead, Chewbacca is saved for his specific meet and greet location at Star Wars Launch Bay, or for the high-paying guests on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.

Staffing issues are evident at Sulley's meet and greet when you compare Thrill Data's findings.
Wait time chart by @ThrillData. Click the image for a larger files you can zoom in on to analyze for yourself.

As of the writing of this article, Sulley’s meet and greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is temporarily closed. With My Disney Experience data of Sulley’s meet and greet, broken down by Thrill-Data.com, we can see glaring evidence of staffing issues. This location is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you can see areas where the location opened late, where there were closure gaps, and where the location had to close early.

Max is appearing less at the Tower of Terror due to Walt Disney World staffing issues.

For those hoping to see Max and Goofy at their Tower of Terror sightings, the chances have gotten more slim. To clarify, these two images were taken on different days, but you can see the time the screenshots were taken at the top of the image. For Oct. 24, there are significantly fewer appearances happening, but that’s partially because the screenshot was taken later in the day. The important factor to see here is the pattern of when Max comes out. On Oct. 19, Max was coming out every half hour, with a break in the middle of the day. Now, Max comes out once an hour. And, our sources say Max won’t be around Hollywood Studios for long. While Goofy is expected to stay at the Tower of Terror attraction, Max is expected to be leaving in the coming weeks.

Toy Story Land and Pete's Sill Side Show will be returning with characters soon.

All is not at a loss though, as we do expect more characters to come back in the future. Pete’s Silly Side Show at the Magic Kingdom will be returning, as will characters in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But, “returning soon” is not a definitive date, as these characters were announced in June of this year.

How do you feel about these character changes? What characters or shows are a can’t miss on your Walt Disney World visits?

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10 comments

Patricia Aldrich October 25, 2022 - 12:25 am

This is the fault of bob chapek and the others that r at the top when is enough enough he is the reason that people that go to the parks have to have reservations to go n to the parks and also act like the annual Passholders aren’t important my husband and me have spend enough money going to Disney to have paid cash for a new house we have been going there for 40 years so how dare that greedy jerk do the lousy thing he does universal is in the heels of taken more from Disney and the reason he wants to control how many people r n the parks n cause of staff shortages and am sure he doesn’t reward them and also look and c the so called crowd control when the parks r very best with quest when will people have enough of the mindless control of bob chapek and his co-harts

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Mike October 25, 2022 - 10:17 am

Start paying the cast members a salary they can live on and you will attract employees willing to work. Unfortunately the CEO hasn’t realized that it’s not him that makes the parks run. The decline in services at WDW is so disappointing. Yes the crowds continue to come but at some point and time it will stop. Then what?

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Ethan Anania October 25, 2022 - 11:51 am

I thought the labor cuts were solved by now, and Chewie didn’t need to be at Launch Bay anyways, because you can find him at Galaxy’s Edge nowadays, he can’t be in two places at once

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Dwhit October 25, 2022 - 3:55 pm

Maybe the woke policy has driven them out!

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Jeff P. October 25, 2022 - 5:35 pm

People who jump all over Chapek or the pay rates don’t seem to understand that this is a problem with the entire labor market. It’s supply and demand, not evil Bob. I can’t fill six-figure remote software jobs right now.

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Bill October 25, 2022 - 6:41 pm

Pay more Get Less
The Disney way..😔

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Jennifer Racer October 25, 2022 - 8:48 pm

I just went to Dworld today and noticed several of the workers looked tired and depressed. Sad to see.

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T M October 25, 2022 - 10:46 pm

Same at Disneyland we are overworked underpaid and treated like garbage by our leadership. The Parks are falling apart and they don’t want to make them any better they cut more and more every day

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Mike McFarland October 26, 2022 - 9:39 am

Agreed that Disney is struggling in the loyalty to its fan base department but this is different. There are currently two job openings for every person looking for work nationwide, and that doesn’t even take into account qualifications. There are almost 9,000,000 unemployed people choosing to stay out of the job market right now. The Covid money has dried up but they still aren’t coming back. Until those people reengage it’s going to be tough across all sectors.

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Smar October 26, 2022 - 4:59 pm

CM here. I agree with the Disneyland CM. We’re overworked because we NEED overtime to survive. We’re sad bc we’re losing benefits. A lot of us quit the company during covid bc of severe pay cuts we couldnt afford and moved back to our home states. Now I’m back bc I got a better opportunity but I’m still exhausted doing the job of 3 people. Even our managers are quitting at high rates.

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