Walt Disney World fans have been left in shock this week after it was revealed that the resort’s live entertainment offerings are being decimated in a new round of job cuts.
News trickled out on Tuesday evening,Oct. 27, of live show after live show seemingly being permanently axed from the theme parks, and, while Disney offered no confirmation or explanation, it seems at least 12 entertainment acts will be gone for the foreseeable future.
The shows include headline acts and fan-favorites alike, among them “Festival of the Lion King” and “Finding Nemo – The Musical” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” and “Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as the long-running “Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
Much of the live entertainment has remained shuttered since the parks re-opened following the pandemic shut-down in July, but it seems they will now go on full-time hiatus, with the various cast members part of the recently announced 28,000 redundancies across Disney’s theme parks division. More than 15,500 of those layoffs have been at Walt Disney World alone, accounting for roughly 20% of Orlando’s entertainment industry.
Word of the shocking array of show casualties first leaked out on social media on Tuesday, with the likes of the Citizens of Hollywood, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Jedi Training Academy cast all announcing they had been laid off.
The full list of live entertainment cuts is as follows, pending an official announcement:
- Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Green Army Men (Toy Story Land)
- Citizens of Hollywood
- Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
- Disney Junior Dance Party
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Citizens of Main Street U.S.A.
Epcot had already lost much of its live entertainment around World Showcase due to cut-backs in March, but it seems Voices of Liberty, Mariachi Cobre and the Jammitors could be spared from the latest cull.
Disney has listed all of these shows as “Currently unavailable” since the parks’ re-opening, but it is our understanding they had hoped to resume, especially as the company had been locked in contentious negotiations with actors’ union Equity for much of the summer.
Now, with individual cast members receiving official notices of their dismissal, it seems doubtful there will be a resumption anytime soon.