Disneyland Rapidly Hiring as Holiday Season Begins

By Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.
November 13, 2021 Updated: November 14, 2021

As the holiday season kicked off on Nov. 12, Disneyland Resort in Anaheim has been rapidly rehiring employees after thousands of workers had been laid off after the pandemic struck last year.

Over the months since its grand reopening in April, the resort has been hiring hundreds each week, with a focus on rehiring previously laid-off employees where possible, according to Disney’s 2021 annual report (pdf) submitted to the city.

“We are proud to have returned more than 25,000 Cast Members to work. … We are prioritizing any remaining laid-off Cast Members as we continue to accept applications and fill positions. For those Cast Members who have yet to be placed, we are providing direct access to our recruiters for other employment opportunities,” the report said.

Before the theme park shut down in March last year due to COVID-19 lockdowns, more than 32,000 were employed, 5,000 of whom were Anaheim residents, according to the report.

While the number of Anaheim residents currently hired by the resort is unclear, there might be around 3,900—if the pre-pandemic percentage, around 15 percent, is applied.

During last Spring, Anaheim had 30,000 people out of work and an unemployment rate of 17 percent, which far surpassed the 12 percent during the 2008 recession. Meanwhile, the resort’s number of employees hit the lowest point, at around 19,000, according to Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster.

“[The high unemployment rate] was directly related to Disney’s having to furlough a large amount of workers and the related impacts on hotels, stores, restaurants, and everybody else that relied on visitors for business and hiring,” Lyster told The Epoch Times.

Lyster said the resort is committed to recruiting Anaheim residents and has been marketing job offerings to them, although there’s no official requirement for a minimum number of local residents to be hired.

“As [Disney] brings back employees, we know that Anaheim residents would be part of that general bringing back of employees.”

As the resort launched its holiday season celebration on Nov. 12, the number of employees is expected to increase even further.

“[Disney] is going into a busy period with the holidays, with kicking off their celebration of the holidays [on Nov. 12], which is right up there with summer in a normal year for their busiest times. So I would imagine that you would see more folks coming back to work this month and into December,” Lyster said.

The celebration features a 60-foot Christmas tree on Mainstreet, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, as well as the resort’s Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and Disney’s Festival of Holidays, with festivities continuing until Jan. 9, 2022.

Unfortunately, while preparing for the holiday-season opening, the “It’s a Small World” boat ride—with its beloved holiday season theme that changes every year—was flooded during flume refilling on Nov. 10, which led to the ride’s closure until further notice.

Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.