Disney to cut back on employee hours despite boom in Florida tourism

ORLANDO, Fla. — Disney is coming off its most successful quarterly earnings report in company history, but many employees at Orlando parks learned their hours would be cut.
Tom Corless, of WDW New Today, a Disney insider website, said an unknown number of employees will have their hours cut to 32 a week during the busy spring season.

The employees will still qualify for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act, but they'll lose pay and overtime.
"They're going to be cutting nonprofit positions, so not merchandise locations. Things like guest relations, concierge (and) entertainment," Corless said.
Despite Orlando's booming tourist numbers, Disney is seeing problems at other locations.
Disney Shanghai has been delayed and is around $1.5 billion over initial costs.
"When something bad happens on one side of Disney, it can send ripple effects to the other businesses, and that may be some of the cost-cutting moves we've seen announced," theme park analyst Sean Snaith said.
Corless said there will be fewer character meet-and-greets, and some parades, like Fantasmic and the Main Street Electrical Parade, will be cut to once a night.
The change shouldn't be permanent, but the change is indicative of a company with a global reach.
"That doesn't mean it's not immune from shocks in Shanghai or Brazil and that doesn't mean Disney can just sit on its laurels," Snaith said.
The unions could not be reached for comment.

“We are adding new attractions and entertainment offerings this year in addition to significant expansions opening next year and beyond. As our business continues to grow, we regularly make adjustments in our operations to ensure we are able to deliver great Guest and Cast experiences in the most efficient way possible," a Disney spokesperson said.

Some cast members could end up having longer hours next week. The union contract only dictates that Disney maximize a 35 to 40 hour work week for employees.

California’s parks have seen a similar rollback on employee hours.