Yesterday I told you that 28,000 furloughed Cast Members are losing their jobs. That number includes both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, which still hasn’t reopened. I found out a few bits and pieces of information, so I thought that I’d share them with you.
First to what is a huge hit. One of the people who will not be returning to work at Walt Disney World is YeHaa Bob Jackson. He has been performing at River Roost Lounge for 23 years, and he is loved by all who have seen him. He shared the following on his Facebook page:
And that’s how it ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. I’ve just learned my act will not be returning to Disney. I made so many friends over the last 23 years, it was a great time, we had a lot of laughs together. I’ll be continuing my Sunday shows for now. I’ll keep you posted, I’m still digesting all of this-
YeHaa Bob is a good man, and he and his antics will be missed.
It also looks like the performers from the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have been let go. While I’m still in shock about YeHaa Bob, this one does not surprise me. The Polynesian is about to undergo another refurbishment, and it will be closed for an extended period of time. These performers would not be working during the closure. If Disney chooses to bring the experience back, hopefully they will be able to return as well.
While 28,000 people are losing their jobs, many of them are in California. In Florida, numerous reports state that approximately 6,700 non-union Cast Members will be let go. I’ve also heard that Disney is in talks with the unions, so the total number in Florida could be higher than that. A large percentage of the Cast Members who are still furloughed have not heard one way or another about their jobs.
Many people have asked what they can do to help. I think that the best suggestion is to donate to the Cast Member Pantry. This group was started at the beginning of the closure as a way for Cast Members to help out other Cast Members. It has grown tremendously in the months since. You can make a financial donation through Venmo, the username is @castmemberpantry. There is also an Amazon Wish List if you would prefer to donate that way. The group is dedicated to helping those who remain furloughed, and those who will be laid off permanently. Any help is appreciated.