The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on businesses and even Disney isn’t an exception. The company announced today that due to the pandemic and the resulting closure of their theme parks, they will be laying off 28,000 employees.

While the theme parks around the world and in Florida have been able to reopen with limited capacity, the theme parks in California remain closed. Both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure have been closed for 7 months.

In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, explained the unfortunate news. He started by explaining that this was a difficult decision and explained that “our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity.”

He ended the letter by saying that he hopes “to welcome back Cast Members and employees when we can” after the pandemic.

The fact that the Disney parks in Anaheim, California remain closed effects more than just Disney and its employees. The surrounding businesses in the city of Anaheim are also feeling the impact. Hotels, restaurants and gift shops in the area are not getting the business they usually would, and for some, that means having to close their doors.

Watch the video below for more about the layoffs at Disneyland and how the closure of the California parks is impacting the city of Anaheim.

Does it surprise you that Disney is laying off so many employees? Do you think the theme parks in California should be allowed to reopen at partial capacity like the other theme parks around the world?