Disneyland to Recall Hundreds of Furloughed Workers as Portion of California Adventure Reopens

Visitors attend Disney California Adventure
David McNew/Getty Images

Visitors attend Disney California Adventure theme park on Feb. 25, 2020.

Currently, the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district is open, but the rest of the Southern California resort remains closed.

Disneyland is in the midst of recalling hundreds of furloughed employees after it was announced that a portion of California Adventure would reopen in November.

Currently, the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district is open, but the rest of the Southern California resort remains closed due to restrictions put in place because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

However, Orange County is in the state-designated tier that allows for outdoor dining and indoor shopping. And while Disney, along with all the other major theme parks in SoCal, is in a stalemate with Gov. Gavin Newsom, Disney is forging ahead as best it can to operate in some capacity. So now, California Adventure's Buena Vista Street will open on a yet-to-be-disclosed date for shopping and outdoor dining. Rides will remain closed.

Fans were encouraged by the news, and likely so were employees as hundreds are now in the process of being recalled from furlough. Disneyland food and beverage union Workers United Local 50 informed members that more than 200 would return to work.

"Recall will happen in a few waves. This Monday (Oct. 25) will begin with trainers, leads, and some heart of house roles that will begin the process of getting the restaurants up and running," reads a notification from the union. "Recall in each scheduling group will be by job classification (steward, food prep, receiver, etc.) in descending seniority order regardless of location job knowledge. Recall for premium positions, such as leads and trainers, will be in descending seniority order by full-time conversion dates."

Downtown Disney has been open since July. And even with the theme park closed, the shopping and dining district has been popular; parking has been halted for periods nearly every weekend to control the influx of customers.

The Backlot Premiere Shop at Stage 17, showcasing an array of seasonal merchandise, also recently opened. Just as with Downtown Disney, guests at California Adventure will be required to have their temperature checked and wear a proper mask. Capacity will be capped to allow for social distancing.

As for a complete reopening of the major theme parks, it appears that will not be happening for some time. Disney in September demanded Newsom and state officials issue guidelines — and shortly thereafter announced 28,000 park employees would be laid off. Chairman Bob Iger also resigned from the state's coronavirus economic task force.

Not long after, State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly introduced the guidelines, under which parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California Resort and Knott’s Berry Farm cannot operate until their respective counties are placed in Tier 4 "Yellow" (minimal). Once open, all will be required a limited capacity of 25 percent. Disney's Orange County is currently in the "Red" (substantial) tier. Universal's Los Angeles County is at Tier 1 "Purple" (widespread).

The major parks, along with the California Attractions and Parks Association, are considering legal action. “We continue to ask the administration to share any data or science related to theme parks that they are using to inform their decision to keep the major theme parks closed indefinitely while allowing similar venues to reopen," CAPA executive director Erin Guerrero said Tuesday. "Parks have been opened throughout the country and world for months and we have seen no data indicating that COVID outbreaks are being traced back to theme parks. If they can reopen safely in other states and countries, then why not in California?”