Universal Orlando plans on shrinking their staff
In an email on Monday, Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said in an email that Universal Orlando was reducing its workforce “to reflect current priorities and needs.” The move comes almost two months after reopening, and the theme park resort will lay off an undisclosed number of workers.
Laid-off workers will receive severance pay and subsidized health benefits. Universal has also halted the construction of its new theme park, Epic Universe, because of the ongoing pandemic.
The upcoming theme park is the beginning of Universal’s south campus and is said to have adopted the traditional wheel-and-spoke design that was popularized by Disneyland back in 1955. In other words, there will be a central hub at the center of the theme park and all of Epic Universe’s various individual lands will surround the epicenter.
The identity of one of the lands was revealed to be Super Nintendo World, with the development of the first coming to Universal Studios Japan before arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood. According to Comcast, Universal Orlando’s owner, revenue from the company’s theme parks division decreased from $87 million to $1.46 billion a year ago.
As a result, short- and long-term projects as well as daily operations have been put on hold to allow “the tourism industry to recover,” Schroder continued. Universal Orlando closed its doors in mid-March as the novel coronavirus began spreading in the United States.
It became the first major theme park operator to reopen, having welcomed back visitors in early June. SeaWorld opened in late June while Walt Disney World reopened its doors just last month.
All the major theme parks have implemented new rules like social distancing, health screenings, and sanitizing meant to limit the spread of the virus. All guests and team members are required to comply with CDC guidelines such as the wearing of face masks or coverings, undergoing temperature checks upon arrival, washing hands often, and practicing social distancing by maintaining at least six feet.
By: Maytinee Kramer