There is no easy way to say this… Universal Orlando is cutting staff due to pandemic challenges. That’s right, folks. Just when we assumed the worst was over, Universal Orlando has come around to remind us that the fight has just begun.

Universal Orlando Resort laid off an undisclosed number of workers on Friday, July 31st. While it was a surprise to some, those watching closely could feel a shift in the air as its parent company revealed the bleak financial picture of the pandemic impact.

In many ways, the lasting effects of this pandemic feel like that of a hurricane aftermath. Daunting as the wind and rain may be, there post-storm destruction and cleanup is almost always more catastrophic.

Universal did not mention exactly how many staff members has been laid off or what departments the reside. However, we caught wind of it early as the news made its way through and around social media before it was officially reported to the state.

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder, painted a reassuring picture, “For those employees, the company will provide severance pay, subsidized health benefits and reemployment assistance.”

“We are prioritizing daily operations and shorter-term projects and continuing our pause on longer-term projects such as Epic Universe as we allow the tourism industry to recover,” stated Schroder.

“We have again made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce to reflect current priorities and needs. As always, we are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this decision and their families. We continue to have confidence in the long-term future of our business, our industry and our community.”

As Thrillspace previously reported, Universal will temporarily close several attractions starting Aug. 9th, 2020, including;

Universal Studios Florida

  • A Day in the Park with Barney
  • Fast & Furious: Supercharged
  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  • Fear Factor Live

Islands of Adventure

  • Poseidon’s Fury
  • Storm Force Accelatron

Universal Orlando plans to transfer those employees to their marquee guest experiences.

Unfortunately, the Universal Orlando Resort layoffs have fallen directly as the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits approved by Congress during the pandemic have expired. Thus, leaving Floridians with a lowly $275 a week from unemployment for up to 12 weeks.

The second-quarter earnings revealed that Universal Parks’ revenue fell 94%. In case you were wondering, that is almost $1.5 billion in 2019 to $87 million. It doesn’t take a mathematician to know… that is a Kong-size loss!

But, layoffs, temporary attraction closures, and cuts in operational hours are only the beginning. Just two weeks ago, Universal announced the cancellation of their beloved Halloween Horror Nights.

In addition, it was reported that Universal’s Epic Universe, the third Orlando theme park has halted construction due to the financial trials and tribulations caused by the pandemic. Sure, we’ve seen construction hit pause before and lived to tell the tale. But, this time… there is no restarting date to report.

Alas, Universal Orlando is not alone in their sorrows. SeaWorld Orlando has furloughed employees, while several Walt Disney World have yet to be called back to work.

Walt Disney Co. is scheduled to release its earnings Tuesday. Fingers crossed everyone. At this rate, not even Mickey is safe!