It’s been more than a year since the Disneyland resort’s three hotels and two theme parks closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Shevlin can think of little else but resuming her old job at the Anaheim resort.
Her yearning is not just about the steady paycheck. “What I miss the most is the human contact,” said the 32-year Disneyland veteran, who lives alone with her cat. “I’m ready to put on my uniform.”
With Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park set to open Friday, Disney employees who have been rehired and those who are waiting to return to the House of Mouse say they’re eager to reunite with co-workers and will be relieved to be added back to the Disney payroll.
“My work is what always keeps me going,” said Saturnino Beltran, a 22-year Disneyland veteran, who recently returned to his job at the Disneyland Central Bakery, where the resort’s baked goods are made.
“I do think it is now safe for workers to return to the parks,” said Austin Lynch, a union organizer at Unite Here Local 11, which represents hotel and food service workers at the resort.
That’s not how Lynch and many Disney workers felt last June when Disney announced plans to reopen amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
California kept the parks closed until this spring.
Many returning workers say they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those who have already started to work at the parks say the staffers are taking the safety rules seriously.
More workers will be hired once state health guidelines allow the parks to increase attendance, Disney representatives say.
Would you be ready to go back to OR work at a large theme park?