A WDW spokeswoman denied that the layoffs were ordered from on high, and no, they weren’t in animation.
A sidenote to the story is that WDW’s original announcement said the displaced workers would be given severence packages and outplacement assistance. What the announcement didn’t say, though, was that those benefits were given only to full-time employees. Some part-timers were part of the employee cuts and were left to fend for themselves.
Perhaps the part-timers not being included in the perks package doesn’t sound too cold until you hear the story of one 15-year employee who was a part-time manager in the Magic Kingdom in charge of scheduling in the food and beverage area. When he reported to work on Monday, all he got was his final paycheck and an escort off the property by security.