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Disneyland’s 31 Layoffs Are Fewer Than Expected : Employment: Late-summer and fall attendance at Anaheim park reduced need for further staff cuts.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Disneyland said Thursday that it had laid off 31 clerical workers and supervisors--far fewer than expected--as part of its response to the lower attendance at the theme park during the summer.

The number of layoffs, a fraction of the 9,000-member work force, was lower than a division chief’s previous estimate, mainly because the park’s attendance figures started rising by late summer.

In a letter to employees July 1, Disney theme park chief Judson Greene said a drop in foreign visitors had led to “somewhat soft” business results and predicted layoffs of 1% to 2% of the work force--90 to 180 employees--if conditions did not improve.

But business picked up, Disneyland spokesman John McClintock said Thursday, and attrition and other factors also played a part in reducing the number of layoffs.

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“The aim is to do business more efficiently, and in those terms, (the layoff) is not as serious as, at one time, we feared it might be,” McClintock said.

While international tourists stayed away from the park, he said, strong local attendance helped make up for the losses.

“It really was a very healthy summer and an amazingly healthy fall,” he said. “The outlook is brighter now. We are more optimistic than we were at the beginning of summer because of the turnstiles.”

The park has been offering admission discounts to local residents all year with the exception of the peak summer months. About 11.4 million visitors went to Disneyland last year, according to industry estimates.

Though it lacked a major new ride for summer, the park appears to have scored with patrons by staging a lavish daily parade based on “The Lion King,” the company’s hit animated feature film.

Next year, the park debuts one of its most elaborate rides yet: a new adventure ride based on the “Indiana Jones” movies.


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