ANAHEIM, Calif. — Disneyland Resort hosts a two-day in-person job fair next week as the resort ramps up operations to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The job fair is the first for Disney since the pandemic closed the resort for an extended period. The job fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 10 at the Disneyland Hotel.

What You Need To Know

  • Disneyland Resort is hosting a two-day job fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 10 at the Disneyland Hotel

  • As part of their effort to recruit workers, Disney is offering $1,000 or $1,500 hiring bonuses to qualified candidates

  • Before the pandemic, Disneyland Resort boasted 32,000 employees, the largest in Orange County

  • The job fair comes as Disney and other companies deal with a labor shortage and continue to ramp up business operations

According to the recruitment flyer circulated on LinkedIn and other job boards, Disney is trying to fill several theme park food and beverage, culinary and custodial staff roles and is offering $1,000 and $1,500 hiring bonuses for qualified candidates.

Cast members can also earn $500 for referrals, the flyer states.

Most of the positions are union jobs, and starting wages vary depending on the role, ranging from $15.95 per hour to $23 per hour.

The job fair comes amid a labor crunch and as employers rebound from the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government shutdowns.

Before the pandemic, the Disneyland Resort, which comprises two major theme parks, an outdoor retail and dining strip and three hotels, boasted more than 32,000 employees. DLR, as it's more commonly known, is one of Orange County's top employers. 

When the pandemic hit last year, the state government shut down the resort and other theme parks across the state as a preventive measure to curb large gatherings and slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

With DLR closed for an extended period, Disney furloughed and eventually laid off between 28,000 to 32,000 employees in Florida and, primarily, in California. 

Except for Downtown Disney, which reopened in the summer of 2020, Disney's two major Anaheim theme parks and hotels didn't reopen until April.

Since being allowed to reopen earlier this year, Disney has gone through a phased reopening plan to ramp up operations at the resort.

A Disney official said the company has 25,000 cast members, or a little more than 80% of their pre-COVID workforce, and aims to hire thousands more during the job fair and coming months.

But Disney faces stiff competition.

In recent years, Disneyland unions have fought the company for a living wage. In response, Disney has upped some salaries for union members and benefits, including 100% paid tuition for education, childcare and others. 

The union lost its most recent fight over a living wage with Disney when a judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit, but the debate for higher pay could be a recurring issue for years to come. 

And in a tight labor market, with Orange County's unemployment rate down to 5% in September 2021 from a high of 15% in May 2020, Disney is competing with several companies, hotels and restaurants all looking for the same class of workers.