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Disney furloughs staff and cast members and stops annual pass payments as theme parks remain closed

DISNEY are furloughing theme park staff including cast members and workers due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The parks across the US have been closed since mid-March, along with Disneyland Paris.

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The theme parks are also pausing annual tickets, with those who pay monthly no longer paying, and will only restart payments when the park opens again.

Those who pay annually will be able to extend their tickets for the amount of time the park is shut.

The furloughing will affect non-union workers across Disney World Florida and Disneyland California from April 19.

A Disney representative said in a statement: "With no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we're forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren't necessary at this time."

Disney had committed to full pay and benefits for all employees through April 18 despite the closure of theme parks, halting of film and TV production, and the shuttering of movie theatres.

All impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the furlough period and will receive full healthcare benefits. Disney will pay the cost of employee healthcare premiums.

According to CNBC, Disney has more than 177,000 members of staff across the US parks, although the company did not say how many employees would be affected.

Staff will be able to claim $600 (£486) a week in federal compensation through the new $2 trillion (£1.6 trillion) economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance, according to Disney.

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Sad images have revealed the empty Disney World theme park - one of only a handful of times its has been closed in it's 48-year history.

Pictures of the park taken by drone show all of the closed rides with no guests or staff working.

Disney Blizzard Beach and Toy Story Land are seen with empty streets while the always-busy Millennium Falcon spaceship at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge inside Disney's Hollywood Studios theme has no-one around.

Sun Online Travel contacted Disney for additional comment.

Disneyland looks like a ghost town in eery aerial views of famous theme park

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