I spoke on my friends podcast a few weeks back and I came to an insane realization about the things the company did to save money.
Now most people don’t realize that pre a certain wizard Universal was on the verge of going under, raises for front facing employees were frozen (aka execs and upper managers still got theirs) and they were capped for a very long time. We saw minimal guests during non peak seasons (sometimes handfuls within an entire day) and We hadn’t seen new costuming pieces and wigs that weren’t falling apart for years. Any budget the company had it pumped into Halloween and the scraps were left for day to day. Many of the wigs visible started shedding to the point where you could see the missing patches of hair in the front and the company no longer purchased shoes to last, they started coming I kid you not from Payless shoes (and fell apart 2 weeks later).
When the Great Recession hit things got really scary, shows went down to only a few times a week, elements of shows vanished completely (posideons vortex didn’t return well past the magical wizards money came in) and so many roles vanished. There was even a costume completely decorated with puff paint… I wish I was kidding, in the Florida heat it would literally melt onto the performer and streak down the white costume… yea lets add white in a theme park was awful planning. The corners that were cut were beyond visible to our guests. During these cuts good luck getting refills on the makeup you needed and was assigned, the money wasn’t there for basic needs.
The number of Park guests dwindled as did the employees around to help or entertain them, things got scary and people worried about the parks future. Thank goodness for that wizard huh? It’s amazing with the amount of cash pumped into that park that the amount of decay that happened during those years was just washed away within what seems like a blink of an eye. (I had never seen a certain cats hat red until this point in my time with the park)
I am grateful for the number of jobs it created, but I am even more grateful for the jobs it saved!