Footage of Disney World Covered in Trash Sparks Debate Over 'Labor Shortages'

A video reportedly filmed at Disney World shows various parts of the theme park covered in trash, amid claims of a "labor shortage" at the resort.

A clip surfaced on TikTok from user James LeMay, which claims to have been shot at the brand's flagship park in Orlando, Florida, and the place looks a little bit worse for wear.

Tourists can be seen milling around wearing Mickey Mouse's signature ears, flanked by trash cans overflowing with garbage. Bottles and empty packets cover the lids of bins, with rubbish spilling over onto the floor.

Families are seen walking past wrappers, packets, drink cartons, straws and tissues, which have been strewn across nearly every surface. The clip then cuts to footage of plastic bottles floating in the water, in what appears to be one of the 10 lakes at the sprawling park.

They then film the floor of what's believed to be a gift shop, with the carpet looking like it could do with a vacuum. While it can't be confirmed exactly where the footage was was shot, the clip included the hashtags "#DisneyWorld" and "MagicKingdom."

The on-screen text says: "The labor shortage has hit Disney World."

It couldn't be verified if LeMay is the original author, or merely shared the clip to their page at the end of last month, where it has amassed 1.4 million views.

The video, which can be seen here, sparked a furious debate over Disney's hiring policies, as well the general cleanliness of the public.

MermanIShouldTurn2Be reckoned: "Maybe they shouldn't have fired everybody about six months ago."

Dayra Dean thought: "That's what they get for the massive lay out they did! They should just furlough their employees and bring them back! Now they have to rehire people."

"Well yeah they fired half the staff and never rehired," Miss Gurl agreed.

But Michelle Sublette pointed out: "People forget that 600,000 people died and hundreds of thousands more are still recovering from work. There is a workforce shortage."

Kevin weighed in, saying: "Maybe they should pay more."

Although Lizabet W. claimed: "I 100 per cent blame the guests. I was there in March and June and didn't see anything like this."

While Renee Stevens said: "No people are just slobs and they don't care. Sad they expect others will clean up after them."

Last year during the height of the COVID pandemic, various theme parks were forced to close, seeing workers furloughed and made redundant across the country.

Disney announced it was axing 32,000 positions in November, in addition to the 28,000 confirmed a few months earlier.

A report in Deadline cited a 10K filing from the park saying: "Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the Company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force.

"As part of these actions, the employment of approximately 32,000 employees primarily at Parks, Experiences and Products will terminate in the first half of fiscal 2021."

In September, the chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products, Josh D'Amaro, confirmed the previous layoffs to Deadline, calling it "necessary adjustments."

He said: "In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State's unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits.

"Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time," Deadline cited him as saying.

It seems the brand is doing its best to entice workers back to the resort, offering staff a $1,000 hiring bonus.

Numerous vacant positions at Disney World are being advertised on the site, with a culinary cook eligible for the bonus, paid as $250 after 90 days, then $750 after 50 days.

Other available positions include housekeepers, dishwashers, security hosts, lifeguard, skyliner worker, monorail host and food and beverage "quick service restaurant" staff.

And the park is also hiring a part-time custodial, paid $14-an-hour. The job ad states they're responsible for: "Creating magic for our Guests during their Walt Disney World Resort stay by ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness & Guest Service."

Newsweek reached out to Disney World and LeMay for comment.

Photo of Disney World, in Florida.
Photo of Cinderella Castle inside Magic Kingdom Park at Disney World in Florida in 2020. A video has surfaced online purporting to show the resort covered in trash. Handout/Getty Images