Disney is set to lay off 28,000 employees across its US theme parks, experiences and consumer products division, which also includes Disney Cruise Line.
The entertainment giant on Tuesday (29 September) said limited theme park attendance and ongoing closures owing to Covid-19 had necessitated the move.
Around two-thirds of affected roles are part-time. Disney hasn’t yet broken down where the axe will fall.
Last year, Disney’s parks, experiences and consumer products segment accounted for more than a third of the company’s total annual revenue.
In a letter to staff obtained by US news network CNBC, Josh D’Amaro, chair of Disney parks, experiences and consumer products, said he wanted to thank those affected for "all you have done for our company and guests", adding he hoped Disney would be able to "welcome back cast members and employees when we can".
"Few of us could have imagined how significantly the pandemic would impact us," said D’Amaro. "We hoped this situation would be short-lived, and that we would recover quickly and return to normal. Seven months later, we find that has not been the case.
"A decision of this magnitude is not easy. Our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible.
"However, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity."
D’Amaro added: "Thank you for your dedication, patience and understanding. I know these changes will be challenging. We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days, Additionally, we will begin the process of discussion next steps with unions."
Disney last month posted a $4.7 billion loss in the three months to 27 June, its first quarterly loss since 2001, with its parks, experiences and consumer products division bearing the brunt of the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Its third-quarter revenue, meanwhile, fell 85% to just £1 billion.