Disney College Program is Not Likely to Restart Soon, According to Union

The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Disney College Program have so far been awful, and it doesn’t look like there’ll be much good news for participants going forward, either.

The Disney College Program runs in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts. When the pandemic closed the parks, participant cast members were terminated from the program and given days to leave Disney housing, in what was a devastating time for many.

Now, in a recent call from the local 362 union to members, leader Eric Clinton expressed that “if anyone thinks that College Program workers are coming back anytime soon, they are mistaken”. Upon the programs being terminated, the cast members were assured that they were departing on good terms with The Walt Disney Company, which served as an assurance that they may still be able to re-apply in the future. It can be assumed that this further delay in restarting the program will serve a further blow to many hopeful applicants.

Also affected by the closures were participants in Disney Cultural Representative programs. Earlier this week, we reported that the World Showcase in EPCOT would be staffed by cast members not necessarily hailing from the countries they are representing, due to international travel restrictions. This was also confirmed in the union call.

This news does, however, potentially give reassurance to existing cast members, as there will be a high demand for employment in all the areas that College Program participants usually staff (which is everything from entertainment to merchandise). Last week, we reported that full-time cast members were offered a temporary position in the company in order to aid a speedier return to work. Perhaps this practice may be extended to seasonal and part-time cast members within the coming weeks before the parks reopen.

At this point, there has been little information given about when these amazing programs will start back up. Stay tuned to WDWNT for more details as the reports progress.