Following the announcement that Disney was closing its theme parks in the United States, Disney College Program cast members have been told their term is ending early. As a result, all Disney College Program cast members are being instructed to return home.
The email received by Disney College Program members mentioned that the program was ending effective March 16, 2020 and participants are expected to move out of the residential complexes by March 18, 2020 at 11am. All Disney cast members will be continued to be paid through the end of March and the weekly housing deductions are being waived effective immediately.
One key note is that this change will impact international cast members participating in the Cultural Exchange Program. The expectation that they’ll be able to move back home by March 18 with so many travel restrictions in place may not be possible. Disney will likely make special exceptions for those impacted by such restrictions. Disney stating they will close “many” of the Disney Program housing buildings makes it sound like some will remain open for such cases.
This story, which is an incredibly sad one for so many great cast members participating in the program, likely indicates that Disney anticipates its closure stretching well beyond the end of March.