Disney has informed participants in the June-January 2020 Disney College Program at Walt Disney World that their program has been cancelled. In addition, the cultural representatives have been informed that they will be returning home this month. Both decisions indicate that Disney believes it will be quite a while before Walt Disney World is operating as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full announcement can be seen below:
This latest announcement indicates that Disney believes it will be January 2021 – at the earliest – that they’ll need the full staffing provided by the Disney College Program. However, it’s still possible they’ll reopen in a modified state well before that time.
Rumors have suggested Walt Disney World may open in phases with some theme parks opening before the others. The attractions, stores and entertainment within the theme parks may also open in phases. All of that is to say Walt Disney World may be running at a reduced capacity, which would require a smaller overall staff. The optimistic side of this story is part-time and full-time cast members will have first choice of hours in a reduced capacity scenario.
As you might imagine, cultural representatives returning home is extremely significant for Epcot. Should World Showcase open in the near future, it’ll do so without all of the cast members from around the world that make each pavilion so special.
Stay tuned. This is still a very fluid situation and a lot can change before Walt Disney World is able to reopen in any capacity.