Walt Disney World College Program Suspended Indefinitely as Parks Begin to Reopen

Although earlier announced that a suspension of the Walt Disney World College Program would be through at least the fall of this year, an announcement came today revealing that the Walt Disney World College Program will be suspended indefinitely.

What’s Happening:

  • Earlier in the year at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced that the Walt Disney World College Program, as well as the Cultural Exchange Program, Academic Exchange Program, and International Guest Relations Cast Members would be suspended through at least the end of the year.
  • Students who had already accepted offers for the chance to live, learn, and earn at the Walt Disney World resort as part of the famous Walt Disney World College Program beyond the anticipated Fall 2020 shut down have received word today their offers have been rescinded and that the College Program has been suspended indefinitely.
  • The email from Disney Internships and Programs says:
    • As you may have heard, Walt Disney World is in the process of welcoming guests back to our parks and resorts in the coming weeks as part of a phased and deliberate approach with the well-being and safety of our guests and cast members at the forefront of our planning. We continue to act on the guidance of the government and health agencies and make decisions based on their input. With that, we wanted to share an update about our Disney College Program.

We are still in the early phase of the reopening process. Many of the buildings with the Disney house complex have remained closed and we have not yet determined when we will reopen them. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to continue to suspend our Disney College Program until further notice. We regretfully need to advise you that our offer of employment to you is withdrawn. Please be assured that we will refund your program fee.

We understand this is not the news you were hoping to hear and we want to assure you this decision was not made lightly. We are committed to our Disney Programs and plan to resume in the future, when the time is right. Knowing that some of you may still want to experience our Disney Programs later, we are amending our eligibility requirements, so that those who have recently graduated will be able to re-apply.

  • It is unclear based on the email if this applies to all programs, such as the Disney Cultural Exchange Program, or simply the college program. Since the housing complexes are shared, it can be surmised that all programs are affected.
  • While this email only mentions Walt Disney World, the program suspension also applies to the Disneyland College Program as well.
  • Interestingly, the email cites a primary reason for the suspension of the program based on the housing communities. In 2018, ground was broken on a brand new campus-like facility near the Flamingo Crossings area past Disney’s Coronado Springs resort and was nearing completion just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. It is also unclear at this time if the email is referring to that complex, or the additional four other complexes that were formally operating (Vista Way, Chatham Square, The Commons, Patterson Court).