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Disney College Program ending early, all CPs being sent home due to coronavirus closure

by Brittani Tuttle

The Disney College Program (DCP) is ending abruptly next week at Walt Disney World, due to the resort’s closure for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

disney college program

In an post shared with DCP cast members (CPs), all participants are required to collect their belongings and depart their housing complexes by March 18 at 11 a.m. Many of the Disney College Program housing complexes will then be closing.

Walt Disney World will also be temporarily suspending the DCP, Disney Culinary Program, Disney Cultural Exchange Program, and Disney Academic Exchange Program due to the coronavirus closures, effective March 16. This will also include international cast members (ICPs) in Guest Relations roles.

All CPs will be paid through the end of the month, and weekly housing “rent” deductions will be waived, effective immediately. Each participant will be given a “successful” program completion status in the event that they want to pursue future employment opportunities with The Walt Disney Company.

Future opportunities with the Disney College Program are unknown at this time.

UPDATE – March 15, 2020: Since they have been blocked out during their term, Disney College Program cast members are unblocked from Disney’s Hollywood Studios today.

UPDATE – March 16, 2020: Disney has shared a new message to participants saying that they will work with students after the abrupt announcement and that “no one will be without accommodations”:


Stay tuned for more updates as we receive them, and check out our regularly-updating page with all current major theme park closures in the U.S.

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14 comments

A. Kimberly March 15, 2020 - 4:28 am

So, where are all of these students supposed to live, if they are being kicked out of their dorms/apartments and can’t get home due to flight suspensions?

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Dcp mom March 15, 2020 - 6:27 am

I understand them cancelling the DCP but do you realize you have caused absolute panic and stress for the kids from other country’s . First most can not afford to fly home . Second no one will be able to fly into any country in Europe . So, as you have always claimed to care for your DCP kids like your own , you need to gather these kids and make arrangements for them . Come on guys put your thinking caps on . It’s not like you done have the money , most of you have more than any of us will see in 10 lifetimes .

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BrokenICP March 15, 2020 - 1:25 pm

Right? I feel like money was the only thing in mind here! “For the safety of cast members” are us ICPs not cast members?

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Tina Decker March 15, 2020 - 9:06 pm

You are in a contracted, benefit-less, temporary position. These are extreme circumstances and there’s no reason you should continue to be paid for possibly months on end without working.

And you have Disney on your resume now which is much more than most people can say. Stop complaining

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Rei March 17, 2020 - 9:35 am

No reason to be homeless in pandemic either

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Sis March 15, 2020 - 9:08 pm

They obviously did not have care and concern of their students… I feel bad for all of them … thus whole thing is just ridiculous

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Amber March 16, 2020 - 11:06 am

It is not their fault, so cut them some slack.

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John Underwood March 15, 2020 - 1:58 pm

Thanks Disney. Just kick these kids out. Parents have to just stop everything and get their kids. This is absolute madness . Just keep them there.

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Marc March 15, 2020 - 2:47 pm

Ending the programs now is the right call. There is too much uncertainty as to when things will return to normal and it doesn’t make sense to keep the CP’s on paid vacation for potentially the next few months.

Not to mention they have tens of thousands of full-time CM’s who are still being paid while the parks are closed. That’s more than enough of a financial burden

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John March 15, 2020 - 3:26 pm

You are worried about Disney having a burden. Really

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Marc March 16, 2020 - 8:48 am

Do you not understand that the company is paralyzed in this moment? Every revenue stream of theirs is about to halt for months.

This is unprecedented in their history.

Even ESPN, their biggest profit driver, is losing all advertising revenue because sports are cancelled. They just absorbed a $71 billion company (Fox film and TV assets) and all of that is threatened.

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John B March 15, 2020 - 4:05 pm

How does this avoid being an illegal eviction? Usually you need to give 30 or 60 day notice to evict someone?

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Rei March 17, 2020 - 9:37 am

Exactly!

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ZM March 16, 2020 - 12:28 am

I am also wondering about this eviction notice for international CPs. Where should they go after 11 on Wed? Does Disney think they can just book flights and be gone, just like that? Unlike DCPs, the international ones are really stuck, they cannot just drive, take an interstate bus or train, if there are no flights. It seems they have been forgotten, and left high and dry. Disney has to act responsibly. This is on top of effectively terminating their visas. This is rather harsh.

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