It was announced in early May that Walt Disney World would be reviving the Disney College Program. It has now been a little over a year since the program was suddenly put on hold, which caused thousands of the participants to become jobless overnight. But now, with vaccines rolling out faster than ever, and with Disney’s continual phased re-opening, the Disney parks need more help.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive strain on the tourism industry, with Orlando being hit hard. The hospitality industry in Central Florida laid off tens-of-thousands of workers, many of which then left the state. Disney College Program (CP) participants, have been a backbone of the Walt Disney World workforce since the internship began.
CPs can be easily identified by their name tags. They showcase their College or University instead of their hometown, which you normally see on cast member name tags. CPs are also known to usually work the closing shifts of the Disney Parks. And, many current Walt Disney World cast members began their journey as CPs.
In just one month, Disney has fast-tracked the return of these CPs as demand to enter the parks rises. Walt Disney World, while following CDC guidelines, is beginning to phase-out COVID-19 era mandates; such as needing masks outdoors or having to social distance in certain areas.
Last year, we wrote about the sudden loss of these Disney College Program participants and their stories. We asked them, would you come back? And much like they said back then, we have seen a sudden influx of returning CPs. Keep an eye out on your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort for these Disney College Program participants in their new roles.