Cinderella castle

BREAKING: College Programs Being Terminated and Cast Members Sent Home as Walt Disney World Parks Close Due to Coronavirus

Walt Disney World is ending all Disney College Program programs and sending participating cast members home once the theme parks close on March 16th, 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. These cast members will be paid through the end of March.

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Cast members have also received emails that their housing complexes will be closing and they will need to depart by March 18th at 11am. Rent fees will be waived and employees will still be paid.

Walt Disney World theme parks are currently set to be closed through the end of March, but the closure could certainly be longer. Disney Springs and resort hotels will remain open in some capacity and Disney is said to still be staffing security, maintenance, and other vital positions (with non-College Program cast) beyond these locations throughout the closure.

  1. Terminating as in won’t ever have CP and ICP back at some later date??
    Or just for “now” secondary to the COVID-19 issue??

  2. Making thousands of college students depart the Disney College program and Orlando International airport on March 18th does not seem smart at all with the current direction to limit activities that draw crowds of 500 or more. Seems like Disney doesn’t care about their cast members at all – or at least the very low paid college students.

    1. I would like to remove my comment. Disney did a great job of getting the students out of tight quarters quickly and it actually occurred over a few days and they provided bus rides to the airport for those that needed it.

  3. Walt Disney World I am so saddened by Disney’s decision to effectively abandon all the Disney College Program cast members, forcing of them to vacate the housing in four days, and from what it appears, offering no assistance in securing flights home for international students. Hey Disney, how are they going to get home when there is a ban? Where are they going to live for the next two weeks, at the minimum? My daughter luckily does not live in cast member housing, but now she has to break the lease (natural disaster declaration hopefully) or figure out if it’s worth sticking it out to see if Disney will make a “decision” to hire some of these students directly when the parks reopen. Just sick that Disney couched this as if they care when honestly it’s really a money thing, as they don’t want to pay these students to wait it out. It was bad enough they were paid minimum wages, and then forced to pay housing (1/3 of their pay) but now you, Disney, kick them to the curb.

  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let’s not think Disney World will be closed longer than expected. I have a Star Wars run on April 19th. Let’s be optimistic.

  5. A cowardly decision by Disney, evicting thousands of young college students with a 4 day notice……wow!

  6. It’s BS that we have 3 days to vacate. This doesn’t give my family time from Washington state to get to Florida??? They dropped me and planned on picking me up in August. What is the hurry? Why only 3 day. Where am I to go with all my belongings? What about my money I paid to get in the program

  7. Temporarily suspended. Not terminated. That’s a big jump in meaning. But I guess terminated is more newsworthy.

  8. So, what do you when you reopen? In a matter of days notice, poof they’re gone. I understand the circumstances are unforeseen. However, why not have them remain in housing, with rent and fees waived, and when the parks reopen it is a win win! They have remained safe, and you have employees.

    I read somewhere that roughly 70% of your employees are of the college program. How do you reopen in weeks with a loss of that many employees?

    And just what are you doing to help the international college program participants?

  9. This is complete BS and I’m so sad for my daughter that has waited her whole life for this opportunity and now she’s sent home with no explanation and no chance of returning. We have been to Disney 20+ times and own Disney Vacation club points. Needless to say this makes me strongly rethink selling my points and saying ✌🏻 to Disney. #disappointedindisney.

  10. This is so not cool, Disney. A lot of the young adults in DCP gave up other opportunities and even paid money to be a part of this program. Then, you throw them out with no recourse to continue?? This seems cruel and inconsiderate. Not only did they lose jobs, they lost their home and security. They committed to Disney for 6 months. Disney’s only commitment was 2 weeks and get out!! They should receive their full compensation for the entire program and their application fees as a severance for being dumped by Disney. Whoever authored this plan obviously never had a son or daughter in the program and certainly does not care about the added stress they just put on these young people who have to move and find jobs. Oh well, Disney execs don’t have to worry, they are getting their big salaries so why should they care. I’m totally disappointed in a company my family has loved and invested so much in!!

  11. I think it’s not fair that parents and students have given up a lot of money for their child to work at Disney for the semester. The students arrived in January from all over the country and internationally. Students have forgone a semester to work at Disney for a semester and now to be sent home mid semester with no job and with no college courses under their belt, feels like a slap in the face from Disney. Not only that but parents have spent a lot of money to get their child to Florida from all over the country in time for the program to start. Some Parents have made the trip with their child to Disney to make sure they were settled in only to be sent home 2 months later when they were supposed to be there until July. Now Disney is literally firing all college program participants and only given them 4 days to vacate Disney property. I get the pandemic is worldwide and has to be taken seriously and Disney has to make hard decisions, however it’s not fair to the college program students to be “fired” and told to leave in 4 days and their program is over. It’s one thing to be sent home temporarily, but permanently seems excessive. My child’s dreams have been destroyed.

  12. This was so horrible the way Disney did this. They gave these kids 4 days to get out. Saw a lot of them in the park today, they’re all heartbroken. You know Disney isn’t opening April 1st. They’re just trying to keep their stock prices from crumbling. So many of the international kids have no way to get back home that quickly and are scrambling to find places to stay. I feel so bad for them

  13. Is there really no one else commenting on this?? Every single site talking about this is going, “oh, how understanding Disney is, how careful about the virus” and totally ignoring that these students they’re booting into the street have NOWHERE TO GO. They can’t go back to their home countries with travel shut down! They can’t stay in the country with their work visa essentially canceled, they have no place to go, who cares about getting full semester credits, Disney is stranding them homeless and alone! This isn’t cautious or kind, it’s cruel. People on Facebook are talking about how their co-workers are sobbing in their dorms because they have to leave in a few days and have absolutely no place that can take them in legally. This is a vile thing to do to these kids.

  14. If you have children with disabilities would reccomend, their not friendly. I tried to contact disney staff and had no success. The worst experience for my children. We got stuck on a ride and were last to be assisted.

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