It is appearing increasingly likely that Disney will not be welcoming College Program cast members to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts in 2021. Today, Disney Internships & Programs posted an update to its social media accounts that confirms the company has not been recruiting participants for its college program or other internships since suspending them earlier this year.
The Disney College Program typically supplies thousands of cast members to work in the parks each semester and during the summer. But with Disney World operating at 35 percent capacity and Disneyland closed — both for the foreseeable future — neither resort will be needing a fresh crew of new employees so long as this pandemic continues. Especially not while thousands of parks cast members remain on furlough or have been laid off with return rights.
But Disney's college programs are not just a source of part-time labor in the theme parks. Over the years, they have become an important recruitment tool for management and professional positions throughout The Walt Disney Company. Going without college program participants for nearly two years denies that cohort of college students access to a proven path forward with Disney, while also denying the company access to the fresh perspective of a new generation of cast members.
"Our Disney internships are... an integral part of our future, helping to strengthen our diversity and innovation here at Disney," the company wrote.
"We have not recruited participants for the upcoming semesters and we are still uncertain about when we will be able to resume our Disney Internships & Programs," the statement continued. "For today's students who are eager to become part of the magic, we encourage you to connect with disneycareers.com and our social media channels for future updates. In the meantime, we are confident that our many alumni — both here at Disney and beyond — will continue to keep the spirit of Disney Programs alive as we look forward to the future."
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that — and our approach to covering theme park news — please sign up for our free, three-times-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.