Disney suspends college internship program amid pandemic

National News

FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, a crowd is shown along Main Street USA in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. As Walt Disney World prepares to allow some third-party shops and restaurants to open at its entertainment complex later this week, it’s posting a warning. While enhanced safety measures are being taken at Disney Springs, “an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present,” the company said Monday, May 18, 2020, on a website for the entertainment complex.(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, FIle)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Walt Disney World has suspended the Disney College Program indefinitely amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Disney said in a blog post on Thursday that the internship’s participants won’t be among those returning to work when it reopens its Florida theme parks later this month.

The company also said it doesn’t know when the Disney-owned apartments where the students lived will be reopened.

“We understand this is not the news you were hoping to hear and we want to assure you this decision was not made lightly,” Disney said in the post. The company said it would refund students their fees and allow participants, including recent college graduates, to re-apply.

The program was initially suspended in mid-March when the theme parks and hotels closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney announced plans last month to reopen the Florida parks in phases, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening on July 11 followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Universal Orlando and SeaWorld parks reopened in June.


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