The Walt Disney World Resort is a magical place thanks to the Cast Members who make the magic a reality for Guests visiting from around the world.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Disney Parks and Resorts were closed, Cast Members who were only working at the Resort temporarily sadly had to make the decision to head home. For some on the Disney College Program, home was only a drive or a short flight away, but for Cast Members on one of Disney’s International Programs, home was much further.
As Disney World has continued to navigate its reopening, the Cultural Representative program began to return in phases with the first groups of these important Cast Members arriving at their new homes in Flamingo Crossings Village earlier this summer. Now, the first group of Cultural Representatives is back at work in EPCOT, ready to create happiness for Guests exploring this Disney Park.
Cultural Representatives can be spotted in multiple locations around Walt Disney World, including the countries of World Showcase in EPCOT, and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Animal Kingdom Lodge. By having Cast Members who are actually from the countries represented in Disney Parks here interacting with Guests, a unique level of immersion and a cultural exchange takes place that makes a Disney vacation extra special.
The Disney Parks Blog shared the news of the first Cultural Representatives who arrived back at EPCOT, along with the following video featuring Walt Disney World Ambassador Ali Manion:
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The first wave of Cultural Representative Cast Members from Germany, Norway, the UK, Italy, France, and Canada are already earning their ears (training) and are excited to meet Guests in EPCOT.
While some of the Cultural Reps are working at Walt Disney World for the first time, a few of them have returned and are thrilled to be back! “I’m most excited to relive the experience again,” shared Marco Cerri, a Cultural Representative from Milan, I loved sharing my knowledge about my culture and the beauty of my country with guests and learning how to inspire others.”
Much like the Disney College Program, Cultural Representatives reside right near the Walt Disney World Resort in Flamingo Crossings Village, where they are able to make long-lasting friends while creating happiness for Guests visiting EPCOT.
The program is continuing to reopen, with additional applications for Representatives from more countries set to be available at a later date. In the meantime, the return of Cultural Representatives should also mean the reopening of shops in World Showcase that have remained closed.
We will continue to monitor updates out of EPCOT to report back here on DisneyTips, and in the meantime, we wish a warm “welcome home” to the Park’s Cultural Representatives.