EPCOT World Showcase to Reopen Without International Cast

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The EPCOT theme park at Disney World will reopen soon, but its World Showcase will not have an international cast.

EPCOT World Showcase to Reopen Without International Cast [Source: Disney World]

Why There Won’t be an International Cast

The EPCOT theme park will begin its phased reopening at Walt Disney World on July 15th.

However, its World Showcase attractions will be entirely different.

Disney granted furloughs to many international employees due to the global situation. Many international cast members had no choice but to go back to their home countries.

In the meantime, domestic workers will staff many of the attractions.

According to the report, The Walt Disney Company reached an agreement with its union to reopen EPCOT without their international cast.

This situation, however, will only be for the time being.

News Backed According to Union President

Eric Clinton, the president of Unite Here! Local 362 Union, backed the report.

In a meeting with his union, Clinton explained how and when the cast members would be recalled for work.

A Screenshot of Local 362 Union Video Conference

Also, Clinton explained that the Disney College Program Cast Members, as well as the ones from the International Programs, will be absent.

This is what he said in the video.

World Showcase attraction will be fully staffed by domestic attraction workers. There are not going to be any international college program students anytime soon staffing Frozen’s ride at EPCOT or the Ratatouille ride in France, or the Mexican boat ride. Any of those things will all be run by domestic attractions workers when they open.

Eric Clinton, Union 362 President

Clinton facilitated the meeting in the first week of June and posted the edited version of the video on June 3rd. 

Disney’s International Programs Suspended

Disney's International Programs Banner [Source: Disney Careers]
Disney’s International Programs Banner [Source: Disney Careers]

In the video, Clinton mentioned that there wouldn’t be “any international college program students anytime soon.”

Here’s some quick background:

  • Disney suspended Walt Disney World’s International Programs and Disney’s College Program starting April 18th because of the global situation.
  • These programs allow young people from different parts of the world to have the opportunity to work in the United States. 
  • As of now, it’s uncertain when the programs will resume since several states and nations remain at home, limiting travels.

How Will This Affect the EPCOT World Showcase?

EPCOT’s World Showcase Map [Source: WDW Radio]

The international cast composed of cultural representatives is considered one of the precious gems of the EPCOT World Showcase.

Their involvement adds a genuine experience of the culture they represent. Visitors are able to learn about people from 11 countries in a personal way.

Guests can enjoy learning the native language of international Cast Members and discover new dishes, too.

Dish at Biergarten Restaurant at EPCOT World Showcase [Source: Disney World]
Dish at Biergarten Restaurant at EPCOT World Showcase [Source: Disney World]

In other words, the international cast offers an authentic global experience to visitors as they open up their world to the guests.

For more about the World Showcase, watch this YouTube video.

In Conclusion

Obviously, this will affect the EPCOT World Showcase attractions significantly.

Fortunately, there is hope behind the news!

International Cast Members at World Showcase [Source: WDW News Today]
International Cast Members at World Showcase [Source: WDW News Today]

According to the official website of Disney Careers, Germany and Norway opened the applications for their cultural representative programs on April 7th.

Also, positions were already posted for Mexico’s 2021 Cultural Representative Program on June 3rd.

Having said that, the international cast and international college program students might return sooner than we expect.

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