Cultural Representatives are back at Disney World, with the first wave arriving at Flamingo Crossings Village earlier this week.
When COVID-19 forced Walt Disney World to close temporarily, several major programs had to be shut down. Last year, the Disney College Program came back, but we’ve been waiting much longer for Cultural Representatives to return to EPCOT’s World Showcase and other areas across Walt Disney World Resort.
Given that the students who serve as Cultural Representatives come from countries around the globe, coordinating their cross-border travel and their work visas amid the global pandemic was understandably challenging.
Which Cultural Representatives Are Back at Disney World?
Disney is bringing back this International Program in waves, starting with France, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, and the UK. Notably absent are Cultural Representatives from Japan, Morocco, China, and Mexico—but Disney is expected to bring on more Cultural Representatives as its reinstated program gets up and running (and as country-specific travel restrictions are phased out).
The Cultural Representative Program is one of several Disney International Programs being instated. Others include the Cultural Exchange Program and Academic Exchange Program.
Disney first announced the return of the Cultural Representative Program back in March of 2022.
What Is the Cultural Representative Program ?
As part of Disney’s mission to create authentic cultural experiences around World Showcase, the park has for decades invited people from the actual countries represented in EPCOT to come to Florida for a year and serve as Cultural Representatives.
In this capacity, these Cast Members work at their respective pavilions and interacted with guests directly, teaching them more about their home countries. You can usually spot these special Cast Members wearing their countries’ unique traditional garb.
While EPCOT’s World Showcase is where guests most commonly encounter Cultural Representatives, these Cast Members actually work in quite a few places around the resort. For example, head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and you might find a rep acting as an animal spotting guide or even as a restaurant host.
Cultural Representatives Back at Disney World: Details on Instagram
This news first broke on the official WDW Ambassadors Instagram account. Be sure to follow them for more great photos and updates as the program is reinstated.
View this post on Instagram
The original post read:
Today we welcomed the first group of Cultural Representatives to return to Walt Disney World! ✨ This means all Disney Programs at Walt Disney World are officially back! A warm welcome awaited Disney Programs participants as they checked in at Flamingo Crossings Village to start their journey as Cast Members. We are so excited to have you here and can’t wait to welcome back even more participants from around the world in the coming weeks! 🌏 #DisneyPrograms #DisneyCastLife