Cultural Representatives Back at Disney World: EPCOT World Showcase Program Returns

by | Aug 4, 2022 | EPCOT, WDW Blog, WDW News, WDW Resorts

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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?

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Several Cultural Representatives are back at Disney World. Photo courtesy of Disney

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).

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The first batch of reps just arrived at Flamingo Crossings Village. Photo courtesy of Disney

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.

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Several reps have returned to work in places like World Showcase and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Photo courtesy of Disney

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.

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Cultural Representatives like Sindre will soon be working across Walt Disney World Resort. Photo courtesy of Disney

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.

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

Written by Timothy Moore

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Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
Timothy Moore

Written by Timothy Moore

Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
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