Disney suspends college internship program amid pandemic

Entertainment

FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, visitors walk toward Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the background at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Saying they don’t know when they’ll be able to re-open many of their businesses with the coronavirus spreading, Walt Disney Co. officials announced they will start furloughing workers in two weeks at its theme parks resorts in Florida and California. The statement released late Thursday, April 2, 2020 from The Walt Disney Co. said the first wave of furloughs will start April 19 and involve workers whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, 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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