If you haven’t heard, it was announced yesterday that Disney would be temporarily suspending the Disney College Program, Disney Culinary Program, Disney Cultural Exchange Program and Disney Academic Exchange Program, effective tomorrow.
These participants have until 11am on March 18 to collect their belongings and exit the Disney Program housing complexes. They will be paid through the end of the month, receive a certification of program completion, and be marked as ‘rehireable’ so they may apply to jobs within the company in the future.
While I know this was a difficult decision for Disney to make, it doesn’t make the situation any easier for these students who now have mere days to pack up everything and make travel arrangements. And this, my friends, is where we can step in and make a difference.
As a former Disney College Program participant myself, I know how much the program meant to me. If either of my programs had ended abruptly, without having a chance to properly say goodbye or figure out my next move, I would have been devastated and overwhelmed. While we can’t change the circumstances, we can certainly make it easier for these kids to figure out their next step.
Below, you’ll find a list of resources you can use if you are a participant, know a participant who needs help, or want to help in any way you can.
If you are unable to return home immediately, Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort is offering discounted rooms. Check out the screenshot below or visit this link:
If you can’t bring all of your things home with you right now, Uhaul is currently offering college students 30 days of free self-storage. You can visit https://www.uhaul.com/Storage/ to find the nearest location. In order to take advantage of the offer, call the store or visit in person. More information can be found here.
If you didn’t bring a car down for your program and you can’t fly (or would prefer not to), Enterprise is here to help. They are graciously reducing the minimum age to rent and waiving young driver rental fees through May 31, 2020. Check out the screenshot below or visit this link for more information:
Frontier has announced a College Students Fly Free program. There are a lot of rules with this one, so please take a look and see if it would be beneficial for you. Please note that tickets must be purchased by March 20. Visit the link here for more information.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites S Lake Buena Vista (5001 Calypso Cay Way, Kissimmee, FL 34746) is offering discounted rooms to program participants. Instructions are as follows: Call the hotel at 4079971400 and ask about the Walt Disney World CP Assistance block of rooms. They can be booked for $39 a night and resort fees/security deposits will be waived!
This document was created to help participants find transitional housing. If you can provide transitional housing or if you need transitional housing, fill out the form.
There is a closed Facebook group entitled “WDW CP Emergency Temporary Housing Volunteers” if you need assistance or can provide housing, food, or anything else.
There have also been a host of offers through the #CPHelp hashtag on Twitter, including rides to airports, transitional housing, and monetary donations–and not just in Orlando. These offers are being made throughout the country. THAT is the #DisTwitter I like to see.
The Disney community has a beautiful way of coming together in times of need, so let’s all do our best to help these magic makers in any way we can.
If there are any other resources you know of that these participants can take advantage of, please comment below!