Part of the fun of World Showcase has always been meeting Cast Members who are here from their home countries. They’re known as International Cast Members and Cultural Representatives. When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, the Cultural Representative Program was immediately suspended. While many Disney fans thought that this was a cruel move, it was to get them back home to their families! Borders soon closed, if they had stayed they wouldn’t have been able to return home for a long time.
The program is now open again, and Cultural Representatives are back! You can once again immerse yourself in another culture in World Showcase, because you can talk to Cast Members who call that country home. The Cultural Representatives have not returned to all 11 World Showcase countries, here’s hoping that the rest will be back soon. It’s a mix of new and returning Cast Members, so you might see a familiar face!
Disney Parks Blog has shared more about the return of the Cultural Representatives Program.
Disney Cultural Representatives Return to World Showcase at EPCOT
by Michelle Senter, Communications Specialist, Walt Disney World Resort
If you’ve ever experienced the magic of traveling around the world and learning about the unique cultures and customs of 11 countries – all in the same day – it’s likely you’ve been to EPCOT and met some of our beloved Cultural Representatives in the World Showcase. Over the past few weeks, we’ve started welcoming back Disney Cultural Representatives who have come from far and wide to help us in our storytelling and to create authentic, immersive experiences for our guests.
Our Walt Disney World Ambassador, Ali Manion, recently had the chance to join in on the fun by meeting some of our newest cast members from around the globe and hearing more about their journeys to World Showcase, including those who have been eagerly waiting to return to the program since our park reopening.
From their initial arrival day at Flamingo Crossings Village — the new, state-of-the-art housing complex for Disney Programs participants — to their first week of on-the-job training at EPCOT, these special cast members are getting acquainted with their new roles and having a blast doing it!
For some participants, this is their very first Disney Program and they are eager to help create distinctly-Disney magic for guests from all over the world. Others have experienced the magic of a Disney International Program before and were longing to return to discover more and create even more memories.
“I’m most excited to relive the experience again,” said Marco Cerri, a returning participant from Milan. “I loved sharing my knowledge about my culture and the beauty of my country with guests and learning how to inspire others.”
In addition to interacting with guests from around the world, participants get to meet other cast members and Disney Programs participants and create long-lasting friendships.
“It’s so wonderful to be back and reconnect with all the people I used to work with and I’m so excited to meet all the new people on my journey,” said Melanie Bernert, a returning Cultural Representative from Schongau, a small town in Germany.
Whether you’re a returning participant or experiencing your very first Disney program, we’re so happy to have you here and we can’t wait to see how far you’ll go! And if you find yourself traveling around the World (Showcase) anytime soon, be sure to say hello to any Cultural Representatives you meet along your way.
Are you ready to create lifelong memories and connect with people from across the globe by participating on a Disney International Program? Learn more and apply at disneyprograms.com.