Walt Disney World sends students packing after college program ends early

Walt Disney World not only closing parks but students housing as well

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse perform during a parade as they pass by the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Florida tourism officials say cases of the new coronavirus are having little visible impact on the state's biggest industry so far. Disney officials said in a statement that extra hand sanitizers were being placed throughout its four parks and more than two dozen hotels. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (John Raoux, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – As if closing the theme parks wasn’t bad enough, students who were participating in the Disney College Program were told Saturday that their program would be ending early.

This news comes days after Walt Disney World announced that it would be closing the gates to the happiest place on earth in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Students who were participating in the program received emails saying that their housing complexes would be closing and that they would need to depart by March 18 at 11 a.m.

While this news is tough to hear, rental fees will be waived and cast members will still be paid through the end of the month. Each student will also be given a successful program completion to allow for the opportunity to pursue future roles within The Walt Disney Company.

“Please know that this was not an easy decision to make and we understand your disappointment. We are taking the time to focus on the well-being of our Cast, our families and our extended families because there is nothing more important than that,” Disney said in a statement to participants.

Walt Disney World theme parks are scheduled to close for the remainder of the month due to the coronavirus outbreak. Disney Springs and surrounding resort hotels will remain open.

The closure will mark the longest closure in Walt Disney World’s history.

Disney College Program letter to participants