Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports to host largest HBCU Week

Registration now open, event begins Oct. 6

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Largest-Ever HBCU Week (Disney)

BAY LAKE, Fla. – Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex is set to host HBCU Week for the first time beginning next month.

HBCU Week’s mission is to encourage high-school aged students to enroll into historically Black colleges and universities.

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Beginning Oct. 6, an estimated 5,000 students and their families will get the chance to check out an exciting college fair, concerts and comedy shows, an epic “Battle of the Bands” event and enjoy a parade at Magic Kingdom. This is the first time in its five-year history that the HBCU Week Foundation is hosting its annual event at Walt Disney World Resort, which is expanding the foundation’s ability to stage new and more high-profile activities for its attendees.

“We are pleased to share in the mission to highlight the rich history and cultural significance of HBCUs, creating educational and, ultimately, career opportunities for students,” said HBCU Week Founder and CEO Ashley Christopher. “Hosting this national event at Walt Disney World Resort helps amplify the mission of HBCU Week, attracting more parents and students throughout the country to our events and helps make an even greater impact in fostering opportunities for thousands of students.”

Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports (Disney)

The foundation said the college fair will give students the opportunity to see unique culture and experiences that each HBCU has to offer, speak with a college recruiter and have the chance to accept an on-the-spot scholarship. More than $10 million in scholarships are expected to be awarded, which would also be an HBCU Week record, Disney said on its blog.

The parades are Magic Kingdom will happen on Oct. 8 and feature Delaware State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Bethune Cookman University, Winston Salem State University and Alcorn University. A theme park ticket and reservation are required.

“This event is an ideal collaboration in that it highlights Disney’s commitment to supporting HBCUs and the mission of HBCU Week,” said Avis Lewis, Vice President Human Resources, Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks International. “We are pleased with the immense momentum we are seeing already, with unprecedented attendance at the college fair and a host of exciting events planned. We look forward to seeing students and parents from all over the Southeast enjoying this event and all the magic of Disney while they are here.”

In 2020, the Walt Disney Company established the initiative Disney On The Yard.

Disney said its mission is to create opportunities for future black storytellers, and amplify their stories and contributions of HBCU Alumni across all segments of the company.

“In partnership with HBCUs around the country, we have strengthened our commitment to the development of internships, mentorship programs, and career growth opportunities for HBCU graduates and Black talent at all levels,” Disney said on its website.

Registration is now open for the college fair event.

More details will be released closer to the event.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.