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Friday, June 5, 2020

Epcot's international cultural representatives will not return when the park reopens

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 6:43 PM

click image Epcot's Mexico Pavilion - PHOTO COURTESY GREG STEVENSON/FLICKR
  • Photo courtesy Greg Stevenson/Flickr
  • Epcot's Mexico Pavilion
When Walt Disney World's theme parks reopen in July, Epcot's World Showcase pavilions will be without the cultural representatives who staffed much of Epcot's World Showcase, a collection of pavilions each devoted to a different country and its culture.

When Disney closed its doors in March, many of these employees were furloughed and sent back to their home countries. Fox 35 reports that Disney brass and the union representing these employees have made the determination that they will not return for the time being.

Disney fan site Blog Mickey released some of the text of the agreement between Disney and the cast member union negotiating for the cultural representatives:
The Parties recognize and agree for the purposes of a reopening and until such time that the Company is able to resume normal staffing, employees who do not meet the culturally authentic theming at EPCOT may be temporarily assigned to work in positions that are otherwise reserved for Cultural Representatives.
Aside from the staffing woes, most of the big new rides and projects Epcot was planning to debut this year have been delayed, including the Mary Poppins flat ride, the Ratatouille ride, the Festival Center and the Play pavilion in the old Wonders of Life building.

Epcot is currently scheduled to reopen to the public on July 15 along with Hollywood Studios. These two parks will be just behind the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, reopening a few days earlier on July 11.

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