Walt Disney World Announces Return of College Program

Today Walt Disney World announced that the Disney College Program will be returning to the Walt Disney World Resort in June.

On Disney’s website, they said –

Along with much of the world, we’re encouraged by the progress made possible by rising vaccination rates and recently revised guidance around health and safety measures. And while we’re seeing some additional positive signs, we still have a ways to go to a full recovery. This summer we are opening more Disney hotels, sports and convention groups are returning and we are reintroducing some of our guest-favorite offerings.

As our industry and community continue to bounce back, we have welcomed back thousands of cast members to work and have also restarted our recruitment efforts amid a tight labor market at Walt Disney World. Both of these measures are important indicators toward fully reopening our businesses and getting more people back to work.

Right now, we are also ready to welcome back students and are excited to announce the relaunch of the Disney College Program this June. We are inviting participants whose program ended early or was suspended in 2020 to reapply and join us. Today, May 3, these participants will receive exclusive communication via email about this exciting opportunity.

The Disney College Program has always been a source of optimism and pride for our company with participants who each bring new ideas, talents, and perspectives to the table. While that won’t change, we are evolving our Disney Programs to reflect the new world around us.

Disney plans on making applying to the Disney College Program even easier with a simplified application process.  There will be a concierge team of recruiters that participants can engage with on social media, and year-long arrival dates. Disney has temporarily modified some of the eligibility requirements so that many can still apply, even if they have already graduated.

Disney added –

We have also been thinking of other college and university students who may be eagerly awaiting their own Disney experience. Right now, we’re focused on bringing the Disney College Program back to Walt Disney World Resort and will have more to share about Disney International Programs, Disney Culinary Program, and those at Disneyland® Resort later. The good news is that there is much to come in the future of the program, and we can’t wait to share more information with you when that time comes. Keep an eye out here on the blog, follow us on social media, or opt-in for email updates to stay in the know.

Disney also stated that they’re relaunching the Program in a thoughtful and responsible way, with the safety of our participants and working cast always at the forefront of their planning, especially with the approach to housing at the new, state-of-the-art Flamingo Crossings Village complex. Those who return to a program this summer will be the first participants to call this beautiful new community home.

Walt Disney World to Extend Western Way to Route 545 (Avalon Rd.)

Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District is working toward plans to extend Western Way, a road just west of the Walt Disney World Resort — a move that will pave the way for all sorts of future development in that area.

The four lane road will join the existing Western Way at Flamingo Crossings, just beyond the intersection with SR 429, and will pass through Flamingo Crossings, connecting to Avalon Road (State Road 545).

Western Way was built as a new western entrance to the Walt Disney World Resort, entering property near to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Disney plans to zone 154 acres in Flamingo Crossings for 1,300 multifamily units and 150,000 square feet of commercial space. The company has been working with county staff since May, as well as selling pieces of the land to make way for other unannounced developments.

The road’s extension also brings into play more land – excluding the Flamingo Crossings development — which could be an opportunity for developers looking to build out the western side of Walt Disney World. That area still has plenty of potential for more lodging, commercial, retail and residential development.

SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites Hotels to Open at Flamingo Crossings

SpringHill Suites:TownePlace Suites

Flamingo Crossings will finally welcome its first new tenants on Friday February 12th with the opening of two new Marriott hotels – SpringHill Suites and Towneplace Suites.

Each hotel has 1,500 square-feet of meeting space and shares a 4,700 square-foot outdoor resort-style swimming pool, 1,700 square-foot state-of-the-art fitness center, Seattle’s Best coffee bar, a full-service restaurant and pool bar. The hotels also feature a picnic pavilion, batting cages and a sports practice field – useful for those sports teams visiting EPSN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The location in Flamingo Crossings is just outside the Western Way entrance to Walt Disney World (closest to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort), putting travel time to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom at around 5 minutes. There is no shuttle service to the parks, so a car is required, although onsite parking at the hotel is free. The hotels do not participate in Extra Magic Hours.

SpringHill Suites, with 248 rooms, offers suites larger than typical hotel rooms, with separate living, working and sleeping areas. In room TVs include Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Crackle and Pandora. Daily complimentary hot breakfast is included with each stay.

TownePlace Suites, with 250 rooms, offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens for longer stays. Most rooms also feature the Home Office™ Suite, complete with The Container Store’s elfa closet system. Daily complimentary hot breakfast is included. Also unique for the Walt Disney World Resort area is that the hotel is pet friendly.

The addition of the Marriott hotels makes Flamingo Crossings a viable alternative to more expensive on-site accommodations for visitors to Walt Disney World, with a location that is as close to the parks as some on-site hotels, at very competitive rates. Two bedroom suites are available for under $200 per night, with king bed studio’s at around $140 per night.

Originally announced back in March 2007, the 450 acre Flamingo Crossings has been slow in development, with only the two Marriott hotels being built so far. The original development plans included 4,000 – 5,000 low to mid-rise, value-priced lodging units and 300,000 – 500,000 square feet of commercial space. Designed around a retail village, the development is planned to become a convenient shopping and service center for Cast Members, nearby residents and Central Florida visitors.

From WDWMagic.com

Two Marriott Hotels Might be Coming to Flamingo Crossings on WDW’s Western Entrance

Flamingo Crossings Site Plan

Do you remember Flamingo Crossings? The project that Disney announced back in March 2007 was projected to bring new development to the western side of Walt Disney World.

It now appears that things are about to move forward as plans for two Marriot hotels have been submitted for permitting.

The permit applications call for two hotels on one site, the first is a ‘TownePlace Suites by Marriott,’ and the other a ‘SpringHill Suites by Marriott.’ Both hotels operate on the low to mid side budget of the market. Marriot describes the ‘TownePlace Suites’ as “designed for comfortable long-term stays, featuring full- sized kitchens, high-tech amenities and more.” SpringHill Suites are described as “Style and space. Beautifully priced.”

When Flamingo Crossings was announced back in 2007, early development plans included 4,000 – 5,000 low- to mid-rise, value-priced lodging units and 300,000 – 500,000 square feet of commercial space. The development was expected to become a convenient shopping and service center for Cast Members, nearby residents and Central Florida visitors. Flamingo Crossings is located outside Disney’s gateway around the interchange where Western Way meets the Western Beltway.

Disney has not yet made any announcements about the project.