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Credit: Disney

Cultural Representatives Return to EPCOT

It’s been two years since Disney officially reopened, and when it did, EPCOT’s World Showcase reopened without the luster it once had.  EPCOT closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19, and with it one of its most exceptional features went away: the cultural representatives. While the World Showcase has been just fine for those who only visit the area’s 11 countries to eat or drink, those who enjoy being immersed in the culture of each country’s pavilion have found it to be missing its spark.

Cultural representatives

Credit: Disney

 The cultural representatives are residents of the 11 countries represented in the World Showcase. They provided knowledge, authenticity, and flair to the area. Some of my best Cast Member interactions were here with the Cultural Representatives. In fact, once, as I was trying out my high school French with a representative from France, he told me my French was one of the best he’d heard from an American. Did he say that to every guest who clumsily tried to speak French? Probably. But it made me happy anyway. This was what World Showcase was like Pre-Covid. 

Disney cultural representatives

Credit: Disney

When the resort-wide shutdown was announced, each cultural representative was sent home to their countries of origin to ride out the pandemic with family. When the parks reopened, they did so without these beloved Cast Members. The representatives work for Disney World under a temporary visa, and international travel restrictions made their return impractical.

Disney Cultural representatives

Credit: Disney

Until now! Walt Disney World has just announced that the first group of International Cultural Representatives has arrived at the resort. They checked in yesterday at Flamingo Crossings Village and were all smiles to begin their Disney journeys.  Their arrival marks the last program to return to the parks after the closure, putting things one step closer to the normalcy we all knew and loved pre-pandemic.

 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 7 year old son or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.