Press ReleaseWalt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort announces $1.5 million investment in Valencia College

Walt Disney World Resort announces $1.5 million investment in Valencia College for state-of-the-art culinary arts and hospitality facility in downtown Orlando

The world-class facility will be renamed The Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality at Valencia College as part of the college’s reimagination and relocation of the program to downtown Orlando.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. May 6, 2019—As part of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s vision of an educational ecosystem in the downtown Orlando area, Walt Disney World Resort announced today a $1.5 million investment in Valencia College to help fund the transformation and relocation of their culinary arts and hospitality program. This significant investment will help fund state-of-the-art classrooms and cutting-edge equipment for students at the reimagined Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality, providing a foundation that will open many doors to the future as local students pursue their dreams.

“We’re proud to support Valencia College’s endeavor to provide affordable culinary and hospitality education opportunities to the downtown Orlando area, which will benefit our entire city,” said Walt Disney World Resort President George A. Kalogridis. “We know how important it is to invest in our talent, and this new campus will help develop the leaders of tomorrow for our thriving and growing city.”

Walt Disney World Resort has been an integral part of Central Florida’s thriving culinary arts and hospitality industries for decades, employing thousands of world-class culinary chefs and hospitality leaders. With its continued commitment to fostering education and employment opportunities, Walt Disney World Resort is helping aspiring students achieve their career dreams.

The Valencia College Downtown Campus, a shared campus with the University of Central Florida, will open to students for the fall 2019 semester and serve the downtown Orlando community to improve countless lives through the power of affordable education. The campus will serve as the heart of Valencia’s culinary and hospitality programming, offering degree programs, certificates, and workforce training.

“We couldn’t ask for a more creative and innovative partner than Walt Disney World Resort, and we’re so glad they’ve supported us in our efforts to provide revolutionary learning facilities and educational opportunities,” said Dr. Falecia Williams, campus president of West & Downtown Campuses at Valencia College. “Our latest endeavor to reimagine our culinary arts and hospitality campus and programming will be a transformational experience for our current and future students.”

In addition to the $1.5 million investment announced today, the Walt Disney World Resort culinary team has partnered with Valencia College to provide expertise and experience as they refresh their culinary arts curriculum. Valencia College also recently joined the ever-growing network of schools included in the Disney Aspire program. Along with the University of Florida, University of Denver, Bellevue, Brandman and Wilmington Universities, Disney will offer its eligible Cast members the opportunity of 100-percent paid tuition upfront for a variety of degrees and programs through Valencia College—including culinary arts and hospitality programs.

Drone imagery of the construction site of the Downtown campus featuring UnionWest and the Doctor Phillips Academic Commons on March 5, 2019 in Orlando, Fla.

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