Editorial Note: In preparation for DIScision 2016, we invited the candidates to introduce themselves to you, the voter. We have decided to share their comments unedited and unabridged. The opinions expressed by the candidates are not necessarily those of the hosts of The Florida Project.
In the fall of 1971 something extraordinary started in Orlando, Florida. In the forty-five years since then we have seen a lot of changes in Walt Disney World, but one thing that has not changed is that feeling of absolute magic when you step into the park.
Walt Disney World may be magical, but it still needs good management.
As the next president of Walt Disney World I will preserve that magic and put into action a comprehensive plan to grow our parks, to welcome all of our guests, and to honor the legacy of all of those who have gone before me.
First stop: attractions, the very heart of the Walt Disney World experience. Recent years have seen expansions such as New Fantasyland met with great success. The forthcoming Pandora, Star Wars, and Toy Story lands are all anticipated to have a profound and positive impact on Walt Disney World, but we must not overlook the opportunities to build on what we already have. The phenomenally successful introduction of Frozen into the World Showcase was just the tip of the iceberg, if you will. The beauty of Walt Disney World is the intricate patchwork of characters and stories that let you go from Cinderella’s Castle to a pirate ship in the Caribbean in a matter of minutes.
I want to tackle our resorts and restaurants as one complementary project, with a focus on expanding dining options at our resorts and carrying the magic of the parks into the resorts themselves. We can all appreciate a day spent outside of the parks or the extended dinner break back at the hotel. There is no reason that such a break should ever feel like a waste or even feel like you have actually left the parks. Our resorts are well themed, but I think we need to kick the magic up a notch. I also want to see more resort dining that embraces not just Disney characters and movies but that brings more of the parks back to the resorts.
No one can deny that the resorts and dining options are a major part of the magical Walt Disney World experience. We must focus on these amenities, but not at the expense of the parks themselves. Many of our resorts are in need of improvements and refurbishments, but these upgrades must be executed on a gradual, rolling basis so that our guests’ experiences are not diminished by unsightly construction or interruptions and so that the cost of a visit is not exploded. Simply put, it takes money to add an attraction or remodel a hotel, which is why we must take a deliberate approach to any sort of improvement or expansion. If we over extend ourselves with massive refurbishments or even something as seemingly attractive as a fifth gate on a short timeline, we simply will not be able to maintain the level of service – and the level of magic – that all of our guests deserve without making it harder for those guests, and particularly our future first-time guests, to afford a ticket and a room.
The future of Walt Disney World is bright, but only if its stewards are vigilant and dedicated to bedrock principals of the park and work to preserve the magic for all those out there, wishing on stars.
I am honored to be considered for such a position of trust and I will not let you down should you choose to elect me as the next president of Walt Disney World.
Myers for the World Campaign
Magic You Can Believe In