I'm creating this thread as a thank you and appreciation thread for former Disneyland Resort President, Matthew Ouimet. I don't post too often here on MiceChat, but I have been a reader of MiceAge since its creation and have followed Disneyland's progress from pre-50th onward. Al spoke of a man who became our savior of the Happiest Place on Earth, and that man is Mr. Matt Ouimet.
Prior to Matt's short stay as head of the Disneyland Resort, our beloved Disneyland and shortcoming Disney's California Adventure had both fallen into years of neglect under the Gapheads, Harris and Pressler. Matt did more than any leader since Walt had, and did so in an all too brief stay at Disneyland. Under Matt's direction, new projects were pushed forward and costly refurbishments unseen in Disneyland since the time of Walt himself were given the greenlight. Attractions such as Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room were given a fresh breath and a second chance at life, Main Street and many other areas of the park received new paint and plusses to make them gleam as though the park was experiencing a new Golden Age. Most importantly, Matt Ouimet stirred enough corporate waves to get Imagineers and the Disney Company itself to again believe in the magic by pushing for a reopening and reimagining of the beloved and long-lost Submarine Voyage. Under Matt Ouimet's outstanding leadership, Disneyland was ushered and brought into a true Golden Age that has lasted through the 50th Anniversary onward.
As a person who truly loves the Disney theme parks worldwide, and having visited Walt Disney World during its better days during the 1990's, my first visit to Disneyland last year right after Matt's leaving of the Disneyland Resort made me fall in love with the time and place that is "Matt's Disneyland." All of the hopes and dreams I had of Disneyland were true, and all of my complaints about Walt Disney World's current disgrace were completely blown away by the state of Disneyland's sheer magic and presence. Matt, like Walt, took the extra effort to walk the park as a guest and see things through the eyes of those the park was created for...us. Thank you Matt, for being our champion and savior of not only Disneyland, but of the fact that a little imagination can break free of corporate restraint and make the world believe that anything is possible...again.
We miss you pal, and hopefully we'll see you back at Disneyland one day.
Thank you Matt Ouimet,
Chris "Counting down the days until my visit next summer" Mercaldo
Long Island, New York
Well guys, I think its only appropriate that we all take part in thanking Matt O, even if its a simple "thank you" post...I'm sure he'll check back at MiceChat someday, and he really deserves a little love...without him, the 50th would've been a slump, attendance would be down, paint would still be chipped, and most importantly...we'd have no subs and no imagination in Disneyland.