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  1. #1

    • Ursus H. Bear, ESQ
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    Who is WDWs Matt Ouimet?

    Just curious...and why isnt he/she doing his/her job at the parks?
    "Trap Toad will they? HA HA NEVER!"

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  2. #2

    • They wanna know, HO!
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    Hu? Wha? Al Weiss is the president of WDW, and well, I think he's doing a damn good job myself. He's kept CM jobs during a recession, he's tried to keep the parks clean and spotless, and he's run 4 of them!
    ...a vaguely celtic music fills the air...

  3. #3

    • MiceAge Columnist
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    Arguably, Al is doing a BETTER job than Matt by flying completely below the radar. This is one CM of the "old school" thought that: "we are NOT the show; we CREATE the show". I have 80s-era Orientation booklets proudly proclaiming just such platitudes.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
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    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
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    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  4. #4

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    Al Weiss is doing well, but he needs to start moving towards Matt's style of "let's get every ride we possibly can open."

    In WDW we have entire pavilions that are only open seasonally. And about 50 attractions run on limited hours.

  5. #5

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    Not to mention the state of the parks... MK's Main Street desperately need a newly repaved sidewalk and possibly, a newly bricked Main Street as well. Plus maintenance in most areas, most evident in Tomorrowland. ..and for the love of Walt, get rid of those 'temporary' show stages in Tomorrowland and Future World. They degrade the look of their surroundings.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Not to mention the state of the parks... MK's Main Street desperately need a newly repaved sidewalk and possibly, a newly bricked Main Street as well.
    I agree.


    Wow could you imagine closing down Main street to repave it?


    I'm sure it would be done after hours. Little by little.

  7. #7

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    ....as long as it gets done... No prob. I can live with periodic closures as long as the area is getting some needed TLC.

  8. #8

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    I'm not too sure. I'd like to see Mr. Weiss show greater concern for the originality of Epcot and a better respect for Walt Disney in terms of the Carousel of Progress.

    The "Pixarization" and "plastic" (Goofy's Dancing Jamboree, Pin Stores, Journey into Imagination) etc. are starting to dominate the Magic Kingdom, which in many senses is now more about marketing than anything else. With Stitch and the 50th advertised all over each monorail and banners advertising new (cloned) attractions along the entrances and plazas (i.e. World Showcase, Sunset Boulevard) exemplifies this sentiment.

    To clarify my EPCOT comment, it seems like the pavilions are straying from the park's foundation. Imagination deals with the senses now, and soon Seas will be more Pixar-based than ocean based. The only family pavilion in FWE (Wonders) is closed seasonally, and there have been reports of Mr. Weiss ditching the SE "coaster" plan, not only based on the expense, but "because there are no characters." All my respect to this president, who has allowed tremendous growth to the parks, but I think we need a new man at Epcot who can ensure the upkeep of the park and its vision while bringing in great new attractions. Kinda like the Joe Rhode of Animal Kingdom, creating rides out of the world, like Everest that still are firmly rooted into the park's message.

    I've had such an enthusiasm for Mr. Ouimet because he has done the impossible. A few years ago the Enchanted Tiki Room was endangered. Now it looks better than ever. A true balance exists between the original attractions (and there's a tremendous absence of "bad show") and whole new experiences. That should be brought to Walt Disney World with the refurbishment - not closure - of the Carousel of Progress.

    The overall sentiment regarding WDW can be found in D-Troop's "Declaration of Sentiment," as seen here: http://www.d-troops.com/petition.php

  9. #9

    • Sock Puppet
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    There IS No MAtt Ouimet at WDW.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Grizz

    The "Pixarization" and "plastic" (Goofy's Dancing Jamboree, Pin Stores, Journey into Imagination) etc. are starting to dominate the Magic Kingdom, which in many senses is now more about marketing than anything else. With Stitch and the 50th advertised all over each monorail and banners advertising new (cloned) attractions along the entrances and plazas (i.e. World Showcase, Sunset Boulevard) exemplifies this sentiment.

    Hey, einsteen, Journey into Imagination is at Epcot, not MK.

  11. #11

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    To get to your real question, which is who is Matt Oimet....

    He's an executive that came over from the cruise lines and is now in charge of Disneyland. He took over for Cynthia Harriss in a not-so-unexpected changing of the guard. Cynthia, who "took time off to spend with her family" has now fallen into the Gap, following Pressler.

    When Paul Pressler got "promoted" from the Disney Stores to Disneyland, both divisions suffered. Paul is an excellent retailer, but a horrible park president. Under Pressler, attractions were "rode into failure to save money", rather than receiving the attentive maintenance that Disney had previously been famous for. Under his successor, Cynthia, the process of bloodletting was stopped, but very little healing took place.

    Under Matt Ouimet, Cynthia's successor and current park president, over a decade of neglect has finally been addressed. Granted this has meant months upon months of DL becoming "Wall-y World", as different parts of the park had to be closed for massive refurbishment, but the end result is that we're getting "Disneyland" back.

    The Enchanted Tiki Room is a prime example. A couple years back, part of the facade (I believe it involved an outrigger canoe?) literally fell down and had to be removed (because previous park management wasn't about to pay to replace it). It had gotten into that condition through age and neglect. The thatch on the roof was in poor condition, and in many spots missing entirely, the paint was faded, the feathers tatty, and several AA's had stopped working altogether. After a several-month massive overhaul under Matt's regime, the Tiki Room looks perhaps as good as it did the day it opened (some have claimed BETTER).

    Things are getting painted, freshened up. Guests, even the most jaded of us, are leaving the park happy and speaking in glowing terms of the latest happenings. We have the real Disneyland back. Talk about a homecoming.

    THAT, in essence, is who Matt is and what he's done for Disneyland.

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  12. #12

    • Minion
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheManator
    Hey, einsteen, Journey into Imagination is at Epcot, not MK.
    My apologies. I was referring to Walt Disney World as a whole.

    That's what I get for mixing work with play. . .

  13. #13

    • Minion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrigoon
    To get to your real question, which is who is Matt Oimet....

    He's an executive that came over from the cruise lines and is now in charge of Disneyland. He took over for Cynthia Harriss in a not-so-unexpected changing of the guard. Cynthia, who "took time off to spend with her family" has now fallen into the Gap, following Pressler.

    When Paul Pressler got "promoted" from the Disney Stores to Disneyland, both divisions suffered. Paul is an excellent retailer, but a horrible park president. Under Pressler, attractions were "rode into failure to save money", rather than receiving the attentive maintenance that Disney had previously been famous for. Under his successor, Cynthia, the process of bloodletting was stopped, but very little healing took place.

    Under Matt Ouimet, Cynthia's successor and current park president, over a decade of neglect has finally been addressed. Granted this has meant months upon months of DL becoming "Wall-y World", as different parts of the park had to be closed for massive refurbishment, but the end result is that we're getting "Disneyland" back.

    The Enchanted Tiki Room is a prime example. A couple years back, part of the facade (I believe it involved an outrigger canoe?) literally fell down and had to be removed (because previous park management wasn't about to pay to replace it). It had gotten into that condition through age and neglect. The thatch on the roof was in poor condition, and in many spots missing entirely, the paint was faded, the feathers tatty, and several AA's had stopped working altogether. After a several-month massive overhaul under Matt's regime, the Tiki Room looks perhaps as good as it did the day it opened (some have claimed BETTER).

    Things are getting painted, freshened up. Guests, even the most jaded of us, are leaving the park happy and speaking in glowing terms of the latest happenings. We have the real Disneyland back. Talk about a homecoming.

    THAT, in essence, is who Matt is and what he's done for Disneyland.
    It's funny, because I haven't been to Disneyland under the Pressler OR Ouimet era. . . and our family is celebrating like wild on the East Coast.

    It's almost as though Walt Disney World is in late 90s/early 00s Disneyland at this point. Astro Orbiter broke down - much like the Tiki Room - a year after it was going to close for refurbishment. (Of course, that refurbishment was delayed until the ride actually stopped functioning). The planets haven't spun since 2002/2003, and we're still waiting to see them return. . .

    One insider told me that the WDW parks are ALMOST at the point where "over painting" just isn't going to help cover up the lack of true upkeep at the park. Rotting wood exists throughout the Magic Kingdom, bird poop doesn't get cleaned for months. While overall, a great attention to detail still remains, the longtime CMs are really starting to take note.

    I would just hate to see another classic attraction lost before we have much-needed "Ouimet-esque" influence spread through the WDW business structure. . .

  14. #14

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    That's precisely where I come in... afraid you'll have to wait about ten years though.

  15. #15

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    Al Weiss is one of the better executives at Disney. He has worked for WDW since he was about 20 years-old. He is old school, pre-Eisner. And I might point out he stood up to Paul Pressler in 2000 and would not cut the maintenance budget at WDW the way Pressler/Harriss did at DLR which lead to the death on BTMRR. Al Weiss may actually have saved lives.

    With that said, he did make cuts in other places including custodial and non-safety related maintenance. He also promoted the penny-pinching Brad Rex to the VP of Epcot, and Phil Holms to the VP of MK (Phil is on a mission to replace as many full time CMs with Part Time to save money).

    Back on the plus side, you can thank Al for Everest. He pulled off the impossible and got an E-ticket approved during that short window after Pressler fell into the GAP and before Rasulo officially took over. Amazingly good move! I believe if Rasulo would give him the money he would build more E-tickets.

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