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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!"

    "Get Hip, Don't get the Dip!"

  • #2
    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...

    Comment


    • #3
      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
      MiceAge Columnist

      I am the author of several Disney books:
      Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
      Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
      Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
      Mouse Trap
      Tokyo Disney Made Easy
      101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
      Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

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      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              ....as long as it gets done... No prob. I can live with periodic closures as long as the area is getting some needed TLC.

              Comment


              • #8
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  There IS No MAtt Ouimet at WDW.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.
                    :lol:

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                    • #11
                      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.

                      Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheManator
                        Hey, einsteen, Journey into Imagination is at Epcot, not MK.
                        :lol:
                        My apologies. I was referring to Walt Disney World as a whole.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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. . .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's precisely where I come in... afraid you'll have to wait about ten years though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                First off, I think we should at least spell the man's name correctly -- Matt OUIMET.

                                And I truly think that anyone who believes Al Weiss has done a good job over the past decade really needs to have their heads examined.

                                Other than growing the DVC into the cash cow it has become, overbuilding resorts, chasing off as much of the old-guard as he could, dropping all pretense of caring about things like theming, show quality and upkeep, what exactly has Weiss done (other than make a very good salary and millions in bonuses and stock)?

                                As Kevin Yee pointed out, Al seems to operate under the radar and that works to his advantage and guests/fans/CMs disadvantage. And his exec team is the same way.
                                Just imagine how Al Lutz would have savaged Weiss as well as some of the Orlando execs (Phil Holmes immediately comes to mind because I believe he is by far the worst of the bunch) if Miceage was an Orlando based site?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Mr. Eggz
                                  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.
                                  Well, he may be one of the better execs at WDW, but is that really saying much? And yes, he did start out way back when as an hourly CM, but it's pretty safe to say he's forgotten his roots. Have you been around him? He's not exactly what I'd term a people person. And maintainance has been cut at WDW. Maybe not to the extreme it was in Anaheim, but the bottom line is I don't feel the man has a backbone and I don't feel he has the proper respect for the job he holds.

                                  Originally posted by Mr. Eggz
                                  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).
                                  The past decade has seen a steady and sure decline in almost every important aspect of WDW. In many cases, the parks are dirty and even filthy. I put that right at Al's door. And having folks like Brad and Phil as execs of his two premier parks again shows fundamentally flawed thinking in the decision-making department. Is the MK a better place now than it was in 1995? Cleaner? Better maintained? Better CMs? More attractions? More entertainment? Longer operating hours?


                                  Originally posted by Mr. Eggz
                                  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.
                                  Yes, he should get some credit for EE. But also understand that much like ToT at DCA, it was almost a forgone conclusion that it was going to get built. Disney needed something major to keep folks at DAK for more than a morning or a few hours ... ultimately that's why EE is rising. Not because Al was such a savvy exec.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by KevinYee
                                    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.
                                    I agree with that philosophy, Kevin. I don't know if Matt really IS throwing himself there on the public stage, though. It kind of seems to me that with the tight-knit AP brotherhood that surrounds DL makes that kind of impossible if you want to know more than just the tyipcal out-of-town visitor stuff.

                                    Sometimes, I like to look back at my old stuff and remember the days when names like Ouimet and Pressler meant nothing to me.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by WDW1974
                                      Well, he may be one of the better execs at WDW, but is that really saying much? And yes, he did start out way back when as an hourly CM, but it's pretty safe to say he's forgotten his roots. Have you been around him? He's not exactly what I'd term a people person. And maintainance has been cut at WDW. Maybe not to the extreme it was in Anaheim, but the bottom line is I don't feel the man has a backbone and I don't feel he has the proper respect for the job he holds.
                                      I have been around him, and you are correct, he is not a people person. But in a corporate culture including the foul-mouthed Jay Rasulo, back-stabbing Brad Rex, and down-right evil Peter Murphy, he pales in comparison. He's very far from perfect, but knowing the culture of fear in Disney's upper ranks (created by Mr. Eisner) the fact that he stood up for safety counts for something...

                                      Originally posted by WDW1974
                                      The past decade has seen a steady and sure decline in almost every important aspect of WDW. In many cases, the parks are dirty and even filthy. I put that right at Al's door. And having folks like Brad and Phil as execs of his two premier parks again shows fundamentally flawed thinking in the decision-making department. Is the MK a better place now than it was in 1995? Cleaner? Better maintained? Better CMs? More attractions? More entertainment? Longer operating hours?
                                      ...but he falls short in courtesy, show, and effeciency. I agree with you 100%. In the days of Paul Pressler, Al looked like the good guy. But Pressler is gone and the standard has been raised, albeit slightly. For me Al Weiss falls into the same catagory as Marty Sklar--a dinosaur from a better time that has learned to survive by compromising at almost every opportunity. I miss the days of Bob Mathison and Bill Sullivan as well as the days of Judson Green.

                                      Originally posted by WDW1974
                                      Yes, he should get some credit for EE. But also understand that much like ToT at DCA, it was almost a forgone conclusion that it was going to get built. Disney needed something major to keep folks at DAK for more than a morning or a few hours ... ultimately that's why EE is rising. Not because Al was such a savvy exec.
                                      Fair enough, but if Al waited even a mounth longer when Jay Rasulo was in place, we would have a clone of the Indiana Jones ride from Paris, but with a name like Temple de los Animales and some scattered animal statues dotting the landscape.

                                      This may have just been luck, I don't know. But he was part of the group supporting EE and that counts for something, because neither Pressler nor Rasulo would have. EE is a genuine old school Imagineering effort...perhaps the last.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ...and just as an aside. WDW1974, thanks for raising the level of discussion. You really can't find this anywhere else on the web. MiceChat is good.

                                        Comment

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