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Jeff Vahle States Cast Members Will Be “At The Heart” of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

Taking over for Josh D’Amaro in May as President of Walt Disney World during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeff Vahle was tasked with navigating one of the few Disney Parks worldwide that have reopened in a time of much uncertainty for the tourism industry. Now, he’s taking time to reflect and set some key benchmark tasks as we head into 2021.

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Vahle, a 30-year Cast Member who most recently served as President of Disney Signature Experiences, is responsible for all facets of business for the resort, including its four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney Hollywood Studios) two water parks, 28 resort hotels, four golf courses, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the Disney Springs entertainment-shopping-dining complex. His tenure so far has been rocky, with over 17,000 Walt Disney World Cast Members furloughed or laid off due to the impacts of the parks closure. Moving into the new year, Vahle and his team must rebuild the Walt Disney World workforce—that is, “when business improves”, according to the workers’ unions.

In an interview with the Orlando Business Journal, Vahle has outlined some of his benchmarks for the company in 2021:

  • Operating the parks and resorts responsibly. “The health and well-being of everyone is at the forefront of planning”, he said.
  • Rebuilding the business from the impacts of 2020
  • Preparing for Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary.
  • Cast Members—Vahle states they will be “at the heart of the parks’ momentum around the milestone.”

Walt Disney World has not officially announced exact plans for the 50th anniversary celebration, with the exception of select attractions and experiences that are set to open at some point next year. Recently, it was reported that an undisclosed number of Cast Members were recalled or even hired back, so it’s possible that Vahle may be making good on his emphasis regarding the real magic makers at the parks.

Jeff Vahle was named one of OBJ‘s “2021 Game Changers”, a group of key figures in the industry that are critical to its recovery. Other notable Game Changers include Phil Brown, CEO of Orlando International Airport, and Dr. Raul Pino, Director of the Florida Department of Health-Orange County.

Source: Orlando Business Journal

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Entertainment Matters
Entertainment Matters
9 months ago

Prove it. Rehire people.
Words are cheap.
Actions matter.
Every day without entertainment is cheapening the Disney brand.