Name: Pete Werner
Location: Orlando, Florida
Occupation: President of Werner Technologies,
Inc; Chief Executive Officer of Dreams Unlimited Travel,
DIS Role(s): Webmaster of all sites in
the Destination-Orlando network.
Disney parks around the world have you visited:
Walt Disney World, Disneyland California, Disney
Date of first Disney Trip: 1991
# of Disney Trips: Too many to count
First Disney Attraction and reaction to it:
My first exposure to a Disney attraction was Spaceship
Earth. I'd never seen anything like it before.
I remember walking away simply amazed at how 'larger
than life' everything was. I was hooked!
Fav. Park and why: To be honest, my
answer to this changes every time I'm asked. I
love them all for various reasons. I love the
nostalgia at Magic Kigndom, I love the scope and granduer
of Epcot, I like the intimacy and theming of MGM.
The jury is still out for me on Animal Kingdom, but
I'm slowly warming up to it.
Fav. Attraction and why: My all
time favorite attraction is Pirates of the Caribbean.
I think that attraction embodies Walt's amazing creativity
on so many levels. It's quintessential Disney!
Fav. Show and why: Festival of the Lion
King at Animal Kingdom. This is Disney at it's
best. They feature an amazing group of very talented
performers (some of the singers are Broadway material),
and the tumble monkeys alone are worth the hour wait
Fav. Resort and why: The Polynesian is
my favorite resort. Again, I think it captures
a theme and an atmosphere that no other resort on property
can match. It's original Disney, through and through.
Fav. Restaurant and why: Well, I feel like
a man without a country on this topic right now.
My favorites WERE Seasons at the Disney Institute, and
Palio at the WDW Swan. However, Seasons has closed
recently, and Palio has changed their menu (for the
worse). I'm actively seeking a new 'favorite'.
Fav. Snack at WDW: Two words...DOLE
Fav. Disney Tip: Honestly, the best tip I
can give to anyone going to Disney World (and I don't
care how many times you've been) is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.
It's not necessary to do a minute by minute itinerary,
but have a really good idea of what you want to do,
and when. This gives you a chance to see everything
you'll want to see (you can't do it all in one vacation,
no matter how good you are).
Disney Magical Moment/ Most Memorable Experience:
I have so many of them, it's hard to narrow just one.
I guess the most powerful experience I ever had at Walt
Disney World was during my first visit. At that
time, I was fairly new in recovery from alcohol and
drug addiction, and had struggled for quite a while
to get my life back on track. I walked away from
my first experience at Disney World with an amazing
realization. The sense of happiness and well being
that I often sought through my drug use (and never achieved),
was the same feeling I had at Disney World. The
sense that the world, and everything in it, was okay.
I made a promise to myself that for each year I stayed
clean and sober, I would reward myself with a trip to
the happiest place on earth. On September 25th,
I'll celebrate 12 years of recovery. The plan
Words of Wisdom: Never forget what Disney
is all about. It's about believing in magic.
You can, if you choose, focus on the negative, but then
you've missed the entire point of Walt's vision.
For those of us who call Walt Disney World our "home",
we have discovered a place where life can stop, if only
for a few days. We've found a place where, regardless
of who we are and what we do, that we can look at this
"world" through the eyes of a child, either
our own, or the one that lives inside each of us.
What an amazing legacy Walt left to the world.