Name: Pete Werner
Location: Orlando, Florida
Occupation: President of Werner Technologies, Inc; Chief Executive Officer of Dreams Unlimited Travel, Inc.
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 WHIP!
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.
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.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
- Blog - Five Reasons Why We're Not Seeing "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in Theaters
- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
- Disney's CEO Bob Iger honored as CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine
- Trattoria al Forno to replace Cat Cora's Kouzzina at Disney World
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 11:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 10:00
9:00 - 7:00
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 8:00
Extra Magic Hour Evening: Hollywood Studios