08 March 2009

Ready, Set, Here's the Show!

Dick Nunis is among the top tier of names that any and all enthusiasts of Disney should. Beginning with a summer job in 1955, Nunis did not leave the Company until 1999. As Director of Park Operations, he was key to the development, implementation, and success of “Project X,” otherwise known as Walt Disney World. In 1980, Nunis was named President of the Outdoor Recreation Division which, among other projects, would oversee EPCOT Center.

In the 1 October 1982 issue of Eyes & Ears, the publication created for Walt Disney World Cast Members, shared a few words about what had been built in Florida, including and beyond the parks, and what being a member of the cast truly meant.

Our creative people at WED have had an unbelievable task in bringing into reality Epcot Center. The people of our country and the world are going to be overwhelmed with the beauty and splendor of the project. Our WED people should take great pride in what they have created. WALT DISNEY WORLD is known throughout the world as the number one vacation destination in the world. With the addition of Epcot Center, WALT DISNEY WORLD will grow into and become famous for the finest entertainment for families and people of all ages everywhere.

As Walt once said, “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world… but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” As a member of the WALT DISNEY WORLD cast, you can be proud of the part you have played in helping establish the reputation WALT DISNEY WORLD has today.

In the relatively short span of three years since we broke ground with Epcot Center, each and every one of you have displayed hard work, determination and loyalty to the Disney name, and together have brought forth a project with as many varied faces as the world itself. I am certain that Walt himself would be proud of what his organization has accomplished.

In preparation for today, you have been asked to perform beyond your regular realm of activities, and you’ve done so with both professionalism and such vitality of spirit that I am constantly in awe of your unending faith in Walt’s dream of WALT DISNEY WORLD. I thank you for the long hours, the teamwork, the belief that “We Can Do It” … and to be sure … WE HAVE DONE IT.

It’s only once in a lifetime that a person has the opportunity to be involved in a project of this magnitude, and I’m sure each of you is as proud of your individual role as well as the final product. Regardless of where you worked or what you did, each of you has contributed greatly to making WALT DISNEY WORLD and Epcot Center a reality.

I’d also like to thank another special Disney group for their efforts throughout this phase in our company’s history. Without the support and understanding of your families, WALT DISNEY WORLD would not be where it is today.

Beyond Epcot Center, I feel strongly that we have laid a firm foundation for the continued growth of our company and Central Florida.

You can be proud of your role as a WALT DISNEY WORLD cast member in being part of bringing forth Epcot Center. I hope you are as proud as I am of the message that our creative people have designed into Epcot Center’s many shows and attractions: that there is hope for tomorrow and that man can overcome the problems facing our world today.

The opening of Epcot Center is the dawn of a new era, but it is still just the beginning; the future is up to all of us.

Dick Nunis

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