As close as I am to the situation, there is so much that remains unknown. At this time there is internet chatter that claims 13 Walt Disney World cast members are unaccounted for. Information and the story is still evolving.
Orlando is, by most measures, a small town. I came here (permanently) in May 1983 -- when I landed a job as a Jungle Cruise skipper at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. My professional career has been tied to the hospitality industry -- from attraction host, to hotel employee, to my time at Universal Creative and Walt Disney Imagineering on into my work in commercial construction.
And the fundamental conclusion I have drawn from the last 33 years is that Orlando is a small town.
This makes this morning's tragedy strange. Certainly I felt an alliance with "Boston Strong!" and "Je suis Charlie". But as thankful as I am for the worldwide expressions of support being directed to my hometown it's strange and surreal to see FB memes that read "Pray for Orlando."
We will persevere. And for those considering a trip to Orlando, you can be certain in the safety of our community -- attractions, resorts, restaurants and entertainment venues. And you can invest great faith in the theme park cast members and resort employees and restaurant servers and bartenders and cab drivers and retail associates who are working to make your vacation a memorable (and safe) experience.
Orlando will persevere.Tweet
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