In a surprise announcement yesterday, Kermit Weeks announced that the Fantasy of Flight museum will be closed to the public starting on April 6. Fantasy of Flight will not completely close but rather focus on restoration and maintenance, and some parts of the facilities will be made available to the public later this year.
In Kermit Weeks’ words: “Although we are located just 20 minutes west of Walt Disney World, we’re currently outside the center of mass tourism and not perceived of as a destination. We have a great product, but people have a misperception of what we offer. After 18 years of being in operation, it’s time we close the attraction and move forward toward creating the vision for what I know Fantasy of Flight can become.”
While saddened that the changes will necessitate a reduction in staff, Weeks is optimistic that his long-term vision and future product will create far more jobs and have a greater positive impact on Polk County, where Fantasy of Flight is located. “We have great employees,” said Weeks, “and will be working with several local, state and private agencies in the upcoming weeks in order to offer our employees assistance and training for the transition.” They will retain an event-focused staff as the facility continues to host weddings, meetings and corporate events, including team building and birthday parties via the Wing Walk Air Confidence Course & Zip Line.
Weeks remarked, “This isn’t the end of Fantasy of Flight, it’s just the next step on the company’s journey to become what it was always meant to be – a quality attraction that uses entertainment as a means to an end for self-discovery and self-transformation. Think of this as a caterpillar going into its cocoon. We expect to re-emerge as a brand-new butterfly!”