In a surprise announcement today, Kermit Weeks announced that he will be closing his Fantasy of Flight museum as a public attraction on Sunday, April 6th. The facility will instead focus on its private event business and the design and development of a new future destination attraction.The press release also said that the facility will evolve into what it was originally designed for; a restoration and maintenance establishment. These capabilities will apparently be essential to Kermit’s plans for creating future attractions. The museum will not be completely closed to the public forever though, as later this year there are plans to open a smaller section of the collection (at a reduced price) for general admission. Kermit also stated that, “Restoration work will continue without interruption. We’re just evolving on the attractions side.”
Kermit continued, “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!”
Warbirds News wishes good luck to Kermit Weeks and we look forward to his next creation.