The Grier File Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2009

Born: Atlanta

Education: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, Duquesne University

Has the current economic situation changed how you run the resort?

Particularly now, with a challenging environment from the economic standpoint, we have to be nimble. We have to be close to the business; we have to react in a positive way. We have a very unique business here. Even though there can be troubling times, when our guests come here, they really want to be transported to a different time and place. So we really have to keep that top of mind as we go through how we want to make changes in the long term and the short term.

Who is your favorite Disney character?

I had the opportunity to be a Disney character and actually dressing up in costume and going out there. I’ve done it a number of times. You have to be the right stature. I’m perfect for Tigger, and I’m perfect for Captain Hook. When you go out there, it’s a unique experience because kids love our characters. Those are my two favorites. My favorite characters are the ones I’ve played.

What are your favorite Disney movies?

I’d have to put them in two categories. For animated, ‘The Lion King.’ It went on to be a Broadway show that has been a huge success. From a live-action standpoint, Disney has changed their approach on live action; they wanted more Disney-branded movies. One of the first ones that came out from the new approach was ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ I think the first one was the best, but I liked all three.

Disneyland facts:

n Opening day: July 17, 1955

n The Anaheim resort area, which is anchored by the Disneyland Resort, contributes more than 50 percent of Anaheim’s total tax revenue.

n In 2008, the Disneyland Resort generated $3.7 billion in third-party economic impact to businesses throughout Southern California.

n The Disneyland Resort and its visitors who stay in the Anaheim resort area generate $248 million in taxes to various Southern California cities and counties.