Eisner talks about developing Celebration

Four hundred fifty of Celebration’s residents recently gathered at the Nicholson Center at Florida Hospital Celebration Health for “A Conversation with Michael Eisner and Peter Rummell”— two of the town’s leading architects from the development project under The Walt Disney Company. Submitted Photo

By Jennifer DiDomenico

For the News-Gazette

Four hundred fifty of Celebration’s residents recently gathered at the Nicholson Center at Florida Hospital Celebration Health for “A Conversation with Michael Eisner and Peter Rummell”— two of the town’s leading architects from the development project under The Walt Disney Company.

Eisner and Rummell took the stage on in honor of the town’s Founder’s Day celebration and 20th anniversary of its pioneer residents, sharing many behind-the-scenes details about the early beginnings of the town.

Des Cummings, president of the Florida Hospital Foundation, described Celebration as “a family community designed and

Four hundred fifty of Celebration’s residents recently gathered at the Nicholson Center at Florida Hospital Celebration Health for “A Conversation with Michael Eisner and Peter Rummell”— two of the town’s leading architects from the development project under The Walt Disney Company. Submitted Photo

led by families.” He included his early experiences in the town as he introduced both Eisner and Rummell.

Celebration resident and original member of the Disney Development Company Tom Sunnarborg led the conversation in a question and answer format. Eisner and Rummell answered questions and candidly told stories of the original development meetings.

“First thing, no garbage. Get the garbage behind the houses,” said Eisner, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company from1984-2005. “There was a lot of talk about porches that day too.”

With an extensive background in the entertainment industry beginning at ABC, Eisner “didn’t want Celebration to be just another gated community.”  He said, “I think we got it right.”

The presentation concluded with a video of clips from the town’s original development meetings and a performance by Seventh Day Adventist, singing “Remember the Magic.”

When asked what he was most proud of, former Chairman of Walt Disney Imagineering Peter Rummell said, “The fact that we did it… You don’t often get 3,000 acres given to you for nothing. All of a sudden we had this giant canvas to do anything we wanted to do… I had never been so positive in a project.”