As part of our on-going "5 Minutes With" series, every month we’ll introduce you to a new member of our Disney Meetings team at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Whether they work in our Disney Convention Resorts, Theme Park Operations, Catering and Convention Services, Sales, Entertainment or dozens of other event-support areas, these Cast Members and their teams are responsible for creating magical experiences and unforgettable events for meeting and event industry professionals, and their important attendees and guests, every single day.
Let’s meet Jen Sublet, Senior Event Operations Director at Walt Disney World Resort:
Hi, Jen. Tell us about your role.
I am fortunate to lead the Event Services teams and Disney Event Group Event Consultants at the five Walt Disney World convention resorts. I started as an event intern 19 years ago and have had the opportunity to work in many roles that now provide great insight with my current position. My role is to ensure our Guests have memorable experiences and our Cast have the resources to provide those experiences.
Can you tell us about a typical day at work?
The only typical thing about my day is that every day is different! I spend a lot of time visiting our event locations. It’s important to see our Cast, as well as our Guests and Clients, experiencing our products, whether that be our amazing food and beverage, entertainment, Theme Park events, or Disney Institute experiences. In addition, I work with our Park Event Operations team, entertainment partners, Chefs, Resort Sales, and many other areas of our company. I also work on future expansions such as Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which will bring new and exciting opportunities for our Guests! My goal is always to infuse the Guest voice into decisions of these new projects.
How do you and your team work with meeting and event planners?
We first seek to understand what is most important to a client. We want to gain insight about what a group is wanting to accomplish during their meeting and then customize our resources to those goals. We also want to have great working relationships with our clients. It’s important that our clients trust us and feel we are an extension of their team. Once we understand their vision, we collaborate to plan all aspects of a group’s stay, from pre-arrival through departure. Our focus is to provide unique Disney experiences, whether an event is at a Disney Resort, Walt Disney World Resort Theme Park, Water Park, or other venue within our 47 square miles. Our Guests have high expectations of us, and we are constantly seeking new opportunities and options.
What can attendees look forward to when meeting at Walt Disney World Resort in the near future?
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is currently expanding its convention center by 28,000 square feet. The resort will have a combined 100,000 square feet of meeting space upon completion. The new ballroom will be 16,000 square feet, which can be divided into 8 breakout rooms plus pre-function space for meeting attendees to gather and network. Our Cast recently had the opportunity to sign the final support beam before being lifted into place! The existing convention space will be updated to match the décor of the expansion.
In addition, the Guest rooms have recently completed renovations. The food and beverage locations have also been re-imagined. The lobby lounge was recently transformed and expanded into the Ale & Compass, which is adjacent to the new Ale & Compass Restaurant. Market at the Ale & Compass is a new “grab and go” location for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our convention guests will greatly benefit from all of these offerings!
At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, we are adding a 15-story tower with 500 new rooms, including suites and concierge level services. The new tower will include rooftop dining with panoramic views of Walt Disney World. The resort will also add a series of bridges to connect all of the amenities the resort has to offer. The first floor of the tower will also contain a boardroom, meeting space, and large event lawn. The Guest rooms are in process of renovations now and look amazing! Several of the food and beverage locations at Coronado are also in progress of re-imagination. Business travelers will enjoy all of these expanded offerings when the project is completed.
Can you describe one of your best Disney memories related to your position assisting a convention/meeting group?
I’ve had so many great memories throughout my career! One of the most recent memorable experiences was my team’s work on the 2016 Invictus Games, created by Prince Harry. I was the Event Services Director at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in May 2016 when we had over 1,000 military friends and families from fifteen nations staying with us. My team worked for a year in advance planning all details with the Organizing Committee and Sponsors to ensure a seamless experience. In addition to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, my team planned numerous events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Event planning is always a team effort, but the complexity of these events required so many departments involved to ensure it was successful. To see the outcome as well as the athletes and their families persevere through difficult challenges was inspiring for all of us!
What is your favorite part of your role?
Seeing our repeat clients come back year after year because of the relationships they have with our team. I also really enjoy supporting our Cast achieve their career goals. As someone who started as an intern and has progressed through many roles in my career at Disney, my goal is to help others be successful. Our Cast are a talented and dedicated team who strive to make a difference every day. I want to make a difference for them!
What inspires you every day?
Working at Walt Disney World inspires me! I feel very fortunate to work here with such amazing people. Disney has the ability to make emotional connections to our Guests. I experienced that with a family very early in my career and they are what I remember when I think I’m having a difficult day. I also love how Disney is constantly changing and growing. I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else!
We're eager to help you create the perfect meeting or private event for any size group, theme and objective. To speak with a Disney Meetings representative about our pricing and options available at our Disney Parks & Resorts destinations in Florida, California, Hawaii, or at our international destinations, please Contact Us or Submit a Request for Proposal. Or, Sign Up to stay in touch and continue learning more about Disney meetings and events.