Waylon Krush, a veteran of the US Army, enlisted at the ripe age of 18 like his father and grandfather before him. It was “meant to be”. During his service he was stationed at Bad Aibling, Germany for 3 years. In that time, he delighted in attending Oktoberfest every single year. He fell in love with the festival and all it had to offer. So, it quickly became his dream to bring that feeling back home to America.
“I always knew that when I was in a position to do so that I wanted to recreate Oktoberfest,” Waylon says.
In September 2020 that dream came true. Waylon discovered an opportunity to purchase 7 acres of land once occupied by Jungleland Zoo in Kissimmee. He went on to acquire the land and driven by his vision and passion, Waylon began to develop Krush Brau Park.
Krush Brau Park is a German-inspired beer garden and park. The 9,000+ square foot main building along with several container buildings will help support the brewery, eateries, live music and attractions, playgrounds, outdoor theater, and petting zoo available to guests.
According to Waylon, keeping the petting zoo at the park was vital because of the history of the property.
“The animatronic animals will be an ode to the old zoo if you will,” Waylon says.
The inclusion of animatronic animals and other park features highlight his expansive technology background. Waylon has over 20 years of experience in areas including cyber security, critical infrastructure protection, security operations, information operations, signals intelligence, system and telecommunication exploitation, and assessment and authorization. He also holds a BS in Computer Information Science from the University of Maryland University College.
“When people come to the park, they will see someone who has a strong technology background then add on the fact that I’m a huge fan of the parks, so I see the things we do good, bad, and ugly,” Waylon says. “Overall, I’m really trying to differentiate us from the other parks because they provide so much.”
A part of that differentiation comes with placing a high priority on making the park family friendly. Waylon explains that having his own family and having previously lived in other areas that weren’t as family-oriented highly influence his decision making.
“It’s kind of a two-sided piece. I have a family so if you build something you want to ensure your family is going to love it because if your own family doesn’t love it then probably no one else is going to,” Waylon says. “The other piece is Orlando is a family city. If you’re going to build something and it’s not family oriented-good luck.”
Waylon also stresses the importance of making sure the park is a place of escape and relaxation for families.
“I wanted to build a place where when they weren’t in the parks they could come and enjoy and kind of rest and just have a more relaxed day, have good entertainment, have a fun time without feeling what I’ll call the ‘marathon stress’ that comes with coming to the parks.” Waylon says. “I’ve noticed from my family and business too, just like everyone else they try to do 8-16 hours a day in the park even though the kids are falling asleep and falling down they’re still pushing them because they want to make sure they get the full experience.”
Currently, guests can relax and have fun as they experience Festplatz, an outdoor festival tent that provides an authentic German festival atmosphere. Here families can enjoy Oktoberfest, Herbfest (Autumn festival), Weihnachten Fest (Christmas/Winter Fest) and Silvester Fest (New Year’s Fest).
Due to covid-19 construction of other areas of the park has taken longer than anticipated. However, Waylon’s team continues to find ways to come up with creative solutions to roadblocks. He is proud to have a world class team to help bring his vision to life.
“We’re based on the parks here and that’s really helped me a lot,” Waylon says. “I come from a technology background and talent’s always the most important piece and it’s very difficult to find. Luckily here we’ve been finding great talent and building a great team.”
In 2022 Waylon’s plan with the help of his team is to continue to expand the park.
“The goal is to have another part of the park open and at least another one of the countries and to do so on a higher velocity meaning hopefully we’ll have a new place open every couple of months,” Waylon says. “So, a new restaurant, bar, shop or entertainment area/ playground so that every few months when a person comes, they’ll see something completely different, and they’ll be able to interact with a new part of the park.”
The facility and garden will continue to be broken up into different countries around the world that will feature each country’s cuisine, beers, and more.
“I want interaction and excitement,” Waylon says. “I want something that people will remember and that families will want to come back to.”
To learn more about Krush Brau Park and upcoming events visit https://krushbraupark.com/
Waylon Krush has been featured as a cyber security SME on CNBC, Fox News, AP, NPR, and William Shatner’s Moving America Forward. Mr. Krush has also been called to testify as a Subject Matter Expert on topics of cyber security before the Committee on Homeland Security U.S. House of Representatives and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
He is a recipient of the Knowlton Award, the DOT CyberSecurity Excellence Award, AFCEA Honor Award, CWFI Cyber Training Award, US Marine Corps. Scholastic Award, Smart CEO Cyber Warrior Award 2013, Future 50 Award 2014, 2015, 2016 and the American Legion Award (2 years) along with several military awards related to cyber and mission impact.
He was named NSA Professional of the Quarter, 718th Military Intelligence Soldier of the Year, and the 20 Most Admired Tech Leaders in Business 2017 by Insight Success.