In this recurring monthly special, Nonahood News will be featuring those who’ve graduated from Lake Nona High School and will recognize the achievements they’ve made since. Some will have been a part of the first graduating class. Others might have graduated a few years later. Few have stayed in the Lake Nona area, and many have explored the world or are still doing so. Let’s see where life’s journey has taken them so far!
Name: Bo Hyltin
Year Graduated: 2011
Occupation: Director of Operations for FEC Operations, ProParks Management Company
Current Location: Orlando, FL
Bo Hyltin moved to Orlando at a young age when his family was searching for something similar to their previous home in Texas. “After moving from Texas after the age of 10, we first settled into the College Park area. But, we were always searching for a sense of community similar to what we had in Texas and found it in the Lake Nona community. I remember the first time we viewed houses in the area, and we immediately knew our home was going to be in the area. It sure was a sense of relief. My family has lived in the Lake Nona area for over 15 years now, building a house in the golf community,” Hyltin shared. “I have not lived in the area since moving out to go to college at Florida Atlantic University in 2011 for two years but have been eager to move back into the area myself. After my time at FAU, I moved into the Disney area to be close to the attractions and work. I am currently in the process of searching for houses in the Lake Nona area and going through the preliminary approval processes… .”
Known for being one of the (if not THE) tallest students at Lake Nona High, Hyltin was shy and goofy, played on the golf and lacrosse teams, but ultimately knew what his passions were in life and what his impending career would be. He focused on those goals as often as possible, even if that meant changing up his future.
“It’s funny. I always wanted to work attractions and be a part of the amusement industry but started at FAU with the mindset in majoring with an ocean engineering degree … completely off of what I am doing now. I learned quickly it was not for me and quickly switched my major to business. During my senior year, I worked as an opening team ride attendant for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction in IOA [Islands of Adventure] and loved the experience, which skewed my goals in a way.”
Once he graduated LNHS in 2011, he quickly realized that his passions could be a part of his career, and that took him down a magical path of entertainment. “The goal I achieved the most is figuring out I really didn’t want to be an engineer and found something I love to do. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the opening team for Diagon Alley after moving back from FAU and truly fulfilled some lifelong fantasies to be a part of the process of opening an area from construction to day one. I was working overnights for two months straight, assisting with the commissioning of all attractions in the Diagon Alley expansion,” Hyltin explained. “I also had the opportunity to debut the wand interactive effects to the Warner Brother QC team, representing Universal, one of the most nervous moments in my life. I knew the effects and how to trigger them better than all since I set up the operations, but knew the microscope in which WB viewed their relationship with Universal.”
When Hyltin was asked how he got to where he is now, he reminisced on the opportunities he had that led up to the present and was humble and grateful. “I got to where I am now by pure luck and taking chances on opportunities in front of me. At Universal, I worked my way up through the ranks from attractions attendant, assisting guests on the attractions, to supervisor in attractions operations, managing highly valued assets of the park. To get to that point, I was a part of Universal’s highly competitive development leadership talent program, which develops team members with potential for growth. For six months, I participated in classes, meetings, and discussions in regards to leadership and management fundamentals, and how to ensure your teams are performing to your expectations.”
Nowadays, Hyltin still enjoys golfing and tries to stay competitive. He looks forward to moving back to the Lake Nona area due to the abundance of golf courses and the memories of competing on the golf team for Lake Nona High. In the next five years, he hopes to still be in Florida and to see ProParks double the size of their properties.
Hyltin recollected a recent milestone he made in his career and how his experience helped prepare him for that exact moment: “I recently opened Cactus Springs in our park Funtasticks in Tucson [Arizona]. After opening Hogsmeade and watching the first guests enter Diagon Alley and setting up their operations that will be used for years to come, Cactus Springs meant more to me than any of that. Being able to showcase the things I have learned to my family and to be a part of their businesses after was truly a dream come true! When I was growing up in Dallas, I used to play Rollercoaster Tycoon all day, every day and dreamed of living this life. I get emotional thinking about how it all has played out to my vision,” Hyltin described. “Working for Universal has been a huge part of my life, as you can tell, and [I’m] grateful for the knowledge and experiences I have taken from them. I am using all training and experience to continue to update and evolve my family’s business and our operations.”
His current goals consist of continuing to get closer to God and getting involved with the Lake Nona community when he buys a house, especially with the high school’s golf team. “I am so PROUD to see the success of the Lake Nona High School boys’ golf team. I remember our first year, we were trying to find literally anyone to play on the team that knows of golf. … But, wow, things have changed.”
Hyltin also wants to have a family. And an additional fun fact about Bo: He’s a certified advanced open-water scuba diver! His advice for current high school students? “I believe kids graduating high school in today’s times should know they shouldn’t feel the pressure to leave home immediately after high school. It is not fair to your life to feel you need to be rushed in a degree [when] you don’t even know what you want to do. If you know for sure what you want to do, don’t let anything get in the way … but don’t worry about doubt or indecision, let the decision come naturally. I wished I would have stayed in the Orlando area and continued at Valencia to UCF, but I was too concerned with the notions contributed with that. … It’s economical and efficient.”
Written for current and future Lake Nona alumni by a Lake Nona alumna. Check back in our December issue to learn about our next Nona graduate(s)!