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Celebrating the Holidays at Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park

Exclusive Video Interview with George Kalogridis, New President of the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 13th, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Longtime Disney executive George Kalogridis was just announced as the new Disneyland Resort President. I sat down with the new president in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel because he wanted to talk to the Disney Parks Blog. George had some interesting stories to share.

George’s extensive career with Disney Parks and Resorts spans 38 years, and he started working with the company in 1971 as a busboy at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. Most recently, George served as chief operating officer for Disneyland Resort Paris. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of Resort Operations at Disneyland for the first expansion of the resort in 2001 that includes the opening of Disney’s California Adventure park and Downtown Disney.

George has held several other executive roles, including vice president of Walt Disney World’s Travel Operations, vice president of EPCOT park, vice president of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and vice president of Human Resources at Walt Disney World.

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12 Comments

1

Lee on October 13th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Fantastic interview, and he has a great story to tell!

I love hearing about Disney executives and people high up in the company that started by working at a Disney attraction, etc. They always seem to have the most passion and great ideas for the company.

I’m sure he’ll do a great job!

2

Cristina on October 13th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I’m glad to hear that there will be many great changes to the park, especially the little mermaid ride since I have always loved the story. But….Cars Land? Really? That sounds so plain for Disney. Why not Radiator Springs?? Or Route 66? That fits the Cars movie and sounds more creative and “Disney”
Just a thought.

3

Bob from FL on October 13th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Congratulations George,

Winter Haven is proud of your Disney career and connection to our city. We wish you continued success! We know you will bring new successes to Disneyland.

Bob Gernert
Executive Director
Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce
Winter Haven, FL

4

Christopher from FL on October 13th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Maybe, Christina, there is more to come and Radiator Springs or Route 66 would have been limiting. Always read into these things like they’ve got something more up their sleeve, and it becomes a lot let easy to judge, and far more fun to start guess what comes next! This tells me they’ve got more movies in the works for the franchise.

5

Aleesah on October 13th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

This question isn’t really related to the video, but I wasn’t sure where else to ask it. I love the pictures at the top of the Blog, but occasionally there is one that I can’t figure out what/where it is. Is there a gallery anywhere that has all of the pictures and captions for them?

6

Susan on October 14th, 2009 at 8:36 am

I love that he comes off as a “regular guy” instead of speaking executive speak and talking bottom lines.

7

Evan on October 14th, 2009 at 8:42 am

It was very scripted, but he looks promising. He speaks well, so he already has that over some Disney execs.

Liked his work in EPCOT especially for the Millennium Celebration.

Good luck to him! Disneyland is going in a amazing direction with all of it’s new attractions, hopefully he will continue it.

Now, can we get some shakeups for Walt Disney World? ;-)

8

Adam on October 16th, 2009 at 1:37 am

I must say I’m impressed. He certainly seems to have a love for Disneyland and what makes it special. I hope he does a good job as president… and I’m betting he will.

9

Donna from CA on October 16th, 2009 at 5:29 am

George looks like a good guy. I hope he respects the Disney traditions. Some of the past execs have strayed off the high quality path that Walt created. He spoke of the people there taking good care of their guests. I would add, take good care of our treasure and it will take care of us. Good luck, George!

10

Eliel on October 16th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Hello George;
Welcome to southern California! I hope that your tenure here will be productive and challenging.

11

john from FL on October 20th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

George — What a great career! It has been fun watching your sucess — I know your Mom and Dad (Uncle Tony and Aunt Judy) would be very proud of you along with Steve, Karen and Wade.
Best Wishes, John from Winter Haven Florida

12

Chris on November 4th, 2009 at 1:18 am

Seems like a great guy. Congrats and good luck!

12 Comments