20th Annual CHOC Walk in the Park – Making a Difference with Only a Few Steps

George A. Kalogridis

by , President, Dev and Enrichment, Walt Disney World Resort

George Kalogridis at CHOC Walk in the Park

In just a few days, many Disneyland Resort cast members, guests and members of the community will take the steps to make a difference by walking in one of our most heartwarming and popular events — the 20th annual CHOC Walk in the Park.

This event, which takes place on the morning of Sunday, October 17 and benefits Children’s Hospital of Orange County, holds a special place in my heart — not only was it the first event I experienced last year as president of Disneyland Resort, but I am now privileged to sit on the board of CHOC Children’s just as Walt Disney did so many years ago.

It truly is an honor to continue Walt’s legacy, and to give back to the families and children in our community through our partnership with CHOC. For the past nine years, Disneyland Resort has hosted the walk that has paved the way to making dreams come true for thousands of families. Walt recognized the importance of giving, and the power behind a supported community, and I’m happy to say that compassion and support is still alive and well in our parks today.

I want to thank all of those who have walked, donated and volunteered in the past, and encourage everyone to take these steps to making a difference. Unlike the CHOC Walk, the ability to make a difference has no finish line.

For more information on the CHOC Walk, and how to get involved, visit www.chocwalk.org.

I hope to see you all out there on October 17!


  • We had a great time at the walk! Boy there sure were a lot of people there.

  • Thank you so much for your support of CHOC. My daughter was born with a major facial birth defect and children’s hospitals have become a big part of our lives as has Disneyland. Jessica had her first trip to Disneyland this summer. Recently she asked if we could send a picture into the Disney memories website – we did and it was published

    My Jess was thrilled beyond words that not only was her picture on the website but also that TWO whole people liked it – she thought that was the most amazing thing ever. Then she looked and 30 people liked it…”Mommy, THIRTY…thirty people like my picture” she was in happy tears. She asked if she could go to Disneyland on Christmas day…explaining that it could be her birthday AND her Christmas present…well that’s not possible…But I want you to know that Disneyland has changed her life in a REAL and tangible way – she know understands that people can look at her without seeing her scared lip and your work with CHOC continues to make real changes in children’s lives, body, mind and spirit

  • This blog post has really impressed me. I think it’s wonderful on several levels. First that the president of the Disneyland Resort has taken the time to post on the Disneyland Blog is great. Second, I think it is even more impressive that he interacts with people in person at this event. Third, he recognises his connection to Walt in supporting a very deserving local charity. The most important thing of course being the benefit to the patients who are helped by the Children’s Hospital. These sorts of things make me confident that the Disneyland Resort is in good hands, and in the future it will continue to be the Happy Place that it has been for the last 55 years.

    • Thanks, Penny, for your comments. It is always great to hear nice feedback. Looking forward to seeing some of you at the walk on Sunday and all of you out in the parks soon!

  • I live in Ohio but scheduled a trip arriving Sat. the 16th long before learning about the CHOC Walk. I signed up to take part- I am excited to help a good cause, even if the work they do is far from home!

    Has the course been announced? I’m particularly curious about any backstage areas we may walk through; I love getting to do atypical Disney things in the parks and the backstage WDW tours I’ve done in the past were great. 🙂

    In any case it will be neat to see George in person after reading this Blog item…

  • Didn’t know that was happening this weekend. Here’s hoping Sunday won’t be insanely busy at the parks – we’ll be there for a family trip. A great cause, I just wish they’d warn people of big events like this… not everyone who goes to the parks lives in OC! 8)

  • I’ll be there as a first timer and I am extremely excited. Thanks for reminding people how caring the Disney family is.

  • Mary from Santa Barbara, CA….
    I was a former cast member from one of the Disney Stores which was located here in Santa Barbara. Knowing that Walt and his wife Lily loved to do for others less fortunate made me proud to work for the Disney Co. But now that I am disabled and of course I am no longer a cast member, hearing these types of stories makes me feel even more proud, but now as a fan, a love of Disney. Thanks George for all your hard work and keeping these special Disney tradition.

  • Nicely stated, George. It’s great to see a resort president who truly cares about the parks while also upholding the legacy that Walt began. It’s truly important that we never forget where the Disney company came from and use it as a beacon for where it goes. Thank you!

  • It’s my first time participating and I’m excited!

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