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COVER STORY
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George Kalogridis

President – Disneyland Resorts, Anaheim

OC METRO's Hot 25 for 2011Published: November 01, 2011

Favorite Disney character: Eeyore
Hot Factor: From busboy to president, George Kalogridis is living that Disney song lyric, “... dreams really do come true.”

Only in the movies do you go from busboy to president of a company. Unless, maybe, it’s Disneyland, where dreams are supposed to come true. George Kalogridis did just that, and today he is overseeing the $2 billion renovation of California Adventure.
   
“I can’t think of a more exciting time in Walt Disney Parks and Resort’s history than what is taking place with our current expansion efforts,” says Kalogridis. “We’re combining more ‘immersive’ environments, more family experiences and more storytelling linked to our Disney heritage.”
   
Kalogridis has been with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts since he was a teenager, starting as a busboy at Disney World 40 years ago.
   
“I took my mother to an open house. The first attraction we rode was It’s a Small World, and I remember thinking how amazing it was. It’s still one of my favorite rides.”
   
Kalogridis moved through the ranks until 2006, when he became CEO at Disneyland Paris (with two theme parks and seven hotels). He arrived in Anaheim two years ago.
   
And what’s next after the current expansion/renovation?
   
Kalogridis says, “Walt Disney famously said as long as there is imagination left in the world, Disneyland will never be complete!”

Editor’s Note: To see who made our “Hot 25” lists in prior years, visit our Archives page.
   
And, we’re now on the hunt for exceptional women who are impacting O.C. If you know someone who deserves to be on our 20 Women to Watch list, please let us know at our Nominate page.