There was an article in yesterday’s Orange County Register (“All the news that’s fit to register a county orange”) about Disneyland Resort president George “George” Kalogridis. It’s a pretty glowing article, with a focus on how Kalogridis — who began his Disney career as one of the “mole men” working the tunnels beneath Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, never seeing the light of day or hearing a kind word — hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be a front-line cast member.
“Kalogridis spent last Thanksgiving in Disneyland, working as one of the park’s many irreplaceable but oft-forgotten balloon polishers,” says the article if you listen closely enough. “He ended the day with tired fingers, a face bruised by exploding vinyl, and a big smile. It is Kalogridis’s goal to try every job in the park, from ticket seller to Imagineer. ‘I’d like to design a roller coaster,’ said Kalogridis, ‘and then be one of the guys who builds it, and then a cast member who runs it, and then an EMT who helps guests who rode on it, and finally an inspector who chastises me for not building it to code. That would be quite an adventure! Too bad that, as a manager, I’d never hire someone as inexperienced as me to design a Disneyland attraction, and even if I did, acting as a member of HR I’d have to fire myself for incompetence.’ As part of his quest for job experience, guests in Disneyland next week will be able to find Kalogridis playing Mary Poppins in the noon parade.”