Disney Executive George Kalogridis Named President of the Disneyland Resort

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ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 12  — George Kalogridis, a 38-year Disney veteran and former Disneyland executive, has been named president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Kalogridis most recently served as chief operating officer for Disneyland Resort Paris, where he was responsible for leading the operations team and overseeing the highly successful 15th anniversary celebration of the resort.

Kalogridis, 55, will report to Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He replaces Ed Grier, who is retiring from the company.

“George is a proven strategic thinker whose operational expertise and strong leadership skills will serve him well in leading the Disneyland Resort,” said Weiss. “We are excited to welcome him back to California and look forward to his leadership as we continue to expand and grow this beloved place.”

From 2000 to 2002, Kalogridis served as senior vice president of Resort Operations for the Disneyland Resort, where he played a significant role in the first expansion of the resort – the opening of Disney’s California Adventure park and Downtown Disney. In addition, he was responsible for the daily operations of both theme parks and three hotels, as well as Downtown Disney.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Disneyland, particularly during this exciting time of significant expansion,” said Kalogridis. “I look forward to working with the Cast who make the magic for our Guests everyday and partnering with the Orange County community to ensure the Anaheim Resort Area continues to thrive.”

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Just in Time for (Next) Halloween: Disney Traditions Villains Castle

Disney Traditions Villains CastleHand-painted and made of stone resin, this nearly-a-foot-tall sculpture of a haunted castle features ten Disney classics villains. Ursula, Scar, Hook, Tick-Tock the Croc, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent Dragon, the Evil/Wicked Queen, Shere Kahn, Jafar and Hades stand guard as motion activated light-up eyes and spooky sounds make this the Disney fan’s Halloween decor to have… for next year.

You can pre-order the item here for $135 with shipment expected first quarter of 2010.

[via TOMOPOP]

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Vinylmation Cutesters Series #1 Release Delayed Until December 2009

elizabeth-glaser-631 With no formal date announced, Disney has shifted the release timeframe of the Vinylmation Cutesters (pictured left) from October until December. When a formal date is announced, we will post it as information becomes available to us.

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Orlando CVB Introduces New Online Game Guaranteed to Make You Smile (and Find It)

The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau has introduced a fun new online game titled Find My Smile in which the goal is to find your own photo (either uploaded or chosen from stock photos) amongst a giant mosaic of your photo composed of hundreds of other Orlando area vacation photos. Zoom in to find hints and bonuses along the way as you compete against the clock and your friends and family for the best score.

The game is available in two versions: Standalone and as a Facebook application.

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Twitter Contest: Win an Exclusive Set of The Princess and the Frog Fortune Telling Cards

The Princess and the Frog Fortune Telling Card GameFor our beloved Twitter followers, here’s your chance to win your very own set of The Princess and the Frog Fortune Telling Card Game. Created as a promotional item for the upcoming movie, these are available only through select outlets and we have been fortunate enough to obtain a few sets to give away. Don’t miss your chance to get your hands on this exclusive collectible game consisting of 12 individual cards, each beautifully presenting a different character from the film. Contest details are as follows:

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Marie Osmond’s 2009 Halloween Bitty Belle Doll Set (LE 300) Available for Order

2009 Halloween Bitty Belle Doll Set by Marie OsmondEntertainer and Doll Designer, Marie Osmond introduces her newest creation, Halloween Bitty Belles and the latest addition to her signature collection of Disney inspired dolls. Decked out in authentic reproductions of costumes designed by Disney Designers, this pair of vinyl dolls are all ready for trick or treating. Sold only as a set, Halloween Bitty Belle’s are limited to an edition size of 300 and will be available while supplies last for $80, plus shipping and applicable tax. Disney Visa, Cast Member and Disneyland Premium Annual Passholder discounts apply.

To order, click here.

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Magic Kingdom Sees Stars as Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Learns Pluto is No Dwarf

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the PBS series "NOVA scienceNOW" and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York with Pluto (Gene Duncan/Disney)Acclaimed astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the PBS series “NOVA scienceNOW” and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, taped a segment of the PBS series Oct. 9, 2009 in the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Joining Tyson for the taping was beloved Disney character Pluto, for an episode that focuses on the dwarf planet of the same name.  Tyson, who authored a book entitled “The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet,” was at the center of the controversy surrounding the planetary status of Pluto.  A frequent guest on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report,” Tyson attributed the public outcry over the dwarf planet’s demotion to America’s love of the Disney character.

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Disney Theatrical: 20K Licensees Enter The Scene

Editor’s Note: Please don’t let the horrible title take away from the significance of this momentous occasion. They can’t all be winners.

Variety recently reported that Disney Theatrical has licensed its full-lengthed and abridged staged versions of its Broadway and Film classics aimed at elementary schools through professionals to 20,000 licensees to date.

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Mickey Mouse to Kick Off Traveling Disney Train Art Exhibit in Kansas City October 10

The latest train to join the Disney legacy, Mickey's Magic Choo Choo, releasing in time for the holidays

Mickey Mouse will visit Union Station in Kansas City (Walt Disney’s hometown) from 10 am – 12 pm on October 10 to celebrate the unveiling of a traveling art exhibit that pays homage to Walt Disney’s lifelong love of trains and introduces the latest train conducted by Mickey himself, Mickey’s Magic Choo Choo toy train, releasing in time for the holidays. Local preschoolers along with representatives from the Kansas City Mayor’s office and hundreds of fans will see Mickey before he departs from Union Station bound for Los Angeles for a viewing party for the premier of the Disney Channel primetime special, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo Choo Express airing Sunday October 25th. Families and their kids can track Mickey’s travels online at www.YouTube.com/Disneyliving.

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