Now Every Day Will Be 'Gay Day' At Disney World
About 42 years ago, a gay 17-year-old teenager named George Kalogridis applied for a busboy job at a soon-to-be-opened Orlando resort called Disney World — maybe you've heard of it.
Now, more than four decades later, the 59-year-old man with a partner of 12 years has just become president of Walt Disney World (a real rags-to-riches "Cinderella story" as one gay blog put it).
And ruling over the Magic Kingdom is a pretty big deal, especially when you consider just how big that kingdom is:
"Effective Feb. 1, Kalogridis becomes the fifth president of Walt Disney World, a 40-square-mile vacation metropolis that today includes four theme parks, two water parks, 24,000 hotel rooms, 3,000 time-share suites, a 120-acre retail complex and a 230-acre sports campus... a business that generates more than $6 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 67,000 people."
"Well golly!" as Mickey would say. That's a huge job. But it turns out that Kalogridis is an ideal pick for the responsibility as the guy has a history of coming up with very lucrative ideas to keep people coming back to the animated theme park:
"From 1995 to 2000, Kalogridis ran Epcot, Disney World's second-busiest theme park. He conceived and launched the park's International Food and Wine Festival to help generate attendance during a typically slow period in the fall. It is now one of Disney World's largest annual events." "He expanded the Candlelight Processional holiday show, adding multiple performances per night and designing dinner packages to sell with it. An avid traveler, Kalogridis also helped create Disney's now-ubiquitous pin-trading program, drawing inspiration from pins he saw for sale at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan."
Consider that a gay man, Tim Cook, currently runs what is (for now anyway) the most valuable company in the world (Apple), it's nice that there's also a gay man running one of the most valuable vacation resorts in the world. And part of the reason it's so nice is that it could continue to make the park more welcoming to LGBT employees and patrons alike.
Many gays wearing red shirts already flock to Disney every summer to celebrate the unofficial gay day at Walt Disney, an event which makes the heads of conservative nutbags explode (seriously, Google "gays at Disney World" and see how many insanely hateful articles you find).
Now every day at Disney World will be a gay day, welcoming every queen, king, fairy, princesses and Lost Boy from across the world.