A Piece of Disney Pin History - George Kalogridis retires


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After 50 years with The Walt Disney Company, George Kalogridis has announced his retirement.

You might know his name from when he ran Disneyland or Disneyland Paris or Walt Disney World. But did you know it's his fault we all collect pins? :)

Disney officials got the idea for pin trading from the Olympics; in 1896, athletes exchanged cardboard discs, and a century or so later pin-trading at the Games exploded.

George Kalogridis, now president of Disneyland Resort, headed to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan to get ideas for Disney’s Millennium Celebration that he was leading. He was then based at Florida’s Epcot.

In Nagano, he and colleagues happened to see a pin-trading area. Few traders spoke the same language, but they were communicating perfectly.

“We thought, ‘Wow, what if we could create that type of experience with the millennium?’ ” Kalogridis said.

Disney pins were supposed to last 15 months, starting in Florida and later in California parks.

“The guests won’t let you stop it,” Kalogridis said. “That’s what’s fun.”

Just a piece of Disney pin history for you...