Beloved Grand Floridian Greeter Richard Gerth Has Passed Away

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Richard Gerth, famous Disney cast member of the Grand Floridian, passed early this morning. He was 92.

Mr. Gerth greeted guests and assisted over 3,500 brides at the resort since 1991. In 2013, Richard was presented with the Walt Disney Legacy Award – the highest award any Disney cast member can receive.

“I went over to casting with a number the Grand gave me,” Richard recollected in an interview with the Disney Vacation Club about starting his career. “She put it in the computer and said, “Richard, you got the job.” I never filled out an application.”

For almost 30 years, Richard interacted with guests and, to some, became as much an important stop as Splash Mountain or Spaceship Earth. Some families would come by with their children and take a picture every year to show how they’d grown in comparison to Gerth.

“The children are now coming to think I’m a grandfather,” said Richard. “Your whole life is built on how you act to other people. I’m overjoyed every time I come here (the Grand).”

Please share your memories of Richard in the comments below.

(C) Nathan and Jensey Root of Root Photography – www.rootweddings.com
(C) Disney

Note: Header image (C) Kristi Woody – @waltkristiworld

About the author

Nathan Hartman

A sunshine state resident, Nathan is an avid Disney parks wonk as well as a university film professor.

Twitter: @somestuffisaid

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JC
Guest
JC

Richard was the “face” of the Grand Floridian and Disney! He was always welcoming and our stays at the Grand was not complete without seeing him. May he rest in peace! WDW should dedicate a memorial plaque or statue in his honor in front of the GF.

Karina Alves Teixeira Santos
Guest
Karina Alves Teixeira Santos

Richard spread love and magic at Grand Floridian, that he rest in peace.
R.I.P. Brazil love you Richard!
We are very sad…

Doris
Guest
Doris

My kids have grown up with him being at the Grand. What a wonderful man. They need a statue of him outside. He will always represent The friendliness of the Grand Floridian.

Johnny Disney
Guest
Johnny Disney

Man, that is sad. Richard was the kindest guy and was a prime example of what a Cast Member could and should be. Never stayed at the resort, but every time we ate there or stopped by, we always got to talk to him. He was like everyone’s grandad. I also always forgot to take a picture with him until just a few months ago, I got one. I’m glad I did. Rest in Peace, good sir.

Juliebriggs
Guest
Juliebriggs

What a lovely man, he always commented on my husband and I holding hands saying how he loved to see couples holding hands.

Lauren Bailey
Guest
Lauren Bailey

Richard would come out and cheer for us at the marathon every year. He was such a joy. He is Disney World <3

Andy Smith
Guest
Andy Smith

The absolute epitome of a WDW cast member. Only met him when we went to the GF for a meal. What a gent – welcomed us in and asked how we’d enjoyed our meal on the way out. Don’t worry though, i’m sure St Peter will be wanting you to help him out with the M&G duties at the pearly gates.

Angie Davis
Guest
Angie Davis

Richard you will be sadly missed. My grown kids remember you from this time they was very small. I am sure the Grand Floridian cast members are all morning your loss today.

Stacy Eaton
Guest
Stacy Eaton

Richard’s GRAND soul brought so much personality to the Grand Floridian, he will be irreplaceable. Please consider placing a statue of him out front? I just suggested that Wolfeboro, NH do this as well. My only consolation is hoping that he is reunited with his wife as I recall he missed her terribly. We should all aspire to be more like Richard!

Paul R Simmons
Guest
Paul R Simmons

This man should get a statue put up at the Floridian. He is like a landmark

Claudia Thomas
Guest
Claudia Thomas

Yes! Agreed!

Curtis Rogers
Guest
Curtis Rogers

I think that is a wonderful idea. A statue of Richard at the front of the Grand Floridian would be very appropriate.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Always waved and said hi to him when we would visit. RIP Richard

Cindy McCrory
Guest
Cindy McCrory

We are very sad to hear of the passing of dear Richard Gerth of the Grand Floridian. The two times we stayed there, Richard was there to greet us and take pics and give us advice. It was like visiting family! He defined what the Grand Floridian was all about by his gracious and friendly manner! He will be sorely missed. Prayers and condolences to his family and also for all of us his heartbroken friends. Godspeed Richard…..💔

Keith
Guest
Keith

He was a Disney icon to me and my family. He will be missed. Always the gentlemen.

SJames
Guest
SJames

I agree, Disney icon. I knew I was “home”‘ seeing his smiling face when coming to the Grand first as a child, then throughout the years into adulthood with my own children. He served his 40+ years as a cast member exceptionally well.

Augusta McGowan
Guest
Augusta McGowan

We had the honor to meet Mr Gerth at the Grand Floridian. He made you feel like the most important person he has ever met! Such wonderful and outstanding gentleman. Our condolences to his family, friends and all who cherished his genuine and true acts kindness and love.

Paul C
Guest
Paul C

RIP and God bless you Richard Gerth…You embodied what’s great about Walt Disney World and left a wonderful legacy for others to follow!

Mary Shanley
Guest
Mary Shanley

We have known Richard since 1984 when we first visited WDW. We have been back 27 times and we always have to look for him on every trip. He WILL be missed.

mary Callahan
Guest
mary Callahan

For me, Richard was a highlight of my yearly vacations.
Recently, we had spoken about bringing back the “roasted chestnuts” tradition for The Grand.
I will dearly miss his smile and welcoming personality.
G-d Bless you Richard

Debi
Guest
Debi

My mother and always made sure to stop and say hello to him everytime we visited. Such a sweet man with a smile for everyone will truly be missed.. walking into the grand will never be the same. I love the idea of a statue of him

Crystal
Guest
Crystal

RIP Mr Richard!!! We loved seeing you, and we’ll see you again one day!! 💜🙏💜

Raymond Evans
Guest
Raymond Evans

A truely wonderful man he will be greatly missed.