BREAKING: Disney is Firing The Grand Floridian Orchestra on October 3rd
It’s with a heavy heart that we share the news of The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra being fired from the Walt Disney World Resort. After having played at the resort since its grand opening, the band was furloughed during the COVID-19 shutdown and ultimately brought back as “The Disney Society Orchestra”, a fill-in for the Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage show during equity performer negotiations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, the band has since announced that their last day of work will be Saturday, October 3. They will no longer play at any location in Walt Disney World.
The announcement came from the band’s own Facebook page:
The following message was issued by the band:
“It’s hard to find the words but, sadly, our days at the Grand Floridian are over. In fact, as of Oct 3, 2020, our days at WDW will come to an end as well.The company brought us out of furlough, changed our name to “The Disney Society Orchestra,” closed us out of the GF to play a show of Disney themed show tunes at the Theater of the Stars in Hollywood Studios. We’ve been playing 9 shows a day, 7 days a week since Aug 2nd. The music is a far cry from the closely knit harmonies & sounds we became known for at the GF but. the guys are real pros and they sound great! Well… Two weeks ago we got notice that the theater is going dark and our last day of work will be Saturday, Oct 3, 2020. As we all know, these are very uncertain times and can’t say what will happen from one day to the next. So after 32 years of playing together and playing music we love… we’re done. We are so thankful for the opportunity to play in a beautiful setting for the hotel guests and friends we have met & made over the years. We’ll never forget you and how wonderful you’ve made us feel. We will miss you!Thank you-thank you- thank you!”
As mentioned in the heartbreaking caption, the band has been playing for 32 years at Walt Disney World. While this is probably just the first entertainment group to be formally canned post-COVID, it will likely be one of the greatest losses. The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra has been performing at the hotel since its opening day and is part of the very fabric of the resort. I’ve often overlooked the shortcomings of the grand as a “real” luxury hotel and the pricing that comes with it because of things like the piano player and live band in the lobby. How Disney can fathom charging for what they do for this hotel a night while cutting such things is a joke. One room likely pays for an entire day of band performances.
The bandstand was lost for a seating area that is rarely used inside the overpriced Enchanted Rose—a bar themed to a European fairytale in a hotel called the Grand Floridian. If this is the direction the hotel is going, then Disney has made another IP-oriented, idiotic decision in a long string of such choices.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for this incredible band, here’s a clip of them playing at their original location on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: